THE JOURNEY

FastTT founder and lead designer Wayne Attwell is an internationally-ranked masters grade TT competitor (and trained Industrial Designer). When he started racing he quickly found speed gains through simple improvements to bike setup, riding position and the usual array of skinsuit, aero helmet and race wheels.

2021 New Zealand TT Nationals (pre aero bars)
2021 New Zealand TT Nationals (pre aero bars)

But it didn't take long for Wayne to hit an improvement ceiling where technology (and new N+1 bike) was maximised, and the infamous 'marginal gains' quest took over. Of course there are gains to be made through training, but looking for technology gains (aka 'free speed') became a (healthy) obsession for him!

When he started investigating carbon aero bar options to bling out his own Cervelo P5 TT bike, it became clear that they were expensive and beyond his budget, with custom systems costing as much as the GDP of some small nations. Plus, selecting the correct fitment options and accessories for the various modular systems on the market was confusing.

So he figured, why not design and build a carbon aero bar system and make it affordable and available to every athlete? It sounds so simple, but it's anything but. The further you dig into it the more complex you discover it is. UCI regulations, ISO strength test standards, aero design optimisation, designing to fit all the bike models and athlete sizes, installation process, mounting accessories, 3D prototyping, CNC aluminium tools, pre-preg vs wet layup, material choice, manufacturing the right product at the right price etc etc. It was a never-ending list of things to figure out and get right.

Work started on initial design concepts in May 2021, but at that stage it was just a small idea and a casual weekend project. Little did Wayne know at that stage that FastTT would develop into a world-class aero bar system used by athletes around the world!

Initial concept drawings and cardboard mockup (June 2021)
Initial concept drawings and cardboard mockup (June 2021)

At first, progress was slow as the team were working on the bars after hours. But gradually the design concept started to take shape and the first 3D printed prototype (V1) was produced in August 2021.

V1 prototype alongside cardboard mockup (August 2021)
V1 prototype alongside cardboard mockup (August 2021)

A series of 3D printed prototypes were produced, allowing us to get a 'feel' for the shape and fit on an actual bike. Some very brave (stupid?) road tests we undertaken (very carefully) using a 3D printed bar! Scary to say the least, but it did provide the first actual ride experience. It was back to the drawing board for more design revisions, until we reached TT bar version 7!

An early prototype fitted to the Cervelo P5 test bike (October 2021)
An early prototype fitted to the Cervelo P5 test bike (October 2021)

Once we felt the basic design concept was mature enough we produced our first production carbon fibre prototype using a MDF tool in March 2022. This allowed us to fit a set to our P5 and really give them a proper series of road tests.

The first v7 carbon production prototype fitted the the P5 (March 2022)
The first v7 carbon production prototype fitted the the P5 (March 2022)

The testing with v7 highlighted a few aspects we thought we could improve on. We made the design changes and produced a set of carbon TT bars(v8 ) in a new tool. More road testing followed and thankfully we felt that we had the design nailed.

A set of bars was then sent to an ISO Accredited test laboratory in Germany for extensive strength testing. The bars exceeded the industry approved ISO-4210 test standard by a large margin, giving us the confidence that our aero bars can stand up to all race and road conditions.

The evolution of the Tri bar

At this stage we started developing our Tri Aero Bar. This model borrows many of the ergonomic and aero features of the TT bar, but without the design restrictions that the UCI places on bars we were able to make aero improvements and other valuable changes to the Tri bar to suit the unique requirements of triathletes.

We were now ready to produce the final 7075 aluminium tooling for the production Tri and TT bars. We were in business!

Top section of the aluminium tool for the Tri bar, showing left and right bar units
Top section of the aluminium tool for the Tri bar, showing left and right bar units
TODAY - The final production Tri and TT bars in all their glory!
TODAY - The final production Tri and TT bars in all their glory!

We've been fortunate to partner with some of the best minds and manufacturers in the business, and whose technical input has made all the difference. The end result is a world-class carbon aero bar system that compares to anything available anywhere.

Since our launch in early 2022 we've shipped our FastTT products to 32 countries worldwide, and that's growing rapidly! We'd love you to join us on our FastTT journey!

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