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Increase my speed!!!

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Increase my speed!!!

Old 11-10-04, 04:12 AM
  #1  
pointlessone
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Increase my speed!!!

Has anyone got any bright ideas about ways to increase my spped on my flat bar road racer. I was considering adding aerobars to give me the option of a more aerodynamic position on the straights. However i want to keep the flat bars because A) im used to them (moutain biker at heart) B) because i like the added control they give navigating the cars in central london and C) i dont like drop bars. Are aero bars a waste of time?
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Old 11-10-04, 06:14 AM
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Find a hill?


Aerobars are generally sized for road (drop) bars.
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Old 11-10-04, 06:30 AM
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Make sure there your tyre pressure is high enough, I was amazed at the difference once I got a track pump that could inflate the tyres properly.

I've been thinking about this as I just got a new bike and went from drop to flat handlebars. Generally I like them but my 15 mile commute now takes an extra 5 minutes
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Old 11-10-04, 06:33 AM
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I put an aero bar on my flat bar road bike. I like it because it gives my hands a needed rest and it is good for at least a one gear upshift.
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Old 11-10-04, 07:25 AM
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Aerobars are only useful on long open roads such as in time trials or tours. They are not really very effective for urban riding, hills, descents.
If you place your hands fairly low and close together, it doesnt matter what shape the bar is, the important factor is the position of your hands, relative to your saddle.
You may want to check out some mini-aerobars, called Spinnacci. They are now illegal on race bikes, but were a big hit with the riders.

Besides position, there are other factors:
Tyre choice and pressure are key to efficiency. For an urban ride, you want a fair amount of protection, so a 25-32mm width is suitable. Use a track pump to maintain the max pressure on the tyre wall.
Pedal system and footwear can improve your power delivery.
Cadence and pedalling style are something you can work on.
For urban riding, your journey time is really set by how quick you go, not how fast. Improving quickness in the slow parts makes a big difference. Pick a route with care, time your arrival at lights and junctions, keep moving even at a slow speed, rather than come to a stop.

Last edited by MichaelW; 11-10-04 at 07:59 AM.
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Old 11-10-04, 07:39 AM
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Another thing to think about is average speed, as opposed to cruising speed. If you are commuting with the flow of traffic and following all the traffic laws, any extra speed you get from aerobars might easily be offset by having to stop at a traffic light.
On the other hand, aerobars could reduce your maneuverability in traffic, possibly compromising your safety.
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No worries
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Old 11-10-04, 07:51 AM
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You could go to bullhorn timetrial bars for more stretch if you don't like drops.
These are Syntace Stratos zero drop:




These are inverted drop bars with the drops cut off:
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Old 11-10-04, 08:24 AM
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I am a bullhorn rider like in the above photos, you can stretch out a little more lowering your profile to the wind. Also the bullhorns provide two great advantages: they put your hands right on the brakes, ( if you have STI shifters then you have everything at your fingertips) also they provide more hand positions. You may still want those there flatbars, but the bullhorns are great for traffic riding. Good luck!
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Old 11-10-04, 08:31 AM
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thanks people, something to think about there. may pop down to my local bike shop and see what they have there. The mini-aerobar idea is one i'll check out too! thanks again!

ride fast... ride hard... dont fall off!.... a lesson for everyone!!!!!!
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Old 11-10-04, 08:43 AM
  #10  
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Just checked out the cinelli spinaci bars. Very cool! could be just what im looking for. And they are really affordable, even the TOTR drilled model! Super good ideas all round!

Last edited by pointlessone; 11-10-04 at 10:17 AM.
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Old 11-10-04, 08:55 AM
  #11  
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Originally Posted by cheg
You could go to bullhorn timetrial bars for more stretch if you don't like drops.
These are Syntace Stratos zero drop:




These are inverted drop bars with the drops cut off:
That's a cool ride you got there. Don't you worry about those stem shifters damaging the goodies, though? I would think thumb shifters might be something to consider.
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Old 11-10-04, 10:22 AM
  #12  
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Do 'bullhorn' tri bars like the 'Profile Airwing' Road Bar work with standard shifter/brake set up. would rather not have to pay out big bucks in changing the whole set up. I know not changing the set up will will compromise ease of shifting and braking when in a more aero position.
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Old 11-10-04, 10:48 AM
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It's not the bars, it's the engine. Is it truely a road bike? What's the gearing? If it's a converted MTB with slicks and MTB gearing, you will go slow.

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Old 11-10-04, 10:33 PM
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Originally Posted by nick burns
That's a cool ride you got there. Don't you worry about those stem shifters damaging the goodies, though?
Thanks. It's just like sailing - the idea is not to fall off the boat.

[QUOTE-nick burns]I would think thumb shifters might be something to consider.[/QUOTE]
Actually, the one on the folding bike IS a Suntour thumb shifter. I had a hard time figuring out where to put the shift levers on these bars because I don't like brifters and I don't like downtube shifters. This works, though.
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Old 11-10-04, 10:42 PM
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Originally Posted by pointlessone
Do 'bullhorn' tri bars like the 'Profile Airwing' Road Bar work with standard shifter/brake set up. would rather not have to pay out big bucks in changing the whole set up. I know not changing the set up will will compromise ease of shifting and braking when in a more aero position.
Er, well, no the usual way to use bull horns is to use barend brakes and put the shifters on the aerobar attachment. You may be able to clamp brifters on near the ends of the bars but cable routing could be awkward. You might be able to use inverted drop bars with the drops cut off high enough to mount your brake lever upsidedown...

BTW: the rig I have was cheap to build up because I got used friction stem shifters, and there ain't much demand for those these days.
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Old 11-11-04, 03:44 AM
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In reply to markw, yes it is a true road bike. Have a look at the ridgeback website, www.ridgebackbikes.co.uk/, i have the genesis day 02. My problem really is my aerodynamic position. I have quite a high level of fitness and have been riding for many years on mountain bikes. My problem is i can really feel the air resistance slowing me down.
It also looks like i may have to consider moving my shifters and brakes then!
thanks again all!
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Old 11-11-04, 07:18 AM
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... wind resistance is your enemy... that's never going to change... but some drop bars might help a little
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Old 11-11-04, 07:36 AM
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I find aerobars (Strike Carbon, Ironman) very useful. I have a long back and shorter than average legs for my height (6ft). Aerobars were scary for the first week then I got used to them. Im not comfortable using the drop downs so bars were my solution. Usually pick up at least one or two miles per hour. I dont think they are just for the flat.......Ulrich uses them for hills also for instance....I think it was him?
The aerobars also allow you to get into a more rigid upper body position so there is less give when you put the pressure on the pedal, and therefore more speed....so I also dont understand all this nonsense about not needing a strong upper body for cycling...strong arms will help you into a more rigid upper body position for putting pressure on the bars at the same time as putting pressure on the pedals.
Sometimes I get into a great springy type of momentum, pulling the aerobars with my fingers and pushing my upper body slightly forward at the same time as putting pressure on the pedals.....works well and as I said, less give than keeping your hands on the top of the drops....Just my opinions.

Niall
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Old 11-11-04, 08:53 AM
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Hey, what are Brifters? A typo? or Barend shifters, Thanks
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Old 11-11-04, 09:15 AM
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Originally Posted by pointlessone
In reply to markw, yes it is a true road bike. Have a look at the ridgeback website, www.ridgebackbikes.co.uk/, i have the genesis day 02. My problem really is my aerodynamic position. I have quite a high level of fitness and have been riding for many years on mountain bikes. My problem is i can really feel the air resistance slowing me down.
It also looks like i may have to consider moving my shifters and brakes then!
thanks again all!
Maybe some bar ends for your flat bar? That would stretch you out a little further.
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Old 11-11-04, 09:18 AM
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Originally Posted by nycm'er
Hey, what are Brifters? A typo? or Barend shifters, Thanks
According to Sheldon Brown, Brifters are similar to STI shifters, but do not have that little lever behind the brake lever. They use the brake lever itself to shift. The example he gave was when he was talking about Shimano Sora shifters. I got some 7 speed Brifters form him for my older Trek 420.
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Old 11-11-04, 09:24 AM
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so many options.... well whatever happens i think ill try to get something to get a different riding position, maybe long bar ends, maybe an aerobar... maybe both!!!! all good advice guys, cheers!
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Old 11-11-04, 10:18 AM
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Originally Posted by markw
It's not the bars, it's the engine.
Ding ding ding!
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Old 11-11-04, 11:19 AM
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Low rolling resistance tires. When I switched from Armadillos to Bontrager Xlite Race (28 mm) my cruising speed went up by over 10%. The reduced weight must make the acceleration better but I didnt notice it. However I did notice the effect of reduced gyroscopic moment on handling - much more nimble.
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Old 11-11-04, 11:53 AM
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I used to ride a mtb. Here is what I did:

-Handlebars 5" below seat. I could be quite areodynamic, especially when needed (headwind) with bent arms & flat back.
-High pressure slicks for the weekdays. I changed tires every Saturday morning and Sunday night for weekend trail riding
-Clipless
-Training. Learn to ride efficiently and improve your strength and endurance. I rode the mtb on my 9mi commute each way between 110-120rpm and cruised 22-24mph between stoplights (I would say I was only average in shape, meaning there was still a lot of room to improve)

I would say the most impact you can have after tires is in training.

(Some folks have said gearing is an issue for mtb speed. I never get this point. My mtb highest gear was46-13. Thats 27mph at 100rpm. I had no issue going 34mph down shallow hills, certainly not a high speed, but sufficient for fast commuting.)

Al
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