Long Distance Competition/Ultracycling, Randonneuring and Endurance Cycling - Century questions
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I'm new to cycling and just reached my first 1000 miles. I'm planning to do three rides this summer 75 miles in june , a MS 150 in July and the hotter-n-hell 100 in Texas in Aug..Last week-end was my longest ride yet 60 miles. I've been using program two from long-distance cycling by Burke.
My questions are How many Century riders have aerobars on there bikes? The road bikers don't like them and I know not to use them in a pace line but it seems that they would really help in the longer rides. I was thinking of something like the Profile airstryke with the fold up arm pads so I could keep them on the bike (out of the way) during group rides.
I have my handlebars 2" below my seat at this time. I've been thinking of moving them up maybe an inch. Would this slow me down that much ?
Thanks for any help
05-01-07, 10:36 AM
I've heard that most people only use them on flatter rides. Anything that is hilly you wouldn't use the aerobars. Lots of people on here with experience though.
05-01-07, 09:27 PM
My wife and I both use them on our long rides. Flat bar bikes made them necessary for getting down out of the wind. Also use them a lot on windless rides- instant 3-4 mph increase. We use Profile Design Split Seconds (fold up arm clip ons); spread them out if handlebr bags necessary, move them in when not.
05-01-07, 10:00 PM
I use Syntace C-2 bars and like them very much, especially in rides longer than a century.
The reason most people don't use aerobars is because they ride in groups, and you get more benefit out of drafting in a group than you do using aerobars. Or, at least you have a lot more fun...
You also have to be able to use the aerobars for long periods to make them worthwhile. It's something you need to build up to.
My other concern is dealing with other riders - I don't think you'll have great control in aerobars and there are lots of inexperienced (ie unpredictable) riders in most centuries.
If I were you, I wouldn't do it. You can gain a lot of speed through training and/or riding in a good group.
05-01-07, 11:03 PM
Eric brings up excellent points. I try to train on mine for a couple of hours a week in the summer, in 1/2 hour periods. You should be able to ride the fog line on them. I get off the bars at speeds of over 30 and I never corner hard on the bars. If you're one of the stronger riders in a group and take long pulls on the front, you can move your group up the road quite a bit faster.
I'm not sure why people oppose them. I know the group I ride with loves it when I hit the front and get on the bars. I'm more comfortable, faster, and have less pain. Never had a close call on them. What's not to like? Yet I'm one of the very few in my group that uses them. I guess because we're all wannabees. They're illegal in mass start events, and of course we all ride equipment that we will use in our next mass start road race, so of course we better not train with them, either. Whether we race or not, we need to have that look.
That said, of course they should never be used inside a group, beside or behind another rider, etc.
Oh - your question about bar height vs. saddle height. I keep my bars as low as I can and ride long distances comfortably. That height will vary with the rider. Mine are also about 2" below the saddle. Every little thing that increases wind resistance will slow you. Just like weight, the little things add up. Tight clothing, low position, knees in, elbows in, aero wheels, etc.
But stopping or having to rest because of pain or discomfort will slow you more than anything! Much more! So that's the deal. As aero, as light, as low resistance as you can be, and still not have to stop until you're out of water, and then only long enough to refill. Experimentation and experience.
05-01-07, 11:35 PM
After a number of centuries I've decided I don't need them. A couple days a week I ride with groups from my local cycling club, and aerobars aren't necessary there. As for the centuries -- on my 1/2 bike I rode with others in paceline fashion; on the tandem, people are lined up behind us.
When I decide to do triathlons I might look into them then. Otherwise, I'll spend my money on other goodies.
05-02-07, 07:59 AM
I think it's more about comfort on long rides, rather than speed.
You can get low in the drops and just bending your elbows, so you don't need aerobars for increasing speed. However, in longer rides, it's nice to have lots of different positions to rest your body. Aerobars can be very good for that.
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