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Who uses Aero Bars?

Old 05-04-07, 06:37 AM
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R900
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Who uses Aero Bars?

I don't race, and 95% of the people I ride with don't either. I was out with a group last weekend and everyone but me had aero bars. These guys are not racers, but can ride at a fair clip. So am I missing something?
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Old 05-04-07, 06:42 AM
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They do several things.

- Allow a more aerodynamic position.

- Allow you to stretch forward and get your weight off your arms.

- You do lose some control since steering from them is a bit more delicate and you usually have no access to shifting/breaks from them. They take some getting used to.
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Old 05-04-07, 06:46 AM
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I use them when doing triathlons. Definately not in a group ride.
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Old 05-04-07, 07:01 AM
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Originally Posted by Moomins
They do several things.

- Allow a more aerodynamic position.

- Allow you to stretch forward and get your weight off your arms.

- You do lose some control since steering from them is a bit more delicate and you usually have no access to shifting/breaks from them. They take some getting used to.
That about covers it with the addition of:
Stay off of them during group rides unless you are pulling.
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Old 05-04-07, 07:34 AM
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The past 14 years I used an aerobar position on my old mountain bike, I don't know how I would have lived without it. (bar extentions that were basicly bar-ends that continued forward and met in the middle)

http://webuser.bus.umich.edu/tle/bike.jpg

I just upgraded to a cannondale road warrior and had aerobars installed as well.

For riding yourself, they're great.

Just be very aware there are times to use them and times to not use them for your own safety and safety of others.
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Old 05-04-07, 07:59 AM
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Here we go again. IMHO, you're not missing anything.

I have them on my TT bike, which again IMHO is what they're intended for, TT's and Triathlons.

They're not appropriate to use in group ride situations, and if you're riding by yourself, and not racing does it matter if you're .5mph faster?

People will say that they make you more aero and also say that they make you more comfortable. However in my experience they can't do both. You can set them up where they're aero, but unless your very flexible and train to ride in that position for extended periods, most folks don't find them very comfortable at all. On the other hand you can se them up higher, where they become basically armrests, but then they're less aero than just riding in the drops.

And there are a number of downsides. They add substantial weight, and that weight has to be lifted all the time whether you're riding in them or not. They degrade handling, and most importantly, they make it harder to observe what's going on around you.
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Old 05-04-07, 08:24 AM
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OP - Even non-race charity events in my area ban aero bars because of the handling/braking issues.
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Old 05-04-07, 08:34 AM
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Originally Posted by merlinextraligh
Here we go again. IMHO, you're not missing anything.

I have them on my TT bike, which again IMHO is what they're intended for, TT's and Triathlons.

They're not appropriate to use in group ride situations, and if you're riding by yourself, and not racing does it matter if you're .5mph faster?

People will say that they make you more aero and also say that they make you more comfortable. However in my experience they can't do both. You can set them up where they're aero, but unless your very flexible and train to ride in that position for extended periods, most folks don't find them very comfortable at all. On the other hand you can se them up higher, where they become basically armrests, but then they're less aero than just riding in the drops.

And there are a number of downsides. They add substantial weight, and that weight has to be lifted all the time whether you're riding in them or not. They degrade handling, and most importantly, they make it harder to observe what's going on around you.
Im going to totally agree with you. I like them for my duathlons but that's it.
More aero, yes... more comfortable? not in my case, I wouldnt want to ride on them for a long period of time and Id like to think Im pretty flexible.

Im not sure that .5mph will ever be significant for me in fact I KNOW it will never be significant for me!
Im finding after I have been riding with them for two years now that they werent worth it for me except for long rides when I quite frankly use the pads to rest my hands and strech my back for a minute.
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Old 05-04-07, 08:47 AM
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the thing about aerbars is that they're only one piece of the puzzle, and without the other pieces, they really don't do that much. i used clip-on's last year, and while they did help, i'm actually faster in the drops, which is also a much safer place to be...
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Old 05-04-07, 08:53 AM
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They’ve become a fashion statement, especially the aero bars that clamp on standard drop bars. I have aero bars on my tri-bike bike, which only gets used as a tri-bike!
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Old 05-04-07, 08:54 AM
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Great for races(TT or tri). I dont mind doing the majority/all of the pulling on a group ride with weaker riders but I wont ride in front of someone with aero-bars.
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Old 05-04-07, 08:55 AM
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Originally Posted by FIVE ONE SIX
the thing about aerbars is that they're only one piece of the puzzle, and without the other pieces, they really don't do that much. i used clip-on's last year, and while they did help, i'm actually faster in the drops, which is also a much safer place to be...
I would hazard to guess that would be a common result, for 2 reasons, 1) you won't be faster with aero bars unless you train to produce power in that position, and 2) clip ons may not be any more aero than drops, unless you dial in the position with the clip on's ( which may require lowering the stem, shortening the stem, etc.).


Which leads me to the thought that it's time I got my butt back on the TT bike, with a couple of TT's next month. I tell myself every year I'm going to ride the TT bike at least once every week, but I never do, because I don't really like it.
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Old 05-04-07, 09:15 AM
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Originally Posted by merlinextraligh
Here we go again. IMHO, you're not missing anything.

I have them on my TT bike, which again IMHO is what they're intended for, TT's and Triathlons.

They're not appropriate to use in group ride situations, and if you're riding by yourself, and not racing does it matter if you're .5mph faster?

People will say that they make you more aero and also say that they make you more comfortable. However in my experience they can't do both. You can set them up where they're aero, but unless your very flexible and train to ride in that position for extended periods, most folks don't find them very comfortable at all. On the other hand you can se them up higher, where they become basically armrests, but then they're less aero than just riding in the drops.

And there are a number of downsides. They add substantial weight, and that weight has to be lifted all the time whether you're riding in them or not. They degrade handling, and most importantly, they make it harder to observe what's going on around you.
Agreed; if you're looking for another position on your bike, simply place your forearms on the tops of your handlebars...it's the same stretching effect as aerobars; really not that difficult to do and saves you from bothersome aerobars on a roadbike.
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Old 05-04-07, 09:17 AM
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Originally Posted by merlinextraligh
I would hazard to guess that would be a common result, for 2 reasons, 1) you won't be faster with aero bars unless you train to produce power in that position, and 2) clip ons may not be any more aero than drops, unless you dial in the position with the clip on's ( which may require lowering the stem, shortening the stem, etc.).
well... yes, and yes. the point i was trying to make, which confirms your second point, is that they really don't do that much without making some other adjustments to the riding position. the bad thing about that is that you're going to have to cross a line, and that line is whether the road bike is still really a road bike...

like everything else in life, they serve a purpose, and they have their place...
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Old 05-04-07, 10:25 AM
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yeah it's important to remember that riding during a triathlon is chock full of restrictions, the most prominent of which is NO DRAFTING and a 15 sec maximum allowance for passing. for this reason, factors such as the degree to which you can make your body (and bike! hence triathlon-specific bikes...) more aerodynamic are important.

when it comes to solo training rides or group rides, i would never recommend aerobars. i would caution against them in particular when it comes to urban settings or busy suburban settings, as a tremendous amount of control is sacrificed for aerodynamism in an inappropriate context.
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Old 05-04-07, 10:58 AM
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I've been using aerobars (Syntace C2) on my road bike for 10 years. Takes practice, folks! Yes, I'm much more comfortable and faster on long rides as long as they have some flat and I take the front from time to time. Ask anyone in my group about whether or not I'm significantly faster on my aerobars.

A few rides ago I broke away on an uphill sprint on a rolly road and it took 4 riders, most of them better than I, 10 miles to bring me back and they were worse off than I was. Not so much difference at 18-20, but quite significant at 25-27. Lemond's win was not a fluke.

My bike is set up for comfort on the hoods and drops. I wouldn't change anything to accommodate the aerobars. It does take a bit of training. As I've said before, you have to train with them every week, in about 1/2 hour continuous bouts. Your elbows have to be in, knees in, head dropped, back flat. BTW, in the winter it's much warmer on the bars than on the drops.

They weigh about 1 lb. It takes very little effort to lift that extra pound to the top of a pass. Work it out. Ullrich thought it paid to carry them up the Alpe. Whaddya bet, if there could have been a 20 klick flat lead-in to the Alpe, everyone would have used bars.

I know it's real hip to dis Freds like me who go on group rides with aerobars clamped to their old Trek with the peeling paint. Doesn't change their effectiveness, though. Nothing like having them that last 30 miles after the bridge on the STP one day or the last 30 upwind miles on RAMROD. My favorite part of those rides, when I can just flat-out cook. On your left!
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Old 05-04-07, 11:05 AM
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I use them when I am touring fully loaded. Any headwind is seriously minimized (> 3kph improvement) which makes a difference on a 100 - 120 km day. Sometimes I use them just to rest my low back.
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Old 05-04-07, 11:06 AM
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probably one of the only reason why I like them is to fight the head wind!
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Old 05-04-07, 11:13 AM
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* Adding a pound to your lightweight bike sucks
* Adding a mph to a break rocks

Aerobars
* Hills: suck
* Flats: rock
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Old 05-04-07, 11:55 AM
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Originally Posted by Carbonfiberboy
I've been using aerobars (Syntace C2) on my road bike for 10 years. Takes practice, folks! Yes, I'm much more comfortable and faster on long rides as long as they have some flat and I take the front from time to time. Ask anyone in my group about whether or not I'm significantly faster on my aerobars.

A few rides ago I broke away on an uphill sprint on a rolly road and it took 4 riders, most of them better than I, 10 miles to bring me back and they were worse off than I was. Not so much difference at 18-20, but quite significant at 25-27. Lemond's win was not a fluke.

My bike is set up for comfort on the hoods and drops. I wouldn't change anything to accommodate the aerobars. It does take a bit of training. As I've said before, you have to train with them every week, in about 1/2 hour continuous bouts. Your elbows have to be in, knees in, head dropped, back flat. BTW, in the winter it's much warmer on the bars than on the drops.

They weigh about 1 lb. It takes very little effort to lift that extra pound to the top of a pass. Work it out. Ullrich thought it paid to carry them up the Alpe. Whaddya bet, if there could have been a 20 klick flat lead-in to the Alpe, everyone would have used bars.

I know it's real hip to dis Freds like me who go on group rides with aerobars clamped to their old Trek with the peeling paint. Doesn't change their effectiveness, though. Nothing like having them that last 30 miles after the bridge on the STP one day or the last 30 upwind miles on RAMROD. My favorite part of those rides, when I can just flat-out cook. On your left!

1) Lemond was racing a TT, their appropriate use.

2) Uhllrich was using special aerobars that were particularly light, on a bike that was at the UCI weight limit with the aero bars. Without a UCI weight limit those bars likely would not have been on his bike.
Uhllrich also used a wheelset designed only for climbing, not descending. I wouldn't want to ride those on a regular basis either.

3)If they work for you and they're comfortable great, but in my experience you can't really have both, and what I see a lot of with clip ons on road bikes are set ups that the aero bars are pretty high and a lot less aero than the drops.

4) As for going fast, you can get virtually as aero in your breakaway scenario by getting deep in the drops with bended elbows, or hands in by the stem and very bent elbows. (or forearms on the barrs, hands on the cables.) With the exception of triathletes, and racers training for TT's I rarely see anyone with clip on's that I'd consider truly fast.

5) Did you consider that the 4 guys chasing were letting you dangle in the wind till you fried?

Obviously if you like em and they work for you have at it. I just think there are a lot of negatives, and a lot of people that don't consider the negatives get sucked into them because they think they're cool.
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Old 05-04-07, 12:09 PM
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They are popular with tourists esp MTB users. They are usually setup in the higher comfort position but they still offer an aerodynamic advantage when you face a day of flat riding into a headwind. Keeping your arms close together instead of splayed apart really cuts through the wind.

Tri bikes sometimes have the geometry tuned to favour aerobars and you can't get the same effect by clipping them to a normal road bike. In a tri position, the whole body is rotated forward about the bottom bracket so riders can use aerobars without having to become super flexable at the hips. The steering may also be more aerobar friendly.

Cinelli Spinnacci are a useful clip on systems if you ride rather than race.
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Old 05-04-07, 12:10 PM
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I love aero bars

 
Old 05-04-07, 12:23 PM
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use um, love um...takes stress of my lower back
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Old 05-04-07, 12:52 PM
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Originally Posted by DocRay
I love aero bars

mmmmm. grew up on that stuff!
hubby just came back fishing in canada and brought me back 4 bars!
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Old 05-04-07, 01:26 PM
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Originally Posted by n4zou
They’ve become a fashion statement, especially the aero bars that clamp on standard drop bars. I have aero bars on my tri-bike bike, which only gets used as a tri-bike!
Wow, have not seen Profile Aero 3's in something like 15 years!

I like areo bars and find I am 1.5 mph faster when on my aero bars, on average. That is a big difference to me esp when I ride at lunch and need to get back to the office in short order.

I like that they take weight off my arms and it gives me an extra position.

Also, if you spend enough money, you don't have to carry 1 lb on your bars. I ride Deda clip-ones which are .7 pounds and Pedalsoft Trifectas (on my single speed) which is an integrated stem/aerobar system that only adds about .6 pounds. If you put profile's on your bike, yeah, you add a pound,... or more.... even for their carbon ones.
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