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What is an “Aero” brake lever?

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What is an “Aero” brake lever?

Old 07-26-20, 08:47 PM
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Tomm Willians
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What is an “Aero” brake lever?

My gf and I are interested in doing an Eroica event when the world returns to normal and see by the rules that Aero brake levers are not permitted. Googling that term I’m coming up with so many descriptions I’m still not sure what they are? Help !
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Old 07-26-20, 08:59 PM
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  1. Aero levers have concealed cables under the bar tape.
  2. They ARE allowed; as of a few years ago.
  3. Combo brake lever-shifters are not allowed.
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Old 07-26-20, 09:00 PM
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Thank you !
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Old 07-26-20, 09:26 PM
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Non aero




Aero just means you dont see the cable loops over the handlebars.




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Old 07-26-20, 09:39 PM
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Non aero brake levers are actually more aero, the studies of the time showed, but they don't look as cool.
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Old 07-26-20, 09:39 PM
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Originally Posted by DiabloScott View Post
They ARE allowed; as of a few years ago.
This is correct for Eroica California, but just noting non-aero brake levers are still required for L'Eroica Italy.
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Old 07-26-20, 10:54 PM
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Originally Posted by Salamandrine View Post
Non aero brake levers are actually more aero, the studies of the time showed, but they don't look as cool.
I would have guessed the difference to be so small that it would be buried in the noise beyond ready measuring. OTOH, they do have the advantage of moving cables out of the way if you want to install aero extension bars for time trials.

Personally, I’ve been using non-aero levers lately and they are looking normal to me again. One thing I really appreciate is they make installation, repair and replacement almost as simple as flat bar levers.

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Old 07-26-20, 11:53 PM
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Originally Posted by Salamandrine View Post
Non aero brake levers ... don't look as cool.
They don't look cool with giant loops of housing rising from them, but look way cool with the perfect amount, especially with nice gum hoods.
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Old 07-27-20, 10:42 AM
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Originally Posted by Tomm Willians View Post
My gf and I are interested in doing an Eroica event when the world returns to normal and see by the rules that Aero brake levers are not permitted.
That's kind of a dumb rule. By 1987 (cutoff year for Eroica bikes if I understand correctly), a lot of Japanese bikes already come with aero levers from the factory.
https://www.sheldonbrown.com/bridges...ne-1987-09.htm
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Old 07-27-20, 12:03 PM
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Originally Posted by icemilkcoffee View Post
That's kind of a dumb rule. By 1987 (cutoff year for Eroica bikes if I understand correctly), a lot of Japanese bikes already come with aero levers from the factory.
https://www.sheldonbrown.com/bridges...ne-1987-09.htm
Presumably why they dropped the rule. They're stock on my '85 Ironman, and it was a common upgrade for "current" bikes going back to the mid-'80s.
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Old 07-27-20, 01:13 PM
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Originally Posted by icemilkcoffee View Post
That's kind of a dumb rule. By 1987 (cutoff year for Eroica bikes if I understand correctly), a lot of Japanese bikes already come with aero levers from the factory.
https://www.sheldonbrown.com/bridges...ne-1987-09.htm
I agree. It's kind of pointless and capricious of the Eroica organizers to keep aero levers out of the rides, just for aesthetics' sake. Same goes for clipless pedals that were commercially available by 1985. Also, lugged CF frames were actually available way back since 1976ish. Low production lugged CF frames, even a bit earlier than that.
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Old 07-27-20, 01:20 PM
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a few people actually have posted pics of themselves riding Exxon Grafteks at Eroica.
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Old 07-27-20, 03:58 PM
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Originally Posted by madpogue View Post
Presumably why they dropped the rule. (...)
I don't think so.

For the Italians (and the rest of the Europeans, for that matter) the 'heroic' period in bicycle racing was when the likes of Ottavio Bottecchia, Gino Bartali, Fausto Coppi, Gastone Nencini and Felice Gimondi were ruling the racing scene. In those days road racing was a predominantly European thing, where the Italians, Belgians, French, Spaniards, Luxembourgers, Germans and Dutch were battling on the medieval roads of western Europe for the wins in the Giro d'Italia, the Tour de France and the Ronde van Vlaanderen.
The riders were mostly former farm hands and factory workers from poor families who discovered that if you were smart and willing to work hard there was more money to be made in cycling than in working in the fields or mills.

L'Eroica celebrates that era, its riders and the bikes they rode.

During the eighties things changed in a big way. The Americans came onto the scene, led by Greg Lemond, followed by the Australians and the Colombians. Road cycling became a global TV sport. Big sponsors arrived and budgets were increased. Young talents were hunted and promising riders got personal mental coaches and fresh new bar tape every day. Wool became lycra and bikes became aero. Giulia Occhini and Yvette Horner were replaced by Pamela Anderson and Sheryl Crow.

It is not so hard to understand why most Europeans can't fathom why you would consider a bike with clipless pedals and aero levers 'eroica', nor why the Americans don't understand why you can't if their biggest hero rode with them for most of his career. For most Americans '87 was really just the beginning of their heroic period in road racing.

It makes a lot of sense to have an American Eroica event that focuses on the 80's and 90's.
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Old 07-27-20, 04:01 PM
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one of my favorite periods in bike design was that weird 90s period when people were running mixes of carbon/steel/aluminum/titanium in the peloton, and i want to make a race for bikes between 1987-1998 and call it l'EPOrica
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Old 07-27-20, 04:58 PM
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Originally Posted by sheddle View Post
one of my favorite periods in bike design was that weird 90s period when people were running mixes of carbon/steel/aluminum/titanium in the peloton, and i want to make a race for bikes between 1987-1998 and call it l'EPOrica

If you organize this race, I will bring no fewer than three Vitus 979 riders to the event.
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Old 07-27-20, 05:55 PM
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Originally Posted by non-fixie View Post
L'Eroica celebrates that era, its riders and the bikes they rode.
Which is why they allow completely fake "classic" 21st-Century built bikes with 10-speed cassettes......
It makes a lot of sense to have an American Eroica event that focuses on the 80's and 90's.
Isn't that what the OP is inquiring about?
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Old 07-27-20, 06:59 PM
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Originally Posted by non-fixie View Post
I don't think so.

For the Italians (and the rest of the Europeans, for that matter) the 'heroic' period in bicycle racing was when the likes of Ottavio Bottecchia, Gino Bartali, Fausto Coppi, Gastone Nencini and Felice Gimondi were ruling the racing scene. In those days road racing was a predominantly European thing, where the Italians, Belgians, French, Spaniards, Luxembourgers, Germans and Dutch were battling on the medieval roads of western Europe for the wins in the Giro d'Italia, the Tour de France and the Ronde van Vlaanderen.
The riders were mostly former farm hands and factory workers from poor families who discovered that if you were smart and willing to work hard there was more money to be made in cycling than in working in the fields or mills.

L'Eroica celebrates that era, its riders and the bikes they rode.

During the eighties things changed in a big way. The Americans came onto the scene, led by Greg Lemond, followed by the Australians and the Colombians. Road cycling became a global TV sport. Big sponsors arrived and budgets were increased. Young talents were hunted and promising riders got personal mental coaches and fresh new bar tape every day. Wool became lycra and bikes became aero. Giulia Occhini and Yvette Horner were replaced by Pamela Anderson and Sheryl Crow.

It is not so hard to understand why most Europeans can't fathom why you would consider a bike with clipless pedals and aero levers 'eroica', nor why the Americans don't understand why you can't if their biggest hero rode with them for most of his career. For most Americans '87 was really just the beginning of their heroic period in road racing.

It makes a lot of sense to have an American Eroica event that focuses on the 80's and 90's.

Exactly.

Not that Eroica is my sort of thing exactly- but I take it as an event to celebrate 'doing it the old fashioned way.' And it seems it's got to have people that want to be included, but don't want to deal with the discomfort of actually 'doing it the old fashioned way,' then complain (loudly) that the tyrannical organizers won't allow things that don't fall under the original concept and rules... And even when the original rules and concept is tweaked to accommodate people- then there's people that need to covertly try to sneak in modern stuff...
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Old 07-27-20, 07:02 PM
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To be honest if they had wanted to eliminate people complaining about being barred from entering their circa 1984 Dura Ace AX bikes, they should have picked an earlier cutoff than 1987.
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Old 07-27-20, 08:19 PM
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Originally Posted by non-fixie View Post

L'Eroica celebrates that era, its riders and the bikes they rode.
You know, regardless of the example "cut off" year, aero brake levers weren't really the harbingers of the modern technical era of cycling - you could make a case that it was clipless pedals, but more obviously it was alternate materials aluminum and carbon fiber, and indexed shifting; that's about the time that big money got into the sport and changed things. So yeah, Fausto had exposed brake cables and slotted cleats but he would still have been heroic on more modern steel frame with hidden cables; maybe less so with wireless electronic shifting.
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Old 07-27-20, 08:22 PM
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Originally Posted by SurferRosa View Post
They don't look cool with giant loops of housing rising from them, but look way cool with the perfect amount, especially with nice gum hoods.
I was guilty of that for a while because I was still tweaking stem height and wasn’t sure about length. I went ahead and trimmed them down to a good length today once I felt I had a pretty clear idea of the maximum stem height I would use.

Not only looks cooler but stays out of my face when descending in a crouch! 😊

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Old 07-28-20, 01:13 PM
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Originally Posted by madpogue View Post
Which is why they allow completely fake "classic" 21st-Century built bikes with 10-speed cassettes......
As L'Eroica is a celebration of their heroic period, they invited people with bikes of that period or bikes that were built as a tribute to it. Down tube shifters and non-aero brakes were given as a guideline for the non-cognoscenti, as was "1987", presumably because that was more or less the last year classic, non-aero bikes were offered by the major manufacturers.

Bianchi built a tribute bike as best they could, using what is available new. Obviously they couldn't use second-hand parts, like you and I would. I think they did a pretty good job of making a tribute bike that looks the part and is saleable as well. I have seen quite a few on the road. As for the 10-speed cluster, I would have preferred a 5-speed, but looking at their end result, I can easily live with that. After all, I can't get up those Tuscan hills with a 13-17 corncob either.

Originally Posted by madpogue View Post
Isn't that what the OP is inquiring about?
Maybe. I think P!N20 gave a useful answer by pointing out the difference between the European and American Eroica rules. Which, I'd like to stress, I think was a good decision.
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Old 07-28-20, 03:38 PM
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Old 07-28-20, 05:39 PM
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Non-Aero...


Aero...


Brifter - Brake/Shifter combined)...
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Old 07-28-20, 07:59 PM
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Originally Posted by The Golden Boy View Post
Exactly.

Not that Eroica is my sort of thing exactly- but I take it as an event to celebrate 'doing it the old fashioned way.' And it seems it's got to have people that want to be included, but don't want to deal with the discomfort of actually 'doing it the old fashioned way,' then complain (loudly) that the tyrannical organizers won't allow things that don't fall under the original concept and rules... And even when the original rules and concept is tweaked to accommodate people- then there's people that need to covertly try to sneak in modern stuff...
Just moved an ‘86 Miyata 710, came with aero brake levers, it would “pass” for Eroica, but If I were going to play, I’d run something more in the spirit. Aero’s at Eroica is like going to the Renn Fair in a poet shirt, jeans, and a sword. If you’re going to do it, put a LITTLE effort into it! 😆😆😆


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Old 07-28-20, 08:14 PM
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Originally Posted by Mr. Spadoni View Post
If you are giving the party, you get to set the dress code.
They also made a concession for gearing - something like "given how steep some of the climbs are, you can put on granny gears". And of course also for helmets because insurance.

Who's more in keeping with the heroic theme - the guy with a totally legit classic bike and period-correct parts who does the parade route along the coast? Or the guy who does 110 miles and 8,000 feet vertical on gravel roads in the back country but has hidden cables and an external bottom bracket?
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