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Long Distance Competition/Ultracycling, Randonneuring and Endurance Cycling Do you enjoy centuries, double centuries, brevets, randonnees, and 24-hour time trials? Share ride reports, and exchange training, equipment, and nutrition information specific to long distance cycling. This isn't for tours, this is for endurance events cycling

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Old 09-11-13, 12:33 PM   #1
Bacciagalupe
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Aerobars and LD fit?

I took the plunge and ordered up a set of aero bars (Profile T3's). I'm starting to dial in the bar position. However, I've already noticed that (no surprise) it is changing the saddle fit and hips.

What I'm wondering is:

Does putting aero bars on, specifically for ultra events, require a complete revision of the saddle position, as it does with a TT position?

Is it possible to set up a bike so that it is optimal for both sitting upright and for ultra distances?

For those using aero bars, do you spend most of your time in the aero position, or a mix?
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Old 09-11-13, 02:23 PM   #2
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I have Aero Bars on my road bike and use the Aero bars about 60%. My regular road bike set-up has the saddle further forward than typical, even without aero-bars. I decided not to move the saddle further forward, but I did drop the nose of the saddle a little. I use the Aero bars to rest my hands and to help with headwinds and when sprinting on flat roads. I use the drops on most decents and wnen I'm with other riders.

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Old 09-11-13, 07:54 PM   #3
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...• Does putting aero bars on, specifically for ultra events, require a complete revision of the saddle position, as it does with a TT position?
I don't know about a complete revision. There is definitely some seat adjustment. It depends on how low you have the bars set. You are most likely not in a full aero position so it's not like a TT bike.

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...• Is it possible to set up a bike so that it is optimal for both sitting upright and for ultra distances?
Again, it depend on how you have the bars set up. A lot of long distance people put spacers on their aerobars to raise them up. When I sit up for climbing I rest my palms on the pads so they are actually a couple inches above where they would be on the bar tops.

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...• For those using aero bars, do you spend most of your time in the aero position, or a mix?
I spend probably 90% of the time I am not climbing in the aerobars or with my forearms on the bar tops in a similar position. Climbing and really fast descents are really the only times I'm not in them.

Last edited by Homeyba; 09-11-13 at 07:58 PM.
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Old 09-11-13, 08:34 PM   #4
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Yep, gotta love a learning curve.

I did put in the spacers earlier today, and that might work. At least, it gets me close to the position in the drops. I'll keep tweaking it.

I'm also not finding a lot of guidance on the general principles for this kind of fit. As such, I'm not sure if my ideal -- a position that works both in the aero bars and on the hoods -- is feasible in the first place. It certainly isn't the goal for a typical TT / tri fit.
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Old 09-11-13, 09:50 PM   #5
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I have a pair of clip-ons that I use on and off. I find them more comfortable than drops though less comfortable than hoods. I go on aero bars on flats when I'm in the mood for racing (which is to say, <20% of the time). I tried to do a couple of experiments and I'm not convinced that being on clip-ons is in fact more aero than being in the drops. I did not attempt to adjust the saddle and it is not obvious to me what that would achieve.
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Old 09-11-13, 10:44 PM   #6
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How tall are your spacers? I've seen 3" spacers on some. I use about a half inch on mine. I'm just as comfy on the hoods as in the aero bars but I spend most of my time on the bars. You'll probably have to play with it for a while. btw, I wouldn't trust a short ride on them to give you a good idea. I'd go out and do a century or something long before you start moving things around too much. Make small incremental changes and keep track of what you are doing. There may be some give and take but you'll find the sweet spot before too long.
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Old 09-13-13, 08:24 AM   #7
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Yep, gotta love a learning curve.

I did put in the spacers earlier today, and that might work. At least, it gets me close to the position in the drops. I'll keep tweaking it.

I'm also not finding a lot of guidance on the general principles for this kind of fit. As such, I'm not sure if my ideal -- a position that works both in the aero bars and on the hoods -- is feasible in the first place. It certainly isn't the goal for a typical TT / tri fit.
I find myself only using the hoods at slower speeds when I need to look over traffic. Being on the hoods is not uncomfortable, but the drops are more comfortable and have a smaller aero penalty.
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Old 09-13-13, 02:54 PM   #8
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I use clip-ons, no spacers. I didn't adjust anything, because my torso is at about the same angle on the clip-ons or in the drops. Clip-ons are definitely faster than the drops if torso angle is the same. Much warmer too, in cold weather. So I'd recommend retaining ordinary road bike fit by making the torso angle the same as in the drops and thus all the contact points are in the same relation. I know some people go higher than that when they're on the clip-ons by using spacers. That works, too. Still probably faster than the drops, depending on the amount of riser.

I don't spend a lot of time on the 'bars because most local brevets feature a lot of climbing, but they definitely pay for themselves in terms of added weight vs. aero and comfort on long rides, even rides with 100'/mile.
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Old 09-16-13, 02:54 PM   #9
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Yeah, I don't think it's working for me. My bike's geometry isn't right, the position curtails my view of the scenery. I don't think I need additional hand positions badly enough to mess with my fit.

Back to the drawing board....
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Old 09-16-13, 08:42 PM   #10
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Yeah, I don't think it's working for me. My bike's geometry isn't right, the position curtails my view of the scenery. I don't think I need additional hand positions badly enough to mess with my fit.

Back to the drawing board....
If you're uncomfortable in the drops, you probably won't be comfortable on the 'bars, either. Did you try rotating your pelvis forward and straightening your back? Not being able to look up/around is usually due to too much curve in the upper back.
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Old 09-16-13, 11:33 PM   #11
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Do you configure the bars to be horizontal?

I did a double century last weekend and I noticed that several people in my starting group had aero bars which were mounted at an angle. As far as I recall, some were tilted as much as 20 degrees. To me that seemed to be entirely missing the point of having aero bars in the first place, but maybe there's something I don't understand here.
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