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  1. #1
    Banned. Mr. Beanz's Avatar
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    Clydes on Aero Bars and Safety (For Historian)

    "Last Monday, I was on mile 18 of a 21 mile ride. With the green light and in my aero bars at 22 mph a car turned directly into me. I had no time to react. I flew over the hood of the car."

    In order to save the hijacking of another thread, I know this will more than lilely lead up to some debate. So to answer The Historian about my comment.

    Legally the rider didn't do anything wrong. However, as far as one's safety, it's not a good idea to ride through an intersection where cars are present without having access to the brakes. That's mistake #1.

    Mistake #2 is, the rider assumed the driver even acknowledge he was there on a bike.

    Mistake #3, not thinking that if something can go wrong, it will. You need to be prepared, ready to stop and/or avoid trouble while riding through an intersection.
    ---------

    People can argue but just about every rider I know that has been hit, was at an intersection cranking through with head down or not paying attention to the surroundings. Traffic present, down on aerobars is not being prepared to "STOP" if another person makes a mistake.

    Same reason riders that ride in a paceline don't care to ride with riders in aerobars. They are further from the brake levers than usual and like the guy stated in his testimonial: "had no time to react" I myself will avoid aerobar riders. If I see one ahead, I'll slow down, if one jumps in our line, I'll drop the pace and let him go when he takes the front.

    There is a reason aerobars are illegal in roadraces and crits. Solo events, yes, because there is less of a chance of hitting another rider. And if yo do...

    Am I crazy? Some will argue that I am stupid blah blah blah. Have you ever read the directions on a set of aerobars? One of the main warnings "DO NOT DESCEND ON AEROBARS"!

    Do riders do it? Yes, more than likely the same ones that will say I'm the stupid one that knows nothing!

    You don't go through an intesection without access to the brakes. You don't through with your head down and you don't descend on aerobars. If you do, you are increasing the odds that something will go wrong.

    Go ahead, flame away!

  2. #2
    VoodooChile zoste's Avatar
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    No flaming here...I agree with about everything you said.

    When I got my first motorcycle (a long time ago) the salesman told me "Ride like you are invisible...that way you won't be surprised when a car cuts you off." And what's the first thing a driver says after hitting a bike (either with or without internal combustion)?

    "My God, I never SAW him!"

    Situational awareness: live it.
    Sometimes nothing can be a real cool hand

  3. #3
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    Huh? Sound advice, IMO.

    Also, depending on the applicable law in the jurisdiction at issue, competent defense counsel representing the driver in a civil suit would likely argue some degree of comparitive fault on the part of the cyclist and might have some success if he/she could demonstrate that, but for the use of aerobars, there would have been time to react and avoid the incident or lessen the severity of the injuries/damages. I can see a jury being sympathetic to the idea that the rider brought some of this on him/herself. A reckless driving citation is also another possibility. Just more reasons to be err on the side of safety.
    "I've wanted you to succeed, but watching you find excuse after excuse after excuse and then laugh it off as the loveable, quirky, chubby guy is getting old."--Ill.Clyde

  4. #4
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    +1 agree with Beanz.

  5. #5
    Senior Member cyclist2000's Avatar
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    I agree with everything that you said also.

    I do use aero bars but I never use them in traffic or when there are parked cars present. On MUP's I only use them on wide open straight areas, where I can see if there are other people coming up and when I get close I get on the drops. Reaching the brakes is a problem but another problem is a riders ability to manuever when on areo bars is terrible (when that parked car door opens, your going to hit it). Its too easy to encounter a car in traffic or parked and I am sure I will lose all of those battles. What is the purpose of using aerobars in a paceline? The person in front of you is already cutting the wind, just use the drops.
    I don't do vintage, I bought them new, rode them, kept them. Now they are just old bikes
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  6. #6
    Senior Member cyclist2000's Avatar
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    What flame war?
    I don't do vintage, I bought them new, rode them, kept them. Now they are just old bikes
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  7. #7
    Banned. Mr. Beanz's Avatar
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    Thanks guys, nice to have a little support. I actually apply safe driving to cycling and it works. I'm one of those that actually slows behind a car making a right into the driveway where most swerve left into the other lane cutting off other cars without looking then wondering why I was involved in a sideswipe claim! Or thinking the greenlight means it's safe to go! Had far too many of those last second drivers blowing through intersections, not to know better while riding!

    Or actually slowing down on the bike when approaching Father Gomez and Mother Dominguez on beachcrusiers, expecting a narly move.

  8. #8
    Banned. Mr. Beanz's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by cyclist2000 View Post
    I agree with everything that you said also.

    I do use aero bars but I never use them in traffic or when there are parked cars present. On MUP's I only use them on wide open straight areas, where I can see if there are other people coming up and when I get close I get on the drops. Reaching the brakes is a problem but another problem is a riders ability to manuever when on areo bars is terrible (when that parked car door opens, your going to hit it). Its too easy to encounter a car in traffic or parked and I am sure I will lose all of those battles. What is the purpose of using aerobars in a paceline? The person in front of you is already cutting the wind, just use the drops.
    Makes sense, nothing wrong there!

  9. #9
    You gonna eat that? Doohickie's Avatar
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    NO

    YOU'RE WRONG.











    Actually, no, I also agree with you.
    I stop for people / whose right of way I honor / but not for no one.



    Originally Posted by bragi "However, it's never a good idea to overgeneralize."

  10. #10
    Banned. Mr. Beanz's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Doohickie View Post
    NO..................YOU'RE WRONG.
    Don't be a Wiesenhiemer, don't be a weisenheimer!



  11. #11
    Senior Member mkadam68's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Mr. Beanz View Post
    Same reason riders that ride in a paceline don't care to ride with riders in aerobars. They are further from the brake levers than usual and like the guy stated in his testimonial: "had no time to react" I myself will avoid aerobar riders. If I see one ahead, I'll slow down, if one jumps in our line, I'll drop the pace and let him go when he takes the front.
    I don't have any problems with aerobars in a paceline. Assuming riders are doing it correctly, there won't be an issue with slowing/accelerating. Of course, if you don't know them... I understand. But we really don't like them in packs--not necessarily because of braking, though. We don't like them there because they're not stable. In a pack, there's lots of bumping. You bump a TT bike or somebody on aerobars... very good chance they'll go down and take someone else with.

    Quote Originally Posted by Mr. Beanz View Post
    There is a reason aerobars are illegal in roadraces and crits. Solo events, yes, because there is less of a chance of hitting another rider. And if yo do...:roflmao2
    Nah... call me skeptical but UCI/USAC is all concerned about tradition & appearances. Plus... with us other riders: again instability in the pack is the issue.

    Visit The C-Blog : the blog about cycling.

  12. #12
    Banned. Mr. Beanz's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by mkadam68 View Post
    Of course, if you don't know them...
    Good points but I must add, even those that I know have hit my rear wheel from behind. I'd say that's lack of brake access, inability to feather the brakes. Of course if it's just he and I, he's going down. But in a small group, others are affected.

  13. #13
    Senior Member
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    No flaming from me! It actually states in our club mandate no areobars except on TT events.
    Best thing about cycling is when I'm at work I'm thinking of cycling, when I'm cycling I'm thinking about cycling.

  14. #14
    SuperGimp TrojanHorse's Avatar
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    ha ha, the ONE THING that improved my awareness as a car driver the most was... riding a motorcycle. Car drivers give all sorts of little tips about what they're going to do but you have to be looking to see them.

    That's still pretty hideous driving by the car driver in your original post - he HAD to have gone right by that cyclist within 50 feet of the intersection, and odds are that cyclist was dressed like a parrot and he still made the turn.

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    Right on, Mr. Beanz!

    Now, I'll ask a question born of ignorance, but do aerobars really make that much of a difference for most of the you's and me's out there riding for fun and exercise? Are the really so much better than the drops?

    As you can tell, I am suspicious but I admit that I have never used them.

  16. #16
    Banned. Mr. Beanz's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by TrojanHorse View Post
    That's still pretty hideous driving by the car driver in your original post - he HAD to have gone right by that cyclist within 50 feet of the intersection, and odds are that cyclist was dressed like a parrot and he still made the turn.
    Hmm, I took it as the car was traveling in the opposite direction Just a quote so I don't know the specifics but the impression I got of the situation isn't very uncommon. I knwo several that have got hit in thsi fashion. Part of the reason I brought up this topic of going through an intersection uprepared in the aerobars and/or cranking head down.

  17. #17
    Banned. Mr. Beanz's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Kneez View Post
    Right on, Mr. Beanz!

    Now, I'll ask a question born of ignorance, but do aerobars really make that much of a difference for most of the you's and me's out there riding for fun and exercise? Are the really so much better than the drops?

    As you can tell, I am suspicious but I admit that I have never used them.
    They do depending on style. I've used them and certainly there is again in speed, about 1 mph in my experience. Combo of aerodynamics and postion of leg muscle action on the bike. But they do take some time to adapt. First ride is shakey but with practice, very stable. For some riders, long distance riders appreciate the bars for long sections against headwinds. More postions on the bike. Amazing how comfy it can be to lean on the elbows every now and then vs the hands all day long. I do centuries so I don't really miss any addd comfort that another rider may appreciate on a 300 mile event.

    For me and my style, aerobars would be added weight while climbing. Not that I'm a weight weenie but I don't need them on climbs and I wouldn't use them on descents either. So no beneifts here. I'm actually pretty good on descents so the minute benefit I would gain on a desent with aerobars is not worth the security of having the brake levers at hand, IMO.

  18. #18
    Mike the Bike
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    *chuckles*

    Beanz threw himself a softball. Even aerobar users can't disagree with his basic thesis.

  19. #19
    Mike the Bike
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    Quote Originally Posted by Kneez View Post
    Right on, Mr. Beanz!

    Now, I'll ask a question born of ignorance, but do aerobars really make that much of a difference for most of the you's and me's out there riding for fun and exercise? Are the really so much better than the drops?

    As you can tell, I am suspicious but I admit that I have never used them.
    I used aerobars for years both time trialing and commuting. When riding my commuter with 20lbs of work clothes & such in a panier, clip-ons have ZERO to do with speed. However, I did find the position comfortable when out on the empty country roads of western Wa. But as i approached town or any cross street i got off the bars and onto my hoods. When commuting with my roomates, all three of us had clip-ons. None used them in the line except when he was on the front.

  20. #20
    The Site Administrator: Currently at home recovering from a couple of strokes,please contact my assistnt admins for forum issues Tom Stormcrowe's Avatar
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    Beanz, I ride aerobars, and agree with you completely.

    Yes, I have done one descent on the bars, and you get going very fast (50+ MPH on an Indiana hill). It was crazy stupid, but fun, and no harm done. I'll not repeat it, though.
    on light duty due to illness; please contact my assistants for forum issues. They are Siu Blue Wind, or CbadRider or the other 3 star folk. I am currently at home recovering from a couple of strokes. I am making good progress, happily.


    . “He who fights with monsters might take care lest he thereby become a monster. And if you gaze for long into an abyss, the abyss gazes also into you.”- Fredrick Nietzsche

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  21. #21
    Banned. Mr. Beanz's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by d4c4c8 View Post
    *chuckles*

    Beanz threw himself a softball. Even aerobar users can't disagree with his basic thesis.
    I try!

    Quote Originally Posted by Tom Stormcrowe View Post
    Beanz, I ride aerobars, and agree with you completely.

    Yes, I have done one descent on the bars, and you get going very fast (50+ MPH on an Indiana hill). It was crazy stupid, but fun, and no harm done. I'll not repeat it, though.
    Oh yeah, I remember.....But that's a risk you take on yourself. If the day comes (hopefully not) when you post a not so nice thread, I'll chalk up one more mark on my "things not to do" list inside my big fat head data base!

  22. #22
    Senior Member cyclist2000's Avatar
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    Into a strong headwind I get 1-2 mph
    I don't do vintage, I bought them new, rode them, kept them. Now they are just old bikes
    http://www.flickr.com/photos/bustercrb/sets/72157623483647522/

  23. #23
    The Site Administrator: Currently at home recovering from a couple of strokes,please contact my assistnt admins for forum issues Tom Stormcrowe's Avatar
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    What was fun about that run was being in the left lane of a 4 lane highway and passing a state policeman going down the hill. You should have seen his face as I sailed by........

    Quote Originally Posted by Mr. Beanz View Post
    I try!



    Oh yeah, I remember.....But that's a risk you take on yourself. If the day comes (hopefully not) when you post a not so nice thread, I'll chalk up one more mark on my "things not to do" list inside my big fat head data base!
    on light duty due to illness; please contact my assistants for forum issues. They are Siu Blue Wind, or CbadRider or the other 3 star folk. I am currently at home recovering from a couple of strokes. I am making good progress, happily.


    . “He who fights with monsters might take care lest he thereby become a monster. And if you gaze for long into an abyss, the abyss gazes also into you.”- Fredrick Nietzsche

    "We can judge the heart of a man by his treatment of animals." - Immanuel Kant

  24. #24
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    Thank you all for the aero bar answers. I can't say that I feel I am missing much.

  25. #25
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    If you're only going 22, do you really need to be in the aero bars anyways? And on a ride as short as that?

    Seems like the rider would have done just as well being in the drops where he/she had access to the brakes.

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