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How good do I have to be to justify aerobars?(14 posts)

How good do I have to be to justify aerobars?LAIrish
Oct 5, 2001 8:20 AM
As regular readers know (and for those who don't) I'm pushing 50, somewhat overweight (lost 12 lbs in last 3 weeks), and a newbie who is using riding as the centerpiece of his "get back in shape before you embarass yourself by keeling over and dieing in some public place" campaign. I ride an early 90's Klein Quantum with Shimano 600 components.

I've been looking at aerobars lately. They look like they'd be neat, and give me the ability to lean over and take a bit of a breather (as well as assume a more aerodynamic position on the bike). But I don't think I'm a good enough rider to justify them. (I don't want to be the geezer Fred with the tricked out bike walking it up the hill at the local charity event.) So, how good to I have to be to justify them?

I'm planning on riding the Solvang Prelude metric century Nov. 3. I thought that, if I made that ride (it's rated "difficult" but I don't know if that's just because of the distance, or because there are some significant hills) I would reward myself with a set of Profile Design Airstrykes. Or am I being to generous?
nothing to do with "good"Dog
Oct 5, 2001 8:32 AM
Unless you are racing or riding in packs all the time, I'd get them and leave them on.

They give you another, more relaxed position. They are faster on the flats and most downhills (not the scary, curvy ones).

The weight penalty is minimal, about 1 pound, compared to the time they'll save on the flats.

No reason not to have them. Just don't use them when wheel sucking, heavy traffic, with no shoulder, bad weather...

Doug
Right. I got them just to have another position toSpinchick
Oct 5, 2001 9:31 AM
go to on long solo rides. It helps me to be able to stretch out a bit. I haven't had the problems that some mentioned but I have my saddle all the way back. It took a little time to get used to but now I use them frequently. And I don't really care how fast I ride these days - it's just more comfortable for me.
Try before you buy.MB1
Oct 5, 2001 8:43 AM
I could never get used to them. Balance problems or something. I would expect that your shop or someone you know has a pair gathering dust that they would let you try.

BTW Nothing wrong with being the Geezer Fred with the tricked out bike. You will get even more respect when you improve. If you never improve, hey you are still better than the 99% who aren't out there giving it a go.
Try before you buy.dzrider
Oct 5, 2001 9:16 AM
I never got used to them either and would, if you were in CT, let you try mine. Ask around and you'll likely find other riders like me and MB1 who have tried them and not liked them. I'd be willing to trade mine for a pair of Look cleats.
better than 99%...word. nmJs Haiku Shop
Oct 5, 2001 9:44 AM
valid credit card or cash are only requirementsnm
Oct 5, 2001 8:43 AM
nm
Good for flats and into the windMick
Oct 5, 2001 9:09 AM
I used to live in Michigan and used Airstykes. Where I lived it was small rollers and consistently high winds. They help a lot going into the wind.

Now I live in South Carolina and there are no small rollers, only larger rollers that turn into hills that turn into mountains. So, I took them off as they offer little benefit here and a weight penalty.

Once in a while the gang does a time trial and then I put them back on. But I can definitely feel the weight climbing a hill.
CautionTriBuddha
Oct 5, 2001 9:13 AM
Caution, coming from someone with some experience with aero bars on a road bike, and racing triathlons. a) They take getting use to and can be difficult to adapt your riding positon on a road bike with aero bars. Much depends on hip angle, height of bars/head tube realtive to seat, flexibility. Experiment with seat fore/aft postion, and stem height. B) If serious get a pair of Syntace istead of AirStryke's. Much more comfy, better balance, more durable. C) Dont use them while riding in a pack or in heavy traffic. D) Your die hard roadies buddies in club clothing will definitely give you a wide berth:)

On the positive side I am very comfy in them and can stay in them for hrs at a time (could not in the Profiles), and you definitely go faster (especially in strong headwinds they are a saviour). Also if really pulling hard its another place for leverage, and if on along rides it afford a change up in terms of hand postions. I think its a mistake to think of them soley in terms of letting you rest on your forearms. The abs and lower back should still be engaged even in the aero bars.

Personal choice: if I was not racing triathlons or training for them I would remove them, as they are of little use in a group ride or even a short easy rides.

If you want more information write to me or check out John Cobb's site on set up. Good luck
much depends on bike setup and geometryJs Haiku Shop
Oct 5, 2001 9:49 AM
started with a profile century aerobar on my allez, didn't work 'cause (1) i wasn't fleixble enough to get over 'em and my cheap-beer spare tire was in the way (no longer a problem on either count), and (2) the top tube length and difference between saddle and stem top height was all wrong.

mind you, my long ride last year was 50 miles (this year ~125). now i'm using a loaned pair of century zb with the spring-loaded armrests, so i have more room on the tops for hands while climbing and otherwise. have 'em on my bianchi, which is a more aggressive setup (shorter TT and a couple inches seat over bars). use 'em during long rides, only in solo efforts. they're there during club rides and other groups, but unused when not appropriate.

your qualifier should be "are they comfortable, and do i use them". experience/aptitude have nothing to do with it. agree with previos post re: try before you buy, if you have a chance.

good luck.
re: How good do I have to be to justify aerobars?APG
Oct 5, 2001 10:02 AM
I got aerobars in January when I started doing triathlons. Absolutely love them on long rides and rides on the trainer...so-o-o comfortable. Not good in group rides or in the city and I wish I had a second bike w/o aero bars. I'd skip Profile and go with Syntace, however. I've heard of far too many problems with Profile, although, they have very good customer service if you do encounter problems.

Good luck!

APG
Not good, just lucky ;-)grzy
Oct 5, 2001 10:15 AM
They're pretty easy to run. It just takes little time to get used to them. I prefer running the Scott RaceClip Ons (RCO) when needed. They give you another position which can be helpful on the body for longish rides. Stup incorrectly and they can be painful in time.
RE: The Solvang PreludeMB1
Oct 5, 2001 11:10 AM
I think it is rated difficult because it is largely promoted for and ridden by new riders like yourself. You probably will find the hills and wind difficult. I'll point out that Humma did the Solvang Century on his 47lb 1-speed Schwinn Cruiser. He found it difficult.

As you get more experienced you will do much harder rides and look back on the Solvang Prelude with nostalga. For now just accept that it will be a nice but do-able challange.

BTW enjoy and have fun.
Thanks for the info and encouragement *LAIrish
Oct 6, 2001 11:56 AM