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Old 07-20-07, 02:52 PM   #1
fueledbymetal
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Aero Bars on a Road bike - when to use them?

I'm looking into a set of aero bars for my road bike to tide me over until I can afford an actual tri bike. I've done a fair amount of research on the web and decided I will probbaly go with the Profile Jammer GT.

My question is that since I will be retaining my stock shifters in their stock location, when should I be using the aero bars? On long streches were I won't be shifting or in between each and every shift?
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Old 07-20-07, 02:57 PM   #2
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I generally stay in the bars for longer stretches. If I'm going to be shifting a lot, I don't see any advantge to be in the bars. If the course is changing that much, I just stay in the drops and shift that way
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Old 07-20-07, 03:00 PM   #3
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I generally stay in the bars for longer stretches. If I'm going to be shifting a lot, I don't see any advantge to be in the bars. If the course is changing that much, I just stay in the drops and shift that way
So you don't spend any time on the hoods then? I've only been cycling for about 2 months now so I'm still learning (running is my strong area ).
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Old 07-20-07, 03:54 PM   #4
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Also former runner, new biker here. Still have a lot to learn in controlling the bike. After getting my first road bike and installed aero bars (about a month ago), I had trouble with the aero position. The biking felt like it was going all over the place and I became afraid of trying it in public :-) Now I got used to it... I'd go aero when there's a long flat stretch with no turns (or easy ones). However, since I road local roads, didn't find any very long stretch, so usually it's like 1-2 minutes at a time. You can shift while in aero (just reach for the shifter), once you set up you 'll probably need only 1-2 shifts as you gain speed. Otherwise, I'm mostly on the hoods, I don't see the use for drops if I have the aeros.
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Old 07-20-07, 07:47 PM   #5
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I'm coming from a biking background so I feel pretty comfortable on the aero bars. I am on them whenever it isn't sketchy (ie hard turns or bumps) or climbing. (I love to see guys climbing on the aero bars because I know I'm about to pass them). Shifting isn't a big deal, just reach over to the brifter and do it. No biggie. (Although if I was shifting more frequently than every 30 seconds I would probably just stay in the drops. Any longer and I'd go to the aero bars.)
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Old 07-20-07, 11:59 PM   #6
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I love riding in the aero bars now. In fact I am beginning to enjoy riding my TT rig more than my regular road bike. It took a couple of rides to get used the the handling. For the first week I wobbled like crazy. Then after that it felt ok. It took another month or two to adapt to the position. It may be different though if you are talking about aerobars vs full TT rig where the fit may be really different.
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Old 07-21-07, 09:36 AM   #7
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If you're comfortable riding on just one aero bar, there's no reason to leave the aero position at all when shifting - just keep one arm on its bar while you reach to shift with the other.
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Old 07-25-07, 07:48 PM   #8
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my biggest worry is on downhills over 45mph I want to be on the aerobars, but the idea of being unable to get to the brakes freaks me out. The only time I've ever stayed on the bars was in a race with alot of huge downhills that I knew I was going to lose time If i didnt. 55mph is pretty scary when you know you are more likely to wreck taking a hand off the aerobars than taking a turn too loose.
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Old 07-25-07, 10:21 PM   #9
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my biggest worry is on downhills over 45mph I want to be on the aerobars, but the idea of being unable to get to the brakes freaks me out. The only time I've ever stayed on the bars was in a race with alot of huge downhills that I knew I was going to lose time If i didnt. 55mph is pretty scary when you know you are more likely to wreck taking a hand off the aerobars than taking a turn too loose.
Unless it's a dead straight downhill, you'll likely go just as fast in the drops (and have a lot more control) than on the aero bars.

Being on the aero bars at that kind of speed is asking for trouble...what are you going to do if you notice a road crack, rocks, glass, etc.? In the drops, it's easy to twitch the bike left or right 6-12" to avoid problems...on the aero bars, you're committed to your line.

55 is scary but feasible in the drops...on aero bars, it's just insane.
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Old 07-25-07, 10:54 PM   #10
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cibai, on downhills I usually go in the drops.. not only to be closer to the brakes, but also because I don't feel very stable in aero anyway...
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Old 07-26-07, 04:30 PM   #11
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yeah the drop position is actually more aero. believe it or not.
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Old 07-27-07, 08:42 AM   #12
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I believe it: I can get a much deeper tuck down there. But I can't pedal anything like as well, which is why I use the aerobars for those sections where you need to grind out the power.
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Old 07-27-07, 09:32 AM   #13
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HA HA, if its more aero to use the drops, why do proffesional time-trialists, TdF prologue etc etc use tt specific bikes? maybe you should call up the companies that are wasting millions of dollars/pounds on research and let them know to simply use the drops!
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Old 07-27-07, 09:50 AM   #14
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HA HA, if its more aero to use the drops, why do proffesional time-trialists, TdF prologue etc etc use tt specific bikes? maybe you should call up the companies that are wasting millions of dollars/pounds on research and let them know to simply use the drops!
I think the discussion was about using the drops vs. aero bars when going down hill.

Above 35 mph or so, the drops are just as aero, and a whole lot safer, than being on the aero bars. Without the need to pedal, you can get your nose right down on the stem, and your chest right down on the top tube.

It's fun to experiment with this, and amazing how much speed you can pick up without turning a pedal stroke just by getting low and narrow. But, at those speeds I also have some significant "control issues"...and there's no way I'm hanging out on the aero bars, even if it resulted in 1 or 2 more mph.
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Old 07-27-07, 12:56 PM   #15
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I use my aero bars on flats when I know I won't need to shift for a while. Not downhill, (not uphill!). Man, I'm shaky on them though. I've only had them on for a couple of weeks new, take some getting used to. I'm finding them harder to adjust to than the old days when I first went to clipless pedals!
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