Safe Use of Tribars
- Tribars are a bicycle adaptation that can help the rider get into an increased aerodynamic position for non-drafting and time trial styled racing.
- Tribars are generally attached onto the handlebars adding versatility to the use of the bike, however some bikes may have integrated tribars and stem.
- Before riding with tribars you should ensure they are firmly attached and should seek the advice of a bike mechanic if you have any doubts and their security.
- The aero position adopted whilst using the tribars can feel quite unfamiliar at first so it’s important to gain experience before heading into racing conditions.
- When starting out on, find a quiet road - or better still a closed off training environment. Practice being in safe control of the bike whilst moving in and out of the tribars to be able to efficiently get to your brakes and position yourself for corners.
- Tribars should only be used when safe to do, riders should exercise caution when using in traffic, making turns or riding in groups. As you gain experience you will learn when to come in and out of the tribars and have better control when using them.
- It is recommended to consider a professional bike fit for injury prevention reasons, as the position can be quite stressful on the lower back if not set up correctly.
- Working with a coach (use the British Triathlon Coach Finder) can help you refine your technique as you build experience, however it’s important to remember that you must always keep your eyes looking ahead rather than down to the ground to be ready to negotiate any hazards and take corrective action. Don't forget to be aware of drafting regulations violations when competing.
Additional Resources for Coaches
Triathlon Coaching courses do not cover the fitting of tribars, however Coaches can check that:
- The bars are firmly attached.
- The athlete can safely control the bike when using them.
- The athlete is comfortable when using them
A common error made by age group athletes is that they keep the seat position the same, and just add tri-bars onto a road bike, which causes them to over stretch the upper body, and reduce the angle at the hip, resulting in poorer performance (through inability to apply power), restricted breathing, and less assured bike handling.
Coaches can find further information on tribars, time-trial position and safety guidance on the British Triathlon Learning Hub.
Further information on the Learning Hub via the links below: