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Aerobars and CF??(4 posts)

Aerobars and CF??mlester
Jun 18, 2002 4:24 AM
I am contemplating the purchase of aerobars and a carbon fiber fork in the near future. I would like to get them now but am a little hesitant to spend the $$. How beneficial are these two items to performance and comfort? I don't want to wait too long to add them to my ride but if they are not that important, I can.

re: Aerobars and CF??grandemamou
Jun 18, 2002 5:41 AM
IMO neither are particularly important. The only time I use aero bars are for time trials. Although when I'm alone I have wished I had them when plugging into a stiff headwind. For me at least it's not worth it, because it changes the handling characteristics of the bike. They can give you extra positions, if your doing long rides, this may help with fatigue.

Carbon forks may or may not improve comfort. Some are super stiff, some are whippy, and some are in between. You will reduce weight but you may not improve comfort.
CF forksbrider
Jun 18, 2002 7:13 AM
While I am a fan of CF forks, I also have a personal story on the fact that they are NOT all the same. When I first got my TiCycles Softride, I had a set of Trek CF forks put on it (the lightest forks at the time, and also almost the least expensive). While they were comfortable, they felt a little vague in technical stuff. One TT I did had my messin' my shorts -- any time I got over 30 mph, the front wheel oscillated violently (while the handlebars were totally steady). Admittedly, I was using a Specialized Tri-Spoke front wheel, but I was going to be using those wheels a lot, so the handling situation was unacceptable to me. I switched to a Kestrel EMS fork, and have had no problems whatsoever in the handling department. Yes, they are a little stiffer, and transmit a bit more road vibration, but for the technical stuff, I'm much more confident.
re: Aerobars and CF??JimP
Jun 18, 2002 7:20 AM
I would add to grandemamou's post about positions - I rode in an organized metric century ride on Saturday and was dropped by the lead group after 5 miles. That was an accomplishment for me to be able to hang with them that long. I found myself riding alone for most of the rest of the ride and there was one 6 mile stretch into the wind where the aerobars were very beneficial to reduce the wind resistance. Aerobars are something you have to get used to. The handling characteristics are a little different and there is a different head position that strains the neck. I have ridden with them since the first aerobars were created and wouldn't ride without them but don't use them when in a group or paceline.