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Old 07-15-06, 07:45 PM   #1
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PBP aerobars legal?

Are aerobars with bullhorn type (track or TT style) bars allowed? what else is/isn't allowed on the PBP which may differ from other Audax events?
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Old 07-16-06, 10:47 AM   #2
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Originally Posted by Cyclaholic
Are aerobars with bullhorn type (track or TT style) bars allowed? what else is/isn't allowed on the PBP which may differ from other Audax events?
Aerobars are not allowed. You can check a scanned copy of the 2003 Regulations Booklet on the website for the British Columbia Randonneurs. One of the more interesting variations (at least vis-a-vis most American brevets) is that helmets are recommended but not required.
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Old 07-21-06, 05:20 PM   #3
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Originally Posted by Cyclaholic
what else is/isn't allowed on the PBP which may differ from other Audax events?
Theoretically no barends on flat bars, not enforced in practice at the last two PBPs.
At the last PBP, not allowed to use LED headlights as your primary headlight, likely to be revoked this time.
Must have 3 spare headlight bulbs, don't know how the LED-only riders got past that in 2003 but they did.
Must get your brevet card stamped before the start.
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Old 07-23-06, 09:15 PM   #4
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As far as I know, the rules change slightly every PBP so you'll have to read your information package when you get it in the mail (BTW - do you read French? )

Aerobars have not been allowed in the recent past most likely because of the unstability problems with aerobars in large crowds of people ... particularly very tired people.

Other than that, as far as I know all 1200Ks are supposed to be run just like the PBP. Some I've been on have been a bit more lax about lighting and things like that, and many are not as well supported as the PBP.
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Old 07-23-06, 11:23 PM   #5
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Thanks for the feedback. I'm devastated at the 'no aerobars' rule only because I really need to get the weight off my wrists at regular intervals and the aerobars are ideal. I have however taken them off now and see what I can do..... there's always the recumbent option I suppose.
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Old 07-24-06, 10:02 AM   #6
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Thanks for the feedback. I'm devastated at the 'no aerobars' rule only because I really need to get the weight off my wrists at regular intervals and the aerobars are ideal. I have however taken them off now and see what I can do..... there's always the recumbent option I suppose.
As a recumbent rider I am amazed at what some road bike riders suffer through.

When riding my road bike I can do 6-8 hours or so, which is a typical century for me, with no problems. After that the clock is ticking. Taking it to 16 hours, which is a typical double century for me, and my time is up. I have problems from my hips and lower back all the way to my wrists.

I read some ride reports of road bike riders having numb and tingling sensations in their hands and wrists for a long time after the rides, and it sounds like a horror story to me. Risking long term damage just to ride a bike doesn't seem like a good idea to me, but that is just me. Other people have their own priorities, and I respect that.

Your one seating position on a recumbent is good for everything. No need to worry about aerobars, alternate hand positions, or any of that mess.

My recumbent is a Burley Hepcat. It is a good bike, but I am near the performance limit. This past weekend I had the chance to test ride a Bacchetta Corsa on a century out of Malibu, CA. What a speed machine. I could have spent all day on it.
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Old 07-24-06, 05:29 PM   #7
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Originally Posted by ronsmithjunior
As a recumbent rider I am amazed at what some road bike riders suffer through.

When riding my road bike I can do 6-8 hours or so, which is a typical century for me, with no problems. After that the clock is ticking. Taking it to 16 hours, which is a typical double century for me, and my time is up. I have problems from my hips and lower back all the way to my wrists.

I read some ride reports of road bike riders having numb and tingling sensations in their hands and wrists for a long time after the rides, and it sounds like a horror story to me. Risking long term damage just to ride a bike doesn't seem like a good idea to me, but that is just me. Other people have their own priorities, and I respect that.

Your one seating position on a recumbent is good for everything. No need to worry about aerobars, alternate hand positions, or any of that mess.

My recumbent is a Burley Hepcat. It is a good bike, but I am near the performance limit. This past weekend I had the chance to test ride a Bacchetta Corsa on a century out of Malibu, CA. What a speed machine. I could have spent all day on it.
I've had a yearning for an Ultima Baron for quite a while, for the very same reasons you stated plus the aerodynamic efficiency. With 3 young kids, only one income in the family, and already having a couple of nice bikes the only limitation is justifying the $$$ in the family budget.

Tell me, what's the truth about climbing in a 'bent? I hear that hilly courses are easier on a DF. With no experience I can only assume that low enough gearing on a 'bent should let you spin up steep hills just like on any DF......
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Old 07-24-06, 06:35 PM   #8
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Tell me, what's the truth about climbing in a 'bent? I hear that hilly courses are easier on a DF. With no experience I can only assume that low enough gearing on a 'bent should let you spin up steep hills just like on any DF......
On my first 200K, I spent about 50K in the company of three other riders, one of whom was riding a recumbent. In general, he always lagged on the climbs, but he always made up for it on the descents. Those things are like bullets on a downhill.
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Old 07-24-06, 06:56 PM   #9
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Originally Posted by Cyclaholic
Thanks for the feedback. I'm devastated at the 'no aerobars' rule only because I really need to get the weight off my wrists at regular intervals and the aerobars are ideal. I have however taken them off now and see what I can do..... there's always the recumbent option I suppose.
I sometimes rest my forearms on the top of my bar... Not for long, because it's not very comfortable... But maybe if you use some gel or something under your wrap to make it larger diameter and bring up the comfort.

Or maybe some protective pads on the forearms...
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Old 07-25-06, 12:52 AM   #10
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As a recumbent rider I am amazed at what some road bike riders suffer through.
I find it interesting that some enthusiastic recumbent riders switch back to uprights after a few years.

It is possible for most people to get a comfortable position on an upright. Some people seem to accept 'uncomfortable' though.
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Old 07-25-06, 10:41 AM   #11
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In addition to giving you alternative positions, aerobars also let you use both hands for cleaning your sunglasses, or opening energy bars, or taking the cue sheet out of its plastic baggy to flip it to the next page, or whatever ...

Guess I'll have to get better at riding with no hands. I'm sure that'll be safer on PBP than riding with aerobars :-)

And as to the upright-bike comfort issue: I used to have numbness in my feet, hands, and nether regions after any ride longer than 200k; but after some fiddling with bike position, bar padding, etc. I have no numbness anywhere, even on rides of 600k. We'll see how a 1200k feels in a few weeks. From ronsmithjunior's description, it sounds like his handlebars may be too low for him for long rides on an upright. All that said, I'd like to try a brevet on a recumbent sometime, just because it looks like fun.
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Old 07-25-06, 12:23 PM   #12
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In addition to giving you alternative positions, aerobars also let you use both hands for cleaning your sunglasses, or opening energy bars, or taking the cue sheet out of its plastic baggy to flip it to the next page, or whatever ...

Guess I'll have to get better at riding with no hands. I'm sure that'll be safer on PBP than riding with aerobars :-)

Personally, I found the PBP a bit too hilly, and the road to curvy and rough (cobblestones, etc.) in places, for any extended removal of my hands from the handlebars.

The PBP instruction/cuesheet "encyclopedia" was also not conducive for easy 'page flipping'. I actually followed the route arrows rather than the cue sheet most of the way because it was easier to do that than to wade through the "encyclopedia".

I wouldn't worry too much about learning to ride with no hands ... if you're half asleep out there, which most riders are after about 900 kms, riding with no hands would be just as dangerous or more dangerous than riding with aerobars. Keep in mind too that on the PBP you'll be riding with 4000 of your closest friends. Even if you are feeling good and awake, the people around you may not be feeling the same way. You've really got to pay attention to the road, and all the circumstances going on around you. If the person next to you suddenly falls asleep over his handlebars and swerves violently (which is what happens when you fall asleep while riding), and if you're not in a position where you can quickly react, that person could take you out.

Riding with no hands is not an exceptionally useful trick on these long rides.


BTW - I rode my first two years of randonneuring with aerobars, including the RM1200, and I was a little upset that the PBP didn't allow them too. But when I got on the PBP I discovered that there was really no place on the ride where I would have used them anyway, and I didn't miss them. In fact, I haven't put them back on my randonneuring bicycle since.

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Old 07-25-06, 02:18 PM   #13
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From ronsmithjunior's description, it sounds like his handlebars may be too low for him for long rides on an upright. All that said, I'd like to try a brevet on a recumbent sometime, just because it looks like fun.
My handlebars are even with the seat. I could go higher, but I catch enough wind as it is.
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Old 07-25-06, 02:25 PM   #14
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Originally Posted by spokenword
On my first 200K, I spent about 50K in the company of three other riders, one of whom was riding a recumbent. In general, he always lagged on the climbs, but he always made up for it on the descents. Those things are like bullets on a downhill.
Think of it as riding "a tandem of one", as an accomplished recumbent rider described it to me. Slower on the uphills, faster on the downhills, and faster on the flats. Work the downhills to attack the uphills.

It depends on what your strengths are and what kind of bike you get as to how you do on hills. At 6'7" and 210 lbs I am no climber. A recumbent allows me to grind out climbs without paying any "price" other than the effort my legs are putting out. As with any kind of bike, the engine matters most.
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Old 07-25-06, 02:28 PM   #15
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I find it interesting that some enthusiastic recumbent riders switch back to uprights after a few years.

It is possible for most people to get a comfortable position on an upright. Some people seem to accept 'uncomfortable' though.
Absolutely. My recumbent sat in my garage for the entire year of 2005 because I had a few bad rides on it at the end of 2004, and because I really enjoyed riding my road bike. During that time I put 7000 miles on my road bike. As with anything else, switching may or may not work. Ideally a person would have the chance to take an extended test ride on one before committing financially.
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Old 07-26-06, 12:05 PM   #16
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I sometimes rest my forearms on the top of my bar... Not for long, because it's not very comfortable...
It's not as hard to do or weird as it sounds. I've even done it on shallower climbs in order to get further out "on the rivet" of the saddle. Pros like Floyd Landis do it all the time when broken away or leading a group (not recommended when in the middle of a group, of course!).
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