I'm thinking about putting some aerobars on the road bike for riding the flat routes with strong headwinds:twitchy: Having never used them I'm looking for information on what type to buy.
I'll be using them when doing longer rides on flat routes where there are headwinds. Hopefully they'll make it a little easier to struggle through those headwinds.
I checked the Performance website and found a couple shown below. There are several riders in the club who use them and most are similar to the one on the left. Would this style give me a good position to ride headwinds? Is one style easier to use than the other?
I also want something that's fairly easy to mount and remove from the bike. What are the pros/cons between the different styles?
You'll find that most bars will fit the bill fine. I like my Aero Design, but have enjoyed for many years a set of vintage Scott bars. Other brands have good recommendations, too.
The IMPORTANT THING is ADJUSTMENT. Get them adjusted so you are comfortable, or you won't be using them much, even in a stiff wind. IT takes a while to get used to the new position and the seat jamming you in . . . a new place.
I would definitely stay completely away form bars that have your hands flat as is the current fashion in the Pro Tour. Bars that turn up at the end seem more comfortable to most people.
I LOVE my Profile Designs Carbon Stryke aeros! I live in Florida with lots of afternoon winds and it was brutal til' I got my aeros. They speeded me up by 2-3 mph.
Keep in mind, these specific bars come with stationary pads, so you will have to buy the flip-up attachments to get the pads out of your way for riding on the flat part of the bar.
They are very adjustable, and pretty easy to install.
I have both types and they are fine. The one on the left is very popular and has a little more room for hands on top of the bars. Do not buy the ones with flip up. They rattle and are a pain.
Warning: Not all bike bars are suited for these Aerobars. There are CF bars not suited at all. We had bikers on tour who could not fit Aerobars for that reason.
Please be very careful starting out. Your subconscious needs time to adjust for the different dynamics of steering with the elbows. First time I tried I thought to be in free fall.
The rewards are significant. Against a strong headwind I add 2-3 MPH bending way down. OTOH they are not safe in traffic, pace lines, bumpy roads.
Typically, the longet bars (flat, s-curved or bent up) are more suitable for a TT frame than for installation on a road bike frame. The shorter bar sets such as the profile century or the profile jammer gt's are more suitable for modifying a road bike frame for just what you want.
A carbon drop bar is probably a deal killer as very few of them (none???) are stressed for clamp on aero bar extensions. Take a look at the stem clamp area on your bar, it must be wide enough (not the tapered part, thats useless for the clamps) to clamp the aero bars on to. Wider is better for an aerobar novice as the wider your elbows are spaced in the arm rests, the easier it is to steer. Narrow is better for aero but you have to work up to that.
My advice, of the two performance units you have pictured, the one on the left that most of your friends are using is probably the best starting point.
Edit: Starting point for aerobar's on a previously good fitting dropbar. No more than 2" in front of you present brake levers. Mounted as low as possible to put the arms at near "top of drop bar height". This will leave you with about the same reach as you presently have on you bike..........ie, you've already dialed it in, don't change it much.
Hi Beverley, I have Syntace C2 which looks like the picture on the right but with the ends curved up. I've had profile design ones in the past which looks like your picture on the left. Both are great. I agree about the curving up. Straighter bars like the picture on the right would drive my wrists nuts. The curved up position feels natural. I also agree about easing into this, trying them out a little at a time in light traffic situations until you get used to them- which should be pretty quick.
Actually you should always use them in light traffic. I had a close call in a time trial set in a suburban neighborhood. The course was safe except it crossed in front of a strip mall. Drivers are notorious for not looking as they turn into parking lots, even when they cross a bike lane. So one cut me off when I was down in the aerobars, and by the time I got to the brakes I almost slammed into him. The adrenaline rush did lead to a good time trial result though!
p.s. and yes they are great for headwind!
I do prefer the Chocolate one. Lighter and more aerodynamic
Bev, you also don't want to be in the aerobars on a descent.....the steering is twitchy and if you get a wobble going at speed, it's a great way to wind up on the pavement. I use the Profile Century aerobars, as they are the most comfortable for me. I keep the elbow pads at the widest setting because I have very wide shoulders.
You might also want to look at these, as they have a lot of adjustments for shorter arms, etc.
Thanks for all the information.
A friend has a couple extra sets in his garage and is going to let me try them before I purchase anything.
I'll be sure to stay away from other people while I learn to use them. The flat country roads around here with the constant headwinds will be a good place to start.
I recently purchased the Syntace C2 aerobars which are incredibly light and well made. A few pointers: (1) If you have oversized (OS) handlebars with a 31.8mm diameter mid-section make sure the OS mid-section is wide enough to accommodate the both the stem clamp and the aerobar clamps (otherwise the aerobar clamps won't fit flush against the handlebars which could cause damage). My existing OS handlebars didn' have a wide enough mid-section, so I bought Profile Design Lava OS Handlebars which are specifically designed for use with aerobars. (2) Use a torque wrench to install the aerobars. On thin-wall handlebars, it is possible to overtightened the stem or aerobar clamps which can crack or deform the handlebars. (3) The Syntace C2 aerobars were advertised to fit only standard diameter handlebars, so I ordered the optional 31.8mm adapter clamp for the OS handlebars. When I opened up the Syntace box, I found a set of OS clamps inside the box, so I returned the set that I had bought separately. I don't know if I was lucky or not, but beware you will may need adapter clamps. Check the specs for your aerobars and handlebars to make sure they are compatible.
I am still trying to get use to using aerobars. Any tips on how to get in and out of them easily (especially in a panic stop situation) will be appreciated.
Practice, practice and again practice. Eventually you feel safe enough to take one hand off and balance the bike with your body and scratch your nose. That is when you are feeling safer.
Originally Posted by Bacco
Please forget those things in pace-lines and traffic.
I love my Aerobars. They are essential for going all day against a strong wind and that is a fact of life for long distance bikers.
For those who ride aerobars all the time, remember, there is a HED/J-Tek 3rd brake lever and cable combiner system available to give some (not full power) braking from the aerobar position. By selecting the equipment, you can get one for the left or right bar in both clamp on (around an aerobar diameter) or a mount on your thumbshifter version. You can choose which hand has the brake and which brake (front/rear) you control.
It is pricey however, currently tipping the scales at $100. Possibly future competition will bring the price down as it is presently a custom machined piece. Check at jtekengineering.com
Thanks for the tip. They make some innovative products!
Originally Posted by maddmaxx