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What aero bars for my road bike?

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What aero bars for my road bike?

Old 08-02-11, 09:21 AM
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What aero bars for my road bike?

I'll soon be building a road bikes with drop-bars. Last year I rode a few long distance rides with a rider who added aero-bars to a regular road bike. Needless to say, this rider had a clear advantage on windy, flat and straight roads.

I'm considering aero-bars for intermittent use. I could see spending 40 percent of the ride on the aero-bars, 30 percent on the hoods and 30 percent on the drops. I can currently balance myself on the bike while resting my forearms on the cross bar, so the aero bars just need to assist my existing ability to hold an aero position. I'll use the drops for all technical riding.

I’ll be using aluminum FSA Compact handlebars if that matters. I would like to keep costs down & avoid large & heavy aero bars.

Any suggestions?
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Old 08-02-11, 09:47 AM
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I have the Ironman carbon fiber made by profile.
I use them on every part of my rides except steep climbs.
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Old 08-02-11, 09:51 AM
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I'm a user of the invisible style aero bar. Lightweight and cheap.
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Old 08-02-11, 09:59 AM
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I use Profile Designs CGT. There are quite a few options just depends on how "aero" you want to get.
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Old 08-02-11, 10:05 AM
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Old 08-02-11, 10:08 AM
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Old 08-02-11, 10:21 AM
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I've been using aerobars on my hybrid for 2 years and on my TT bike for a few months now.
Believe me: you'll be doing way more than 40% of your riding on them once you get really used to them.
Personally I do about 95% of my riding on them because it takes weight off of my bad back, which is very comfortable for me.

A few things to consider though:
First off all, I do not advise you to get the straight or S-bend type of bars ... I found them to be very hard on my wrists and the aero benefit is marginal to nonexistentent. Try to find some aerobars which are bent at the end to be able to grip them firmly without the need to strain your wrists.
For my hybrid I have the Profile Design Jammer GT's and for my TT bike I have the Planet X mark 2 extensions, which both are very comfortable.
Secondly, when you add clip-on aerobars to a normal roadbike with drops you have to know that most aerobars are designed for actual TT-bikes with the saddle moved quite a bit more forward. This is why they make specific shorter aerobars for perfect reach from a normal position. The Jammer GT is a fine example of this and will have a perfect reach from any flatbar or dropbar. There are many other, of course.

Good luck with it and be sure to post some pictures and thoughts once you're done
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Old 08-02-11, 10:25 AM
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Originally Posted by ahsposo View Post
I'm a user of the invisible style aero bar. Lightweight and cheap.
I am a strong discourager of the invisible style aerobar. Dangerous and unsteady.
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Old 08-02-11, 11:44 AM
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Originally Posted by patentcad View Post
Isn't that a scene from "No Country for Old Men," Pcad?

Last edited by Barrettscv; 08-02-11 at 01:30 PM.
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Old 08-02-11, 11:48 AM
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Originally Posted by AdelaaR View Post

A few things to consider though:
First off all, I do not advise you to get the straight or S-bend type of bars ... I found them to be very hard on my wrists and the aero benefit is marginal to nonexistentent. Try to find some aerobars which are bent at the end to be able to grip them firmly without the need to strain your wrists.
For my hybrid I have the Profile Design Jammer GT's and for my TT bike I have the Planet X mark 2 extensions, which both are very comfortable.
Secondly, when you add clip-on aerobars to a normal roadbike with drops you have to know that most aerobars are designed for actual TT-bikes with the saddle moved quite a bit more forward. This is why they make specific shorter aerobars for perfect reach from a normal position. The Jammer GT is a fine example of this and will have a perfect reach from any flatbar or dropbar. There are many other, of course.

Good luck with it and be sure to post some pictures and thoughts once you're done
Yes, I plan to modify the normal road-bike fit to a slightly more forward position. I'll look into the Jammer GT. I do enough group riding, and this will limit my aero-bar use.
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Old 08-02-11, 12:00 PM
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Originally Posted by Barrettscv View Post
I would like to keep costs down ...

Any suggestions?
I'd been thinking about using aero bars for a while. Seemed like another position to choose from should be good for my shoulder, which gets sore a couple/few hours into a ride. I saw a pair of Profile Design Strykers ( alu ones ) on my Craigslist for $30. I put them on my CX bike, which is my rain/errands/commuting bike. I figured out that I like them, that they can/should be fit to the rider, and that you really want to saw the backs off of them so you don't impale your knee on a steep climb. ( Not from experience, but from "that's gonna be a problem sooner or later...!" )

My advice is to do the same.
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Old 08-02-11, 01:04 PM
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Old 08-02-11, 01:08 PM
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Originally Posted by AdelaaR View Post
I am a strong discourager of the invisible style aerobar. Dangerous and unsteady.
Just leave to it those that can do it and don't you worry your pretty little head, Nancy. Ain't nothing unsteady about me until I've had a few and Danger is my business.
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Old 08-02-11, 01:14 PM
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Originally Posted by ahsposo View Post
Just leave to it those that can do it and don't you worry your pretty little head, Nancy. Ain't nothing unsteady about me until I've had a few and Danger is my business.
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Old 08-02-11, 01:16 PM
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Yeah, here ya go:

While unsightly and generally frowned upon, older model Shimano shifters with outboard shift cables make for a kind of crutch as you learn to ride in this position; avoid clutching the cables too firmly, but it is permissible to hold them loosely to provide some modicum of steering and leverage.

I saw Sean Kelly doing this near the end of his riding career and I thought it was so cool. But I had opted to use Campy because of it's concealed cables. Found it didn't really matter if you paid attention and didn't have a stroke like (someone recently described theirs) "a triathlete with Parkinson's disease." Plus I have the secret weapon: an Aerobelly.

the gut you’ve been nursing since discovering that beer is the ideal post-ride recovery drink may actually help keep your forearms unweighted
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Old 08-02-11, 01:45 PM
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Originally Posted by Fox Farm View Post
Syntace C2!
These look ideal.
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Old 08-02-11, 03:00 PM
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[B]"I could see spending 40 percent of the ride on the aero-bars, 30 percent on the hoods and 30 percent on the drops."[/B]


If you can spend 70% of your time in a lower position than you hoods (ie. on aerobars or in the drops) and be comfortable and highly efficient from a power standpoint, you probably don't have your bike set-up properly in the first place. You probably need your bars lower to start with so you are much more aerodynamic on the hoods.

For example, lets say you are set up on your bike in the optimal bike position on the hoods with a hip angle of 95 degrees (assuming that is your optimal position). Now you decide to ride in the drops or on aerobars whcih would require a much smaller hip angle of 80 degrees or so. You would clearly be less comfortable and less efficient than your optimal position. The only way you could ride like this would be if your position on the hoods was much more upright than was necessary (maybe with a hip angle of 115 degrees). You would probably be faster in the long run if you were set up to ride much more aggressively on the hoods and then only spent 15-20% of the time in the drops (and bagged the aerobars).
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Old 08-02-11, 03:25 PM
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Originally Posted by jrobe View Post


If you can spend 70% of your time in a lower position than you hoods (ie. on aerobars or in the drops) and be comfortable and highly efficient from a power standpoint, you probably don't have your bike set-up properly in the first place. You probably need your bars lower to start with so you are much more aerodynamic on the hoods...
What do you really know about how my bike fits or what my fitting requirements are? Does free fitting advice on-line have any value? It's worth about what it costs, nothing.
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Old 08-02-11, 03:38 PM
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Originally Posted by ahsposo View Post
Just leave to it those that can do it
... that's what they all say (right before their first unexpected pothole or major sidewind while riding invisible aerobars).

Last edited by AdelaaR; 08-02-11 at 04:00 PM.
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Old 08-02-11, 03:46 PM
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Originally Posted by Barrettscv View Post
What do you really know about how my bike fits or what my fitting requirements are? Does free fitting advice on-line have any value? It's worth about what it costs, nothing.

Based on the very premise of your question, you obviously know nothing about bike fit and could use some help. I bet you are too stubborn to get it though.
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Old 08-02-11, 03:58 PM
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Originally Posted by jrobe View Post
Based on the very premise of your question, you obviously know nothing about bike fit and could use some help. I bet you are too stubborn to get it though.
Because aerobars are, by default, unwanted or silly?
There isn't a simple rule for bike fitting or used equipment.
It depends on the specific rider and his specific abilities, body type, possible handicaps (like my bad back which an aerobar helps a whole lot for), riding style, etc...
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Old 08-02-11, 04:04 PM
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Originally Posted by jrobe View Post
Based on the very premise of your question, you obviously know nothing about bike fit and could use some help. I bet you are too stubborn to get it though.
Arrogant A$$. I work with one of the best bike fitters anywhere. Where are you famous, on the internet?
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Old 08-02-11, 05:03 PM
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Didn't Gilbert pull one of these on a descent at this year's TdF? Got to the summit and dropped the peloton with his hands on the stem?
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Old 08-02-11, 05:21 PM
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Originally Posted by jrobe View Post
If you can spend 70% of your time in a lower position than you hoods (ie. on aerobars or in the drops) and be comfortable and highly efficient from a power standpoint, you probably don't have your bike set-up properly in the first place. You probably need your bars lower to start with so you are much more aerodynamic on the hoods.
Why? What if you prefer the drops in general?
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Old 08-02-11, 05:42 PM
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Originally Posted by Barrettscv View Post
Isn't that a scene from "No Country for Old Men," Pcad?
Indeed.

While I hold aerobars to be profoundly Fredly, they can actually make sense and can provide you with a more comfy and aero riding position. My TT bike is set up quite aggressively, but before I lowered it a notch I could have ridden in the aerobars for 4 hours. Now they're OK for the <1 hour TT's I compete in. But you raise them a spacer or two and it's very relaxing, comfy and it saves you plenty of watts. Hell, aerobars have to give you 1-1.5 mph even without Zipps.

So if you must (sigh) get the stupid aerobars. But don't forget the gigantic saddle bag and the helmet mirror, don't leave anything out.
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