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Old 08-12-05, 09:57 AM   #1
will dehne
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Speed, Balance, Vision

I like to know if someone else had a similar experience. There are two events:
I just installed Aero Bars on my bikes. Going at high speed caused a feeling similar to panic and vertigo. The front wheel was not steady. (I was close to crashing)
Practice for twenty and more hours have removed this problem. It was scary while it went on.

I drove 100 to 120 MPH on the German Autobahn. I experienced the same feeling of vertigo and panic. I was forced to slow down.
Again, practice for a day or two removed this problem.

Now I am speculating: I am 63, no vision glasses or contacts, but have unequal vision in both eyes. Could it be that my subconscious brain did not deal with the balancing act required by these high speed tests or the high input of data? Of course I can go to a MD but wonder what members of this forum know about it.
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Old 08-12-05, 02:14 PM   #2
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I just installed aero bars and have had some stablity issues. In my case, I have no vertigo, but I have a tough time tracking straight because each input seems magnified compared to wherever my hand/arm placement is otherwise. I too got some front wheel wiggle.

OTOH, I have never experience high speed vertigo on motorcycles or cars going a lot faster than 200 kph. I'm unclear if you are experiencing the same wiggle as I do which is simply a new way to grip the bike or if your vision is contributing. I too have different vision in my eyes.
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Old 08-12-05, 02:27 PM   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by slide
I just installed aero bars and have had some stablity issues. In my case, I have no vertigo, but I have a tough time tracking straight because each input seems magnified compared to wherever my hand/arm placement is otherwise. I too got some front wheel wiggle.

OTOH, I have never experience high speed vertigo on motorcycles or cars going a lot faster than 200 kph. I'm unclear if you are experiencing the same wiggle as I do which is simply a new way to grip the bike or if your vision is contributing. I too have different vision in my eyes.

I am not sure either. I have raised the aero bars in relation to the saddle. That combined with a week of daily use MAY have fixed my problem. I am much more proficient now and go on aero bars for hours.

I have this theory that much of what we do is on automatic pilot in the back of our brain. Finding balance falls under that. (Try standing on one leg with eyes closed.) My thinking is that my brain needed time to auto adjust to steering with elbows rather than hands.
I am on thin ice here. I am not a MD.

Feedback, such as yours is helpful. I do not think I am the only one out there who feels challenged.
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Old 08-12-05, 03:31 PM   #4
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Not aero bars, but several years ago I put a wide-27" pair of bars on my mountain bike. Felt wierd at first but a couple of rides and I found I had more control over the bike, and I lost a certain amount of Tightness in my shoulders after a ride. My Tandem Pilot tried them and we found that we did not fall off the tandem so often once we had fitted apair of Downhill spec-29" wide bars to it. I occasionally ride other bikes, and I have just had the scariest ride I can remember on a Bike with 22" wide bars. No control, a lot of effort to keep the bars pointing in the right direction, and the Shoulders and upper arms were shot for a week. I know this is a mountain bike, but for controll- I will definitely stay wide on the bars. Mind you, on the road on the fast downhills, where do I position myself on the Bike? Tucked in, stretched out and wishing I could get my hand into a more comfortable position somewhere towards the centre of the bars.

By the way, I wear glasses for reading but not for distance. My left eye has poor vision, and in fact is diabolical, even on distance but I don't think I have any stability problems.
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Old 08-12-05, 03:44 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by stapfam
Not aero bars, but several years ago I put a wide-27" pair of bars on my mountain bike. but for controll- I will definitely stay wide on the bars. Mind you, on the road on the fast downhills, where do I position myself on the Bike? Tucked in, stretched out and wishing I could get my hand into a more comfortable position somewhere towards the centre of the bars.

By the way, I wear glasses for reading but not for distance. My left eye has poor vision, and in fact is diabolical, even on distance but I don't think I have any stability problems.

I am training for very long distance rod biking at 100-150 miles/day.
That is why I am using aero bars. Long distances against headwind! No question in my mind what is safer. But 30 days at an average slower speed does matter if you go with a group.

Thank you for your comment on your vision. I like to believe that experience will solve my problem.
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Old 08-13-05, 10:25 AM   #6
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If you are riding 150 miles / day I think I've diagnosed your problem - fatigue!

Seriously, I can't use my aero bars for more than a few minutes because my legs whack me in the chest when I'm on them. Maybe I need to do some adjustments. Oh, and I can stand on one foot with my eyes closed. I can also stand on one foot while touching my nose with my big toe of the other foot.

I'm weird, I suppose.
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Old 08-13-05, 11:39 AM   #7
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Originally Posted by slide

I can also stand on one foot while touching my nose with my big toe of the other foot.

I'm weird, I suppose.
Please post pictures. I've got to see this!
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Old 08-13-05, 01:50 PM   #8
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*#&# Now I"m embarassed. How about you just envision it, OK?
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Old 08-13-05, 02:56 PM   #9
will dehne
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Quote:
Originally Posted by slide
If you are riding 150 miles / day I think I've diagnosed your problem - fatigue!

Seriously, I can't use my aero bars for more than a few minutes because my legs whack me in the chest when I'm on them. Maybe I need to do some adjustments.
Thanks for the humor.

I am serious about the 100 to 150 miles a day. I am going with a tour across America in spring 2006. Currently I am training to do 100 miles/day as often as I can,time permitting. Just did a week vacation with a century/day.

Now to the aero bars. I got them adjusted high enough so that my knees do not bump my belly or chest. I just did 50 miles on a lime stone trail in under 3 hours. This is not easy considering about 10 cross roads with stop signs. (which we all ignore at our peril) All that in aero bar position (except at the cross roads). I feel much more in control now. Perhaps my theory is correct (subconscious adjustments).
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