best bar end shifters for triathlon

Best Bar End Shifters

Our Top Bar End Shifters For Triathlon

The key to any successful bike setup is being able to get into the gear you need as soon as you need it.  

That’s why we recommend a solid set of bar end shifters.  

If you are serious about triathlon racing you will have a bike with a set of aero bars fitted...

and for these, you will need a specialised set of gear shifters.

best bar end shifters for triathlon

#1 – ​SRAM R2C TT 10

When it come to triathlon style shifters there is no better name than SRAM.

The RC2 shifters are exceptional, especially if you are one of those triathletes that strives for maximum aero positioning.

Made from carbon and titanium these top of the line shifters are designed for winners.

With only 3mm of action required to change gears you are guaranteed the best aero positioning in the market.

sram rc2 tt shifters review

SRAM RC2 shifters review

Here’s a closer look.

Quality: The SRAM RC2 shifters are designed for triathletes and are used by some of the biggest names in racing. The unique return-to-centre shifting setup keeps you as aero as possible at all times.

Gear changing is smooth and with only 3mm of action required you can dance through the gears instantly.

The blades are made from carbon and the centre pins are titanium so all up you have a very strong unit that only weights in at 175g a pop.

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Setup: Setting up these shifters is pretty straightforward but you do need to keep and eye on the cable tension to allow for smooth gear changing.

There is plenty of adjustment available here so you get the exact setup you feel comfortable with, plus you can trim these out to get a smooth chain line all the way through.

best bar end shifters

Overall Thoughts: If you are striving for maximum aero positioning when on the bike then these shifters should be top of your list. Setup is simple enough but just keep an eye on the cable tension.

The only issue we really have with these shifters is the price, but then again how much is a personal best worth to you!!

#2 – Shimano Dura Ace 9 Speed

If you are wanting to get yourself a first set of bar end shifters then the Shimano Dura Ace kit is perfect. 

They work with double or triple cranks so for a lot of guys out there upgrading a standard road bike, these shifters are ideal.

Price wise these are cheap enough but still come with the quality you expect from Shimano.

dura ace shifter review

SRAM RC2 shifters review

Here’s a closer look.

Quality: The overall build quality is what you come to expect from a brand like Shimano.

Solid design and construction makes for a great set of shifters.

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Setup: Setting up is a breeze. There are detailed instructions if you are that way inclined but installation couldn't be any easier.

You can switch between index and friction shifting which really helps on longer journeys. It also helps after long term use when you get some play or stretch in the gear cables.

best bar end shifters

Overall Thoughts: We particularly like these shifters and at this price point they are a fantastic addition to any bike.

For people transforming their road bike into a tt style setup these are ideal. Get yourself a set of tt bars, clip these bad boys on, any away you go.

We especially like the fact they are compatible with double and triple chain rings so you have many more options available to you gear-wise.

Fitting Bar End Shifters

Setting up or fitting a set of bar end shifters is pretty straightforward. There are only a few things you really need to look out for.

Cable tension plays a bit part in the gear changing action of your shifters so make sure you check the instructions to be 100%.

Fitting to the end of your TT bars is simple. Most designs have a small screw under the lever that spreads out the end of the shifter within the bar end.

This causes a solid friction fit and once you bind over the end of the shifter with some bar tape they will never move.

Top Tip: Make sure you have the cables in place before you tighten up the shifter screws or you will have to start over. 🙂 


Not much to worry about here except every so often you should add a drop or two of oil to the level mechanisms to keep them running true and free.

After a lot of miles you may notice the cables stretch a bit and tis has a knock on effect on gear changing.

Just loosen off the grub screw on the derailleur, tighten up the cable and you should be good as new again.

Our best Triathlon Bar End Shifters for 2018 season

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