The new Morf Tech aero handlebar folds up any UCI rules and throws them out the window. Using a series of locking pivots, the bar transforms from flat bullhorns to aero extensions, leaving nothing to catch the wind once you’re in the tucked position. Besides being ultra aero, it also positions the brakes and shifters in easy reach in both positions. Here’s how it works…
The Morf Tech bar is made of aluminum with two locking hinges per side. This lets it rotate the arms forward while the ends rotate outward to form a straight extension. The result is both traditional triathlon and TT hand positions, but without the drag created by the unused portion.
Given that your weight is bearing down on the handles in the “touring” position (bars set wider, as bullhorns), we asked the inventor, Frank Springget, how they would handle the stress. Here’s his response:
“As for wear and tear in the connection, the bars are manufactured from hard anodized billet aluminum. Hard anodizing brings the surface hardness to 55-60 RC which resists wear in the connection. The pinned connections were oversized to reduce stresses which also reduces wear. Finally, the locking mechanism is engaged at the inner most joint. The first prototypes had the locks located in the outermost joints. This resulted in more components in the load path and more play in the system. By locating the lock at the inner most pin, the affect of tolerance stack on multiple components is minimized making for a stiffer connection over time. We are testing, and continue to cycle test the bars to understand the affects of wear and tear on the system.”
As for aerodynamics, they’ve done preliminary testing at Faster Wind Tunnel in Arizona. As you’d suspect, it showed major drag reduction, but they’re planning more testing to develop numbers for marketing and verification. In the meantime, they’ve been testing with pro triathlete Antony Costes, who also has a Ph.D. in Biomechanics and has been giving them very detailed feedback.
An additional benefit is that it lets you position the bars at extreme angles, independently adjust the elbow pads, and still fit an aero hydration bottle between them.
THE SPECS LIST
- Fits standard 31.8 (1-1/4″) Stem
- Used with standard Aero Bar Shifters, including DI2, eTap, XShifter, etc.
- Mechanically Synchronized Right and Left Bars for Stability
- Dual locks in the Touring (Braking) position, two levers must be moved in order to release from touring position for reduncancy
- Integrated Brake Lever Assemblies Included
- 3rd party brakes, both mechanical and hydraulic can be accomodated
- Precision Machined from Hard Anodized Billet Aluminum
- Current weight ~940 grams including brake assembly.
- Flexible Bar connections which can accommodate any 3/4″ ID bar including straight, bent, road bike horns, etc.
- Flexible Bar angle allowing for flat to extreme aero bar angle accommodating mantis-type aero positioning
This video illustrates two more advantages: Speed and safety. It appears faster to switch positions here than actually moving your hands from one grip to another on a traditional setup. And, because your hands are always on the grips, you have immediate access to the brakes in an emergency…and no more wobbly transitions from one position to the other. They say it’s approved for USAT and Ironman competitions, and they’re working on additional approvals for use in competition.
The product was successfully crowdfunded and is in production now. Check out their timeline and prototype photos on their website.