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Tandem Cycling A bicycle built for two. Want to find out more about this wonderful world of tandems? Check out this forum to talk with other tandem enthusiasts. Captains and stokers welcome!

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Old 06-03-12, 05:43 PM   #1
WNY tandem
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Aero Bars

We did an organized ride last weekend and a number of tandems had aero bars attached. How many teams here use them? I have a problem with the palms of my hands hurting on longer rides and I thought using them would let my palms take a break.
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Old 06-03-12, 06:56 PM   #2
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I have them on my Calfee. I love em. Just like with a single you need to get used to them and how they react to your input.
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Old 06-03-12, 08:17 PM   #3
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No aerobars on tandem.
Do have a set of modified Cinelli Spinacci bars on my single.
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Old 06-04-12, 07:37 AM   #4
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We've only run aerobars on the Speedster for time trials, though I used aerobars extensively on a single over 10 years ago. My preference now is just to rest my forearms on the handlebar, it gets us much of the advantages of aerobar without the weight (helps to have a light, super-smooth stoker). I only do this on straight, flat roads with good pavement.

My take on aerobars:

Pluses: Alternate hand position is helpful on longer rides, improved aerodynamics good for a 1/2 to 1 MPH speed bump @ 20 MPH.

Minuses: Added weight, marginally more steering effort required at all times, stoker needs to be smooth to minimize steering inputs, can't be used anytime braking or large steering inputs may be needed.

An aside: My experience is that aerobars are rarely seen on Norcal tandems, but are relatively common on Socal tandems. I have no good idea why this is, my only theory is Norcal riding may involve more climbing/descending and less flat riding, removing much of the advantage of an aerobar.

YMMV.
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Old 06-04-12, 08:20 AM   #5
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I have often considered getting aerobars but we ride a lot of rollers which causes us to constantly work through the gears as we gain and loose speed. Aerobars without shifting ability would be seldom used. If I ever get electronic shifting then might give them a try.
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Old 06-04-12, 09:38 AM   #6
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We have them on our tandem for time trials. I don't like using them, however other than for TT's or training for TT's.

Properly set up to be aero, they're not terribly comfortable for most people.

You don't see as well around you in that position. That isn't an issue for a TT, but not the best setup for everyday riding with traffic.

You definitely do not want to use them in a paceline or group.

You loose a hand position on top of the bars. (unless you use pop up type pads, which have other issues)

You can't handle the bike as well.

And, you can deal with numb palms other ways (changing hand positions, bike fitting, learning not to cock your wrists, proper fitting gloves, conditioning, etc.)
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Old 06-04-12, 10:09 AM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by diabloridr View Post
...An aside: My experience is that aerobars are rarely seen on Norcal tandems, but are relatively common on Socal tandems. ...YMMV.
So, what you're saying is that this really is a gang issue?? Since we're both CenCal, that means we can go both ways.
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Old 06-04-12, 11:47 AM   #8
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I use them for comfort, don't worry too much about the aero. Cinelli Spinaccis on 25.4mm bars, Profile Jammers on 31.8mm bars. The advantage of short aerobars is they don't affect steering as much as the long ones. The Cinellis are great for resting your thumbs on while riding on the tops.
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Old 06-04-12, 03:49 PM   #9
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Like "Merlinextraligh" I have them on our TT tandem. They are too low to be considered a comfort option when set up like that. The riding position is ok, it is the having to look up to see where you are going which is tiring. This combined with the reduced visibility makes me only use them when required (TT or TT training).
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Old 06-04-12, 03:57 PM   #10
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You definitely do not want to use them in a paceline or group.
Thank you!
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Old 06-05-12, 10:48 AM   #11
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While aero bars might be a remedy, I'd say that you should look VERY closely at your bike fit. If your palms are hurting, you're not moving your hands around enough or are stretched, too much drop, too wide bars/etc. Something is "too much". That something could also be a weak core.

100 miles on the tandem, my palms/shoulders don't even feel like I rode. Be it my single or tandem.

Also, you can look at your gloves, they might be pinching or bunching in the palms.
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Old 06-07-12, 03:17 AM   #12
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Aero Bars

Thanks for everyone's input. I'm still on the fence if I'm going to install a set or not. I think I would benefit from using it, but I really don't want to add the extra weight.
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Old 06-07-12, 10:45 AM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by WNY tandem View Post
We did an organized ride last weekend and a number of tandems had aero bars attached. How many teams here use them? I have a problem with the palms of my hands hurting on longer rides and I thought using them would let my palms take a break.
We live in Jacksonville, Fl. Flat !! We have the aero bars on at all times. I love them! Great for long rides, or just making speed. I use them a lot on our training rides. Very comfortable. I do use them on the fast group rides too. On point only! Once another bike is in front of us, it's back on the hoods.

They do save your hands for long rides. Like anything new, you will have to get used to them.

If you're getting sore hands these will help. Even if you can only get on them for a few minutes at a time during a long ride.

Good luck!!
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Old 06-07-12, 11:27 PM   #14
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I have aerobars installed all the time on my single bike, partly for aerodynamics and partly for comfort on long rides. I've used them occasionally on the tandem, but we don't tend to do as long rides on the tandem. Plus, the tandem often has a handlebar bag, which prevents me from installing aerobars. For our long tour later this year, I've been trying to think of a way to have both aerobars and bar bag mounted, but haven't come up with a good solution yet.
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Old 06-08-12, 05:56 AM   #15
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I have aerobars installed all the time on my single bike, partly for aerodynamics and partly for comfort on long rides. I've used them occasionally on the tandem, but we don't tend to do as long rides on the tandem. Plus, the tandem often has a handlebar bag, which prevents me from installing aerobars. For our long tour later this year, I've been trying to think of a way to have both aerobars and bar bag mounted, but haven't come up with a good solution yet.
I am not sure what type of handlebar bag you have installed, but with a classic bag on a very small front rack and there is room for aerobars. See my setup below. I am 5'8" so the handle bars are not high and the sizable bag is well below the bars. I am not sure I would like the look but it should work with room to open the bag.


Last edited by waynesulak; 06-08-12 at 06:06 AM.
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Old 06-08-12, 06:42 AM   #16
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Flat bars for us(me). From the git-go I found drop bars to be a little scary when trying to maneuver the long bike, the added leverage of the straight bar made me feel more in control. I could probably use drops/areos now but then it would mean brifters. Can't teach an old dog new tricks I guess
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Old 06-08-12, 06:53 AM   #17
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Don't stokers every respond to tandem forum questions? The first time I rode with aero bars on my tandem, the stoker (a woman with years of tandem experience) said, "This is the first time I've ever been able to see where we're going!"

That tandem was set up with flat bars plus aero bars, which we found to be the ideal configuration.
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Old 06-08-12, 07:55 AM   #18
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Don't stokers every respond to tandem forum questions? The first time I rode with aero bars on my tandem, the stoker (a woman with years of tandem experience) said, "This is the first time I've ever been able to see where we're going!"

That tandem was set up with flat bars plus aero bars, which we found to be the ideal configuration.
My stoker is just a couple inches shorter than me and easily makes up that by sitting slightly more upright. Noticed in the picture I posted above that all three stokers are looking over their captain's shoulder.

Sadly not many stokers participate in this forum.
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Old 06-16-14, 02:18 AM   #19
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I'm the stoker and I agree that my captain's use of aero bars does provide me with a better view forward. I felt unstable when he first started using them, but now he has excellent control either way, so we both feel more comfortable.

We've been riding a Schwinn Duo-Sport for 20 years, and just upgraded to a Co-Motion Mocha. Once we get it set up properly, it should be a wonderful ride.
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Old 06-24-14, 11:16 PM   #20
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We use a Carbon Flat Bontrager bar…..reduced the hand numbness and provides multiple hand positions……never recommend aero bars in group rides….
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Old 06-25-14, 01:58 PM   #21
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www.stealthcycling.com lists carbon stoker pegs, advertised weight of 60g, but they've been out of stock forever, so either they are no longer made or they sell out often...Might be worth contacting them if you're looking for something that light.
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Old 06-25-14, 04:16 PM   #22
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Don't stokers every respond to tandem forum questions? The first time I rode with aero bars on my tandem, the stoker (a woman with years of tandem experience) said, "This is the first time I've ever been able to see where we're going!"

That tandem was set up with flat bars plus aero bars, which we found to be the ideal configuration.
If I am down on aero bars it usually means I am in a hurry and don't really appreciate it if the stoker is sitting up enjoying the view.
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