Trek Speed Concept Aerobars – keep breaking

speed-concept-bar-angle

I like to ride aerobars facing slightly upwards. The Speed concept bars allow a small degree of angle. I would like more, but this is about as far as it will go.

However, when keeping aerobars at this angle, seems to place great stress on one of the bolts.

bontrager-speed-concept-broken

Over time the bolt shears and breaks off.

This happened last year and I put it down to a bad angle of set up.

After getting a replacement bolt set, I took great care to place the bolt into the bracket at the right angle (not stressing it). It was very difficult to tighten this bolt as you have to hold the nut from underneath and then screw down. It’s one of those jobs, where you could do with a third pair of hands.

Unfortunately, I had same experience today, about 12 months after last aerobar failure. Again the bolt sheared away, leaving just one bolt holding everything in place.(at bottom, featured below).  Of course, the aerobars come loose and wobbly. I was 40 miles from home, but at least it wasn’t in a race.

bontrager-speed-concept-horizontal-bar

Once might have been bad luck or poor set up. But, the second time around I tried everything to tighten up correctly. To happen a second time is a real problem. Also, I know it has happened to other riders.

Thanks for comments

Thanks for people who leave comments sharing their experience with the bolts shearing off. It shows it is a widespread problem and not just due to inadequate set up.

Also, it seems that Trek’s response is inadequate, with no-one able to get a satisfactory solution. Trek just seem to try and fob riders off.

Solution?

I contacted Trek and they said:

What I believe could have happened is where you have adjusted the tilt of the bar, you have bottomed out the set screw on the top cradle, if this occurs, the force is put onto one bolt rather than spread between the two. please also make sure the bolts are not being over tightened, all torque settings can be found in your speed concept user manual.

I’m not sure what they mean by set screw, but a fellow rider suggested:

“Tightening the bottom bolt (closest to you when sitting) first. This should angle the bars all the way up. THEN tighten the other both (what looks like the broken one).

There is also the extra smaller grub screw that you tighten LAST – this helps stop the bars moving once position is set.”

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9 Responses to Trek Speed Concept Aerobars – keep breaking

  1. Steve Davies June 6, 2016 at 11:36 am #

    Hi Tejvan

    Try replacing the bolts with ordinary (but good quality) non-stainless ones. Assuming they are stainless steel bolts, they will be inherently weaker than non-stainless, hardened steel ones.

  2. Brian Battaglia October 14, 2016 at 12:38 am #

    Did you ever get this problem resolved? I have a friend that has the same problem and the Trek shop has not been able to fix it. He has had it in the shop five times in five weeks

    • tejvan October 17, 2016 at 7:23 am #

      Not to my satisfaction. I never know how long they are going to last.

  3. Jason January 27, 2017 at 1:25 pm #

    I had this exact issue occur last weekend. Do you have a part number for the replacement bolts and T nuts?

    • cycling-admin January 28, 2017 at 11:45 am #

      sorry no. Trek were not particularly helpful when I enquired. Last summer I ordered a whole replacement set of nuts and bolts, but it never arrived.

  4. Nicole July 5, 2017 at 1:43 am #

    Does anybody have an update on the top cradle bolts snapping? Mine have snapped/sheared 4 times. Each time, they have been replaced with the Trek replacement bolts and torqued to spec. I do not live near a Trek dealer so having trouble getting any useful information about this. Thanks.

  5. TriGuy July 27, 2017 at 3:44 pm #

    Hello – I recently had this same issue occur during an Ironman event. I fortunately was not hurt/did not wreck as we approached speeds of over 50mph on the downhills but it did cause me to ride aero-less for a little less than half the distance. The design is on a very high shear point and the bolt’s flat out are failing as they are what i suspect the inappropriate grade for the tensile force applied. The bike is currently at my LBS and I am waiting to hear back the manufacture – if they simply replace the assembly with the same material I will conduct the proper testing to see what replacement hardware is needed to survive in this environment.

    • Nicole August 20, 2017 at 10:14 pm #

      Hello, thanks for the reply. I have just had my 6th bolt shear and am beyond frustrated. If you have Found a good solution, kindly share here. I am at the point where I no longer feel safe on this bike. Thanks!

  6. Mathew Jones September 4, 2017 at 2:51 am #

    My bolts sheered off last Saturday while I was riding at 26mph. Luckily I only suffered a crushed helmet and fractured scapula. This sounds like an on-going problem for sure.

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