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Newbie at aerobars

Old 02-15-14, 05:05 PM
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tsappenfield
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Newbie at aerobars

So I'm trying to learn how to use aerobars. The major problem I'm having is being able to see further ahead than 10yards. I've raised the stem, lowered the seat, tilted the aerobars up without much change. By the way, I have no such problem when my hands are in the hooks. Any suggestion(s) as to what I can do differently to solve this problem, or is this as good as it gets?

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Old 02-15-14, 05:13 PM
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What bike, handlebars and aerobars are you using?
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Old 02-15-14, 06:19 PM
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Realize that at some point, when you have gotten the aero bars comfortable, they're effectiveness is reduced because your upper body isn't streamlined. Lowering the upper body to be level with the ground as much as possible, is one of the things that improves your aerodynamics.

There can be a happy medium. The bar design is one issue, stem height another, body flexibility is part of it, but at some point you just need to get used to keeping your head raised.

FWIW, there was a RAAM competitor a few years ago (Race Across AMerica) that used a bungie cord from the back of his helmet to his butt to take the strain off his neck muscles.

Last edited by Steve B.; 02-15-14 at 06:26 PM.
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Old 02-15-14, 08:38 PM
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Originally Posted by Steve B. View Post
Realize that at some point, when you have gotten the aero bars comfortable, they're effectiveness is reduced because your upper body isn't streamlined. Lowering the upper body to be level with the ground as much as possible, is one of the things that improves your aerodynamics.

There can be a happy medium. The bar design is one issue, stem height another, body flexibility is part of it, but at some point you just need to get used to keeping your head raised.

FWIW, there was a RAAM competitor a few years ago (Race Across AMerica) that used a bungie cord from the back of his helmet to his butt to take the strain off his neck muscles.
Shermer's neck.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Michael_Shermer

It's not uncommon. A good friend of mine failed to finish the 508 a few years ago because of it. Apparently, it's more common among people who've had serious crashes.
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Old 02-16-14, 12:38 AM
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If you've fitted a road bike with clip-ons, normally your back is at about the same angle whether in the drops or on the 'bars.

Your saddle height is determined by your leg length, nothing else. Sounds like you need to talk to someone familiar with fitting, or post photos here, or some such.

Tilting the 'bars would not make a difference, no.

Most people who have trouble looking up the road or whose necks get tired need to rotate their pelvis forward, that's clockwise as seen from the right. This flattens the back and reduces the angle between neck and upper back. The back should be an almost straight line all the way from the waist to neck. Put a mirror next to yourself and look.

It turns out the Shermer's neck is preventable: it's just muscular weakness. Gym work for a few months before a long race or brevet fixes it. Shrugs, presses, and neck work.
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Old 02-16-14, 06:43 AM
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The bike is a 1994 Peugeot Performance 200. The aerobars are Profile Design T3+. The handlebars are pretty standard ie they just came with the bike.
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Old 02-16-14, 06:50 AM
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Really good stuff here. I'm 71 and hope to qualify for the 2015 Senior Games in the 5k and 10k time trials. I have competitive times without aerobars, but I know they will help lower my times. I will eventually transfer them to the bike I intend to race with. It's on the Peugeot just as an experiment.
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Old 02-17-14, 05:41 AM
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Not all road bikes work well with Aerobars. I've permanently installed Aerobars on two of my bikes. These bikes are comfortable and handle very well while using the Aerobars. I can steer around road hazards at 35+ mph without drama without using the drops.

However, I've had bikes that should have worked with Aerobars, but didn't. Normally, a longer wheelbase and relaxed geometry improves stability while using Aeobars, but not always. If your bike is not comfortable or stable while using the Aerobars, and adjustments aren't helping, it might be the bike.
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Last edited by Barrettscv; 02-17-14 at 07:51 AM.
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Old 02-17-14, 07:00 AM
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Thinking of changing over to road bars, think I'm too old and/or stiff for the aerobars, meanwhile tryingt to get used to them.
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Old 02-17-14, 09:58 AM
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I went outside the box .. was given a Zzipper fairing , the thriller model , let me raise the whole aero bar assembly Up.
to where it was comfortable , and the aerodynamics were taken car of by the fairing ,
and not getting down like on all fours like a quadraped to reduce frontal area , without the streamlining..

+ the airflow was quieter, so books on tape playing thru the earbuds were easier to hear ,

and the clothing didnt have to resist cold air penetration.

did this setup then took it apart again, (after I moved 12 milles closer in)
before digital cameras were sold. (so no pictures)
Zzipper is still in biz, with website.. see their upright bike products..
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Old 02-17-14, 03:37 PM
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Originally Posted by tsappenfield View Post
The bike is a 1994 Peugeot Performance 200. The aerobars are Profile Design T3+. The handlebars are pretty standard ie they just came with the bike.
Part of the problem is that you are putting clip-on aerobars designed for time trial/triathlon bikes onto a road bike. There are clip-ons designed for road bikes that work better with a road bike geometry. One example is the Profile Design Jammer GT.

Also, it does take some time to adjust to riding in the aero position. Each year, whenever I get my triathlon bike out for the first time, I keep the rides short - only 30 minutes or so - until I can comfortably ride in the aero position. If you don't feel comfortable enough to ride in the aero position, put the bike up on the trainer and "ride" it there until you've adapted.

Last edited by Gonzo Bob; 02-17-14 at 03:42 PM.
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