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  1. #1
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    Narrow Handlebars more aero?

    Anyone know of any testing of how the riders Cd is effected by bar width? I am of average height and prefer a 40cm bar but am still comfortable on a 38 or 42cm. Just wondering if there are any measurable gains from changing width.

  2. #2
    starting pistol means war YMCA's Avatar
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    I use 46 (c to c).
    For me it's all about comfort and stability.
    Aero means I bend my elbows more, no matter the hand position.

  3. #3
    Resident Alien Racer Ex's Avatar
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    Generally yes, with variability in CdA from person to person. Data isn't published but it exists.

    Some very large track racers have gone to 34cm or even 32.

  4. #4
    Senior Member ShutUpLegs's Avatar
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    I would agree with Racer Ex, although nothing is really published, smaller bars=less surface area=less drag. I run 40 c-c bars and recently switched to Zipp Vuka sprints on my new CAAD10 build (which is almost complete). I've seen data somewhere about the decrease in drag related to "aero" road bars vs standard road bars. I also prefer the smaller width bars as I feel I have better control of the bike (more compact) and have some extra room to fit into those tight holes in a race.
    BLOG --> http://goingoffthefront.blogspot.com/

  5. #5
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    Quote Originally Posted by Racer Ex View Post
    Generally yes, with variability in CdA from person to person. Data isn't published but it exists.

    Some very large track racers have gone to 34cm or even 32.
    A lot of the big guys on the track (sprinters) use 33's, but they aren't in that position for long. I remember Boonen switching from 44 to 42 I believe and said they found he could make the same power with less drag so why not go smaller.

    I'm a big guy with long arms (6'2") and use 40's on the road, 38s on the track for enduro events.

  6. #6
    Senior Member Doge's Avatar
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    Smaller bars on some wide shoulder riders may cause them to roll their shoulders in, so the aero affect is quite a bit more than just the bars.

  7. #7
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    Quote Originally Posted by ShutUpLegs View Post
    I would agree with Racer Ex, although nothing is really published, smaller bars=less surface area=less drag. I run 40 c-c bars and recently switched to Zipp Vuka sprints on my new CAAD10 build (which is almost complete). I've seen data somewhere about the decrease in drag related to "aero" road bars vs standard road bars. I also prefer the smaller width bars as I feel I have better control of the bike (more compact) and have some extra room to fit into those tight holes in a race.
    I haven't Googled it to find it but Bontrager/Trek had an aero road bike at a show, maybe 2013 Interbike? Anyway they had aero drop bars with the flattened section at the top. It was so significant in testing that it made up most of the time savings the entire aero bike gave the rider. I'm pulling a number out of the air but I'm going to say something like 23 sec of the 40 sec saved came from the bars.

    Of course now I'm going to Google it.

    Hell, yeah. 23 seconds:
    Spotlight: Bontrager XXX Aero Handlebar - BIKE Magazine

    Now to find the whole bike number.

    Okay, can't find the whole bike number.

    I considered buying the bars but didn't as I've been experimenting with FSA Compact bars and I didn't want to throw yet another thing into the mix. Maybe in the future I'll have a set.
    "...during the Lance years, being fit became the No. 1 thing. Totally the only thing. It’s a big part of what we do, but fitness is not the only thing. There’s skills, there’s tactics … there’s all kinds of stuff..." Tim Johnson

  8. #8
    Senior Member Doge's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by carpediemracing View Post
    Kind of off topic as these are still 40cm width. I can't find any less for road men - except the women's version.

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