There are many reasons to upgrade your base bar with fit, weight, and comfort being the most common. Although if you were to upgrade to the Vision TriMax Carbon base bar solely because of its gorgeous carbon, we wouldn’t blame you one bit. But this shouldn’t surprise us; Vision products are special in how they find harmony between form and function. Take a look at our recent review of the Vision Metron crankset where we were once again immediately drawn to the beauty of the product and even more impressed with its abilities. So does the TriMax base bar live up to its predecessor, or is its beauty only skin deep? We have the next month to find out, but read on for our first impressions.
The TriMax Carbon Base Bar
Vision sells the TriMax Carbon bar in two versions—flat and slope. The slope has a 57mm drop while the flat is…well…flat. We decided to test the slope because we felt this best represented the choices our average reader is forced to make. When buying a new base bar most athletes are either upgrading or doing a new build. For those upgrading, your bike most likely came with a flat base bar that may limit your ability to get aggressive in the pursuits. Moving to a dropped base bar can allow you to get low when sprinting and climbing. This is why we decided to go with the slope.
Vision has decided to go with straight pursuits versus the upturned pursuits found on some of their competitors. Personally, we find the straight pursuits to be a bit more comfortable. However, that is a personal decision that every rider will end up making for themselves.
Of course fit may not be the only reason you are looking for a base bar. Weight can be an equally important reason to choose one bar over another. And in some cases, weight can be the deciding factor. By going with carbon over aluminum, Vision is able to claim a weight of 215g for the sloped and 205g for the flat. We actually measured the sloped bar at a feathery light 200g. For comparison sake, the Profile Design Ozero bar, which comes standard with many bikes, measures in at 285g.
The other benefit of carbon is that it can provide a slightly more comfortable ride than its aluminum counterparts. Being that we spend most of our time in our aerobars, we tend not to notice the difference. However on a recent hill workout with the TriMax bar, we did find that our hands and wrists did not seem to feel the road as much as they had in the past. It is worth mentioning that there is a downside in moving from an aluminum base bar to a carbon bar. Aluminum bars tend to be more forgiving if there is an incident with the bike, while a carbon component tends to more brittle and requires repair or replacement if there is damage.
Finally, there are those that look at a base bar as both a style and aerodynamic upgrade to their bike. Fortunately those two traits often go hand in hand since deep aero shapes tend to look pretty good by nature. The TriMax bar is no exception. With its deep wings this bar is surprisingly UCI legal and impresses both standing still in transition or sitting in the wind tunnel. [Editor Update: We originally published that these bars were not UCI legal. Vision has let us know that they do in fact meet the 3:1 guidelines of the UCI.]
We have been riding the TriMax for the past two weeks and so far our impressions have been quite good. While the bar doesn’t overly transmit road conditions, it still lets you know what’s going on down there. The pursuits leave enough room to fit your whole hand without the front edge of the wing intruding. And as can be expected, upgrading our CD0.1 from a flat bar to a dropped bar has had a major impact on our position. Overall, this has been a welcome upgrade.
So can form and function exist in harmony? So far the answer seems to be yes. But two weeks is never enough time to form a full opinion. Stay tuned as we put the bar thought its full paces over the next month. Let us know if there’s anything specific you would like us to look into with the bar or if you have questions you have in general. And as always, thanks for reading AeroGeeks.