just another gosling
Join Date: Feb 2007
Location: Everett, WA
Bikes: CoMo Speedster 2003, Trek 5200, CAAD 9, Fred 2004
Mentioned: 27 Post(s)
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Quoted: 503 Post(s)
Eric brings up excellent points. I try to train on mine for a couple of hours a week in the summer, in 1/2 hour periods. You should be able to ride the fog line on them. I get off the bars at speeds of over 30 and I never corner hard on the bars. If you're one of the stronger riders in a group and take long pulls on the front, you can move your group up the road quite a bit faster.
I'm not sure why people oppose them. I know the group I ride with loves it when I hit the front and get on the bars. I'm more comfortable, faster, and have less pain. Never had a close call on them. What's not to like? Yet I'm one of the very few in my group that uses them. I guess because we're all wannabees. They're illegal in mass start events, and of course we all ride equipment that we will use in our next mass start road race, so of course we better not train with them, either. Whether we race or not, we need to have that look.
That said, of course they should never be used inside a group, beside or behind another rider, etc.
Oh - your question about bar height vs. saddle height. I keep my bars as low as I can and ride long distances comfortably. That height will vary with the rider. Mine are also about 2" below the saddle. Every little thing that increases wind resistance will slow you. Just like weight, the little things add up. Tight clothing, low position, knees in, elbows in, aero wheels, etc.
But stopping or having to rest because of pain or discomfort will slow you more than anything! Much more! So that's the deal. As aero, as light, as low resistance as you can be, and still not have to stop until you're out of water, and then only long enough to refill. Experimentation and experience.