Aerobars, NOT which ones to buy...



billym99

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Jan 5, 2004
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This may be a dumb question but I've been wondering the anwser for the last few months.... Why Aerobars? Let me explain, last year I started cycling in May and I really enjoy it. Being that I'm an avid runner, I decided to compete in some Duathlons last summer and very much enjoyed myself. I noticed nearly everybody that was even remotely competitive used either clip-on aerobars or had a Triathlon bike.

Obviously I do see one big advantage and that is aerodynamics, hence the name. But is there anything else that using Aerobars in a Duath/Triath gives you? Or are they mainly for achieving an aerodynamic position on the bike?

Thanks for any help!
 

Ted B

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Sep 12, 2003
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Originally posted by billym99
Obviously I do see one big advantage and that is aerodynamics, hence the name. But is there anything else that using Aerobars in a Duath/Triath gives you? Or are they mainly for achieving an aerodynamic position on the bike?

Aerobars make for an aerodynamic riding position in situations where you do not have the luxury of a peloton or pace line to share the windbreaking duties. This is why they are used on bikes that you'll typically ride in solitary fashion, and it really does make a difference in your average speed over distance.

I find aerobars to make for a very comfortable riding position over long distances in any situation. You would even see them in the regular TDF stages, but since your steering ability is a bit compromised when in that position (potentially dangerous in a crowd), they were quickly outlawed except for TT stages.
 

billym99

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Jan 5, 2004
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Originally posted by Ted B
Aerobars make for an aerodynamic riding position in situations where you do not have the luxury of a peloton or pace line to share the windbreaking duties. This is why they are used on bikes that you'll typically ride in solitary fashion, and it really does make a difference in your average speed over distance.

I find aerobars to make for a very comfortable riding position over long distances in any situation. You would even see them in the regular TDF stages, but since your steering ability is a bit compromised when in that position (potentially dangerous in a crowd), they were quickly outlawed except for TT stages.

Ted,

thanks for the reply... this is what i "assumed" but didn't want take it as fact until i heard from somebody who knew. another question for you: do you basically get a "rest" on the bike when using aerobars. it seems that you can basically just put all of your upper body weight on the your elbows and sort of rest your body and not have to use much energy to hold yourself up when not on aerobars, saving energy for the run in a tri or du.
 

Ted B

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Sep 12, 2003
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Originally posted by billym99
...do you basically get a "rest" on the bike when using aerobars. it seems that you can basically just put all of your upper body weight on the your elbows and sort of rest your body and not have to use much energy to hold yourself up when not on aerobars, saving energy for the run in a tri or du.


This is my experience exactly. I find the aero position to be both more aerodynamic AND more comfortable than an upright position or with my hands on the drops. This becomes especially evident over longer distances.
 

serenaslu

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Feb 3, 2004
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The other effect that I have seen which varies greatly depending on design (both of the aerobar and the rider!) is the enahncement or restriction of lung capacity and ease in breathing. For myself, being somewhat barrel-chested, I find that with bars that force my elbows closer together the aerodynamic advantage tends to get overtaken by the shallower breaths the longer the ride.