Decline in performance with aero bars

Discussion in 'Cycling Training' started by SniperX, May 24, 2003.

  1. SniperX

    SniperX New Member

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    Just got the profile aerolite bar and guess what ? my timing has decreased for the same distance as compared to earlier when i did it without the bars ...:( anyone knows any explanations for these? did i set it up wrongly ? my legs feel more sore too after the ride... constant speed did increase a little but not by much and its much harder to ride at a higher cadence... and the worst thing of all ... clocked average speed decreased ~~ sucks
     
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  2. J-MAT

    J-MAT New Member

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    Sniper:

    Getting set up with aero bars can be complicated, and depends on many factors. How many time trials do you ride??? If you do a lot, you should get a dedicated TT bike that is properly set up, getting you in the best TT position possible.

    If not, you are putting the aero bars on your road bike. If you only do TT's occasionally, you might be better off not doing anything, just continue riding with your standard road setup.

    The reason for this is that your muscles are used to riding your road bike in standard road-riding positions. When you put on the aero bar, you are being forced out of your normal road position, and into a new position you are not accustom to.

    This new position stresses the leg muscles differently, hitting them from different angles. This is called specificity. If all your training is specific to road riding, you will not be at your best when riding in a TT position, which is not specific, unless your train for this. The same situation happens to riders who avoid hills. Climbing stresses your muscles from different angles than riding on the flats.

    TT position is very specific to the individual, and can take a lot of trial and error to get it right. Setting yourself up is somewhat like cutting your own hair. It can be done, but often the results are less than desireable!!! If you set yourself up, put your bike on a trainer, get a video camera and video yourself spinning at your normal TT cadence. Review the footage and check your position. A full length mirror also works very well for this. It is best to have someone else who in knowledgeable with bike fitting set you up.

    Check out timetrial.org

    There is a lot of info specifically dedicated to time trialing only. There are also links to John Cobb, the guy who set up Lance Armstrong.

    Good luck!!!
     
  3. SniperX

    SniperX New Member

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    no wonder my legs were so soreeeeeee the next day sheezz
     
  4. 2LAP

    2LAP New Member

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    Agree with J-MAT, but would also like to add that your economy (or efficency) would be reduced in the new position (you produce less power for the same energy). You need to do some training to get used to the position. It also sounds like you have some optimising to do.

    Some people make the mistake of training in different gears to those they race in, this problem is sometimes magnified by different positions too. Try to pedal at the same frequency, etc. when you are racing and training.
     
  5. Kristian

    Kristian New Member

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    You cant just cilp a pair of areo bars on your bike and off you go. If you do this you will reduce your hip angle and will probably be too streached out. As J-MAT said it takes time to find a good TT position. Some areobars are just no good for some people or are incorrect for their setups. Look at anyone in the pro peleton to see a good TT position, they dont just clip on bars and go!!!!
    To time trial well you need as least amount of frontal area as possible (getting lower). To maintain hip angle in the power phase of pedal stroke you will have to bring your seat forward. To be more structurly stable and comfortable you want your elbow to be as 90deg so you are supported.
    I cant remember any formulars, sorry, but try to get your set up simmilar to what the pros look like. They all have a simmilar setup theme in an overall sense, even though they have vastly different setups due to personal requirements
     
  6. SniperX

    SniperX New Member

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    seems troublesome to me man .. maybe i should go without it ?
     
  7. Kristian

    Kristian New Member

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    no no give them a go the benifits of well set up bars are significant.
     
  8. ric_stern/RST

    ric_stern/RST New Member

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    some pro's have some of the worse positions ever -- because, like the original poster they don't train in race position. they often then have to resort to a position more resembling their road bikes with aero bars 'stuck on'. don't blindly follow the pro's positions.

    why not get a pic of yourself on your race set up, post it, and then we can advise accordingly?

    Ric
     
  9. Bob s.

    Bob s. New Member

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    What you’re experiencing is very common. As mentioned above it’s very easy to clip them onto a bike, but it really does change your positioning quite a bit. Aero bars not set up properly can actually slow you down, especially if you are not that flexible in the upper body. To demonstrate try this: While sitting or standing, put your hands together about six inches from your mouth. Now get your elbows to touch also. Try breathing deeply. Can you feel how restricted this is? Now raise your arms to where your elbows are even with your mouth. See the difference? This difference is even more pronounced for those who have a chest of any sort, either well developed pec muscles or female parts.

    It’s normal to move the seat forward and raise the handlebars to get a proper fit. Several questions to help you set yourself up better:
    1) Ride the bike with your hands down on the drops, seated. Are you comfortable? If you are, then that’s good. Now switch to the aero bars and be aware of how your body shifts. Does your upper body have to drop further? Do you feel as if it’s less comfortable around the stomach? If so, you might perceive this as feeling all squished up. That makes it harder to breath by putting pressure on the breathing diaphram. If you feel this squishy feeling, you need to keep your body from shifting so much when going to the aero bars. To do this, raise the seat and move it as far forward as possible. They make seat posts just for this reason that have a forward bend built in. It allows you to move the seat forward further than a regular seat post does.
    2) The angle of your arms also tell quite a bit. The perfect position is maybe just a little forward of 90 degree bend in your elbows. You may need to raise the handlebars to the point where you aren’t bent over more than you were originally on the drops. That way, the only difference in your position when you are on the aero bars is that your profile is much narrower than on the drops. Keep in mind that raising the handlebars to get the aero bars in the right position makes the drops higher too.
    3) After riding with clip-on aero bars for years, I found comfort and speed once I got used to them. I got rid of the squished feeling around my stomach by moving the seat forward and up. I switched my seat post to a forward bent one. I also went to a longer reach stem, which moved the handlebars forward about 1 inch. These changes made all the difference. I rode comfortably in this position for long periods of time, and really noticed the difference. Hope this helps! Now to do this on my new bike!
    –Bob
     
  10. pschmitt

    pschmitt New Member

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    Sniper

    Can I suggest getting a proper setup...

    check out www.bikefitting.com and find a local agent to you - then get them to propose a TT setup. (they do road, track, TT and mtb options)

    I did this and got a TT bike built up accordingly - then altered the overall position (slightly) to a compromise between what they suggested and my road bike position (also suggested by them) as I tend to spin 105-110 avg cadence and found it initally a bit uncomfortable.

    A good example of TT position is Lance Armstrong. You'll note that he has an arched back - this gives him a very similar position to that on his road bike (note that his avg cadence is much higher than most in the pro peloton - at about 110rpm). He's not exactly slow in the TT's!

    If you get this done, you'll find a combined position that you'll feel comfortable with and with that, you'll experience faster times...

    Peter
     
  11. clever_guy

    clever_guy New Member

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    SniperX;

    For me, my front quads get hit a little more when I am using aerobars. I like the the change of position with aerobars on a long ride - also, can't beat being tucked in when riding against a strong wind.

    -CG
     
  12. Mercxstrom

    Mercxstrom New Member

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    well when i installed an aerobar for practice it was amazing i was always going like 3-5 km/h faster :)
     
  13. SniperX

    SniperX New Member

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    what bar are you using mercx ?
     
  14. Mercxstrom

    Mercxstrom New Member

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    an old profile aerobar that is 1 piece only got them on an old bike ;)
     
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