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Old 11-13-10, 11:44 AM   #1
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Aero bars anyone?

I've only been cycling for 5 years and still learning the ropes. Toured with a friend recently who was using aero bars. He, by example, convenced me to give them a try.

Wow! What a difference they make. Profile Design Airstryke. Very comfortable position, more power, and more aerodynamic. Average speed on my touring bike, no load, went from 12 to 14 mph. No loss of hand positions. No pressure on hands/wrist, and plenty of room for gadgets. Now my preferred position.

I know this post is probably irrelevant to those who actually use their drops or who just must have a bar bag. I've never cared for bar bags, and use bull horns, so the aerobars were a simple addition.

Any of you using aerobars on your touring bike. Thoughts?
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Old 11-13-10, 11:52 AM   #2
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You Young and flexible?

I commuted with a Zzipper Fairing in front of me,

setup the bars much higher and closer

than a typical racers setup, but as the Fairing streamlined the frontal it was fine.

just turned the pedals..

It is harder to enjoy the countryside , crouched over,

but you live in Texas, that may not matter.

You can make a barbag to hang between the aero bars. DIY Sewing..
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Old 11-13-10, 02:29 PM   #3
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You Young and flexible?
Hardly. Why drops are no use to me. Not so stretched out with this bar model. And again, no hand pressure. Need all the help I can get.
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Old 11-13-10, 02:32 PM   #4
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I bought my first set of aero-bars 16 years ago, and have used them constantly since. I consider them indispensable for long distance riding. There are no downsides! In fact, due to an injury, I was unable to tour for several years. The additional positioning possibilities afforded by aero bars saved my touring career.
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Old 11-13-10, 02:50 PM   #5
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I bought my first set of aero-bars 16 years ago, and have used them constantly since. I consider them indispensable for long distance riding. There are no downsides!
Obviously, so do I now.

The downside, as fietsbob mentioned, is the only scenery I see is Texas chipseal if I don't remember to look up. You can miss a lot, even in Texas.
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Old 11-13-10, 03:11 PM   #6
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Given that my purpose for touring is to experience the trip, to enjoy the places I travel through, speed is not something I worry about.
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Old 11-13-10, 07:18 PM   #7
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I use aerobars on my fast brevet bike, but not on my touring or rain bike. I'm not on either one of the latter long enough to really make a difference. Touring, the way to go faster is to spend less time stopped, if that's what you want. If you really are going from a 12 to a 14 average, you save 1/2 hr. on a 60 mile day. But I really doubt that difference, unless you are riding upwind the whole way. Aerobars aren't that noticeable until you go over 18, and are a drag rather than an assist climbing.

But if you need them for comfort, that's a whole 'nother deal. They are extremely comfortable, and also much warmer if you are riding in the cold. I use a cut-off speed: I don't ride them at over 30. I also never ride them around serious corners or turns. Safety first.
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Old 11-13-10, 08:18 PM   #8
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Aero bars are cool.

Check this post and photos out.

http://www.thirdwave-websites.com/bi...ul-trucker.cfm
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Old 11-13-10, 08:20 PM   #9
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I have aero bars on 3 of my bikes, one is my touring bike. I use them when riding into headwinds and to give my hands a rest. There are some downsides to using the aero bars, you can not manuever or handle the bike well. I also notice a speed increase of about 1.5 to 2 mph when using them.
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Old 11-13-10, 08:28 PM   #10
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Aero bars are cool.

Check this post and photos out.

http://www.thirdwave-websites.com/bi...ul-trucker.cfm
Nice, I like the two stems on the steer.
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Old 11-13-10, 09:18 PM   #11
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I bought aerobars many years ago, and used them, and liked them, but had to take them off in order to ride the 2003 PBP. And I never put them on again. I prefered the convenience of a proper handlebar bag to the contraption I rigged up to use with my aerobars. Since then I put the aerobars on the bicycle I use on the trainer because they give me more hand positions and make using the trainer more comfortable.
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Old 11-13-10, 09:56 PM   #12
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I should clarify what I mean when I say I have used aero bars "constantly" for 16 years. I estimate that I use them 10% or 15% during a long tour. The purpose is not to increase speed, but to rest my hands. I also find that riding in the aero position makes it easier to slice through headwinds and climb long hills.

I avoid using them if there is a lot of traffic, if the road surface is uneven, if I might have to brake or change directions suddenly, or if safety dictates that I should keep my hands wrapped around the brake levers.
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Old 11-13-10, 10:25 PM   #13
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Originally Posted by Carbonfiberboy View Post
I use aerobars on my fast brevet bike, but not on my touring or rain bike. I'm not on either one of the latter long enough to really make a difference. Touring, the way to go faster is to spend less time stopped, if that's what you want. If you really are going from a 12 to a 14 average, you save 1/2 hr. on a 60 mile day. But I really doubt that difference, unless you are riding upwind the whole way. Aerobars aren't that noticeable until you go over 18, and are a drag rather than an assist climbing.

But if you need them for comfort, that's a whole 'nother deal. They are extremely comfortable, and also much warmer if you are riding in the cold. I use a cut-off speed: I don't ride them at over 30. I also never ride them around serious corners or turns. Safety first.
Interesting comments. With not nearly the experience you have cycling, or with aerobars, maybe I'll eventually come around to your point of view relative to their utility. (I once thought that clipless pedals were the cat's meow.) Right now, I'm really mystified by your statement that they're a drag climbing. Mind elaborating. At least we agree about their comfort. For me, that will, or should be, their biggest asset when on tour. Time will tell.

Don't use them much with a decent tailwind. Sit upright to catch as much as I can.
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Old 11-14-10, 05:42 AM   #14
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Aerobars are quite popular amongst European tourists on flat bar MTB/hybrids.
I was quite surprised to see them on lots of everyday commuter bike in a windy part of Netherlands, even old ladies use them on 3-speed granny bikes..
You dont need to ride in a deep tuck with aerobars, they help reduce your frontal profile sideways as well as vertically.
I have seen bar bags work with aerobars.
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Old 11-14-10, 09:52 AM   #15
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Interesting comments. With not nearly the experience you have cycling, or with aerobars, maybe I'll eventually come around to your point of view relative to their utility. (I once thought that clipless pedals were the cat's meow.) Right now, I'm really mystified by your statement that they're a drag climbing. Mind elaborating. At least we agree about their comfort. For me, that will, or should be, their biggest asset when on tour. Time will tell.

Don't use them much with a decent tailwind. Sit upright to catch as much as I can.
I just meant that they weigh a pound. Every pound hurts, climbing. Though I have used them on long shallow pass climbs where there's a 20 kt wind coming down the pass. I also get 1.5-2 mph out of them, but not that average speed increase over the day because I tend to ride in hilly terrain.

Aerobars on the trainer is an interesting idea. Most of us don't have the conditioning to make best use of them because we don't spend all that much time on them. They do change the way your whole muscular pedaling system works. So the more you use them, the more you'll get out of them. I don't have a trainer and find them quite a challenge on the rollers. Maybe I'll have to work on that more after I repaint my brevet bike this winter.

I'm getting better at piloting our tandem, so I'm thinking about adding a set there. I've been told that a tandem will get even more out of them than a single. I'm not sure that Stoker can spend much time low yet, though.

Any tips for helping to get and stay low, Machka?
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Old 11-14-10, 10:43 AM   #16
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I added them right after I mashed my Ulnar Nerves 5 years ago. It numbed up my hands for months. I use them to give my hands a break, and it is a very comfortable pedaling position. Someone here once called them "prairie bars" because they aren't added for the aero quality, but for comfortably pedaling long stretches.





I made the extensions for the arm rests and the bag mounts as I still wanted to use my handlebar bag.

Tom
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Old 11-14-10, 11:51 AM   #17
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I added them right after I mashed my Ulnar Nerves 5 years ago. It numbed up my hands for months. I use them to give my hands a break, and it is a very comfortable pedaling position. Someone here once called them "prairie bars" because they aren't added for the aero quality, but for comfortably pedaling long stretches.

I made the extensions for the arm rests and the bag mounts as I still wanted to use my handlebar bag.

Tom
Wow Tom. That is the cleanest, best laid out cockpit I've seen in a long time. How long did it take to set something like that up? Was that a custom job?
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Old 11-14-10, 01:16 PM   #18
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Wow Tom. That is the cleanest, best laid out cockpit I've seen in a long time. How long did it take to set something like that up? Was that a custom job?
Wow, thanks. I made the frame, fork, and the stem. Here are a few more pictures:

http://www.flickriver.com/photos/cli...7624505281671/

I modified the brackets so my Arkel bar would hang lower, and made the extensions to raise the arm rests.

Tom
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Old 11-14-10, 01:49 PM   #19
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Wow Tom. That is the cleanest, best laid out cockpit I've seen in a long time. How long did it take to set something like that up? Was that a custom job?
Agreed. What stem riser is that?
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Old 11-14-10, 02:13 PM   #20
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Agreed. What stem riser is that?
Hi Jayr,

It really isn't a riser. I extended the head-tube above the lug, and then above the headset is the stem, which I cut to equal the height I wanted. I wanted to match the top tube angle and the stem angle so the head-tube and stem looks quite long. But it is exactly what I wanted.
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Old 11-14-10, 03:04 PM   #21
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There are no downsides.
Actually there are... which is why they won't allow them on many group rides. There's a serious degradation of control if you need to react quickly.
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Old 11-14-10, 07:27 PM   #22
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That's a really beautiful bike. All the little details are fantastic and the Woodies really set it off. I got to get me some of those for my stretch cruiser. Nice job.
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Old 11-15-10, 09:56 AM   #23
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.





Sir, that is the classiest looking touring set up I've ever seen. The bike is a work of art.
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Old 11-17-10, 04:35 PM   #24
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One more vote for using aerobars on a long distance / touring bike. I also use them primarily for a complete change in hand position and weight distribution, it provides a welcome rest and they can be very comfortable. Not only do they relieve pressure on the hands, but the pressure on my butt moves to a different spot and there is less weight on it, which is also a nice change.

If a strong headwind picks up, then I may use the aerobars for aerodynamics, but I find using the drops is equally good for that; even so, it's still good to have two positions to switch between in those situations.

Make sure you practice using the bars on an unloaded bike first though, before you start getting hunched over and narrow while fully loaded.

Last edited by Chris_W; 11-18-10 at 11:06 AM.
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Old 11-17-10, 09:30 PM   #25
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.





Sir, that is the classiest looking touring set up I've ever seen. The bike is a work of art.
Thank you Cyclebum, I take that as quite a compliment.

Tom
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