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So I've decided to give a darn about "aero"

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So I've decided to give a darn about "aero"

Old 12-23-19, 03:53 PM
  #1  
base2 
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So I've decided to give a darn about "aero"

So after 4 years & 20,000+ miles, I've had the usual up's & downs we all face in terms of motivation & ability.

2016 was my best year. By best, I mean both fastest & most mileage. Man, I loved cycling at that time.

Since then, my relationship to cycling has matured & have since let myself go & get fat, unmotivated & slow. But I remember...& life events have given way to a sort of Renissance lately.

I'm am equally as strong as I ever have been, I recover as well as I ever have & I've been doing sustained 30+ minute threshold efforts on the indoor fluid trainer 4 days a week for the last 6 weeks. I love cycling again.

I've even (gasp!)given up on my nightly quart of beer. (!) Those 25 pounds aren't going to lose themselves after all.

Now, I'm looking at equipment.
The Cervelo R5 got an ENVE 7.8 PowerTap wheelset (eBay Christmas present! Yea!)
The wheelset got Continental GP5000's & Race 28 Supersonic tubes.
My huge Giro 3 year old $40 "poofy Spaceballs" helmet got replaced by a Specialized Evade 2...

...& I'm trying to think of where to go from here.

My fit is dialed in to where I am more than comfortable for 200+ mile/12 hour rides on the conventional OEM road bars.

What/how is the best conventional wisdom for Track/TT/TRI bars?
Does anyone prefer one over the other?
Which (if any) do people here prefer for 200+ mile rides?
Or is just using clip-ons for "the big day" the best choice? I imagine it would take a lot of practice to get sustained endurance in such a position.
Would changing bars even be recommended? I've never run anything other than conventional road bars, so I genuinely am ignorant in this regard.

Rear wheel disc: $100 at Wheelbuilder. Worth it?

Skinsuit? Google says Velotech works good & is reasonably priced. What says the BF hive mind?

What sort of equipment does the long distance/high speed crowd run.
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Old 12-23-19, 04:30 PM
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For long distance at high speed I use the Moto Guzzi V11 Jackel. Not very aero, but it does the ton without any trouble
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Old 12-23-19, 05:06 PM
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I don't think you can get a bigger increase speed for the same effort as you can with aerobars. And they can be fairly economical.
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Old 12-23-19, 05:11 PM
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For 200 miles you do not want a big 'bar swinging around out there. Smallest clip-ons. Next question is do they work for you? Some setups feel great from the start and just work, other setups no amount of tweaking does a thing. It will be individual. Go in w/o expectation and see what happens.

Be sure the skinsuit has pockets.
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Old 12-23-19, 05:12 PM
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Originally Posted by TiHabanero View Post
For long distance at high speed I use the Moto Guzzi V11 Jackel. Not very aero, but it does the ton without any trouble
Ha! Yeah, I'm not sure my Triumph would compare.
I'll give this "upgrade" some consideration, though. Thanks!
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Old 12-23-19, 05:17 PM
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My opinion probably has zero relevance to you. I know nothing about time trials or endurance high speed events, or training for them. You don't mention your age, but I'll go ahead and say that I've been bicycling for 45+ years, to a lesser or greater extent. Lately I've been dedicating myself to increasing endurance, but while speed is a lesser priority, I do find my average is increasing. And aero isn't so important at touring speeds.

If weight loss is your priority, my understanding is that fat is burned during "aerobic" workout mode to a greater extent than during the "anaerobic" high intensity interval exercise. So I would think that a touring bike pace for several hours each ride would burn more fat. There are other considerations. You have to have some carbs, as I understand it. "Fat burns in the fire of carbohydrates."

If these thoughts are not helpful, please ignore.

Last edited by DeadGrandpa; 12-23-19 at 05:20 PM.
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Old 12-23-19, 05:27 PM
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In order of ascending power: wind ratios:

Aero bike
Tandem
High racer recumbent
Low racer recumbent
Velomobile

My choice for 200+ miles is high racer. I'd get a velomobile, but they are pricey and hard to transport.

​​​​​​​I understand many people are in the " I'd rather be dead than be seen on a bent" category; if that's you then of course ignore.
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Old 12-23-19, 08:44 PM
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Originally Posted by base2 View Post
So after 4 years & 20,000+ miles, I've had the usual up's & downs we all face in terms of motivation & ability.

2016 was my best year. By best, I mean both fastest & most mileage. Man, I loved cycling at that time.

Since then, my relationship to cycling has matured & have since let myself go & get fat, unmotivated & slow. But I remember...& life events have given way to a sort of Renissance lately.

I'm am equally as strong as I ever have been, I recover as well as I ever have & I've been doing sustained 30+ minute threshold efforts on the indoor fluid trainer 4 days a week for the last 6 weeks. I love cycling again.

I've even (gasp!)given up on my nightly quart of beer. (!) Those 25 pounds aren't going to lose themselves after all.

Now, I'm looking at equipment.
The Cervelo R5 got an ENVE 7.8 PowerTap wheelset (eBay Christmas present! Yea!)
The wheelset got Continental GP5000's & Race 28 Supersonic tubes.
My huge Giro 3 year old $40 "poofy Spaceballs" helmet got replaced by a Specialized Evade 2...

...& I'm trying to think of where to go from here.

My fit is dialed in to where I am more than comfortable for 200+ mile/12 hour rides on the conventional OEM road bars.

What/how is the best conventional wisdom for Track/TT/TRI bars?
Does anyone prefer one over the other?
Which (if any) do people here prefer for 200+ mile rides?
Or is just using clip-ons for "the big day" the best choice? I imagine it would take a lot of practice to get sustained endurance in such a position.
Would changing bars even be recommended? I've never run anything other than conventional road bars, so I genuinely am ignorant in this regard.

Rear wheel disc: $100 at Wheelbuilder. Worth it?

Skinsuit? Google says Velotech works good & is reasonably priced. What says the BF hive mind?

What sort of equipment does the long distance/high speed crowd run.


Really! No tired neck, wrists, butt starting to complain. Digestion going south, a bit of cramping, feet sore, quads heavy, crotch sweaty- none of that?

Remarkable.
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Old 12-23-19, 10:47 PM
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If you look what the ultra-endurance cycling crowd is using (e.g. Darren Franks, Fiona Kolbinger, the late Mike Hall, et all), generally you'll see clip-ons and not TT bars. So that's where I'd start, but I don't agree with only putting them on for "the big day". Keep them on, ride with them, get used to them, only take them off for events that specifically disallow them. The use of aero bars on ultra-endurance is not only for aero but also for comfort. It takes pressure off the hands and also changes the pressure points on your sit bones; combine this with standard road bars and you have multiple hand and saddle positions to switch about to maintain comfort.
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Old 12-24-19, 08:08 AM
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Ok. Having pockets in a skinsuit is something to keep in mind.
Big bars could get annoying. Small bars are better. Having clip-ons is as much about comfort as anything else.

I think That I'll scout around for some clip-ons & see what I can come up with.

I'll study some photos of Mike Hall & the others.

Thanks, guys,
Base 2

Originally Posted by woodcraft View Post
Really! No tired neck, wrists, butt starting to complain. Digestion going south, a bit of cramping, feet sore, quads heavy, crotch sweaty- none of that?

Remarkable.
Well, I wouldn't say I feel "great" or anything like that. But another bunch of miles would've been totally do-able. We have an annual Seattle to Portland event where to add to the miles I ride to the starting line. (I also don't want to pay for parking) For 2019 it was 221.5 miles for me. Then my partner & I rode to our hotel...The previous week we did 160 miles with 10,000 feet elevation. So, um...yeah. Fit & fuel & pace. I also have a favorite pair of shorts with a chamois I like, FWIW.

Last edited by base2; 12-24-19 at 08:22 AM.
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Old 12-26-19, 11:00 AM
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If you want to get serious about aero, get a velomobile.
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Old 12-26-19, 12:46 PM
  #12  
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Originally Posted by base2 View Post

Rear wheel disc: $100 at Wheelbuilder. Worth it?

Not as something installed permanently. I bought one for my recumbent, and it did give me some speed, maybe .2mph at best. But after the many shocks of pavement cracks in beautiful, potholed, Michigan, the disk started to crack around the screws and and eventually fell apart enough that I took it off and threw it into the garbage can. Had I only used it for speed runs, I probably still would have had this. But since I left it on permanently, I wore it out.
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Old 12-26-19, 06:39 PM
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I can't do aero bars. Old C1-C2 neck injury. I can stay in the aero tuck for maybe 1-2 minutes at a time. And that's painful. I keep working at it on the indoor trainer.

With physical therapy I can stay in the drops now for 5 minutes or longer at a time. I can get lower, longer, including the hoods tuck trick with forearms parallel with the ground. That makes a big difference in getting faster.

I finally sprung for some form fitting kit, especially jerseys, to replace my casual fit winter gear. Full shoe covers, mostly to keep warm but probably also a bit more aero than my bulky buckles and straps. That also helped. The form fitting kit also helps in stiff crosswinds and swirling winds - I'm not being blown around so much. More confidence inspiring on rural roads with occasional traffic.

And I got an aero helmet -- the rounded dome type for everyday use, not a TT Alien Xenomorph head thing. It also helps.

Wheels? Meh. Studies show it's one of the least cost effective ways to get faster. Sure, it works, so if you can afford it, go for it. This year I got an old Bontrager wheelset off an entry level TT bike. DT Swiss hubs, flat bladed aero spokes, 30mm profile rims. Helps a bit. I can't justify spending more for wheels than my entire bike cost.

Ditto aero frames. Not cost effective for me.

I tried a TT bike for awhile but hated the feel of the thing. And it wasn't any faster than my old steel road bike with early generation Scott aero bars. I'd need to practice a lot more with a TT or aero bike to get any advantage, and that's unlikely to happen with this old neck injury.

And I always ride with video cameras and lights, day and night, which offsets some aero gains.
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Old 12-27-19, 08:48 AM
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Originally Posted by TiHabanero View Post
For long distance at high speed I use the Moto Guzzi V11 Jackel. Not very aero, but it does the ton without any trouble

Originally Posted by base2 View Post
Ha! Yeah, I'm not sure my Triumph would compare.

I'll give this "upgrade" some consideration, though. Thanks!

Son high sided his RC51 years ago just 1/4 mile from house. He in hospital, bike in trash. Grew up and Acura + Mercedes + 911 Porsche. Grew up more, retires from Army next month after 22 years, sold the Porsche and bought another RC51. Guess once in the blood, always in the blood.


Originally Posted by woodcraft View Post
Really! No tired neck, wrists, butt starting to complain. Digestion going south, a bit of cramping, feet sore, quads heavy, crotch sweaty- none of that?


Remarkable.

Originally Posted by base2 View Post
Ok. Having pockets in a skinsuit is something to keep in mind.

Big bars could get annoying. Small bars are better. Having clip-ons is as much about comfort as anything else.


I think That I'll scout around for some clip-ons & see what I can come up with.


I'll study some photos of Mike Hall & the others.


Thanks, guys,

Base 2


Well, I wouldn't say I feel "great" or anything like that. But another bunch of miles would've been totally do-able. We have an annual Seattle to Portland event where to add to the miles I ride to the starting line. (I also don't want to pay for parking) For 2019 it was 221.5 miles for me. Then my partner & I rode to our hotel...The previous week we did 160 miles with 10,000 feet elevation. So, um...yeah. Fit & fuel & pace. I also have a favorite pair of shorts with a chamois I like, FWIW.

119 solo miles yesterday in windy conditions with clamp-on aero bars on my 2013 Giant Propel Advanced SL. Bars are on full time and make all the difference when solo. Also have bars on full time on my 2018 Roubaix Expert as my comfort bike. Beginning of February is Bike Sebring 12/24 Hour RAAM Qualifier and hoping to surpass my 307 miles done in 2016 but older body isn't making things easy.
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Old 12-30-19, 01:03 PM
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Originally Posted by friday1970 View Post
Not as something installed permanently. I bought one for my recumbent, and it did give me some speed, maybe .2mph at best. But after the many shocks of pavement cracks in beautiful, potholed, Michigan, the disk started to crack around the screws and and eventually fell apart enough that I took it off and threw it into the garbage can. Had I only used it for speed runs, I probably still would have had this. But since I left it on permanently, I wore it out.
I have a set. The installation instructions even say they're not meant to be permanently installed.

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Old 12-30-19, 07:49 PM
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how wide are your bars now? Going down to 38 or even 36cm bars would make a noticeable difference. Working on your aero road position as well ie 90 degree elbows on the hoods etc, shoe covers etc.
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Old 12-30-19, 10:54 PM
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Originally Posted by BlazingPedals View Post
I have a set. The installation instructions even say they're not meant to be permanently installed.

Wow. That thing is exotic.

Originally Posted by redlude97 View Post
how wide are your bars now? Going down to 38 or even 36cm bars would make a noticeable difference. Working on your aero road position as well ie 90 degree elbows on the hoods etc, shoe covers etc.
I'm pretty much sold on the clip-on bars. It's just a matter of payday happening by the end of the week. Generally I ride 44cm wide bars. The fit is as dialed in as much as I think is possible. I did back to back speed runs a few days ago. The Cervelo was .4 mph slower for 11 watts less power than my Aluminum 23 pound disc gravel cross bike & I think it comes down to the bar shape being much more suited to horizontal forearms & low torso being sustainable on the gravel cx. (The bars are very ergonomically designed with wide flat transitions from the hoods to the tops for wrist/forarm support) So, short of re-inventing success, & reiterating fit with a new set of variables, clip-ons on the Cervelo is pretty much a shoo-in.

I'll check bach in with an update as soon as I have everything installed & do another run.
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Old 12-30-19, 11:05 PM
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Originally Posted by friday1970 View Post
Not as something installed permanently. I bought one for my recumbent, and it did give me some speed, maybe .2mph at best. But after the many shocks of pavement cracks in beautiful, potholed, Michigan, the disk started to crack around the screws and and eventually fell apart enough that I took it off and threw it into the garbage can. Had I only used it for speed runs, I probably still would have had this. But since I left it on permanently, I wore it out.
I'll keep this in mind. We'll see how the clip-ons go first. The Seattle to Portland ride is in July & the significant other & I have a few car road trips to Oregon & California for century rides in late spring. Maybe it'll be worth it for just the events?

I mean the cost is pretty nominal as far as these things go. It's easy to spend more on a dinner & a movie or whatever...So, why not, right? Maybe she could use one as I tend to be the stronger rider. We'll see.
Thanks!
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Old 12-31-19, 01:35 AM
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Originally Posted by base2 View Post
I'll keep this in mind. We'll see how the clip-ons go first. The Seattle to Portland ride is in July & the significant other & I have a few car road trips to Oregon & California for century rides in late spring. Maybe it'll be worth it for just the events?
Heck no to using aero bars on mass participation events unless you plan to only get on them when at the head of the train with people who trust you and are far away from anyone else. Rarely are either of those conditions met on STP with so many complete strangers in bunches spread out on the whole route and beastly riders taking massive pulls leaving most of the rest just trying to hang on.
​​​​
Some people take their tri/tt bikes on STP and it's super annoying having to use extreme caution around the ones that are going the same speed or slower (obv the fast ones are long gone), because there's no way other riders want to be anywhere near people who might have their hands off their brakes and don't have complete steering control.
​​​​
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Old 12-31-19, 08:49 AM
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Originally Posted by surak View Post
Heck no to using aero bars on mass participation events unless you plan to only get on them when at the head of the train with people who trust you and are far away from anyone else. Rarely are either of those conditions met on STP with so many complete strangers in bunches spread out on the whole route and beastly riders taking massive pulls leaving most of the rest just trying to hang on.
​​​​
Some people take their tri/tt bikes on STP and it's super annoying having to use extreme caution around the ones that are going the same speed or slower (obv the fast ones are long gone), because there's no way other riders want to be anywhere near people who might have their hands off their brakes and don't have complete steering control.
​​​​
This. Aero bars are less stable and you don't have easy access to your brakes. Not good for group rides where you'll hit some bumps unexpectedly, particularly fondos and the like where not everyone will be vigilant about pointing out hazards. Also not good for group rides where you'll need to brake and or maneuver around people who have crashed or stopped in front of you. Plus, if you're drafting, the aero benefit is significantly reduced.
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Old 12-31-19, 09:10 AM
  #21  
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surak , OBoile , I was responding to friday1970 regarding his input on the wheel cover. Did the quotes not encapsulate the words of a single user?

I know about bars in group events. For obvious reasons bars in group riding is a dumb idea.
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Old 01-01-20, 08:44 PM
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If you're cutting hairs to gain aero, going to a single chainring and obtaining a narrower Q factor will help. Reduces frontal area.
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Old 01-01-20, 11:01 PM
  #23  
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Originally Posted by redlude97 View Post
how wide are your bars now? Going down to 38 or even 36cm bars would make a noticeable difference. Working on your aero road position as well ie 90 degree elbows on the hoods etc, shoe covers etc.
+1.
Assuming the bike is diamond framed -
Until one can maintain the basic road position comfortably and with power, all the aero equipment (TT bars, farings, etc) is just extra weight.


Wings might help

Last edited by Wildwood; 01-01-20 at 11:17 PM.
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Old 01-02-20, 09:14 AM
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I have never ridden that far so take it with a grain of salt.

I am able to maintain a decent TT position on my regular road bike by just putting my forearms on the bar. It's not good for descending or bumps. Compared to a tri bike I used to have with full aerobars and shifters at the tips, it's much slower since I can't put nearly as much weight on it.

The compromise is clip ons. Remember though, aero position is different than upright, and your seat is unlikely to be comfortable in both.

If I was to do 200 solo (I've done 130 solo many times so it's not like I have zero idea), I would probably put clip ons that are about 2-3" longer than the reach of the brakes. That should give you enough support to stay on them for a while. You might even be able to to run them without adjusting your seat.

BTW, I'm jealous. I usually start getting uncomfortable at 60+ miles. By 100 I'm done. If I could ride that far happy like you, I'd call it a huge win.
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Old 01-02-20, 03:36 PM
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Originally Posted by BlazingPedals View Post
If you're cutting hairs to gain aero, going to a single chainring and obtaining a narrower Q factor will help. Reduces frontal area.
I read this, & thought on it a bit. A 52 tooth Rotor Qarbon & Absolute Black 36 oval chain rings are now on order. I generally ride a 50/34, but after a bit of reading it seems that stepping up the next increment in ring sizes is equivalent. (Actual tooth count vs effective tooth count) I ride the big ring & in the middle of the cassette, generally. The idea behind choosing the Aero flat Q-ring will still be about the same straightness in terms of chainline, but more effective torque effectivness & more efficient physiology...& of course a watt or 2 () of chain aero gained. We'll see. Awaiting shipping confirmation from Rotor America, now. Thanks for bringing chainring drag to my attention.

Originally Posted by rosefarts View Post
The compromise is clip ons. Remember though, aero position is different than upright, and your seat is unlikely to be comfortable in both.
Solid point. Red Shift dual position seat post ordered, as of about 5 minutes ago...Plus +1 to you, sir!

Back to general audience:
Ok, now if only there wasn't such a bewildering array of tri-bars. OMG how to even wrap my head around all the choices? Does anyone have a set of clip-ons they've been super impressed with?
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