Road Cycling “It is by riding a bicycle that you learn the contours of a country best, since you have to sweat up the hills and coast down them. Thus you remember them as they actually are, while in a motor car only a high hill impresses you, and you have no such accurate remembrance of country you have driven through as you gain by riding a bicycle.” -- Ernest Hemingway

The aerobar syndrome

Old 04-12-12, 11:23 PM
  #126  
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Originally Posted by hhnngg1 View Post
Bob's just now looking to disagree with me intentionally.
No. I actually just disagree with you.

Originally Posted by hhnngg1 View Post
All the thing you mention are assumed to be 'given' for fair comparisons. I'm not comparing an untrained rider to a trained rider, or a clipped in pedal to an unclipped one, duh. Show me one 'aero speed benefit' comparison test that does what you're implying.
Ah, you know what they say about assumptions.

If you're going to make the claim you did about aerobars then you need to include that caveat. I've seen plenty of riders on MTB with platform pedals and running shoes using aerobars. I know I'm not alone. If that's who we're talking about here then I would suggest they ditch the aerobars and look at the three things I suggested. They will be faster in the end.

Originally Posted by hhnngg1 View Post
Aerobars are #1,2, and #3 (and likely more) in all FAIR and REASONABLY designed aero gear tests. I don't know any aero testing for speed gains that would test using big differences in training, pedals, or basic fit because those are assumed to be standard.
If we're talking aero gear I haven't seen the tests you mention but I'd accept this statement as being true.

Originally Posted by hhnngg1 View Post
If you're going to be that difficult, I'll one up you and say that upgrading from a tricycle to a road bike trumps all the things you mention - no amount of training, clipless pedals, or training plan, will allow someone to ride as fast on a tricycle than on a road bike. So don't intentionally take things out of context just to make a point.
Now who's being a Silly Billy?

And...if you're only looking for a 1mph gain from aerobars save your money. Download some interval workouts and push up your FTP for free.
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Old 04-12-12, 11:23 PM
  #127  
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I was racing before aerobars even existed. I think I get how they work.
Based on your wild assertions you don't seem to.

Atlantic City, New Jersey - America's first ever Tour de France competitor, Jonathan "Jock" Boyer, of Monterey, Calif., made a successful return to the Race Across America, adding a Solo Enduro victory in the 3,043 epic to his first RAAM win back 1985.

Arriving in Atlantic City at 1:35 p.m. on June 21, Boyer was tired, but happy with his time of 10 days and 52 minutes.

This made him the first winner of the new Solo Enduro division of racing, in which riders were mandated to take at least 40 hours of stops.

For Boyer, who first won RAAM aged 32, his return to the race 20 years later was dogged by difficulties.

The problems began on the second day, when extended time in the aero position of his time trial bike started to place excessive stress on his neck muscles.

Within 48 hours he started to need a head support, which was initially fabricated as a cardboard pillar taped to his bars and later replaced by a proper neck brace.
Actually, based on you posting this I don't think it's an issue with understanding aerobars. I think your issue is with rational thought. I base this on the fact that you think that posting how one person suffered back/neck problems from using aerobars is a rebuttal to the challenge of your wild assertion that "if you ride a centry in aerobars, you have them set up wrong".

Being a good/experienced cyclist does not excuse one from logic and rational thought.
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Old 04-12-12, 11:24 PM
  #128  
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Originally Posted by vandalarchitect View Post
But aerobars are still cheaper and don't require intervals.
Intervals do suck...
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Old 04-12-12, 11:29 PM
  #129  
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Originally Posted by Bob Dopolina View Post
If we're talking aero gear I haven't seen the tests you mention but I'd accept this statement as being true.
In case you're interested, I came across this awhile back and just found it again. http://www.cyclingtips.com.au/2010/0...ial-equipment/

Looks like aerobars loses out to a skin suit for drag reduction.

Edit: This is just one example. And it doesn't look like he has many sources cited.
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Old 04-12-12, 11:37 PM
  #130  
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Originally Posted by AngrySaki View Post
Based on your wild assertions you don't seem to.
I have hardware from ITT and TTT spanning decades and on two continents that might suggest otherwise.

Originally Posted by AngrySaki View Post
Actually, based on you posting this I don't think it's an issue with understanding aerobars. I think your issue is with rational thought. I base this on the fact that you think that posting how one person suffered back/neck problems from using aerobars is a rebuttal to the challenge of your wild assertion that "if you ride a centry in aerobars, you have them set up wrong".
I posted that because you cited RAAM as an example of endurance riding with aerobars. I think it is extremely germane to your point.

I think it is the wrong tool for the job and still believe so.

From my perspective aero equipment is meant to squeeze out the last bit of speed after all other avenues have been exhausted. It is the last step, not the first. To maximize the benefits or the equipment requires adjusting your position on the bike that just isn't comfortable for extended periods of time.

If you are using a regular road bike position (or a poor position) and tossing on aerobars and using them in an ineffectual way I just don't see the point. It's a waste of money and effort for little gain.

When I was still racing seriously I would ride a century on Saturday and again on Sunday almost every weekend. This included LOTS of climbing, descending, sprinting, cornering etc and I never though to myself, "Boy, I wish I was on my TT bike so I could go a wee bit faster."

But maybe that's just me.
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Last edited by Bob Dopolina; 04-12-12 at 11:40 PM.
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Old 04-12-12, 11:39 PM
  #131  
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Originally Posted by vandalarchitect View Post
In case you're interested, I came across this awhile back and just found it again. http://www.cyclingtips.com.au/2010/0...ial-equipment/

Looks like aerobars loses out to a skin suit for drag reduction.

Edit: This is just one example. And it doesn't look like he has many sources cited.
Interesting.

In terms of bang for the buck aerobars and shoe covers are head to head for #1 spot.
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Old 04-12-12, 11:43 PM
  #132  
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Originally Posted by Bob Dopolina View Post
Interesting.

In terms of bang for the buck aerobars and shoe covers are head to head for #1 spot.
By those numbers yes, but I'd question the price tag on some of those things.
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Old 04-13-12, 12:10 AM
  #133  
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I have hardware from ITT and TTT spanning decades and on two continents that might suggest otherwise.
Oh, owning something means you understand it? Strange world you live in.

I posted that because you cited RAAM as an example of endurance riding with aerobars. I think it is extremely germane to your point.
Yes, it is relevant to my point but not a rebuttal, because other RAAM riders have used aerobars and not gotten debilitating back pain. You also completely ignored the fact that I said RAAM and Ironman racers.


From my perspective aero equipment is meant to squeeze out the last bit of speed after all other avenues have been exhausted. It is the last step, not the first. To maximize the benefits or the equipment requires adjusting your position on the bike that just isn't comfortable for extended periods of time.
That's fine if that's your perspective. What you need to realize is that it's not other people's perspective.

If you are using a regular road bike position (or a poor position) and tossing on aerobars and using them in an ineffectual way I just don't see the point. It's a waste of money and effort for little gain.
Tossing aerobars on a road bike is not ineffectual, since it narrows your frontal area. If you don't see the point of adding something to your bike which allows you to go faster and offers you an extra arm position which in turn can increase comfort, then you should at least realize that other people see a point in doing so. It is a value judgment and to expect that everybody would make the same value judgment as you is silly.

But maybe that's just me.
It's not just you, since lots of people ride standard road bikes. But there are a lot of people who ride with aerobars as well, and to them the pro's outweigh the cons.
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Old 04-13-12, 12:14 AM
  #134  
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Not to add fuel to this fire, but almost every ironman races on a tri bike. If set up correctly, they must be decent for 100mi races. That being said, I have them on my road bike for a summer TT series, and that is only because I cant afford a proper TT bike at the moment. I wouldn't use them in a paceline if my life depended on it.
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Old 04-13-12, 12:19 AM
  #135  
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Originally Posted by AngrySaki View Post
Oh, owning something means you understand it? Strange world you live in.
I meant trophies. And I didn't buy them.

Clearly your view of aero revolves around frontal area and mine around the relationship between power and drag. Not all reductions in drag increase speed because they may also produce a drop in power but I'm sure all your time in the 'aerolab' has taught you this.

Roll of eyes.


End of thread (for me).
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Old 04-13-12, 12:30 AM
  #136  
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Originally Posted by dgasmd View Post
Is this a common thing in other parts of the country?
I love those guys rolling on PCH(Malibu,CA) at 15-20mph on their aerobars.....they make me feel soo much better about myself.
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Old 04-13-12, 12:32 AM
  #137  
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Clearly your view of aero revolves around frontal area and mine around the relationship between power and drag. Not all reductions in drag increase speed because they may also produce a drop in power but I'm sure all your time in the 'aerolab' has taught you this.
So moving your arms from the hoods/drops to the aerobars while keeping the same back position will drop your power output? Because that's all aerobars do, change your arm position. But for some reason this simple fact seems to evade you.

End of thread (for me).
How unsurprising.
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Old 04-13-12, 12:56 AM
  #138  
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Originally Posted by AngrySaki View Post
So moving your arms from the hoods/drops to the aerobars while keeping the same back position will drop your power output? Because that's all aerobars do, change your arm position. But for some reason this simple fact seems to evade you.
So your time in the 'aerolab' didn't teach you that moving into an aero position means you move forward on the saddle decreasing the peak range of power output on the downward stroke of the pedal or that utilization of gluteal and other muscles may not be optimal and many riders see drops in sustainable power in an aero position and that optimal positions are decided upon by finding the best balance between aero and power output?

But right, your frontal area is decreased so I guess that's all that matters...

Originally Posted by AngrySaki View Post
How unsurprising.
I lied.
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Old 04-13-12, 01:27 AM
  #139  
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Originally Posted by Bob Dopolina View Post
The point of aerobars is to be aero (by this I mean in a TT position). This is NOT a comfortable position for extended periods of time because it is an extremely aggressive racing position.
You are being closed minded here.
Aerobars can be used to have a very aggressive TT position ... I know ... I have them set up like that on my TT bike.
With my bad back it is impossible for me to keep that position for more than half an hour, though.

But: aerobars can also be used in a more relaxed position ... in this position they give comfort over long distances while still giving a pretty aero profile.
It may not appeal to you ... and it doesn't have to ... but ask anyone (especially with bad backs) if aerobars can be very comfortable and they will tell you they can be.
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Old 04-13-12, 01:31 AM
  #140  
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People seem to agree that all aerobar riders are wobbly dangerous people that can't ride a straight line.
This seems true ... because most aerobar riders simply aren't used to their bars enough because they don't ride 'em enough.
One needs a few thousand K's with aerobars in various conditions to really get used to riding with them.
On my weekly sunday groupride I often use my aerobars to relieve my back and I haven't heard anyone complain about wobblyness or inability to maintain a straight line yet.
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Old 04-13-12, 01:44 AM
  #141  
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Originally Posted by AdelaaR View Post
... but ask anyone (especially with bad backs) if aerobars can be very comfortable and they will tell you they can be.
I mentioned this earlier. This is a perfectly understandable application for aerobars. If it what it takes for some people to be able to ride I am all for it.
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Old 04-13-12, 03:42 AM
  #142  
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Originally Posted by Bob Dopolina View Post
I mentioned this earlier.
Oh ... sorry ... I must have missed that bit.
You had quite the argument with AngrSaki (who obviously has little idea what he's talking about) and I didn't read it all.
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Old 04-13-12, 04:38 AM
  #143  
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Originally Posted by Bob Dopolina View Post
Think 'lipstick on a pig'.
Think 'blanket statement.'

Bob, sometimes the unorthodox works. If I wanted to get aero, I would use invisible bars. I used them on long trips for an extra position and they worked just dandy.

I can tell by the volume of posts on any given page after your entrance into the fray that this bothers you, but please rest assured we don't do it to piss you off :-)

FWIW, long distance (over a century) is the only time I use them. I find them no sillier than electronic shifting, but then that's my pet peeve

EDIT: I now see your statement two above this one.

Last edited by RT; 04-13-12 at 04:44 AM.
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Old 04-13-12, 06:10 AM
  #144  
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Originally Posted by Bob Dopolina View Post
Interesting.

In terms of bang for the buck aerobars and shoe covers are head to head for #1 spot.
You are misinformed. Yes, I've seen the claims that this was true after an intiial article came out claiming it, but nobody as been able to verify their claims. This has been thoroughly debated by elite and professional triathletes - if it was that good, they'd all be stopping in transition to put on shoe covers to add to their aero effects, especially for Ironman distance races, but none of them are doing it, because it doesn't pan out. One article/study does NOT make truth, especially in sports practice. (Aero helmets had a similar, more believeable claim for awhile, but even that's being called into serious question, whereas the aerobar effect is undeniable.)

And as to your assertion that aerobars should be a LAST thing to add, after maxxing out training that's totally bogus, BS advice as well. I guarantee 100% that you yourself will NEVER max out your training, and that you can always train better and more. I'm not at all saying you should not train, but free speed is free speed. According to your argument you should never buy race wheels, an aeroframe bike, or other speed-enhancing tools for races unless you're training like a pro, which is a total bogus elitist, and hypocritical stance.

(I also can't believe I'm defending aero gear here, as I don't use any of it, and am all about training, training, training myself, but your argument is so off-base that even I have to take issue with it.)
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Old 04-13-12, 09:46 AM
  #145  
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Originally Posted by hhnngg1 View Post
And as to your assertion that aerobars should be a LAST thing to add, after maxxing out training that's totally bogus
That is indeed totally bogus.
My advice is to start training with aerobar and aero position as soon as possible ... if the goal is to do time trial or tri races at least. (which mine is)
The body takes time to make adaptations to be able to achieve maximum power output in the aggressive aerobar position.
On top of that the brain takes time to really get used to the dynamics of steering in all possible conditions while in the aerobar tuck.
It took me about a 1000k to thoroughly get accustomed to it.
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Old 04-13-12, 10:48 AM
  #146  
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Originally Posted by hhnngg1 View Post
You are misinformed. Yes, I've seen the claims that this was true after an intiial article came out claiming it, but nobody as been able to verify their claims. This has been thoroughly debated by elite and professional triathletes - if it was that good, they'd all be stopping in transition to put on shoe covers to add to their aero effects, especially for Ironman distance races, but none of them are doing it, because it doesn't pan out. One article/study does NOT make truth, especially in sports practice. (Aero helmets had a similar, more believeable claim for awhile, but even that's being called into serious question, whereas the aerobar effect is undeniable.)
Sorry, there is ample wind tunnel data available that ballparks the same kind of figures stated in the article mentioned that is far more detailed and technical in nature that is a google search away.

Product and methods that provide good wind tunnel data are not always practical in the real world. For tryathletes the time saved by using some of this gear isn't worth the amount of time lost wriggling into or zip up and then unzipping and wriggling out of during two transitions to justify their use. That's why they don't bother with shoe covers.

Seriously, they use gadgets to tighten their shoe laces instead of tieing them. Do you think they are going to sit down and deal with shoe covers, twice?

Aero helmets are only worth it if you keep your position. Every time you look down that huge tail on the helmet sticks up in the air like a giant sail. It works for fast guys trying to squeeze that last seconds out of a ITT which only furthers my point; Aero bars on a lawn chair won't make it a faster lawn chair.

And what does any of this have to do with MUPpets churning along the MUP on their MTB with Nikes and a fanny pack?

Originally Posted by hhnngg1 View Post
And as to your assertion that aerobars should be a LAST thing to add, after maxxing out training that's totally bogus, BS advice as well.
Aero equipment only adds speed as a small percent of speed you already have. If you are slow no amount of aero gear will make you faster to any descernible degree. If you are fast it will add a small percentage of fastness to your already fast fastness

I don't care how many times you say it - aerobars will not make a pedestrian rider any faster.

Originally Posted by hhnngg1 View Post
I guarantee 100% that you yourself will NEVER max out your training, and that you can always train better and more. I'm not at all saying you should not train, but free speed is free speed. According to your argument you should never buy race wheels, an aeroframe bike, or other speed-enhancing tools for races unless you're training like a pro, which is a total bogus elitist, and hypocritical stance.
You would be incorrect.

I have had the good fortune to race internationally, at a decent level and with very good form. I have also had the opportunity to be poked, proded and tested in the lab. I have seen real talent up close and long ago recognized where I fit in the grand scheme of things.

I may be deluded about many things but on this I am rock solid.
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Old 04-13-12, 11:00 AM
  #147  
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Old 04-13-12, 11:05 AM
  #148  
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... that is so wrong in so many ways ... :facepalm:
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Old 04-13-12, 11:05 AM
  #149  
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Aero bars will allow you to go faster if you're by yourself but most of the time races are in groups so it's kind of irrelevant for most cyclists.
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Old 04-13-12, 11:07 AM
  #150  
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Originally Posted by mazdaspeed View Post
Aero bars will allow you to go faster if you're by yourself but most of the time races are in groups so it's kind of irrelevant for most cyclists.
... but then again: most cylists aren't actually in a paceline and most cyclists aren't actually racing.
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