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Old 09-27-01, 06:58 PM   #1
Pat O'Malley
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AeroBars and bellies

Nearly all of the people I see riding with aerobars are going so slow that I wonder if they were not in that aerodynamiclly efficient tuck then just how much slower would they be going? Obviously, most people use them to rest their aching backs. Do the pro's ever use aerobars in a similar manner for the longer races?
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Old 09-27-01, 08:10 PM   #2
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I wonder if cycling sells its wares much like the auto industry: more money spent = more speed and prestige.

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Old 09-27-01, 09:16 PM   #3
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Aerobars offer a great alternate position among the usual cast of characters... drops, tops, hoods. I even use a very upright position holding the aerobars near their attachment point - my arms are quite close together and it seems less draggy than the outer positions of the top of the handlebar. Sometimes I hold the elbow pads! The trick is to match the position with your "airspeed". The full aero position is only an advantage if your pushing alot of air. A strong tailwind could negate any significant improvement. If your climbing use one of the upright positions. Aerobars can definitely add a couple mph or help cut thru that headwind. They do take some getting used to.
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Old 09-28-01, 01:55 AM   #4
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I put a pair of budget aerobars on. "profile" I think. I found them difficult. When your on the aerobars your whole body is so aling the axis of your bike that it feels too wobbly.

Also I have down tube shifters, not STI or Ergo so I found shifting tricky when on the aerobars, so I was only using them when I had a long stretch of flattish road. Unfortunately rare on my common routes.

They also cluttered up my bars and actually reduced the amount of holding places I had.

If I had perhaps ergo shifters, better aero bars and more practice I'd probably like them better.

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Old 09-28-01, 02:02 AM   #5
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I bought a pair of areobars for my mountainbike back in 1992 when it was all the rage...I really don't know why though, because they were impossible to use off road!!!!

Hahah, marketing hype eh!?!

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Old 09-28-01, 02:21 AM   #6
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Tri-atheletes and time trialists use them quite differently.
The tri position (as used by the run/swim specialists) has less bend in the waists, but is rotated forward. aerobars are used to rest shoulders after the swim, and the bikes should have more stable steering to compensate.
TTers simply get very low, and bend their waists more. There are UCI restrictions on how far you can rotate your posion about the bottom bracket.
They are usefiul for turning an MTB into a touring bike, you dont have to adopt a low position to take advantage of aerobars.
They also work better with bar-end shifters than ergo-levers.
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Old 09-28-01, 08:25 AM   #7
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Aero bars are generally not allowed in mass start races, ie anything not a time trial, because they decrease maneuverability which makes them dangerous in the close quarters of the peloton. When the pros use them, they are not resting their backs; they are gettin' down and aero'. I have noticed the same thing, though. Most of the people I see down on the aero bars are tooling along so slowly even I could probably keep up with them. I assume they are just resting after a hard ride.
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Old 10-01-01, 12:24 AM   #8
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Aero Bars and slowpokes- Hmm, perhaps their egoes are faster than they are? They're Tri Nazis with even worse technique than their brothers? They need ALL the help they can get? The salesman of outragous ambition "saw them coming"? What else could cause the the Slow Belly Tri Bar Syndrome, (SBTBS)?
Ride what you NEED
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Old 10-01-01, 09:28 AM   #9
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Quote:
Ride what you need
Apparently there are a lot of aerobar-bashers out there. "Ride what you need"? If we applied that rule a lot of fancy equipment would have to be returned. Why is it acceptable to spend an extra 2500 dollars to save a few ounces but riding with aerobars is some sort of ego-trip? Aerobars, when used correctly, actually work as advertised. Their effect on performance is far more significant than a composite fork or seatpost. How 'bout: "Ride what works for you".
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Old 10-01-01, 12:16 PM   #10
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When ol' Blue came to live at my house, she came complete with a set of aerobars. As this thread (aerobars and bellies) seems to fit me perfectly, as I have both, I feel like I should respond!

As pointed out, the aerobars give me an additional position to ride in, so I stay more comfortable for longer distances. And, when working into a headwind, I pick up an extra 1.5 mph without having to work any harder! I don't ride down on the bars all the time, but I do try to work on increasing the time I can comfortably stay on them. And, my thighs hitting my belly remind me to pass on that extra helping at the next meal, too!

What do the pros do? Don't have a clue! But, my Coach, a collegiate athelete, rides on the aerobars for an entire 20k race! Of course, competitors like him are always searching for the Holy Grail of the Aerodynamic Flat Back, while I do it just for a little extra edge in comfort, distance or speed.

"Ride what works for you" seems to be pretty good advice, at least it has worked for me!
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Old 10-02-01, 02:06 PM   #11
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I think they are good for long stretches and TTs only. They aren't racing legal (except for TTs) or safe for pack riding. A properly fitted bike should be so comfy you don't need one for a good position, aero reasons excepted. I can ride my std. bike/bar for a century with no fatigue from body position. The bike fit (sizing recs. and adjustments) cost me $100 but was worth it. Many folks are into any miracle that will make life easier, hence the popularity of them. A good aerobar alternative that's free is to place each palm like a cap over the hood bump on newer STI shifters. drop your elbows down to bend your arms 90 degrees--forearms should be level now. Your bars need to be rotated up a tad (see pix of the TDF riders') this positions your wrists level in this position, not causing a fatigueing bend.

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