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Old 03-15-07, 06:33 AM   #1
Steele-Bike
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Aerobars for Touring

This summer I plan on doing a little state-wide tour called Ragbrai. With my only bike being a hardtail mountain bike, I will likely pull a BOB and add some aerobars for hand positions. My question...what should I look for in aerobars. My wife won't let me go to France, so I won't be on the Tour any time soon, thus I really only need these areobars for very occasional use. I would assume that you get what you pay for, but since I don't need great longivity, would a cheaper set do the trick?
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Old 03-15-07, 07:36 AM   #2
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Just add bar ends. It's easier to get to the brakes from bar ends than from an aero bar position. It's also easier to control the bike, which in a mass of recreational riders is pretty important.
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Old 03-15-07, 09:35 AM   #3
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Aero bars will not only change hand position; they will change body position. If that's what you're after, they're really nice to have.

I paid 'bout $100 for mine, and I'm really happy with them.
The cheaper ones seem to weigh more, and it's nice to have quality arm cushions.
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Old 03-15-07, 09:38 AM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Shemp
Just add bar ends. It's easier to get to the brakes from bar ends than from an aero bar position. It's also easier to control the bike, which in a mass of recreational riders is pretty important.
I have bar ends, and they do help a lot with hand numbness. I just thought maybe an additional bar would help relieve tired hands.

Good point on the control issue. I have never tried aerobars, but I would assume that one wouldn't want to stop real fast while using them. I guess I just have to shake the hands loose as usual.
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Old 03-15-07, 09:43 AM   #5
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Just my opinion, but you will be in for exciting moments using aerobars on a loaded bike, or pulling a trailer.
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Old 03-15-07, 09:57 AM   #6
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As someone had posted on here before: http://www.wallbike.com/oddsnends.html#bars
Also, I am very happy with the Nashbar trekking bars on my Mtb. conversion. I think ended up paying about $15.
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Old 03-15-07, 10:35 AM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Monoborracho
Just my opinion, but you will be in for exciting moments using aerobars on a loaded bike, or pulling a trailer.
especially in a ride with thousands of people like ragbrai. aerobars and a trailer in the middle lots of drunken cyclists of questionable handling skills doesn't sound like a good plan
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Old 03-15-07, 06:58 PM   #8
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My 2 cents: I tour on a hybrid bike which is a lot like a mtb, and I put clip on type aerobars on and I enjoy them immensely as compared to bar ends. I bought a set used on EBAY for less than 20 bucks. They were adjustable.

I agree with the other advice here that you might not want to use them at high speed and or in crowds. However, toodling along on a quiet country road, climbing a long hill, I love being able to stretch out along the top tube. It shifts the weight off your wrists and allows your back and backside to shift around. After some experimentation, I removed the elbow rests and rest my forearms on the padded handlebar grips.

It works for me.
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Old 03-15-07, 07:48 PM   #9
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I first added aerobars to a touring bike 13 years ago, and I would not consider doing without them. As others have said, they are not for times when you need quick access to the brakes, but they are perfect for riding on quiet country roads, climbing steep hills, and resting the hands (because you do not need to grip aerobars.)

I have Profile Airstrykes. The padded cups are spring-loaded, so you don't lose a riding position that you do with non-spring loaded cups. Some people find they rattle, but I haven't noticed.

http://www.profile-design.com/2006_p...airstryke.html
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Old 03-15-07, 08:48 PM   #10
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I went out and snapped a picture of my touring bars and the hybrid I use for touring. Check it out. They are profile designs also.
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Old 03-16-07, 09:59 PM   #11
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I put aero bars on last summer and love, love, love them. I think they are Profile "Century" or something like that. They have flip-up arm rests so they stay out of the way of the rest of the hand positions. I got them on ebay for around $70, I think.

You can see pics from a variety of angles on this page:
http://www.crazyguyonabike.com/doc/p..._id=33505&v=OK

I also jacked up the handlebars a couple of inches and added Bar Phat gel (by specialized) under the bar tape and didn't have any trouble for 5000 miles with my hands, even though my previous RAGBRAI had left me with numb hands for a couple of weeks after.

edit: The model I got was AirStryke, not Century.

Last edited by imafencer; 03-17-07 at 09:14 AM.
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Old 03-16-07, 11:10 PM   #12
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I just put a set of the Profile Airstryke bars on my commuter. I love them! They came in extra handy this afternoon, I left work at 4:48 trying to make it the almost three miles to the bank downtown before closing time at 5 ... With a 20 mph headwind the whole way! Made it with two minutes to spare. Talk about some good interval training! (Sprinting between stop lights at 22 mph level with that much headwind is a GREAT workout! )

edit: Oh, and to add something at least a LITTLE touring related: I rode home the other day loaded with 45-50 lbs of groceries on my rear rack, using the Aerobars and had no problems controlling the bike.
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Old 03-17-07, 09:47 AM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bmclaughlin807
Oh, and to add something at least a LITTLE touring related: I rode home the other day loaded with 45-50 lbs of groceries on my rear rack, using the Aerobars and had no problems controlling the bike.
Still, one needs to take care. Like you, I have no problems controlling a fully-loaded bike from the aerobars, but I pay extra attention to the road. I would not want to hit a big pothole or bump while in the aerobar position.
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Old 03-17-07, 02:29 PM   #14
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NAshbar has the Profile design Split Second bars (these are great!) for 55.00 US (normally > 100.00). This weekend only!
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Old 04-11-07, 10:33 AM   #15
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“…the aero bar (triathlon bar) is not just an accessory one attaches to one's bike; the aero bar actually turns the bike into a sort of front recumbent in which the rider attaches and weights himself to the bike using different parts of his body.”
The article is here http://www.cervelo.com/content.aspx?...g&i=TriBikeFit .
An additional bonus after replacing the 80 cm suspension fork on my MTB with a rigid one was changing in bike geometry so that the angle of the seat has changed from 73 to 76 degrees. That is good if you use aerobars on mtb for touring.

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Old 04-11-07, 02:55 PM   #16
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Steele,
I have aerobars on all of my bikes. They are very important when riding long distances into the wind, and provide a real change of positions for the hands. Across the southern tour with loaded rear panniers I found no negatives to the bars and a lot of positives. If you find yourself in a group/paceline of roadies, don't use the bars or there will be a riot. Bar ends also provide additional hand positions, but do not allow you to get down out of the wind and reduce your drag. It all depends on what you want.

I notice that some of the negative comments so far have been from those who haven't tried aerobars.
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Old 04-11-07, 03:15 PM   #17
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I would use my aero bars on my touring bike if they had flip up arm rests, but as it is they block the top flat section of the bars and don't let me use my inline CX levers.
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Old 04-13-07, 05:31 PM   #18
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While on tour around lake ontario last year my riding partner had a these bull nose like aero bars. He said they were great for changing the riding position and relaxing some muscles after hour 5 of riding. The only negative, no handle bar bag would fit. Nontheless, I'm thinking of getting a pair for my next tour, using the front pannier rack with a MEC Ratpack for maps and odds & ends.
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Old 04-20-07, 09:34 AM   #19
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I picked up some Profile Airstrykes on eBay for 40 bucks. I'm a huge fan of the flip up arm pads and I don't think I would buy any without that feature. I've just started using them about a week ago and so far I love them. I have yet to ride with a loaded bike but so far I'm pretty sure that I will be touring with them this summer.
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Old 04-20-07, 10:20 AM   #20
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My aerobars don't fit on my new Safari because the bar is too narrow. But man do I miss them, especially riding in the 15 to 20 mph Illinois wind on my commute. I am thinking about transfering the trekking bars from my old bike where the aerobars worked. I haved not tried them with a fully loaded bike but my rear panniers that I carry for commuting weigh 22lbs and the (old) bike handles fine.
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Old 05-07-07, 01:31 PM   #21
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Please!! if you're going to do Ragbrai with aero bars, make sure you get LOTS of miles in on them first. WAY too many inexperienced riders go get them right before the ride for 'comfort' and become a road hazard. better yet, leave them off for the ride, safety is better than comfort, that's why we wear helmets.
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Old 05-07-07, 01:56 PM   #22
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Most hardtail mountian bikes have a few degrees of rearwar seat tube slope more than a road bike, and time trial/triathalon often have a degree of forward from standard. So to actually get any more aero you will not have the seat/pedal relationship required. You also have to take into consideration the top tube length, usually short, and your torso length. Can't say it won't be more comfortable in a stretching way, but a lot of these units are not aero on an MTB. I saw one set-up that was so vertical it could hardly have been worse if the guy stood up. Aero bars are really designed for closed courses and picked road surfaces, which is not the best description of the roads where I live.
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