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Thread: Aero Bars

  1. #26
    Senior Member waynesulak's Avatar
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    I am pretty much a noob at real pace lining but had some fun on my single for a few years with a couple other guys on weekday after work runs on a deserted multi use trail. It is about 8 feet wide and out in the wind here in Texas. After work under the blazing sun in 95-100+ degree summer temps there was nobody on it. We would team time trial for all we were worth for an an hour, often in 20-30 mph winds. If you can call three guys an echelon then we did it regularly rotating on the straight sections and holding on thru the frequent turns. The interesting part on a trail like that is that it becomes a skill to just constantly keep track of the exact direction of the wind and adjust your position to stay in the most draft. Of course on a closed road of sorts with three guys who ride together all the time it is different than in a group on the public road.

  2. #27
    just another gosling Carbonfiberboy's Avatar
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    My interest in putting aerobars on our tandem goes like this:

    Most tandem teams, including ours, are comprised of unequal riders. Couples who are equal riders almost always ride singles even though they would blow the peloton away on a tandem. Thus most tandems climb and accelerate more slowly than their friends on singles. Such tandems can ride in a paceline just fine as long as it's flat, but it's seldom completely flat. As soon as the road tilts up or down a little, the combination of tandems and singles becomes a PITA.

    To a tandem like us, it feels like the singles put the hammer down hard and accelerate every time they come to a hill, and conversely coast on the slight downhills. If we're feeling strong and the little hills aren't too steep or long, we can give it a lot of gas and stay on the back of the group on the hills, resting in between.

    But what usually happens is that we drop off the back of the group and hold station maybe 100' back. That's enough room for yoyo-ing with small changes in terrain. When we hit some tandem-friendly stuff, like a downward trending set of rollers, we'll move up to the group if we've been able to hold station, and then go around them. If we get some clear air, we can either hang off their front or go looking for another group. Doing that, we'll usually take a couple of enterprising folks with us, but it's useless if not dangerous to ask them to pull, so we'll just hammer along, making friends.

    So there's a lot of time we could be saving energy with aerobars. I believe a drafting rider saves about 1% of output for every mph of speed. So in a group traveling 20 mph, drafting riders are at about 80%. My understanding is that a tandem has about 150% of the wind resistance of a single, IOW the tandem's average is about 75% of a strong single's output. That still has the captain working harder than the singles. If we had aerobars, we might get the captain's output down even below a pacelining single and could save enough energy to stay in the neighborhood of a group of singles on a climb or put enough time on them so they at least wouldn't pass us so soon.

    So that's what I'm thinking, anyway.

  3. #28
    Oldie, just not here! Onegun's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by twocicle View Post
    A tandem rally is certainly not where one should expect to ride with any intensity... those are "fun" social events.
    Interesting comment. The few tandem rallies we've been to always had a group of A riders doing the full century route at a "hell bent for spandex"(?) pace. A difference between east and west?
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  4. #29
    Clipless in Coeur d'Alene twocicle's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Onegun View Post
    Interesting comment. The few tandem rallies we've been to always had a group of A riders doing the full century route at a "hell bent for spandex"(?) pace. A difference between east and west?
    Must be. That may be an interesting survey, because for the few we attended I don't recall anything near a century. Riding fast in that case would probably be due to getting back in time for dinner

    The NWTR this year in Bellingham is supposed to include a long slog up Mt Baker, but the shuttle to the start area in Maple Falls cuts the real mileage down to under 30mi mostly climbing, then the return is of course downhill for 95% of the way back, so it would be near a metric century for bragging rights... if the event actually runs. Still no word on the registration opening.
    Last edited by twocicle; 03-07-13 at 08:51 AM.

  5. #30
    just another gosling Carbonfiberboy's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by twocicle View Post
    Must be. That may be an interesting survey, because for the few we attended I don't recall anything near a century. Riding fast in that case would probably be due to getting back in time for dinner

    The NWTR this year in Bellingham is supposed to include a long slog up Mt Baker, but the shuttle to the start area in Maple Falls cuts the real mileage down to under 30mi mostly climbing, then the return is of course downhill for 95% of the way back, so it would be near a metric century for bragging rights... if the event actually runs. Still no word on the registration opening.
    I saw that Mt. Baker thing. Have you descended it on your tandem? On my single, it's a fast coast, braking hard for the corners. Just tandem rim brakes would make me nervous, but I don't want to lug the 2 lb. drum brake up it, either.

  6. #31
    Clipless in Coeur d'Alene twocicle's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Carbonfiberboy View Post
    I saw that Mt. Baker thing. Have you descended it on your tandem? On my single, it's a fast coast, braking hard for the corners. Just tandem rim brakes would make me nervous, but I don't want to lug the 2 lb. drum brake up it, either.
    Have also done it a few times on a single and not on a tandem.

    The grade isn't all that steep, so I'm not expecting any issue with rim brakes though I could toss on the disc setup just for kicks - it nets to something around 200gms more.

    It depends on the road being smooth, clean and dry There is a drag trick that scrubs some speed on lesser grade decents... situp tall and if it isn't too cold unzip your jacket almost all the way and let it billow. I call it the parachute effect. Though you will need to reach a terminal velocity for it to work.
    Last edited by twocicle; 03-07-13 at 12:02 PM.

  7. #32
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    Quote Originally Posted by Carbonfiberboy View Post
    My interest in putting aerobars on our tandem goes like this:

    Most tandem teams, including ours, are comprised of unequal riders. Couples who are equal riders almost always ride singles even though they would blow the peloton away on a tandem. Thus most tandems climb and accelerate more slowly than their friends on singles. Such tandems can ride in a paceline just fine as long as it's flat, but it's seldom completely flat. As soon as the road tilts up or down a little, the combination of tandems and singles becomes a PITA.

    To a tandem like us, it feels like the singles put the hammer down hard and accelerate every time they come to a hill, and conversely coast on the slight downhills. If we're feeling strong and the little hills aren't too steep or long, we can give it a lot of gas and stay on the back of the group on the hills, resting in between.

    But what usually happens is that we drop off the back of the group and hold station maybe 100' back. That's enough room for yoyo-ing with small changes in terrain. When we hit some tandem-friendly stuff, like a downward trending set of rollers, we'll move up to the group if we've been able to hold station, and then go around them. If we get some clear air, we can either hang off their front or go looking for another group. Doing that, we'll usually take a couple of enterprising folks with us, but it's useless if not dangerous to ask them to pull, so we'll just hammer along, making friends.

    So there's a lot of time we could be saving energy with aerobars. I believe a drafting rider saves about 1% of output for every mph of speed. So in a group traveling 20 mph, drafting riders are at about 80%. My understanding is that a tandem has about 150% of the wind resistance of a single, IOW the tandem's average is about 75% of a strong single's output. That still has the captain working harder than the singles. If we had aerobars, we might get the captain's output down even below a pacelining single and could save enough energy to stay in the neighborhood of a group of singles on a climb or put enough time on them so they at least wouldn't pass us so soon.

    So that's what I'm thinking, anyway.
    It is all about power to weight ratio and aerodynamics. One reason a tandem is faster on the flats is that with two power sources and the aerodynamics involved a mismatched team can roll along at a very nice clip. Now when it comes to climbing then if the team is mismatched (one stronger than the other) then power to weight ratio plays a big role.

    So the question, have you maximized your teams power to weight ratio, that is one place to find additional climbing speed. If you can then you can hopefully stay with the singles on the climbs and then not have to utilize aero bars in order to catch up.

    20 years ago we could stay with about anyone on climbs, that is not the case today, however we are getting stronger and lighter.

    Wayne

  8. #33
    just another gosling Carbonfiberboy's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by DubT View Post
    It is all about power to weight ratio and aerodynamics. One reason a tandem is faster on the flats is that with two power sources and the aerodynamics involved a mismatched team can roll along at a very nice clip. Now when it comes to climbing then if the team is mismatched (one stronger than the other) then power to weight ratio plays a big role.

    So the question, have you maximized your teams power to weight ratio, that is one place to find additional climbing speed. If you can then you can hopefully stay with the singles on the climbs and then not have to utilize aero bars in order to catch up.

    20 years ago we could stay with about anyone on climbs, that is not the case today, however we are getting stronger and lighter.

    Wayne
    You're funny. Yes, I beat my stoker unmercifully. But really, we both work out pretty hard and are committed to making the bike roll. I did 4 X body weight on the leg sled yesterday after doing one-legged pedaling intervals on my rollers. Stoker took a dressage lesson, which is quite an aerobic and leg workout. Tonight we go to spin class. I'll downhill ski tomorrow and Stoker will put in some Z2 time on her trainer. Sunday we will do our usual punishing group ride with about 45 minutes of Z4. We've both lost weight over the winter, me about 3 lbs., stoker about 6 lbs. We are now a 297 lb. team. So we're working that angle. But we'll never climb as fast as my old riding buddies, who probably have 30 RAMROD jerseys among them, counting mine. We're just hoping to stay in sight or up with the slightly less talented folks who are 10-20 years younger than we are. It's a challenge. We'll cheat any way we can. Age and treachery . . . As I recounted in the stoker stem thread, I've cut 1.5" off the stoker stem which gets Stoker low enough to make aerobars worth considering. I've also ordered a 17 stem for me to get a little lower, too.

    I went out with a sub-40 male friend as stoker a couple weeks ago when my wife was sick, after cutting off that 1.5", and we broke the legs of the fast boys by gradually riding them off our wheel through some tandem friendly terrain, waiting for them, and then dropping their exhausted selves on the final climb. We almost made it out of the parking lot before they showed up. That was a pretty fun 65 miles.

  9. #34
    just another gosling Carbonfiberboy's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by twocicle View Post
    Have also done it a few times on a single and not on a tandem.

    The grade isn't all that steep, so I'm not expecting any issue with rim brakes though I could toss on the disc setup just for kicks - it nets to something around 200gms more.

    It depends on the road being smooth, clean and dry There is a drag trick that scrubs some speed on lesser grade decents... situp tall and if it isn't too cold unzip your jacket almost all the way and let it billow. I call it the parachute effect. Though you will need to reach a terminal velocity for it to work.
    Stoker can sit up and hold her arms out straight, hands cupped. That's quite effective. A stoker we ride with unzips and holds her jacket or vest out like wings. That's really effective, but I don't want my wife to try it.

    Maybe we'll see you there if we can ever register. Though you're much faster than we. We'll be climbing that in the 26T ring.

  10. #35
    Clipless in Coeur d'Alene twocicle's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Carbonfiberboy View Post
    Stoker can sit up and hold her arms out straight, hands cupped. That's quite effective. A stoker we ride with unzips and holds her jacket or vest out like wings. That's really effective, but I don't want my wife to try it.

    Maybe we'll see you there if we can ever register. Though you're much faster than we. We'll be climbing that in the 26T ring.
    My stoker would fall off if she tried that. Best if she sticks to gripping the bars.

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    We should probably start a new thread on that.

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    Quote Originally Posted by twocicle View Post
    My stoker would fall off if she tried that. Best if she sticks to gripping the bars.

    NWTR
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    Email info@nwtr2013.org or charlie@norka.us

    We should probably start a new thread on that.
    Only due to the immense speed you are traveling at. Sort of like how guys have been blown off of nitro drag bikes.

  12. #37
    just another gosling Carbonfiberboy's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by twocicle View Post
    My stoker would fall off if she tried that. Best if she sticks to gripping the bars.

    NWTR
    Contact Info published on Facebook:
    Phone (360) 303-1717
    Email info@nwtr2013.org or charlie@norka.us

    We should probably start a new thread on that.
    We have a Speedster. Stoker is short enough that she can grip the top tube with her knees so she's not blown off when she sits up. Plus she has the leverage from her clipless and saddle.

  13. #38
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    Quote Originally Posted by Carbonfiberboy View Post
    You're funny. Yes, I beat my stoker unmercifully. But really, we both work out pretty hard and are committed to making the bike roll. I did 4 X body weight on the leg sled yesterday after doing one-legged pedaling intervals on my rollers. Stoker took a dressage lesson, which is quite an aerobic and leg workout. Tonight we go to spin class. I'll downhill ski tomorrow and Stoker will put in some Z2 time on her trainer. Sunday we will do our usual punishing group ride with about 45 minutes of Z4. We've both lost weight over the winter, me about 3 lbs., stoker about 6 lbs. We are now a 297 lb. team. So we're working that angle. But we'll never climb as fast as my old riding buddies, who probably have 30 RAMROD jerseys among them, counting mine. We're just hoping to stay in sight or up with the slightly less talented folks who are 10-20 years younger than we are. It's a challenge. We'll cheat any way we can. Age and treachery . . . As I recounted in the stoker stem thread, I've cut 1.5" off the stoker stem which gets Stoker low enough to make aerobars worth considering. I've also ordered a 17 stem for me to get a little lower, too.

    I went out with a sub-40 male friend as stoker a couple weeks ago when my wife was sick, after cutting off that 1.5", and we broke the legs of the fast boys by gradually riding them off our wheel through some tandem friendly terrain, waiting for them, and then dropping their exhausted selves on the final climb. We almost made it out of the parking lot before they showed up. That was a pretty fun 65 miles.
    it sounds like you are doing everything you can physically and it is still not enough. Do you have aero wheels? Worse case scenario you could add one of the electric motors. We rode the MTR and there was a team there that had the electric drive, the one that has the battery on a rear rack and the motor is in the rear hub. Story is that they can out climb just about anybody. I did not realize that they had a motor and got on their wheel and he speeded up, we could have stayed there but I did not think we could take our turn pulling so we backed off.

    Is ther anyone in the group that you ride with who would be willing to fall back and help you get back on the main group? If you can pull them on the flats I would think they would work with you on the hills. Maybe they are not a friendly group. LOL

    Wayne

  14. #39
    just another gosling Carbonfiberboy's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by DubT View Post
    it sounds like you are doing everything you can physically and it is still not enough. Do you have aero wheels? Worse case scenario you could add one of the electric motors. We rode the MTR and there was a team there that had the electric drive, the one that has the battery on a rear rack and the motor is in the rear hub. Story is that they can out climb just about anybody. I did not realize that they had a motor and got on their wheel and he speeded up, we could have stayed there but I did not think we could take our turn pulling so we backed off.

    Is ther anyone in the group that you ride with who would be willing to fall back and help you get back on the main group? If you can pull them on the flats I would think they would work with you on the hills. Maybe they are not a friendly group. LOL

    Wayne
    Thanks. We have Deep-V wheels. At least they're reliable. We run fast tires. Aero wheels would help a little but that's a lot of money. Lighter wheels would help more, but not safe for the descents we do. We already outcoast a heavier team with Rolfs.

    Oh, it's a friendly group. When we're hanging off the back it's because we want to be there. We can bridge pretty well. We just can't climb with them. Funny about the motor. No, we wouldn't do that.

  15. #40
    Senior Member Homeyba's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Carbonfiberboy View Post
    ...Aero wheels would help a little but that's a lot of money. Lighter wheels would help more, ....
    Actually I think you got that backward. Aero wheels would help more than lighter wheels, especially if you are trying to catch back up to a group at speed. Lighter wheels will help you spin up a little faster but once you get your speed up but around to 18-20+mph the benifits of the aero wheels will trump them big time. Add in the fact that many of the aero wheels are actually quite light and there isn't a big advantage of just light wheels.
    The disadvantage of course is that they are expensive.

    I use aero bars on my tandem with no issues at all. I practically live in them.
    It doesn't get harder, you just go slower.

  16. #41
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    Unless riding with very steady wheels, I feel as though I expend more energy within a paceline of singles than I do alone. My take on it is that it is impossible for me to enlist the stoker's help for the dozens of micro accelerations a minute it takes to hold a sloppy wheel. As a result, I work harder maintaining spacing than I would with no one in front of me at a given speed.

    Early on day two of last year's STP was a perfect illustration. We were rotating with a group of five friends on singles and by mile 20 I was feeling cooked. We dropped off the back, recovered a little, overtook the group, and lead for most of the rest of the day - faster and with much less effort than before. Better yet, after that long pull, they were thrilled to buy the first beer when we hit Portland.

    We did have a chance to ride for about 25 miles with a group of four strong tandem teams during the Evergreen Tandem Club Yakima Wine Ride last summer. That was fun and amazingly fast.

  17. #42
    just another gosling Carbonfiberboy's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by JamieElenbaas View Post
    Unless riding with very steady wheels, I feel as though I expend more energy within a paceline of singles than I do alone. My take on it is that it is impossible for me to enlist the stoker's help for the dozens of micro accelerations a minute it takes to hold a sloppy wheel. As a result, I work harder maintaining spacing than I would with no one in front of me at a given speed.

    Early on day two of last year's STP was a perfect illustration. We were rotating with a group of five friends on singles and by mile 20 I was feeling cooked. We dropped off the back, recovered a little, overtook the group, and lead for most of the rest of the day - faster and with much less effort than before. Better yet, after that long pull, they were thrilled to buy the first beer when we hit Portland.

    We did have a chance to ride for about 25 miles with a group of four strong tandem teams during the Evergreen Tandem Club Yakima Wine Ride last summer. That was fun and amazingly fast.
    Solution is not to ride behind sloppy wheels. Many of the folks in our group have been riding together for 15 years and they are steady. Still, singles respond differently to every little road gradient. I hang further back on the tandem than I would on a single, about two wheels worth. Still a decent draft. Since stoker reads my HR as well as her own, we stay a fairly even match over time.

    We implemented the "go fast where you can, slow where you must" tactic this past Sunday and managed to stay with the group overall. In fact, we were first in, since that followed a descent. Stoker thought that was really fun. Uh oh.
    Last edited by Carbonfiberboy; 03-12-13 at 03:16 PM.

  18. #43
    just another gosling Carbonfiberboy's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Homeyba View Post
    Actually I think you got that backward. Aero wheels would help more than lighter wheels, especially if you are trying to catch back up to a group at speed. Lighter wheels will help you spin up a little faster but once you get your speed up but around to 18-20+mph the benifits of the aero wheels will trump them big time. Add in the fact that many of the aero wheels are actually quite light and there isn't a big advantage of just light wheels.
    The disadvantage of course is that they are expensive.

    I use aero bars on my tandem with no issues at all. I practically live in them.
    Recs? Something better than our 36H Deep-Vs, good heatsink ability, reasonable cost, reliable. Thanks.

  19. #44
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    Quote Originally Posted by Carbonfiberboy View Post
    Recs? Something better than our 36H Deep-Vs, good heatsink ability, reasonable cost, reliable. Thanks.
    You have two caliper brakes, then? You might have thought of getting a disc. If you are thinking of wheels, then so too is it a time to ponder using a disc, as that affects wheel choice.

    The venerable Avid BB7 has been a staple, but new mechanical brakes in the offing tip things in the direction of a disc, such as the TRP Spyre, that weighs less than the new lightweight BB7, and squeezes bilaterally.

    If you release at least the rear rim from its heatsink mission, your wheel choices expand.

  20. #45
    just another gosling Carbonfiberboy's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Ritterview View Post
    You have two caliper brakes, then? You might have thought of getting a disc. If you are thinking of wheels, then so too is it a time to ponder using a disc, as that affects wheel choice.

    The venerable Avid BB7 has been a staple, but new mechanical brakes in the offing tip things in the direction of a disc, such as the TRP Spyre, that weighs less than the new lightweight BB7, and squeezes bilaterally.

    If you release at least the rear rim from its heatsink mission, your wheel choices expand.
    We have Avid 7 V-brakes. A disc would be nice, but we have some little problems. Our Speedster has a pacman for a drum, but no disk mount. Would mean a trip to CoMo and a repaint as well as a new rear hub or whole new wheel. Our current sport hub is a CK, which I really like for winter riding, with mount for neither drum nor disk. We have a touring wheel with an Arai, but it weighs about 2 lbs. more than our sport wheel. We do get into some steepish descents with our sport wheels and have blown tires off the rim before we got Deep-Vs on both ends. Luckily always immediately after the descent, not during! We know how to brake, but sometimes . . .

    So a big expense, for us at least, for what wind tunnel tests say is a small speed increase for a tandem, especially over Deep-V rims, and what seems to be uncertain reliability. Our friends with the Rolfs, whom we already outcoast, have sent them back for service at least half a dozen times in 2 years. They've given up on them for ordinary use and now ride a Deep-V wheelset.

  21. #46
    coprolite fietsbob's Avatar
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    The AeroBar setup I had on my long rural commute was, (for me), best when the elbow pads
    were spread apart.
    certainly felt more in control. (than an elbows together position)
    and the Height less 'quadraped', for comfort.

    The higher position, made aerodynamic again, by a Zzipper [Thriller] fairing in front of me.

    Had a front rack and bit of storage space behind the fairing..

    Would be a good tandem setup for those - 2 Up - Brevets, I'd think.
    Last edited by fietsbob; 03-12-13 at 04:50 PM.

  22. #47
    just another gosling Carbonfiberboy's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by fietsbob View Post
    The AeroBar setup I had on my long rural commute was, (for me), best when the elbow pads
    were spread apart.
    certainly felt more in control. (than an elbows together position)
    and the Height less 'quadraped', for comfort.

    The higher position, made aerodynamic again, by a Zzipper [Thriller] fairing in front of me.

    Had a front rack and bit of storage space behind the fairing..

    Would be a good tandem setup for those - 2 Up - Brevets, I'd think.
    I agree on the elbow pads. One of the reasons that I like the Syntace bars is that the pad width is adjustable.

    The fairing idea is certainly coloring outside the box. Drawback is not having the resting position on the 'bars. The fairing only weighs a 1/2 lb. more than the 'bars, not too bad.

  23. #48
    coprolite fietsbob's Avatar
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    I have the original Profile Single tube bull-horn Aero bar combination. they have 2 stubs ,at the stem end,
    that I fitted a extension from a newer Product to, it swings out of interference, when I'm out 'on the horns'

    used the front of the aero bar position to fit the remote shifter levers , down tube type.
    so i suppose I dont do much weight offsetting , it's a +. & + situarion.
    the fairing's struts are on the forward tubes of the Aero bar portion of them,
    which as I say is one tube, the dumbell like Yoke in the center holds it all together in the HB stem.

    anothe Bene is the 'books on tape' literature I borrowed from the public Library were easier to hear through my Ear Buds.

    behind the fairing..

  24. #49
    pan y agua merlinextraligh's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by JamieElenbaas View Post
    Unless riding with very steady wheels, I feel as though I expend more energy within a paceline of singles than I do alone. My take on it is that it is impossible for me to enlist the stoker's help for the dozens of micro accelerations a minute it takes to hold a sloppy wheel..
    Agreed it takes more effort to be smooth in a pace line and deal with surges on the tandem. And sometimes when things are really choppy, I'd rather just pull the whole way,

    That said with practice your stoker can learn to read the feedback through the pedals, and other clues, like clicking free hubs to deal with these issues.
    You could fall off a cliff and die.
    You could get lost and die.
    You could hit a tree and die.
    OR YOU COULD STAY HOME AND FALL OFF THE COUCH AND DIE.

  25. #50
    Senior Member Homeyba's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Carbonfiberboy View Post
    Recs? Something better than our 36H Deep-Vs, good heatsink ability, reasonable cost, reliable. Thanks.
    Reasonable cost is relative. The Deep V's are 30mm which isn't a particularly deep dish wheel. I wouldn't think that they are super fast wheels. My Topolino wheels are 30mm and are noticeably slower than my Zipp 404 wheelset. To be honest, I really don't know of a really cheap solution for you.
    It doesn't get harder, you just go slower.

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