Do I need an aerobar?

Discussion in 'Cycling Equipment' started by Bob Newman, Apr 27, 2003.

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  1. Bob Newman

    Bob Newman Guest

    I am considering purchasing an aerobar but I don't know if it would help me. Here's my deal. I'm a
    55 year old road rider who rides once or twice a week usually about 30 miles at about 15 MPH
    sometimes slower depending on the group I am with. I would like to build up to ride with a group
    that does about 50 miles @ about 18 MPH. I don't have time to get in too much more riding to train
    etc. The issue of training aside, would the bars help my endurance and/or speed?

    Thanks... Bob
     
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  2. Harris

    Harris Guest

    "Bob Newman" wrote:

    > I am considering purchasing an aerobar but I don't know if it would help
    me.
    > Here's my deal. I'm a 55 year old road rider who rides once or twice a
    week
    > usually about 30 miles at about 15 MPH sometimes slower depending on the group I am with. I would
    > like to build up to ride with a group that does about 50 miles @ about 18 MPH. I don't have time
    > to get in too much more riding to train etc. The issue of training aside, would the bars help my
    > endurance and/or speed?

    Absolutely not!

    If you're riding in a group, you definitely should NOT use aero bars. The lack of quick access to
    the brakes, and the reduced ability to maneuver quickly when using aero bars, make them dangerous in
    group situations. That's why they're banned in racing (except for time trials).

    Since you say you only have 2-4 hours a week for cycling, why not just enjoy yourself instead of
    setting aggressive goals. There's a big difference between riding 30 miles at 15 mph and riding 50
    miles at 18 mph. The way to get there is by riding more miles, not by making equipment changes.

    Art Harris
     
  3. On Sun, 27 Apr 2003 21:19:25 +0000, Bob Newman wrote:

    > I am considering purchasing an aerobar but I don't know if it would help
    > me. Here's my deal. I'm a 55 year old road rider who rides once or twice a week usually about 30
    > miles at about 15 MPH sometimes slower depending on the group I am with. I would like to build
    > up to ride with a group that does about 50 miles @ about 18 MPH. I don't have time to get in
    > too much more riding to train etc. The issue of training aside, would the bars help my
    > endurance and/or speed?
    >
    > Thanks... Bob

    Equipment alone won't let you get faster. (Well, some. Wheels make a differnce, but not to the
    extent you want.) Aero bars in a group are dangerous; no one will let you ride with them if you
    insist on using them.

    2-4 hours/week isn't much time, but there is no reason why you couldn't work up to a higher level.

    I'd do some research on training, maybe find a group that has some serious semi-pro athletes who are
    willing to work with you, give you advice. A group with older riders would be good. Basically,
    depending on your fitness level, 30 miles @ 15 mph could be quality or junk - improving your level
    or not. Look up aerobic/anaerobic training, etc. At your age, you may want to consider a stress test
    or VO max test to determine where you can go. (I'm not being condescening, I'm of an age where
    stress tests are important...)

    If you're affluent, you may want to consult a trainer. If you're really affluent, I can put you in
    touch with a really good (and really expensive) personal trainer.

    Best of luck, and remember to enjoy the experience. The process of getting faster is a heck of lot
    more fun than being faster.

    -Dondo
     
  4. S. Anderson

    S. Anderson Guest

    "Harris" <[email protected]> wrote in message
    news:[email protected]...
    >
    >
    > Absolutely not!
    >
    > If you're riding in a group, you definitely should NOT use aero bars. The lack of quick access to
    > the brakes, and the reduced ability to maneuver quickly when using aero bars, make them dangerous
    > in group situations. That's why they're banned in racing (except for time trials).
    >
    > Since you say you only have 2-4 hours a week for cycling, why not just
    enjoy
    > yourself instead of setting aggressive goals. There's a big difference between riding 30 miles at
    > 15 mph and riding 50 miles at 18 mph. The way
    to
    > get there is by riding more miles, not by making equipment changes.
    >
    > Art Harris
    >

    Indeed..in a large group drafting is already a huge helper. Aero bars would have less benefit there
    than riding solo. And in a pack they can be unwieldy.

    Cheers,

    Scott..
     
  5. "Captain Dondo" <[email protected]> wrote in message
    > maybe find a group that has some serious semi-pro athletes

    What is a semi-pro athlete? Especially what is a semi-pro cyclist?

    JT

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  6. On Sun, 27 Apr 2003 22:40:25 +0000, John Forrest Tomlinson wrote:

    > What is a semi-pro athlete? Especially what is a semi-pro cyclist?
    >
    >
    Anyone who is good enough to enter a cash race, place and win money, but not enough to gain major
    sponsors and ride professionally.

    Like one of the guys I ride with (or try to, anyway) - he places consistently in the top 5 in local
    and regional events, but his take home may be a few hundred a month. Certainly not enough to live
    on, or even to pay his expenses, but enough to earn my respect.

    -Dondo
     
  7. Paul Kopit

    Paul Kopit Guest

    On Sun, 27 Apr 2003 21:52:08 GMT, "Harris" <[email protected]> wrote:

    >The way to get there is by riding more miles, not by making equipment changes.
    >
    >Art Harris

    The way to get there when you don't have time is to endure great pain and suffer. It's not fun. An
    hour of interval training 2x/wk will get you physically able to go 18 mph. You'll also have to
    become skilled in good riding technique and paceline riding.

    I think I paraphrase Buddah, 'life is suffering'.
     
  8. Peter

    Peter Guest

    On Sun, 27 Apr 2003 21:19:25 GMT, "Bob Newman" <[email protected]> wrote:

    >I am considering purchasing an aerobar but I don't know if it would help me. Here's my deal. I'm a
    >55 year old road rider who rides once or twice a week usually about 30 miles at about 15 MPH
    >sometimes slower depending on the group I am with. I would like to build up to ride with a group
    >that does about 50 miles @ about 18 MPH. I don't have time to get in too much more riding to train
    >etc. The issue of training aside, would the bars help my endurance and/or speed?

    Probably not.

    I have an aerobar. I bought it to combat headwinds. For that it works fairly well. I usually
    can get an extra gear or two in a stiff headwind.

    I don't get as much chance to use it as I would like because it's too hard to control the
    bike with one. Therefore, I won't use it in traffic. I would not use it in a group ride.

    Choose a bar carefully. Most don't tend to be very comfortable. The ideal handlebar height
    for using an aerobar tends to be higher than the ideal height for any other position. If you
    look at pictures of the riders setting speed or endurance records who use aerobars, you'll
    see they usually set them quite high.

    An aerobar will help your speed on short sprints. It will help you with headwinds. In a few
    other situations it will do some good. For what you want, you will probably be disappointed.

    You would do well to find more time to put in on the bike and leave the gizmos alone.

    Good Luck.

    Peter
     
  9. Some funny stuff from rec.bicycles.tech:

    "Captain Dondo" wrote:
    > John Forrest Tomlinson wrote:
    > > "Captain Dondo" wrote:

    > > > maybe find a group that has some serious semi-pro athletes

    > > What is a semi-pro athlete? Especially what is a semi-pro cyclist?

    > Anyone who is good enough to enter a cash race, place and win money, but not enough to gain major
    > sponsors and ride professionally.

    We've got cat 2 and 3 riders where I live who routinely win money and now you're saying they can be
    called "semi-pros"??? There are even local cat 4s who win money around here (NY City area). They're
    "semi-pros" too? I won money yesterday in a masters race, guess I'm "semi-pro" too. Gee if I wasn't
    married I guess I could use it to pick up women. "Yeah, I'm a semi-pro bike racer."

    This semi-pro concept would be funny if it wasn't so pathetic.

    JT

    --
    *******************************************
    NB: reply-to address is munged

    Visit http://www.jt10000.com
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  10. Bob Newman

    Bob Newman Guest

    Thanks for your help guys. It looks like I can save a few bucks.

    Bob

    "peter" <[email protected]> wrote in message news:[email protected]...
    > On Sun, 27 Apr 2003 21:19:25 GMT, "Bob Newman" <[email protected]> wrote:
    >
    > >I am considering purchasing an aerobar but I don't know if it would help
    me.
    > >Here's my deal. I'm a 55 year old road rider who rides once or twice a
    week
    > >usually about 30 miles at about 15 MPH sometimes slower depending on the group I am with. I would
    > >like to build up to ride with a group that does about 50 miles @ about 18 MPH. I don't have time
    > >to get in too much more riding to train etc. The issue of training aside, would the bars help my
    > >endurance and/or speed?
    >
    > Probably not.
    >
    > I have an aerobar. I bought it to combat headwinds. For that it works fairly well. I usually can
    > get an extra gear or two in a stiff headwind.
    >
    > I don't get as much chance to use it as I would like because it's too hard to control the bike
    > with one. Therefore, I won't use it in traffic. I would not use it in a group ride.
    >
    > Choose a bar carefully. Most don't tend to be very comfortable. The ideal handlebar height for
    > using an aerobar tends to be higher than the ideal height for any other position. If you look at
    > pictures of the riders setting speed or endurance records who use aerobars, you'll see they
    > usually set them quite high.
    >
    > An aerobar will help your speed on short sprints. It will help you with headwinds. In a few other
    > situations it will do some good. For what you want, you will probably be disappointed.
    >
    > You would do well to find more time to put in on the bike and leave the gizmos alone.
    >
    > Good Luck.
    >
    > Peter
     
  11. Some funny stuff from rec.bicycles.tech:

    "Captain Dondo" wrote:
    > John Forrest Tomlinson wrote:
    > > "Captain Dondo" wrote:
    > > > maybe find a group that has some serious semi-pro athletes

    > > What is a semi-pro athlete? Especially what is a semi-pro cyclist?

    > Anyone who is good enough to enter a cash race, place and win money, but not enough to gain major
    > sponsors and ride professionally.

    We've got cat 2 and 3 riders where I live (NY City area) who routinely win money and now you're
    saying they can be called "semi-pros"??? Even local cat 4s win money. I guess they're
    "semi-pro" too.

    I won money yesterday in a masters race, guess I'm "semi-pro" too. I wonder if I can use the
    "semi-pro" line to pick-up women or get 10% off at the bike shop? This term would be funny if it
    wasn't so pathetic.

    JT

    --
    *******************************************
    NB: reply-to address is munged

    Visit http://www.jt10000.com
    *******************************************
     
  12. Art Harris

    Art Harris Guest

    Paul Kopit wrote:

    > The way to get there when you don't have time is to endure great pain and suffer. It's not fun. An
    > hour of interval training 2x/wk will get you physically able to go 18 mph. You'll also have to
    > become skilled in good riding technique and paceline riding.

    I really don't think interval training is a good idea for someone who only has a couple of hours a
    week to ride. You really should have a solid mileage base and a good level of fitness before
    starting interval training. Just jumping on a bike and pushing yourself to the limit is probably
    risky from a health standpoint as well as being painful.

    Art Harris
     
  13. On Mon, 28 Apr 2003 03:27:25 +0000, John Forrest Tomlinson wrote:

    > This semi-pro concept would be funny if it wasn't so pathetic.
    >
    >
    It's only a term I use. What do you call them / yourself? I don't see why it's funny - or pathetic.
    You're not an amateur, since you're getting paid for your performance. (See AAU regs.) You're not
    pro, since you can't make enough to live on and don't ride full time (I assume). As for picking up
    women, frankly, I can't see how your pro/amateur status would matter - unless you've racked some
    other "professional" credits....

    Do you find the word "orange" funny? Confused....

    -Dondo
     
  14. Peter Cole

    Peter Cole Guest

    "Bob Newman" <[email protected]> wrote in message
    news:[email protected]...
    > I am considering purchasing an aerobar but I don't know if it would help me. Here's my deal. I'm a
    > 55 year old road rider who rides once or twice a week usually about 30 miles at about 15 MPH
    > sometimes slower depending on the group I am with. I would like to build up to ride with a group
    > that does about 50 miles @ about 18 MPH. I don't have time to get in too much more riding to train
    > etc. The issue of training aside, would the bars help my endurance and/or speed?

    Aerobars won't make you stronger, and you can't use them in groups (except perhaps at the front). At
    the speeds you're talking about, aerodynamic issues aren't nearly as dominant as they are a few mph
    faster anyway (aero drag power goes up as cube of speed).

    I have used aerobars in one specific way on fast group rides: to catch up on the flats after being
    dropped on some climbs. This strategy sometimes works for me since my large size makes me
    proportionally faster on the flats (or slower on climbs). To make this work, I'm going at mid 20's
    or so on the flats, and riding with a group that likes to sprint the hills and then back off a bit
    after. I don't think it would necessarily work for most people in most situations, and not at the
    speeds you're interested in.

    I decided to leave the aerobars on my main bike because I found I enjoyed riding "time trial" style
    more than "road race" style. I enjoy riding 30-40 mile loops against the clock. I frequently ride
    alone on "group" rides (oxymoron?), off the front, or off the back, doesn't really matter to me (OK,
    maybe it matters a little).
     
  15. bob-<< I am considering purchasing an aerobar but I don't know if it would help
    me.Here's my deal. << I would like to build up to ride with a group that does about 50 miles @ about
    18 MPH. << The issue of training aside, would the bars help my endurance and/or speed?

    No- Couple of problems. -fit on aerobars is vastly different than road bike fit. If you can easily
    reach aerobars, then the bike may not fit you -aerobars are not an automatic speed increase, altho
    more 'aero' may be slower as you may be uncomfotable or less powerful. -riding on aerobars w/i a
    pack of riders is dangerous. Your control of the bike is a sliver of what it is on normal
    handlebars.

    Peter Chisholm Vecchio's Bicicletteria 1833 Pearl St. Boulder, CO, 80302
    (303)440-3535 http://www.vecchios.com "Ruote convenzionali costruite eccezionalmente bene"
     
  16. Openworld

    Openworld Guest

    Are you flexable? Problem with aero anything is you are trying to flatten all angles-including all
    those stiff muscles that dont want to flatten.

    "Bob Newman" <[email protected]> wrote in message
    news:[email protected]...
    > I am considering purchasing an aerobar but I don't know if it would help
    me.
    > Here's my deal. I'm a 55 year old road rider who rides once or twice a
    week
    > usually about 30 miles at about 15 MPH sometimes slower depending on the group I am with. I would
    > like to build up to ride with a group that does about 50 miles @ about 18 MPH. I don't have time
    > to get in too much more riding to train etc. The issue of training aside, would the bars help my
    > endurance and/or speed?
    >
    > Thanks... Bob
     
  17. Openworld

    Openworld Guest

    Semi pro is someone who earns money from their respective sport, but does not earn a living.

    i.e. it is their secondary not primary job/income.

    "John Forrest Tomlinson" <[email protected]> wrote in message
    news:[email protected]...
    > Some funny stuff from rec.bicycles.tech:
    >
    > "Captain Dondo" wrote:
    > > John Forrest Tomlinson wrote:
    > > > "Captain Dondo" wrote:
    > > > > maybe find a group that has some serious semi-pro athletes
    >
    >
    > > > What is a semi-pro athlete? Especially what is a semi-pro cyclist?
    >
    > > Anyone who is good enough to enter a cash race, place and win money, but not enough to gain
    > > major sponsors and ride professionally.
    >
    >
    > We've got cat 2 and 3 riders where I live (NY City area) who routinely win money and now you're
    > saying they can be called "semi-pros"??? Even local cat 4s win money. I guess they're
    > "semi-pro" too.
    >
    > I won money yesterday in a masters race, guess I'm "semi-pro" too. I wonder if I can use the
    > "semi-pro" line to pick-up women or get 10% off at the bike shop? This term would be funny if it
    > wasn't so pathetic.
    >
    > JT
    >
    > --
    > *******************************************
    > NB: reply-to address is munged
    >
    > Visit http://www.jt10000.com
    > *******************************************
     
  18. Cucycln

    Cucycln Guest

    Like panhandling? "Openworld" <[email protected]> wrote in message
    news:[email protected]...
    > Semi pro is someone who earns money from their respective sport, but does not earn a living.
    >
    > i.e. it is their secondary not primary job/income.
    >
    >
    >
    >
    > "John Forrest Tomlinson" <[email protected]> wrote in message
    > news:[email protected]...
    > > Some funny stuff from rec.bicycles.tech:
    > >
    > > "Captain Dondo" wrote:
    > > > John Forrest Tomlinson wrote:
    > > > > "Captain Dondo" wrote:
    > > > > > maybe find a group that has some serious semi-pro athletes
    > >
    > >
    > > > > What is a semi-pro athlete? Especially what is a semi-pro cyclist?
    > >
    > > > Anyone who is good enough to enter a cash race, place and win money, but not enough to gain
    > > > major sponsors and ride professionally.
    > >
    > >
    > > We've got cat 2 and 3 riders where I live (NY City area) who routinely win money and now you're
    > > saying they can be called "semi-pros"??? Even local cat 4s win money. I guess they're
    > > "semi-pro" too.
    > >
    > > I won money yesterday in a masters race, guess I'm "semi-pro" too. I wonder if I can use the
    > > "semi-pro" line to pick-up women or get 10% off at the bike shop? This term would be funny if it
    > > wasn't so pathetic.
    > >
    > > JT
    > >
    > > --
    > > *******************************************
    > > NB: reply-to address is munged
    > >
    > > Visit http://www.jt10000.com
    > > *******************************************
     
  19. On Mon, 28 Apr 2003 03:32:53 +0000, John Forrest Tomlinson wrote:

    > We've got cat 2 and 3 riders where I live (NY City area) who routinely win money and now you're
    > saying they can be called "semi-pros"??? Even local cat 4s win money. I guess they're
    > "semi-pro" too.
    >
    > I won money yesterday in a masters race, guess I'm "semi-pro" too. I wonder if I can use the
    > "semi-pro" line to pick-up women or get 10% off at the bike shop? This term would be funny if it
    > wasn't so pathetic.

    I recall an old racer I met years ago, who had won a local race in the '60s, and been given a
    small amount of prize money. The USOC found out and would not let him even enter the trials. He
    was declared a professional racer, and could not race any sanctioned amateur event. At the time
    there were no professional events in the US at all, so he was effectively barred from racing in
    this country.

    --

    David L. Johnson

    __o | A mathematician is a machine for turning coffee into theorems. _`\(,_ | -- Paul Erdos
    (_)/ (_) |
     
  20. Bob Denton

    Bob Denton Guest

    On Sun, 27 Apr 2003 21:19:25 GMT, "Bob Newman" <[email protected]> wrote:

    >I am considering purchasing an aerobar but I don't know if it would help me. Here's my deal. I'm a
    >55 year old road rider who rides once or twice a week usually about 30 miles at about 15 MPH
    >sometimes slower depending on the group I am with. I would like to build up to ride with a group
    >that does about 50 miles @ about 18 MPH. I don't have time to get in too much more riding to train
    >etc. The issue of training aside, would the bars help my endurance and/or speed?
    >
    >Thanks... Bob
    >
    I am a 55 year old who does 100-150 miles a week, with an occasional
    200. I am usually riding flat terrain and solo and find the aero bars invaluable. It seems I am
    always riding into the wnd and the bars help. In addition, I find them more comfortable than
    riding the drops or levers. My weight gets spread between my arms, hand and butt.

    I average around 20-21 in no wind conditions with the bars.

    Aeros are absolutely verboten in a pace line! I never use the bars if I am behind anyone nor in
    traffic where I may need to use my brakes.

    cu Bob Denton Gulf Stream International Delray Beach, Florida www.sinkthestink.com Manufacturers of
    Sink the Stink
     
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