I love aerobars

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I love aerobars

Postby AndrewBurns » Thu Aug 01, 2013 2:41 pm

Not the chocolate kind, although they are quite tasty...

I've only ridden the Calga TT twice on a normal road bike with somewhat aero wheels however I've been itching to try out some clip-on aero bars to see how much time I can shave off.

Luckily I was at Steve Hogg getting a slight adjustment to the fit on my bikes the other day and I noticed he had some clip-on bars hanging up so I asked him if he could fit some up for me and he obliged. He set up the bars such that my body position was exactly the same as when I was on the drops except with my arms out forward and tucked in so my frontal area is greatly reduced. This means that I'm already well adapted to the position and I'm not going to have to re-learn anything or injure myself from being too stretched out etc. My drops position is already quite low down so I think my tuck is about as good as I could currently do without improving on my flexibility anyway.

I took them for my first try today, I've read a bit saying that they take some getting used to and are very twitchy so I was a little concerned but as it turns out I found the position really comfortable and stable after about 15 mins. I don't know if this is because the position of the rest of my body is the same as I'm used to in the drops but after some initial zig-zaging I had no problems staying in the tuck even on rough roads and around corners etc.

Suffice it to say I love them and can definitely see improvement, I went out to akuna bay and back along mona vale road which has long relatively flat sections and some rolling hills, above about 35 kph I find I get a lot more stable and on the flat I find it almost easy to just cruise along at ~45 kph. It's a little annoying to move my right hand to shift but over the ride I probably spent about an hour at least down in the tuck and I'd say I'm pretty used to it by now. It was a bit of a clenching experience going down my first decent hill at ~70 in the aero tuck with my hands so far from the brakes but it ended up being a non-event.

So all geared up for Calga this Sunday!
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by BNA » Thu Aug 01, 2013 5:04 pm

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Re: I love aerobars

Postby DoubleSpeeded » Thu Aug 01, 2013 5:04 pm

any pictures?
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Re: I love aerobars

Postby rpmspinman » Thu Aug 01, 2013 5:14 pm

this is something I'd love to get into. Thinking about getting some clip on ones for solo rides.
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Re: I love aerobars

Postby AndrewBurns » Thu Aug 01, 2013 5:32 pm

I'll get a picture before the TT on Sunday. Only complaint so far is that my knees hit the elbow pads when climbing out of the saddle, but you generally don't do that much in a time trial.
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Re: I love aerobars

Postby rpmspinman » Thu Aug 01, 2013 6:19 pm

yeah fair enough. Did you have to drop the bars further by removing the spacers or did you just clip on the aerobars and and away you go? What other mods did you perform on the bike to make this work?
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Re: I love aerobars

Postby AndrewBurns » Thu Aug 01, 2013 6:27 pm

My bars are already as low as my back and neck can handle (also as far as my frame allows coincidently) but I didn't need to change anything otherwise, just clip the bars on. They're adjusted specifically so that when I transfer from the drops to the aero bars my upper body and torso don't move a mm, I just have my arms tucked in instead of down.
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Re: I love aerobars

Postby rpmspinman » Fri Aug 02, 2013 11:52 am

AndrewBurns wrote:My bars are already as low as my back and neck can handle (also as far as my frame allows coincidently) but I didn't need to change anything otherwise, just clip the bars on. They're adjusted specifically so that when I transfer from the drops to the aero bars my upper body and torso don't move a mm, I just have my arms tucked in instead of down.


sounds perfect. What brand did you buy, and what configuration? I know there are 3 or 4 types of tri bars you can buy with different configurations. Just wondering what is better I guess.
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Re: I love aerobars

Postby AndrewBurns » Fri Aug 02, 2013 1:18 pm

Pretty sure I have these: http://www.ovalconcepts.com/aero/clip-o ... 0-ski-ergo

Steve mentioned that they were the cheapest ones he sells but also the most adjustable which is why he recommended them. Mine are pretty short in my config so he cut the spare off the back (even then my knees hit the arm pads when out of the saddle).
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Re: I love aerobars

Postby DoubleSpeeded » Fri Aug 02, 2013 10:20 pm

AndrewBurns wrote:My bars are already as low as my back and neck can handle (also as far as my frame allows coincidently) but I didn't need to change anything otherwise, just clip the bars on. They're adjusted specifically so that when I transfer from the drops to the aero bars my upper body and torso don't move a mm, I just have my arms tucked in instead of down.


well TT and Tri bikes have slightly different frames.. so it might differ if its a road bike.

also ive read an article where it was talking about the aero position.

When leaning too low, can most likely benefit aerodynamics but can also reduce your power output.. due to the hip angle etc. And something about how some certain Time Trailists have leaned to the extent where it would be impossible for a regular person to achieve maximum output..
i guess thats why theres places that charge $350 for professional bike fitting.. seems easy but they actually assess your body movements and joint capabilities etc...
i suppose everything has a little science to it.
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Re: I love aerobars

Postby ldrcycles » Fri Aug 02, 2013 11:06 pm

I had the same experience the first time I put aerobars on my road bike, got used to the different handling very quickly and the improvement in speed is extraordinary.
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Re: I love aerobars

Postby AndrewBurns » Sun Aug 04, 2013 11:28 am

Pictures:

Image
Image

Just rode the Calga TT and I'm disappointed to be honest, didn't get a PB even with the new aero bars. Of course it's nothing to do with the bike and more me being off form (recovering from a cold, not riding as much as I should be) and it was pretty windy today which I find makes it harder.
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Re: I love aerobars

Postby DoubleSpeeded » Sun Aug 04, 2013 1:06 pm

AndrewBurns wrote:Pictures:

]

Just rode the Calga TT and I'm disappointed to be honest, didn't get a PB even with the new aero bars. Of course it's nothing to do with the bike and more me being off form (recovering from a cold, not riding as much as I should be) and it was pretty windy today which I find makes it harder.


thats a neat set up.

alloy?

can the arm rests come together any closer? Apparently your elbows closer can benefit more on the aerodynamic side.


Well thats like me then, i dont spend alot of time in the aero position... i usually train with the Hybrid MTB...
And on the weekend when i take the TT bike out.. the position seem to focus on the hamstrings for me... feeling lotsa build up in the muscles and fatigue.
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Re: I love aerobars

Postby toolonglegs » Sun Aug 04, 2013 3:28 pm

AndrewBurns wrote:Just rode the Calga TT and I'm disappointed to be honest, didn't get a PB even with the new aero bars. Of course it's nothing to do with the bike and more me being off form (recovering from a cold, not riding as much as I should be) and it was pretty windy today which I find makes it harder.


I found clip ons made a bit of difference but not that bigger difference from riding in the drops. The problem is clip ons sit above your normal bar height, so while they reduce your frontal area a bit, your head still sits up above the shoulders quite a bit.
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Re: I love aerobars

Postby dalai47 » Sun Aug 04, 2013 11:49 pm

DoubleSpeeded wrote:can the arm rests come together any closer? Apparently your elbows closer can benefit more on the aerodynamic side.


Depends on the individual...
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Re: I love aerobars

Postby DoubleSpeeded » Tue Aug 06, 2013 4:50 pm

dalai47 wrote:
DoubleSpeeded wrote:can the arm rests come together any closer? Apparently your elbows closer can benefit more on the aerodynamic side.


Depends on the individual...


i guess its like aero helmets isnt it?... depending on the weather.
if the whole path has strong cross winds... it may even render the thing useless.
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Re: I love aerobars

Postby rpmspinman » Thu Aug 22, 2013 5:49 pm

great setup Andrew. Love it.
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Re: I love aerobars

Postby Xplora » Wed Sep 11, 2013 5:38 pm

LOL you look like you've got lounges on the handlebars!
Surprised you had the guts to descend at 70 on the bars, I would NEVER do that. Ever. Done quite a bit of road bike TT bars stuff on the commutes etc, you just get more and more used to the position. A lot of the balance issues relate to core stability. You just don't have to extend onto the bars in a normal situation, so you lack a reference point. You'll get there. Regarding hitting the elbow pads, if they are REMOTELY effective, you'll bump them constantly. I actually ended up climbing differently (a lot more weight backward of the BB) to stop hitting them. I doubt its an efficient way of climbing - I wouldn't do bellbird like that LOL
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Re: I love aerobars

Postby Duck! » Sat Sep 14, 2013 11:19 am

DoubleSpeeded wrote:
dalai47 wrote:
DoubleSpeeded wrote:can the arm rests come together any closer? Apparently your elbows closer can benefit more on the aerodynamic side.


Depends on the individual...


i guess its like aero helmets isnt it?... depending on the weather.
if the whole path has strong cross winds... it may even render the thing useless.

I'd say it's more to do with the rider's build than weather considerations. A rider with broader shoulders will need the elbows further apart than a narrower-shouldered rider. Pulling the elbows in rotates the shoulders forward as well, which restricts the expansion capability of the ribcage. Restricting the expansion of the ribs reduces aerobic efficiency, because you're not able to take as big breaths. So elbow position is finding the compromise between aerodynamic efficiency, without too badly affecting aerobic efficiency.
I had a thought, but it got run over as it crossed my mind.
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Re: I love aerobars

Postby mikesbytes » Mon Sep 16, 2013 11:06 am

I don't have any issues descending at 70kph in the drops, guess it depends on the individual and how stable your bike is.

Andrew, I've ridden Calga 4 times, twice in 2011 on a road bike with clip-ons and twice in 2013 on a TT bike. The first outing on the TT bike didn't beat my 2011 PB, but I did beat it on the second occasion. I'm guessing that in your case I'd guess it was not enough riding with clipon's and/or different atmospheric conditions. Suspect that next time you go you will break your PB
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Re: I love aerobars

Postby Xplora » Mon Sep 16, 2013 11:19 am

I would hope you'd be OK with doing 70 in the drops... I meant doing 70 downhill on the tribars... if it was dead straight and I knew it was smooth, maybe I'd change my tune but this little black duck isn't keen on abandoning my best braking and steering position at that speed :lol:
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Re: I love aerobars

Postby mikesbytes » Mon Sep 16, 2013 1:24 pm

Oops I meant to say clipons no drops. My mistake.

I do 70k on blood hill at Calga
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Re: I love aerobars

Postby Xplora » Mon Sep 16, 2013 1:51 pm

Fortune favours the brave :D
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Re: I love aerobars

Postby mikesbytes » Mon Sep 16, 2013 8:12 pm

Jokes aside, I suppose it depends on how stable you feel and how you react to a movement caused by wind or a road undulation

Anyway back on topic. Looking at the photo, I'm wondering if Andrew's handlbars are a little too high. I'm trying to image Andrew on them (I've met him). Andrew, perhaps a couple of pics of you on the bike would help us armchair experts
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Re: I love aerobars

Postby toolonglegs » Mon Sep 16, 2013 8:47 pm

You can always get caught out no matter how stable you feel... I bet Kevin de Weert felt pretty stable until he didn't. TT set ups are inherently less stable.
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Re: I love aerobars

Postby Xplora » Mon Sep 16, 2013 8:55 pm

I had my Bontrager bars on the first time and I just thought "this is no different to the drops at all" and they weren't. I put the bars underneath the handlebars and made the dodgiest shim you can imagine to get the pads back above the handlebar tube. Makes climbing harder, but I don't like taking the alloy up hills anyway if I can help it ;)
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