Overall rating: ⭐⭐⭐⭐
Aero bars on a touring bike?
Yes, I fit Profile Design Legacy II aero bars to my touring bike. My primary motivation was not to gain any aerodynamical improvements. No, instead I wanted a way to get weight off my hands and wrists, especially on longer rides.
I intentionally left it some time before doing a review, so I could have time getting used to them, and have a more informed view.
Do they work?
That’s a very simple question, and the equally simple answer is yes, they do. They work very well. First the obvious bits: these are entry-level aero bars. That doesn’t phase me, as I’m not a time trialist, wanting the maximum aero advantage for the lightest possible weight.
The good bits
First of all, and crucially important to me, these aero bars work with risers. Risers do exactly what the name suggests: they raise the aero bars higher above the handle bars. On a touring bike, that’s important, as the primary aim is comfort, not speed. Though there are far cheaper aero bars available, typically those cannot be used with risers. Risers also mean that you can still have your hands on the tops of the handlebars, without the aero bars getting in the way.
When you use aero bars, your body position changes, and risers help reduce by how much that changes. I went for 70mm risers, but may add 30mm risers into the mix.
The forearm pads are quite adjustable, both in terms of spacing away from the centre of the handle bars, as well as the angle at which they’re set.
The not-so-good bits
The Profile Design Legacy II aero bars aren’t perfect! For starters, the bars themselves, which stick out to the front of the bike, cannot be moved forwards or backwards, nor rotated clockwise or counter-clockwise. That’s because the bars themselves are firmly affixed to the brackets. Personally, that’s not a big deal to me, as they seem to be the exact correct dimensions for my body, but some may find it different for them.
The pads on the forearm cups are made from closed-cell foam, and there’s no fabric cover over them. Effectively, you’ll be resting your forearm on smooth plastic foam, and as expected, it can get quite sweaty. Additionally, the pads stick down, and once stuck, are meant to remain in place. I may make/obtain removable fabric covers for the pads, and secure the pads with Velcro, so I can wash the covers.
UPDATE: After just a few months, the adhesive holding the pads down came unstuck, which is disappointing.
Though you can adjust the position of the forearm pads, the degree of adjustment is limited. Again, these seem perfect for my body, so that’s not a big deal to me, but your mileage might vary.
If you’re in the market for entry-level aero bars that are solidly made, while offering you the ability to use risers, the the Profile Design Legacy II would probably be just fine. If you need the ability to eke out every single bit of aero advantage, or are planning on an advanced bike fit, then you’ll be better off spending more, on bars that are far more adjustable.