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Old 04-15-17, 05:29 AM   #1
TDinBristol
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500m handlebar choice

Just finished watching the NBC Sports lifestream of the women's 500m World Championship. Of the 8 finalists, 7 opted for drop bars, but the winner, Shmeleva, used aero bars. In 2013, all but one of the riders (Pendleton, I recall) used aero bars. I wonder if we can begin to conclude that drop bars are proving to be the better choice for the 500, based on what top riders are choosing. I have to believe world-level teams have done a lot of testing.
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Old 04-16-17, 04:26 PM   #2
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You can check out the discussion on this in the Aerobar thread. It's mentioned there a bit. At this level, riders are testing both set ups and using what's best for them. It then depends on who's best that day. Drop bars being better is too general a statement to make.
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Old 04-17-17, 07:09 PM   #3
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General consensus seemed to be that for such a short event, transitioning to the TT bars has to be smooth as silk otherwise they are a disadvantage. That can take some time to master well that a lot of the participants could better use getting stronger/faster
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Old 04-19-17, 09:11 AM   #4
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Talking of NBC Live Xtra... I thought there'd be some highlights there to watch but there's nothing. There was only a very limited P-R highlights too. Compared to last year this is not a good one for TV spectating.
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Old 04-19-17, 01:11 PM   #5
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Talking of NBC Live Xtra... I thought there'd be some highlights there to watch but there's nothing. There was only a very limited P-R highlights too. Compared to last year this is not a good one for TV spectating.
The replays of the Worlds are still available here Live | NBC Sports if your cable company is listed.

I have heard other cyclists say they buy access to watch cycling. Perhaps this is what they buy: NBC Sports Gold live streaming packages and pricing | NBC Sports

I agree broadcasters in US do not cover a lot of cycling - maybe USA Cycling needs to work out a means such that we can view UCI coverage of bike racing. There are ways to get around UCI restricted coverage in the US using an unblocking service.
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Old 04-19-17, 01:19 PM   #6
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Excellent! I see them there. Thanks!! I was looking via their "CYC" menu option. I'm with Comcast SF Bay Area with Sports package so I do see them.

BEIN Sports also used to cover a lot last year like the Giro (linked with Eurosport?). This year they have none. I do subscribe to cycling.tv too which has a fair bit - but no Giro. Might have to fire up the VPN to UK/Australia to get BBC/ITV/SBS shows. Sometimes the link is just too slow to stream. An online subscription to Eurosport is an option too - but again I'd probably have to access via VPN. I thought with Universal Sports coming back under NBC in general would be a good thing - it was last year but no longer.
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Old 04-24-17, 03:23 PM   #7
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Late to this (been watching through the long days coverage). It's interesting that the first splits from Shmeleva she was dropping more and more time and then gained big at the end. Voinova just did not seem to have a good ride though I suppose. Would love to see a plot of them all.
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Old 04-25-17, 09:03 AM   #8
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Half lap splits for the final round are available here:

http://tissottiming.com/File/00030E0...FFFFFFFFFFFF03

I'm sure you can figure out how to plot them.
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Old 04-25-17, 09:34 AM   #9
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Thanks for posting.

Well first of all I guess I was wrong about Shmeleva losing time at the beginning (and will be wary of @Antmccrossan commentary in the future!) . She pretty much had the same splits as Welte.
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Old 10-09-17, 10:43 PM   #10
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I know this is a bit of an old thread, but thought I would bring it back to the top after what I saw today at the 2017 Master World’s. In the M 55-59, there were a lot of guys using sprint bars. Didn’t count, but wouldn’t be surprised if it was close to 50% and there were several turning 35-36 second 500’s on them. In the M 60-64 500’s, I would say there were as many, if not more on sprint bars than aero bars. What I find even more amazing is that the old M 60-64 world record (35.282) was smashed with a new time of 34.936 seconds on sprint bars. Are aero bars faster?

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Old 10-10-17, 12:13 AM   #11
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I know this is a bit of an old thread, but thought I would bring it back to the top after what I saw today at the 2017 Master World’s. In the M 55-59, there were a lot of guys using sprint bars. Didn’t count, but wouldn’t be surprised if it was close to 50% and there were several turning 35-36 second 500’s on them. In the M 60-64 500’s, I would say there were as many, if not more on sprint bars than aero bars. What I find even more amazing is that the old M 60-64 world record (35.282) was smashed with a new time of 34.936 seconds on sprint bars. Are aero bars faster?
Thanks for the report!

It's fair to compare Elite Women to Masters Men. The times are the same and the equipment choices are as well. And the split of handlebar choice for the 500M is about 50% drop bars and 50% aero bars.

Which is best? It depends on the rider's riding style (brute power or slippery smooth)

There are obviously some events where one bar type is obviously better than the other. But, the 500m and 750m TTs are those that simply need to be tested rider by rider.

Narrow handlebars confuse the issue even more because they are slightly more aero than 38-40cm drops but are slightly more difficult to get a powerful start as with the wider bars. So, they are sort of smack dab in the middle of the two options above

Edit: Take all of the above with a grain of salt. The most important thing to do is test to see which is best for each of us.

Last edited by carleton; 10-10-17 at 01:36 AM.
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Old 10-10-17, 11:09 AM   #12
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I agree with Carleton. You have to use what works best for you.

Early in the year, I experimented with aero bars in the 500. I did like the way they felt in the second lap, but my start really suffered. Being an old guy, I can't really make up the time I lost on the start by going faster for the rest of the ride. I am at least 1 second faster in sprint bars than aero bars, and that difference is all in the start. The three fastest first laps in the 65+ team sprint at WCs this Sunday were done on sprint bars (note, you must use sprint bars in the team sprint), and I know that those guys will be using sprint bars in the 500 on Wednesday. The issue is how well you transition from the starting bars to the aero extensions. I just never could get that down, and I could actually feeling myself letting up slightly when I tried to get in aero position.

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Old 10-10-17, 11:18 AM   #13
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I agree with Carleton. You have to use what works best for you.

Early in the year, I experimented with aero bars in the 500. I did like the way they felt in the second lap, but my start really suffered. Being an old guy, I can't really make up the time I lost on the start by going faster for the rest of the ride. I am at least 1 second faster in sprint bars than aero bars, and that difference is all in the start. The three fastest first laps in the 65+ team sprint at WCs this Sunday were done on sprint bars (note, you must use sprint bars in the team sprint), and I know that those guys will be using sprint bars in the 500 on Wednesday. The issue is how well you transition from the starting bars to the aero extensions. I just never could get that down, and I could actually feeling myself letting up slightly when I tried to get in aero position.
I find it curious that Hoy did his 500m WR (24.758" at altitude) using aero bars.

Maybe he had extensive aerobar training to nail the start and transition because he was focusing on the kilo at that time and he went there chasing the Kilo WR. The 500M attempt was a last minute thing at the end.

My guess is that he would have gone faster in drop bars. Maybe they didn't pack them for the trip?

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Old 10-10-17, 11:51 AM   #14
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I find it curious that Hoy did his 500m WR (24.758" at altitude) using aero bars.

Maybe he had extensive aerobar training to nail the start and transition because he was focusing on the kilo at that time and he went there chasing the Kilo WR. The 500M attempt was a last minute thing at the end.

My guess is that he would have gone faster in drop bars. Maybe they didn't pack them for the trip?

Hoy is a god. I guess he can do whatever he wants and still go fast!
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Old 10-10-17, 12:55 PM   #15
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I find it curious that Hoy did his 500m WR (24.758" at altitude) using aero bars.

Maybe he had extensive aerobar training to nail the start and transition because he was focusing on the kilo at that time and he went there chasing the Kilo WR. The 500M attempt was a last minute thing at the end.

My guess is that he would have gone faster in drop bars. Maybe they didn't pack them for the trip?

This is my velodrome here in La Paz!

It is a 333,3 metres track and the bankings are very progressive and fast. If you find the video of the flying 500 record ('cause he broke the flying record, not the standing start record), you will see that Hoy transition from base bar to the skys is very very smooth. I don't know which gear he was pushing, but it was way over of 100 inches.

Very important to know is that he and his support team brought many things (rollers, road bike, different helmets and wheels... even the electronic starting gate and the timing device). But the flying 500 record was an extra: the objetive was the Kilo.
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Old 10-10-17, 01:28 PM   #16
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This is my velodrome here in La Paz!

It is a 333,3 metres track and the bankings are very progressive and fast. If you find the video of the flying 500 record ('cause he broke the flying record, not the standing start record), you will see that Hoy transition from base bar to the skys is very very smooth. I don't know which gear he was pushing, but it was way over of 100 inches.

Very important to know is that he and his support team brought many things (rollers, road bike, different helmets and wheels... even the electronic starting gate and the timing device). But the flying 500 record was an extra: the objetive was the Kilo.
Thank you for the correction!
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Old 10-10-17, 01:45 PM   #17
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I think for 500m it's splitting hairs, and as Brawlo mentioned it is only worth considering if you are very proficient at transitioning... and, it should go without saying, very comfortable putting such high power (not 2 minute power) in aero position. I had very little bike time this year, and zero time in aero bars, so the choice was easy. Still, my chief nagger commented on the video:
I do watch it and think: "That's a guy who should be in aero-bars for that event"
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Old 10-11-17, 06:50 AM   #18
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I think for 500m it's splitting hairs, and as Brawlo mentioned it is only worth considering if you are very proficient at transitioning... and, it should go without saying, very comfortable putting such high power (not 2 minute power) in aero position. I had very little bike time this year, and zero time in aero bars, so the choice was easy. Still, my chief nagger commented on the video:
I do watch it and think: "That's a guy who should be in aero-bars for that event"
Hahaha

I think one issue that hasn't been mentioned is the ability to hold the line in aerobars vs drop bars.

Every mm above the black line has one traveling further than 500M. If you hold your line better than the next rider, your time is marked for a shorter distance than that rider.

In an event that is won and lost by tenths or hundredths of a second, those wobbles up to and over the red line hurt a lot.

If someone has the math on it, please share. I'll see if I can calculate how much those wobbles hurt in terms of distance and/or time.
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Old 10-11-17, 07:52 AM   #19
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Hahaha

I think one issue that hasn't been mentioned is the ability to hold the line in aerobars vs drop bars.

Every mm above the black line has one traveling further than 500M. If you hold your line better than the next rider, your time is marked for a shorter distance than that rider.

In an event that is won and lost by tenths or hundredths of a second, those wobbles up to and over the red line hurt a lot.

If someone has the math on it, please share. I'll see if I can calculate how much those wobbles hurt in terms of distance and/or time.
"So if you ride the red line as opposed to the black line per 250m lap:

Your 500m time trial will be 511.4 meters
Your 1000m time trial will be 1022.8 meters
Your 4000m pursuit will be 4091.2 meters (...)"


https://www.trackcyclingacademy.com/...-the-velodrome
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Old 10-11-17, 11:07 AM   #20
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Last night at the World’s, in the M 45-49 750’s, it was split again about 50/50 aerobars to sprint bars with the three fastest times being on sprint bars. For the M 50-54 500’s, I believe there were more on sprint bars than aerobars with. Last year’s world champ, current world record holder and this year’s world champ (Murray from Aus) was on aerobars and did a 34.4, his world record is 33.5 or something like that, so I’m assuming he has tons of time in aerobars. Last years silver medalist and current silver medalist did 34.5 on sprint bars....he did a 35.1 at Nationals on aerobars. For anyone but Elites, it seems that sprint bars vs aerobars comes down to what your most comfortable with as it has certainly been proven by the times that both can be extremely fast with the correct engine.
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Old 10-11-17, 12:57 PM   #21
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"So if you ride the red line as opposed to the black line per 250m lap:

Your 500m time trial will be 511.4 meters
Your 1000m time trial will be 1022.8 meters
Your 4000m pursuit will be 4091.2 meters (...)"


https://www.trackcyclingacademy.com/...-the-velodrome
Thanks!!
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Old 10-11-17, 01:00 PM   #22
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Last night at the World’s, in the M 45-49 750’s, it was split again about 50/50 aerobars to sprint bars with the three fastest times being on sprint bars. For the M 50-54 500’s, I believe there were more on sprint bars than aerobars with. Last year’s world champ, current world record holder and this year’s world champ (Murray from Aus) was on aerobars and did a 34.4, his world record is 33.5 or something like that, so I’m assuming he has tons of time in aerobars. Last years silver medalist and current silver medalist did 34.5 on sprint bars....he did a 35.1 at Nationals on aerobars. For anyone but Elites, it seems that sprint bars vs aerobars comes down to what your most comfortable with as it has certainly been proven by the times that both can be extremely fast with the correct engine.
Yup!

But Ainars Kiksis won the 45-49 750m using aero bars...and never touched the red line
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Old 10-12-17, 02:42 PM   #23
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Last night I was part of the 65-69 500 TT (finished 5th). The Frenchman who won and set a world's best time (aka world record) used aero bars.
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Old 10-12-17, 02:44 PM   #24
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Last night I was part of the 65-69 500 TT (finished 5th). The Frenchman who won and set a world's best time (aka world record) used aero bars.
Congrats!
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Old 10-12-17, 03:06 PM   #25
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Some context from the highest levels of 500M TTs:

2015 Worlds (2.5 minutes):

2013 Worlds (45 minutes)
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