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Old 06-16-06, 10:29 AM   #1
ItsJustMe
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Aero options?

OK, I have a hybrid with a straight bar. I'm actually pretty happy with it, going onto 7000 miles in a bit over 2 years, not much maintenance, etc. However, I'm thinking I might like to have some options for dropping down a bit, especially since I have headwinds on the way home fairly often, and I've been trying to increase my avg speed and have hit a wall at around 19 MPH with the upright posture.

I don't really want to go nuts refitting this thing; I'd like to keep the same shifters (twist grips) if possible, etc. So bolt-on aero bars would be good, full drops less so.

Any suggestions? What do people think about the effectiveness of putting aero bars as an add-on to straight bars on a hybrid? I suppose they could be moved to other bikes later too.

I should mention that I'm a cheap bastard, and fairly handy, a complex refit isn't necessarily a turnoff, but spending > $100 would be. I see Nashbar has a few options around $50. This one looks most versatile.
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Old 06-16-06, 10:59 AM   #2
newbojeff
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I switched from flats to drops (on a new bike) and the drops are life changing. If drops are not an option, have you looked into bar ends or extenders that mount in the middle of the bars?
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Old 06-16-06, 10:59 AM   #3
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In my experience with aero bars, I found that the models that have the armrests behind the axis of the main handlebar are better for me. Less of a Superman effect (touchy steering) and you get support closer to your elbows so you can relax. I have the old Syntace C2's, although I haven't used them for a while.

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Old 06-16-06, 11:08 AM   #4
dalmore
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I've never ridden with aero bars but from what I've read and seen controlling the bike is an issue with aero bars. It seems, there is definitely a learning curve to controlling the bike while on the aero bars. In his book that-I-can't-recall-the-title, Leonard Zinn suggests starting with the bars set wide and move them closer together as you get used to controlling the bike. That doesn's look to be an option with the bars you picked.

FWIW
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Old 06-16-06, 11:22 AM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by dalmore
I've never ridden with aero bars but from what I've read and seen controlling the bike is an issue with aero bars. It seems, there is definitely a learning curve to controlling the bike while on the aero bars. In his book that-I-can't-recall-the-title, Leonard Zinn suggests starting with the bars set wide and move them closer together as you get used to controlling the bike. That doesn's look to be an option with the bars you picked.

FWIW
Good point. I also noticed that the brake levers I'm finding online for aero bars all plug into the ends, so they wouldn't work with those bars either. I like the inward bend, but I don't care that much whether they meet in the middle. If I had already bought them I'd just cut them off to adjust (assuming it was an option with the clamps). I would really like to have brakes out there too, even though I'd be using the drops mainly in rural areas, sometimes critters jump out at me.
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Old 06-16-06, 11:26 AM   #6
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I was in the exact same boat not long ago. I was browsing at LBS and they showed me a pair of aero bars for $200+, then a pair for $150, then a $40 pair of clip-ons! I jumped on them a month+ ago, and I really don't know how I survived without them. I love them. I like the energy it saves in the wind and the extra power I seem to get when on the bars.

Check it out. I was actually taking a pic of my dog pulling (the lazy biking method) the other day, but you can see the type of bars I went with. Kinda ugly, but I don't care. They're totally comfortable and they work!
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Old 06-16-06, 11:44 AM   #7
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In Illinois I deal with head winds more then I want to so this spring I decided to put aero bars on my MTB commuter to experiment a little bit. I very much agree with the above poster that it takes some getting used to as I had not used them very much and was not very comfortable with them. However, last Friday evening I experienced strong head winds coming home. I probably rode half way in the aero position. It really made me realize that your torso acts like a sail riding into the wind. It helped a lot and I will probably leave them on at least a little longer. I should add that I ride almost exclusively on the Illinois Prairie Path and don't have so much traffic to deal with but I do have to dodge lots of dog walkers, little kids, joggers etc so being able to see a ways ahead is important. My biggest complaint is that being in the aero position tends to focus your vision into the ground about 10 -15 feet ahead of you. To look further ahead requires you to crank your head back, which is hard on the neck after awhile. However, there seems to be fewer pedestrians around when the wind is stronger.
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Old 06-16-06, 12:01 PM   #8
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You might also consider these.http://www.performancebike.com/shop/...egory_ID=5255#

They cost a little more but you can mount them at the width you choose and the arm pads spring up out of the way for easier access to the top of your bars.
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Old 06-16-06, 12:03 PM   #9
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A guy I work with has clip-on aero bars. His main complaint with his current set-up is that he can't shift while in the aero position. He has to take one hand off the aero bars and reach for the shifters. Says its a little unstable steering one handed with the aero bars while reaching with the other.

I want to suggest moustache bars. They would get you a couple inches of drop. The problem is the ones I know of use road bike shifters and brake levers. Your existing ones won't fit. With my moustache bars, I can get a pretty good aero position with my hands on the brake lever hoods. Nitto North Road bars flipped upside down might aproximate moustache bars. They take MTB brake levers and grip shifters.
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Old 06-16-06, 12:12 PM   #10
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My advice to you would be to do what I did by using this bar from Nashbar.

http://www.nashbar.com/profile_morei...ku=9756&brand=

I have them on my bike and you can get all the position you would want and then some. Look at my bike closely and picture how you can get into an aero tuck while reaching forward and yet also get a relax position while holding the bar closer to you, and then you also have a bar end position too. And then look at the posibility of braking in front too; that's how mines set up.
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Last edited by rmwun54; 06-16-06 at 12:25 PM.
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Old 06-17-06, 07:15 PM   #11
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rmwun54, what's that beneath the forward bars? It looks like interrupter levers, although custom-attached to the brake lever as an extension. If so... neat.
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Old 06-17-06, 08:25 PM   #12
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I don't think they are made anymore, but I used to use a pair of Scott AT-4 bars. They were a set of flat bars that then curved around forward and ended in an aero position. So basically they were a flat bar, bar ends and aero bar in one. I loved them, although they didn't work with my trek, so the bars have been in my basement for the last 8+ years.

-D
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