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Do you use aerobars?(13 posts)

Do you use aerobars?MXL02
Sep 3, 2002 7:45 AM
I rode in Galveston this weekend with the wind blowing out of the east at about 20mph,(it felt like)and as I was fighting the up wind leg of my ride, I found myself wishing I had some aerobars. I was told when I first started riding, that true roadies don't use aerobars, so I was wondering how many people on this board have aerobars on the bike they ride for training? Do you have aerobars or do you use a TT bike for your solo rides?
Sort ofEager Beagle
Sep 3, 2002 7:54 AM
I have some Spinachis (small "horns" on the front of my drops on my training bike). They get me into enough of a tuck to feel the benefit when I am into wind/really feeling like a bit of a time trial.

They are also cheap, can be fitted without messing with the rest of my kit, and they can come off in about 2 mins.
Sep 3, 2002 8:05 AM
I took my aerobars off in '93 and never looked back. I have no question of the neccessity of aerobars for competitive TT and such, but they are just not for me. Grinding away mile after mile, craned over the front wheel, staring at a patch of road in front of me, is not enjoyable cycling to me (even if you do go faster). I'm sure many others will disagree with me, but aerobars suck the fun out of cycling for me.
only to go fast or longDougSloan
Sep 3, 2002 8:12 AM
There is no disputing that aerobars are faster, except for the rare few who just don't take to them. TdF riders even use them for uphill time trials.

"True Roadies", I think, try to distinguish themselves from Tri-Guys or rec-riders, so then typically don't use aerobars. But, then, they typically are in groups and rarely ride over 100 miles solo.

I use them for long training rides, as my long events darn near require them. It's best, I think, to train as you intend to race or ride events.

No, don't show up at a racer group ride with aerobars. It's just not done.

However, I've only done one double century without them, and I really wished I had them.

only to go fast or longMXL02
Sep 3, 2002 8:19 AM
Doug- I may put them on the bike, but just not use them on my group rides. I know the guys and they know me, so I can assure them that I won't use them in the paceline. It's just that I have started doing 80 - 100 mile solo rides and I really think aerobars would be helpful.

Thanks for your response.
How much faster do you think you go? nmSintesi
Sep 3, 2002 10:39 AM
about 1 mph fasterDougSloan
Sep 3, 2002 11:46 AM
About 1 mph compared to the tops, and .2-.5 faster than drops. I've tested this dozens of times, watching heart rate for reference, and on the aerobars is definitely faster at all times over about 16 mph wind speed compared to the tops/hoods. The faster you go, the more difference it makes. Note also that when on the aerobars, you are using fewer muscles to support your upper body, therefore requiring less oxygen, too. More of a skeletal support rather than muscular.

These measurements were for me after I've trained literally thousands of miles on the aerobars, too, so I'd say I have fully adapted. I can comfortably remain on them all day long, with short standing sessions to relieve the stiff muscles. Also, I use about a 4 inch drop from the saddle to the handlebars, on my road bike, and about 4 inches to the top of the aerobar armrests on my TT bike. That probably makes my numbers a bit more significant than if the handlebars were higher.

Wow! That's impressive.Sintesi
Sep 3, 2002 12:31 PM
Guys in my area have told me they find them much more comfortable during centuries as well. I may have to convert.

Sep 3, 2002 9:54 AM
They make all the difference on solo rides. They're also nice on group rides--when you're in the lead. I've been using them for years (and wished I had them for many years before that). They can be heaven sent, especially when you really really need to give your arms a rest. If you find them uncomfortable, you can try raising your bars a little. I like mine where they are, but if I use them for too long, the pressure starts to get to my crotch. (Sadly, the pressure gets to me down there anyway because I don't ride often enough!!!) I find them most helpful (and fun) on long rides that are basically uninterrupted. Not having brakes readily accessible can be nerve racking in traffic or around town. I actually have my shifters on mine, but I'm seriously considering switching to STI shifters just so that I have the option of easily removing my aerobars for some group rides. (My Profile Airstryke 2000s add about a pound).
Did you have to change you saddle position?MXL02
Sep 3, 2002 9:57 AM
After much finagling, I finally have my saddle where I want it...will I have to move it forward to use aerobars?
That depends...Matno
Sep 3, 2002 10:12 AM
I too have finagled much to get my saddle just right. I found that aerobars on a regular road bike is a bit of a trade-off. If you want to be positioned over the aerobars in the most aerodynamic position, your seat will feel way too far forward when you use the regular bars. (I ride the brake hoods most of the time). I did find that I preferred my saddle just BARELY tilted down from my regular position for riding the aeros. Honestly, I think what I really need is a split nosed saddle like a Koobi because that's the part that seems to get the extra pressure. (Although my WTB comfort zone does fine). I find that riding the aerobars really doesn't put me in a much different saddle position than riding the drops does (which I don't do very often unless I'm standing or doing a "technical" section full of potholes). It seems like I just bend my back a little more. If you ride your drops regularly, I doubt you'll need to change your saddle position. But you can have fun (or frustration) trying! Good luck.
re: saddle positioncyclopathic
Sep 3, 2002 10:36 AM
depends on which one you get. You can adjust reach on AirStryke 2000 and maintain fore/aft position. The only change I had to do is to drop saddle nose 2-3deg to relief pressure.

Also AirStryke 2k arm rests flip up to free tops, nice especially on narrow bars

and don't worry when somebody will ask if you're a tri-geek tell them no, you're just THAT GUY and they'll leave you alone.
Absolutely, comfort and speedMGS
Sep 3, 2002 3:51 PM
I never used aerobars and did several centuries wishing that I could stretch out and use the bars that I had taken off for the ride.

I did my first century with aerobars this year and will use them for all future rides. I did a rather long 400 mile/4day ride in Minnesota with four compradres. I finished each day more refreshed, and with less shoulder pain. The bars allowed me different positions and stretch.
Additionally, I've timed myself on a 30 mile circuit that I do routinely, and find that the aerobars increase my best time by .5 mph. This is reproducible on several occasions.

So, I'm faster, less fatigued, more relaxed, less stressed, and overall happier with aerobars.

My bike is set up with a Selle Transam Prolink Gel and Syntace aerobars. I find myself comfortable in all positions.

I didn't like the Koobi, it has a flat seat that really is ok for all positions, but perfect for none.

The Selle has a slight dip, and once set up, nose ever so slightly tilted up, it feels great.