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Old 11-16-09, 03:48 PM   #1
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Invisible Aero Bars

In light of the recent USAC rules about collegiate cycling (no aero gear below A this year, none at all next year), I'm looking for help getting into the invisible aero bar (IAB) position.

I've tried it off and on before, but never had much luck. I feel like it saps a lot of power compared to the drops, and just isn't comfortable at all.

It seems to help if I slide forward on the saddle a bit and sit on the nose. My groin still feels really uncomfortable and my hip angle feels gigantic.

I'd also like some ideas for better control and comfort of the forearms. My arms hurt laying on the uncovered bar. Maybe some big wrist sweat things, with something sticky on the outside to sit on the bars?

Any tips? I'm assuming this is going to be the preferred position for TT since we can't have any extensions.
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Old 11-16-09, 03:56 PM   #2
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I've tried it off and on before, but never had much luck. I feel like it saps a lot of power compared to the drops, and just isn't comfortable at all.
Practice, practice, practice. My main problem with the position is my hip flexors starting to ache. I'm sure stretching would help that. I don't notice a drop in power; if anything, I feel more PRO and the added incentive makes me push harder.

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It seems to help if I slide forward on the saddle a bit and sit on the nose. My groin still feels really uncomfortable and my hip angle feels gigantic.
I actually try doing the opposite - sitting firmly back on the seat and stretching my upper body out onto the bars. In this position my back is flat and my wrists rest on the tops easily, with my upper arms almost at a 90* angle.

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I'd also like some ideas for better control and comfort of the forearms. My arms hurt laying on the uncovered bar. Maybe some big wrist sweat things, with something sticky on the outside to sit on the bars?
This is a problem for me too; I feel like I'm bruising my wrists. I try moving my position around every 5 minutes or so to alleviate the pressure.


Okay, now somebody much more informed can contribute.
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Old 11-16-09, 03:59 PM   #3
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Lots of discussion about it here

Aerodynamics, position and breakaway power
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Old 11-16-09, 03:59 PM   #4
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Practice, practice, practice. My main problem with the position is my hip flexors starting to ache. I'm sure stretching would help that. I don't notice a drop in power; if anything, I feel more PRO and the added incentive makes me push harder.



I actually try doing the opposite - sitting firmly back on the seat and stretching my upper body out onto the bars. In this position my back is flat and my wrists rest on the tops easily, with my upper arms almost at a 90* angle.



This is a problem for me too; I feel like I'm bruising my wrists. I try moving my position around every 5 minutes or so to alleviate the pressure.


Okay, now somebody much more informed can contribute.
low hanging fruit.
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Old 11-16-09, 04:00 PM   #5
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It sounds like your position is much different than mine. Where my arm hits the bars is about 1/3 of the way down from my elbow to my wrist. You sound like you're much closer to the wrist.

I kinda try to emulate my normal aerobar position, just lower. Maybe moving back would help.
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Old 11-16-09, 04:06 PM   #6
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I think I'm just gonna ride the TTs in the drops. That gets my back the lowest; my arms are pretty far apart but I think lowering my torso frontal area will make more of a difference.

Oh well.

Hey, I'm finally riding again, we should do some TT position comparisons on a group ride sometime.
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Old 11-16-09, 05:00 PM   #7
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I rode with them for 20 minute intervals on the rollers the other day and since then I have been much more comfortable using the IAB on the road...
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Old 11-16-09, 05:18 PM   #8
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Core. Strength.
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Old 11-16-09, 05:27 PM   #9
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Core. Strength.
and flexibility.
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Old 11-16-09, 05:48 PM   #10
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Core. Strength.
I can't breathe well with my core tightened. please help.
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Old 11-16-09, 05:53 PM   #11
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Core. Strength.

...the key to all things cycling.
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Old 11-16-09, 05:56 PM   #12
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for real?
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Old 11-16-09, 06:26 PM   #13
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yes
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Old 11-16-09, 06:44 PM   #14
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If you're doing TT's you can adjust the saddle to get you in a better relational position. That would mean up, forward and nose down. Mark/tape up the post and saddle in each position so you can return it back when the TT is over.

The less cheap but much easier way to do this is to go buy a TT specific saddle (more nose padding), a cheap post, then set it up to where you're more comfortable. Swap it out for TT's.

As mentioned in the other thread, you can build up the bar tape a bit to give you a more secure position in the IAP.
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Old 11-16-09, 06:45 PM   #15
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I rode in this position for a good hour out in front of a race last year. You do get bruised forearms. But like the football players, your body will toughen up and stop bruising if you hit it in the same spot enough. In other words, if you train in that position, you'll get bruises, but then they'll go away and not return.

The "invisible aerobar" position for me has my arms on the bars at mid-forearm with my right hand holding onto both shifter cables (Shimano pre under-tape routing) where they cross and my left hand holding the top of my right hand. I can hold the position for an hour and even did a TT in this position in a stage race when I didn't bring a TT bike. I feel it is more aero but less powerful than holding the hoods (with flat forearms) or in the drops.
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Old 11-16-09, 08:02 PM   #16
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2 seasons ago i rode a 60cm frame with a 25mm setback post and saddle slammed back al the way. 120 stem.

then I got a pro-fit.

this season I rode the same frame with 0 setback post and saddle nearly all the way forward. 140 stem.

needless to say my hip angle opened up a lot.

riding in the IAB's is much easier now. still uncomfortable, but much better.

How is your bike set up?



either way, practice. way more than you want. then practice more.
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Old 11-16-09, 08:51 PM   #17
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ultra narrow bars, long stem, case closed.

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Old 11-16-09, 11:36 PM   #18
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ultra narrow bars, long stem, case closed.
I'm going to predict that a some teams will run out and get bikes like this. The whole idea was to make that bike UCI legal under the "Merckx Hour Record" rules.
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Old 11-17-09, 09:12 AM   #19
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Wind tunnel shows arms flat on the tops, hands on the hoods, more aero than hands on the drops - provided forearms are flat and upper body position doesn't raise up.
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Old 11-17-09, 09:25 AM   #20
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I'm going to predict that a some teams will run out and get bikes like this. The whole idea was to make that bike UCI legal under the "Merckx Hour Record" rules.
So they're tossing the brifters and gears in the rubbish heap?
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Old 11-17-09, 03:54 PM   #21
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tried the iab position today in heavy wind. the difference/advantage was immediately noticable. aerodynamics were certainlky better and was able to acheive a higher cadence. not sure about watts as i dont have a powertap, but i like this position alot and will train with it. one thing for me is that my bars are slightly higher than i like and could use a long stem, but nevertheless the IAB works for me.

note: i did itwith my forearms slight tilied up, ie fingers/hands pointed toward the sky at roughly a 15% angle to increase stability and actually give me something to "push" on. i figure since your torso is right behing anyway you are not lossing any aero properties, may actually increase them given you can lay your back and head down further
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Old 11-17-09, 04:18 PM   #22
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Practice, practice, practice.

IAB position is faster than hands on the drops. You'll get better if you keep at it.
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Old 11-17-09, 05:18 PM   #23
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ultra narrow bars, long stem, case closed.

you think you can hold an obree position when it counts?
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Old 11-17-09, 05:30 PM   #24
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When I cheese it in a race, I put my hands on the tops, close to the stem, tuck my forearms down at a 45º angle with my elbows well below my bars and sit on the rivet of the saddle. It gives me an aero profile and still alows me to put a lot of power down.

Other racers have noted that the position looks like I'm descending. I have no clue how I can even breathe in that position, let alone ramp my speed up to the high 30's.
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Old 11-17-09, 11:16 PM   #25
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I ride like this every now and then and did so before I had clip-ons, but this discussion scares the daylights out of me... am I the only one? If we're all talking about it here, that means that everyone's thinking about it, yet I'm sure few people are actually "practicing" it.

I really hope that nobody goes flying when they hit a pot-hole, run over debris, or just don't brake in time for an obstacle.
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