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The whole aerobar thing

 
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Chris




Joined: 15 May 2003
Posts: 7423

PostPosted: Thu May 15, 2003 3:54 pm    Post subject: The whole aerobar thing Reply with quote

I like many people ride a road geometry bike and have spent much time admiring machines laden with aerobars in their many different forms. As I commute on my bike, I can't really have them or use them during the week, but have always been tempted by the bolt on ones. What sort of experience has anybody has with them, good and bad? Are they worthwhile for a 'not quite beginner'? Do they offer great benefits when cycling into those horrific headwinds that appear at this time of year? I average about 32-35kph comfortably, would they offer me any great time or effort savings?

First post in the bike section!!
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Daz




Joined: 15 May 2003
Posts: 11699
Location: Hampton, London

PostPosted: Thu May 15, 2003 4:09 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Chris,

I presume you are familiar with the different types of aero bars out there? Profile are one of the main supplier, and have there range in the Tri-UK catalogue (go to http://www.triuk.com/).

I started with the century ZB equivalent two years ago (34.99). I think these are the generally preferred aero-bars for people who are just pass the tri-novice stage. They serve there purpose.
I then moved on to Carbon Stryke (99.99) These are very popular for 'improvers' who are willing to spend a little cash, as they are adjustable in about every way - unlike some of the other designs that are <75. TriUK ran out of stock last year. These are now on my Trek 1200.

My racing bike has Syntace 2 tri bars with open ends for the bar end shifters. I would highly recommend these (as well as the carbon stryke)
as they are v comfortable. Not sure of the price of these - best search internet for the company catalogue.

Also, get yourself a mount for the cycle computer. It's easier and safer, when you're down on the bars, to look at the computer when its on the bars rather than the stem.
Razz
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Chris




Joined: 15 May 2003
Posts: 7423

PostPosted: Fri May 16, 2003 9:19 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

That was what I was thinking, along the Century ZB bar type, or some of the higher spec bars from the classifieds. Last time I rode with areobars I was really unstable - I guess this is something that you get used to.

Actually, as I commute a lot, I ride on the hoods 95% of the time, because I have to be up there and alert as a result I find it a little unstable on the drops, especially when out of the saddle. I'm trying to get out of that bad habit...
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ed_m




Joined: 15 May 2003
Posts: 8127
Location: coventry

PostPosted: Fri May 16, 2003 9:48 am    Post subject: for what it's worth... Reply with quote

my choice of bike was influenced by the thought of fitting aerobars...

i loved the giant, fitted like a glove but with aero bars i'd have been too stretched out. The specialized i have is fine on the tops & hoods but feels cramped on the drops (which i rarely use).. but on the aero bars it's just peachy (as confirmed by a cycling coach chap at one of our training days).

it's a great feeling to pound along on the aero bars with virtually just your legs moving, it's meant to be good to rest those tired arms after the swim too. I always appreciate a change of position occasionally, i'm sure it makes headwinds easier... but it still feels like a headwind (sorry)!

ed
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Daz




Joined: 15 May 2003
Posts: 11699
Location: Hampton, London

PostPosted: Fri May 16, 2003 10:24 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I don't aero bars either when riding around central london. You need your wits about you as it is and with aerobars you lose too much control.

Once you get out into the countryside though you can really stretch out and enjoy Very Happy
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Robert




Joined: 15 May 2003
Posts: 9238
Location: Back from outer space

PostPosted: Tue May 20, 2003 11:08 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Personally, I do without. But I'm a trad bike rider, so don't necessarily listen to me for triathlons!

Cyclists prefer frames that are a little smaller than their ideal. Mine is a size smaller, so the seat post's raised high but with the handlebars 2inches lower than the saddle. That gives me an aero riding position, especially if I tilt my pelvis on the tip of the saddle so that I can get get down to the drops and have my back as flat as possible.

I agree that this would not be very comfortable for anything longer than 30Km.....
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NateJ




Joined: 02 Jun 2003
Posts: 3
Location: West Country

PostPosted: Mon Jun 02, 2003 7:47 pm    Post subject: An Aerobar question Reply with quote

Hope this is the right place for my question if not I'm sure someone will tell me. I did my first real tri at the weekend (really enjoyed it btw and surprised myself!) and it was also the first time I'd ridden my road bike and got off and run immediately. (Don't even ask about transition - I just hope noone had a video camera!!) Anyway previously I'd got off a hybrid and run with no problems apart from the obvious, non functioning legs, no coordination and mild nausea. This time however all round my torso at the bottom of the ribcage hurt / felt stiff for over half the run. Or maybe other bits started hurting more after that! On the bike I spent a reasonable amount of time on the drops (currently no aerobars)as it was windy. When I've been out for a ride this has never been a problem. I guess the pain on the run and the bike position are connected so I'm now thinking about aerobars as a way to improve the situation next time out. Anyone got any thoughts / helpful suggestions?
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Kestrel13




Joined: 17 May 2003
Posts: 12
Location: Bournemouth

PostPosted: Mon Jun 02, 2003 8:19 pm    Post subject: Whole aerobr thing Reply with quote

Nate, no nice way to put this, and I may be wrong, but it sounds as if your core development needs work. Sad I would suggest that the time spent on the drops used your abdominal muscles and lower back muscles in a different manner than riding on the hoods when the weight is taken by your shoulders and arms.

Get down the gym and work out a set of exercises, on the swiss ball and roman chair, with the instructors. This will also help you maintain form and therefore efficiency. Smile

Good Luck Wink
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ed_m




Joined: 15 May 2003
Posts: 8127
Location: coventry

PostPosted: Mon Jun 02, 2003 9:33 pm    Post subject: ... Reply with quote

mm yes core stuff.. i have noticed i have less stitch problems on the run since i started the swimming.

also you can do yourself a favour toward the end of the bike leg....
take a lower gear and spin those legs out a bit
lean forward & stretch your calf & achilles out
stretch your chest out from its compressed bike type position.. i lean back on alternate sides and breath in trying to fill each side in turn.

(obviously i did none of these things yesterday! but it has seemed to help in the past)

ed
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NateJ




Joined: 02 Jun 2003
Posts: 3
Location: West Country

PostPosted: Tue Jun 03, 2003 1:05 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Folks don't worry about nice - thanks for the good points. Kestrel you've reminded me - core strength has been mentioned in another context recently (apparently (ex) rugby players are notorious for not having much!) as has pilates as a good way to develop it. My gym "allergy" is particularly bad in the summer so I think I'll look into pilates first. Ed I did the spin an easy gear thing but I'll try the stretches too next time I run straight off the bike.
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thinman220
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PostPosted: Tue Jun 03, 2003 4:31 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

A really old phrase but a good one, "don't do anything in a race that you haven't allready practiced". Sorry if this sounds a bit like I am preaching at you but it's the truth. Wink
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NateJ




Joined: 02 Jun 2003
Posts: 3
Location: West Country

PostPosted: Tue Jun 03, 2003 8:41 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Nope, doesn't sound like preaching, just good sense which I didn't see last time I practised. Next time I do the bike run thing the bike bit will be on the bike I race on. Now it's been mentioned it sounds so obvious it's not funny. (Odd how often that happens tho......)
So any more thoughts on aero bars meanwhile. Should I shouldn't I?
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Robert




Joined: 15 May 2003
Posts: 9238
Location: Back from outer space

PostPosted: Wed Jun 18, 2003 10:58 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Def a prob with your abs - the aero bars would help somewhat towards this as you're more stretched out and the chest is more open for breathing. In an intense effort on a road bike, my abs are always switched on as I always ride on the drops for max speed - not a good thing to do unless you're on a short ride!
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Cougie




Joined: 21 Jun 2003
Posts: 1900
Location: NW

PostPosted: Sat Jun 21, 2003 8:15 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

When I first riode with Tribars on my normal road bike - I always found my speed increased by 1 or 2 mph.
But I'd definitely take time to practice on them before racing, as has been pointed out here. No use if you crash ! Laughing
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