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Metis 07-20-18 10:46 AM

Merckx TT & Pads
Many of our local races are experimenting with the Merckx TT model. The definition is typically: "Standard bikes, standard drop bars, no aero bars, mass start wheels, no aero helmets." The whole idea is to make the races more accessible to people that don't own a TT specific bike or that don't want to haul around two bikes to stage races.

Since every little advantage counts this doesn't stop Merckx TT racers from assuming the IAB (invisible aero bar) position as it's arguably a little faster:

Specialized Aerofly bars have a big flat section on the top of the bar, and some companies like 3T have made bars that take it a step further with added pads. This makes riding in the IAB position way more comfortable on the forearms and since they're mass start equipment are perfectly legal for the Merckx TT. I think the 3T model has the aerobars attached but they come unclipped easily, here's an example of the cushion:

What do people think about adding a small piece of tube pipe insulation or similar for a Merckx TT? Is that against the spirit of the competition or a smart competitive edge? This is assuming the rider using these are comfortable and practiced in the IAB position. Granted this mod costs about $1.50 in parts from Home Depot and could technically be replicated with quadruple wrapping soft bar tape it doesn't seem to put anyone at an unfair equipment advantage.

rubiksoval 07-20-18 02:53 PM

I've seen at least one fairly prominent national-level crit racer on the start line of a crit with grip tape on the flats of his aero bars.

I dunno about a full-on pad, though.

Try it and see? Worst thing that'll happen is they tell you to take it off at the start line, hopefully.

redlude97 07-20-18 03:52 PM

Just pad under the bar tape if you don't want to quadruple wrap. I know some people get bruises, and maybe its because I'm a climber so I have disproportion forearms but I have not problems using the IAB on bare carbon tops. The bigger issue is being able to put down big power without something to grip to IME. I've settled on narrow bars and rotating the hoods in as far as possible to use a narrow sphinx position

colombo357 07-21-18 02:57 PM

I have an idea.

Surgically implanted elbow plates.

You can screw on Shimano SPD cleats to your elbows and "clip in" to the handlebar tops.

Then with the Di3 electronic shifting and braking, you can do all of that with a handheld wireless pendant.

dz_nuzz 07-22-18 06:29 PM

FWIW there is a guy who I have raced against that has glued pads to his road bars. And consistently uses them every race.

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