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Aerobars. Worth the bother?

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Aerobars. Worth the bother?

Old 03-15-15, 12:15 PM
  #1  
tmac100
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Aerobars. Worth the bother?

I am wondering if aerobars are worth it. I have done 2 long distance tours (in Australia) and they were great. Sustained, tough, but GREAT - BUT I got rid of my Bob Ibex after the last trip.

Now using panniers (instead of a trailer, maybe), I am wondering if aerobars are worth using?

The Nullabore is calling
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Old 03-15-15, 12:48 PM
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When i first started getting back into riding i had a flat bar hybrid and no clue. After a few club rides i realized i needed to be able to get more aero on those long into the wind slogs. Aero bars solved the problem. They looked silly on a hybrid but they worked. I could tuck in and draft in the pace line with my roadie friends. I would never say anything bad about aero bars. My New TT bike has bull horns and aeros. Best compromise ever. My road bike drops Are still sitting on my spare parts shelf...

Ps. You can rig a brake lever to your aero bars if you want/need/ or have to.
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Old 03-15-15, 02:12 PM
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I did Not on My touring Bikes ... Now with Trekking bars I Can get tucked Low into a Headwind without them.


My long commute bike I had a Tall Aero bar set up I could not Dream of bending way Over low onto the posture the aero Position requires.


My tours , if I feel fatigued by too much time in the saddle, I get off an do something else. stopping in a Pub is one option. say for Lunch.

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Old 03-15-15, 02:48 PM
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hueyhoolihan
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depending on the anticipated length of the tour, i will put an inexpensive set of clip-on aero bars on my flat-bar touring bikes.
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Old 03-15-15, 02:58 PM
  #5  
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Aerobars are essential to my comfort for all day riding and multi-day tours. They afford a riding position that allows the hands to rest. Without them, my hand muscles get tired from gripping the handlebars for hours on end.

I first installed aerobars on a touring bike 21 years ago. I have always bought Profile Air Strykes. The original set is still going strong. The second set is about to begin Season 11 of riding.
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Old 03-15-15, 05:42 PM
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Getting a good set of regular handlebars is important. If you are uncomfortable gripping your bars because they are plain round where they could be a little bit more flat and ergonomic you should switch. If you are using flat bars that is as simple as getting some good ergo grips like the Selle Royale Mano or Ergon grips (I would probably go with Ergon because you can get ones with bar ends to give you more gripping positions). If you have drop bars, the Zipp Ergo bars (I have the SL-70 Ergos) are a great choice, even if designed for racing. Nobody should be death gripping their bars anymore and having a nice little flat section for the palm to rest allows for good blood flow and no more death gripping!

Also a good thing to do is make sure you move your hands around and don't be afraid to take each one off the bars every so often and stretch them out and do a little finger calisthenics or a shakedown.

If the aerobars are for cutting through wind or adding more hand positions I think they can be a good idea but adding other brake levers could be harder. For me I wouldn't do it but if you think that is something that would help and the weight penalty is not going to be too great, go for it. It might look silly on a fully loaded touring bike but who cares, we tourists are known for looking a bit silly ; )
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Old 03-20-15, 03:28 AM
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I guess if you did triathlons aero bars would feel like home, and there are lots of times on tour when they would be safish enough. My main warning would be to avoid them if you run high bars. I see a lot of people running them where they actually make their position worse. There are times on tour when getting low is the only way in a very heavy wind, but some of the guys I see running aero bars, are kidding themselves.
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Old 03-20-15, 03:48 AM
  #8  
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Nullarbor -- No Trees.

I tried aerobars way back when I first started touring, on the bike with which coincidentally I crossed the Nullarbor Plain. They were OK, but at the speeds I was doing and in the winds I was experiencing, I didn't perceived any significant advantage. The downside is that you always give up an element of control and I think stability, and when you have trucks and vehicles speeding past on public roads, I want to have as much control over my bike -- including access to brakes and gears as well as steering ability -- as possible.

If you run drops, there really isn't a need for aerobars into a headwind. There also is a compromise with seating position so that unless you use the aero position all the time, either it or the up position are going to be uncomfortable.
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Old 03-20-15, 07:36 AM
  #9  
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Originally Posted by MassiveD View Post
I guess if you did triathlons aero bars would feel like home, and there are lots of times on tour when they would be safish enough. My main warning would be to avoid them if you run high bars. I see a lot of people running them where they actually make their position worse. There are times on tour when getting low is the only way in a very heavy wind, but some of the guys I see running aero bars, are kidding themselves.
I'm probably one of those guys you're seeing.

I don't use aerobars primarily for aero, for me they're "rest the wrists" bars.

If it's a big headwind, I ride in the drops. If my hands are getting tired, I use the aerobars and rest on my elbows.
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Old 03-22-15, 08:30 PM
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I used them a couple decades ago on my Centurian. When I sold her, (silly me) i let the aero bars go. I ended up purchasing another set for my mountain bike that I used as a commuter for 7 or 8 years. Put touring tires on and it was great to have another position. I have since switched them to my 520. My next tour is supported and they discourage the use of them. They were great to have for spinning in the vomitorium this past winter, and so far like last year, they very rarely get used. outside. I ride 50kms 4 times a week. If I don't start using them on the road, probably won't take them on tour this year.
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Old 03-22-15, 09:42 PM
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Originally Posted by acantor View Post
Aerobars are essential to my comfort for all day riding and multi-day tours. They afford a riding position that allows the hands to rest. Without them, my hand muscles get tired from gripping the handlebars for hours on end.

I first installed aerobars on a touring bike 21 years ago. I have always bought Profile Air Strykes. The original set is still going strong. The second set is about to begin Season 11 of riding.
+1 on the "allows the hands to rest." I also may look silly but don't think I'm "kidding myself" on getting some advantage riding into a headwind. I have flat bars, not drops, and with my hands out there and my shoulders wider I make a much bigger target for the wind.
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Old 03-23-15, 12:25 AM
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Originally Posted by hilltowner View Post
+1 on the "allows the hands to rest." I also may look silly but don't think I'm "kidding myself" on getting some advantage riding into a headwind. I have flat bars, not drops, and with my hands out there and my shoulders wider I make a much bigger target for the wind.
Hey there are lots of people who ride aeros just fine, and most people here are a lot more dialed in that some. I have seen people who were making a bigger target on their aeros than if they used their tops or flats. Basically they pull you further out. If your whole position is diagonally up, then some of that out, is actually up.

They are more aero, so much so that the best time trial type position is very nearly as good as a recumbent. But those bikes do not have the seat tube angle you find on touring bikes, let along some of the older MTBs people like to outfit for touring. So unless your; ride is set up for that position, or you are exceptionally foldy at the waist, there are challenges in using them.
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Old 03-23-15, 09:50 AM
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hilltowner
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You might want to critique my position. This was taken on the paved portion of Quebec 389 about 4 years ago. http://youtu.be/hVyflq1FX_I
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Old 04-03-15, 07:58 PM
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Interesting discussion. I've been considering the use of Airstryke bars with standard drop bars on a long trip, as much for the resting/variation as for the aero benefit.
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Old 04-04-15, 11:08 AM
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I use Air Strykes with drop bars. Although I use them primarily as a way to rest my hands, the aero position makes it easier to ride into headwinds, and climb long hills.

The aerobars are great in this worse case scenario: climbing steep hills with strong headwinds and tired hands!
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