For some of you this may be old hat but others expressed an interest in pictures as I scratched my way up the learning curve on aerobars.
The first lesson was the difference between a road bike with aerobars and a tri-bike (saddle position well forward and longer aerobars). I have gone with the shorter aerobars so the roadbike would be similar to what I am used to.
The base bar with brake levers is in the same position that I have been using so far this summer. Rather than spend more money on an aero specific brake lever set I have stayed with the cyclocross "inline" brake levers that I already owned. (they are a relatively rare 24mm clamp size, not the more common 26mm or 31.8mm dropbar center section clamp size)
The clip on aerobars are Profile Design Jammer GT bars and are adjustable in length (from relatively short to shorter), angle of rotation and the positioning of the pads (position along the bar, angle of rotation viewed from above and angle of rotation viewed from behind.
So far I have set the positions of everything by mounting the bike on a trainer and adjusting for what feels comfortable to me. I am not ready yet to rotate the hand position up to vertical and tuck the elbows in close to the centerline so for now the hand position is about 45deg or halfway between the position they would be on the hoods or on the top bar. My elbows are still splayed out a little so the pads are toe'd in to accomodate the angle of my arms. The brake levers are angled out quite a bit because thats the way I like to place my fingers (perhaps not as aero but for now my "feel good position")
One last experiment (probably should not change as many things at once). While doing the cables I noticed that if the front/rear brake lever positions were reversed that the cable runs were noticably cleaner so I'm going to have to learn that the front brake is on the right hand not left. I've always thought that hand had more modulation control anyway!!
I will begin riding these late this weekend or next week and will not wrap them with bar tape untill I am sure that I like the position of everything.
Now I have to go somewhere safe away from cars and learn to ride this beast.