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aero bars on a mountain bike?(6 posts)

aero bars on a mountain bike?Guidosan
Jan 15, 2002 11:29 PM
I have a mountain bike that I started commuting to work with last year and I really enjoy it as well as some longer rides on weekends. My situation is that I do not have a road bike and finances are going to keep me from getting a decent bike anytime soon. I had changed the rear cassette to one with an 11-tooth gear and I also changed the front sprocket to a 28x38x48. I'd like to change the tires to a 1.5-inch semi-slick with an 80-psi rating next. I guess my questions are, what else can I do to make this bike faster on the road, and would aero bars be useful? What are the disadvantages to aero bars, and would I be laughed out of town for putting them on a mountain bike? Thanks for your input.
re: aero bars on a mountain bike?yeah right
Jan 16, 2002 1:10 AM
Hey Guidosan,

I wouldn't be surprised if a lot of the people on this board went through the same story of a crossed out mountain bike before they decided to get a road bike. From experience, interms of speed increase, obviously the tires make the biggest difference. I've had good luck with specialized armadillo 1.5s. Changing the gearing as you've done is a good idea. I personally would stay away from the aero bars. First of all, most road riders don't use them to begin with because there isn't that much to gain under a lot of circumstances, and no one will want to ride with you if you use them during rides. Secondly the top tube length of your bike might put you in a really awkward position. Oh yeah, and it does look pretty bad. Just remember to keep moving your hands around on long rides. Enjoy.
re: aero bars on a mountain bike?DWridesGT
Jan 16, 2002 5:15 AM
A long, long time ago I put a pair of Scott clip-ons on my Huffy RoadMaster mountain bike (yeah, we ALL owned one at one time). I rode the 29lb bike around town as fast and as far as I could. I now know how silly I must have looked. This bike wasn't set up for aero bars, it didn't give me enough of a laid out stretch. Very uncomfortable and akward. Boy, I must have been something to see. Do it if you have to, in a couple of years you'll get a kick out of yourself.
Forget the aero bars...Greg Taylor
Jan 16, 2002 6:18 AM
...go with the skinny tires. They make a HUGE difference. Panaracer makes some really good, reasonably priced skinny tires (the Pasaela) that are even quicker than the 1.5's that you are looking at. They make a 26 X 1.25 that is an excellent, all-around tire.

As for the bar, forget the aero bars. I'd go with a cheap set of regular drop bars if I had a set of road brake levers lying aroud...OR...for a cool retro look (that allows you to keep your Mtn. brake levers, grips and shifters), get a "riser" mountain bar from Nashbar and mount it upside down. You get a bit of an "aero" drop that looks kinda cool...
why not?Dog
Jan 16, 2002 7:50 AM
Especially if it's a long commute, why not throw them on there? There is no disadvantage to the bike itself, except adding about a pound.

Be careful around traffic, though. Obviously you'll have less control.

You are commuting, not racing in the Tour, so why care what people think?

re: aero bars on a mountain bike?JBergland
Jan 17, 2002 7:11 AM
I think someone also mentioned this before... many people have gotten started riding on the road using a mountain bike with slicks. I know I did. Slick 26' tires will be the best upgrade that you can make. I would suggest buying any tire that is on closeout that is 1.5 or narrower. I had an aero bar on my mountain bike for a while, but found the reach too far forward to be very comfortable. Another option you might want to try is bar ends on the inside of your bars... close to the stem.

Good Luck!!