Whats your take on tri-bars

Discussion in 'Cycling Equipment' started by Uawadall, Feb 13, 2016.

  1. Uawadall

    Uawadall Well-Known Member

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    It seems like cyclist are always looking for ways to get faster.From big things like a new wheel set to shaving a few grams with component upgrades. From what I've heard of Tri-Bars, they can give you a speed advantage for relatively cheap. To this day, i've never seen 1 cyclist use them. Are these handlebars too specific to triathlons and more harm than good in longer rides or is their another reason why they aren't used by most road riders?

    I am not very knowledgable about them, but its easy to see how they work conceptually. From the outside looking in, it seems like the same gains can be gained by paying attention to hand position on regular road bars.
     
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  2. Nigel Doyle

    Nigel Doyle Member

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    Are you talking about clip on TT bars? If so I've got some and use them on my regular road bike when I do club TT events. They definitely make you faster. I'll also occasionally use them if I want to go after a Strava KOM on a long segment that's fairly flat.

    Downside is they are not that comfortable to ride with but you can get used to them by using them regularly. An aching neck after the ride can be a common issue.
     
  3. Weatherby

    Weatherby Well-Known Member

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    I use them on rides that are long to take pressure off the hands and there is no question they lower a riders frontal area and CD
     
  4. Bicycleman

    Bicycleman Well-Known Member

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    I used tri-bars for years, and they do make you faster, but I didn't like using them while taking tight turns. The drawback is that they make your handlebars top heavy, and if the handlebars are tapped by another rider streaking by you, your handlebars will tee bone on you and cause serious injury to you. That's what happened to me back in 1992, which resulted in me breaking my collar bone and ripping my right elbow to the bone. As a result, I removed them and never used them again. Now, they do have lighter tri-bars these days, but any time you add something extra to the top of your handlebars, you increase the weight, and make them more unwieldy. Of course, it's all up to you, Uawadall. I know you're new at the game, and you want to try all the gimmicks. Just remember what I said about them. I know other riders, who only mount them when they're doing time trials and take them off for regular riding, or doing road races and criteriums. They are not allowed in these types of races. Lots of tour rides tell riders to remove them before they enter the ride, citing their dangers.
     
  5. Uawadall

    Uawadall Well-Known Member

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    I can see how that can be a safety hazard, seems like the long arms of the bars can cause an awkward landing in the event of a crash. Also, cornering is still something I need to improve upon as it is. Thanks for the heads up.
     
  6. mpre53

    mpre53 Well-Known Member

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    Most clubs don't allow their use on group rides, either. They do affect handling. Takes awhile to get used to the difference.I suggest using them only on solo rides---in a group or a paceline, they're not cool.
     
  7. Bicycleman

    Bicycleman Well-Known Member

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    Regarding cornering, and this should probably be a second topic, there are 3 ways to corner, depending on the situation you are in. One, you and the bike both lean into the turn when you are completely sure of the turn. Two, keep the body as upright as possible, but lean the bike, which is used in very tight turns like coming down mountains. Three, steer into the turn trying to keep the body and bike as upright as possible, which is used if you have gravel or some kind of very rough road. Personally, I prefer the bike lean and keeping my body as upright as possible, but I will even use the steering turn as well, depending on the situation. It's all up to you. Now get out there and practice. Preferably pick a vacant parking lot on a weekend.
     
  8. Uawadall

    Uawadall Well-Known Member

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    To be a little more clear, I can corner perfectly safe, but lose speed when doing so. In group rides I often find my self speeding up hills and being a so-so descender. One of my short routes (25miles) has a downhill after a 7% incline that goes on for a mile or so. I find myself reducing my speed substantially for safety concerns. One thing I've realized this winter is, I need to use the drop handlebars much more when cornering. I still need work on this front, but using the drop bars has benefited me significantly.
     
  9. Bicycleman

    Bicycleman Well-Known Member

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    I live in mostly the flat lands so taking turns usually at an intersection has to be done with care because there is usually gravel and sand in every intersection. I have to go 15 to 20 miles away to find some decent hills. I always like to descend them flat out, but if I'm in the mountains, I watch my speed. I'm no daredevil, but I have hit 47 on a straight downhill and 40 on curves. If I lived in a mountainous area, I would get better and have less fear of these steep descents, but being a flat lander, I'm cautious. I've seen too many bad cycling accidents because the rider had no fear of a descent and sideswiped a pickup truck. I saw that the last time I did Mt. Mitchell. I didn't see the accident, but I saw the aftermath, and that guy was banged up pretty bad. Just remember, descend with care.
     
  10. CAMPYBOB

    CAMPYBOB Well-Known Member

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    Tri bars, TT bars, aero bars and clip-on's are great for achieving a lower position on the bike, lowering frontal area, reducing drag, gaining speed on the flats, etc.

    They are perfectly acceptable when riding solo or among groups of similarly equipped riders that are not closely drafting or whom are perfectly fine with their suicide pact. They have no business in mass start competitive events and despite drafting now being legal in Ironman events they elevate the level of danger and possibly the severity of crash injuries due to the distance the hands are from the brake levers and head forward and low position of the rider on the bike.

    I'm still undecided on their use in the track events such as Team Pursuit, but they sure add speed.

    The local clubs banned them years ago for scheduled club rides.

    I am not opposed to their use by road riders, but I am very careful when riding near anyone that is using aero bars.
     
  11. Weatherby

    Weatherby Well-Known Member

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    I very rarely will ride in a paceline when others have aero bars. Too dangerous. If I am confident in a couple other riders with tri bars, I will ride in a paceline but instead of 6-10 inches back, it is more like 2 feet but often on the hoods until I am at the front and then at the back.

    WRT to cornering and riding Solo, I will stay in the bars on good roads but on bumpy roads or sharper corners, I go to the "hoods"

    Steering always involves changing body position and some opposite (slight) counter steering input. It is easy to overcook this subconscious steering input. I use my elbows rather than hands when on the tri bars.
     
  12. JeffBrown

    JeffBrown New Member

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    They have their advantages and disadvantages as others have explained, and are good to use in some places and not others. Really just depends if you are riding solo or not, and they are a definite safety hazard, so I personally wouldn't use them, but its really up to you.
     
  13. oldbobcat

    oldbobcat Well-Known Member

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    Most of the rider I see using them are sitting up so high they might as well be riding cruisers. They're obviously using them to lean on their elbows on the table, not go faster.

    If this sounds like what you're after, my advice is to get a proper bike fitting so you can grip a normal handlebar all day long.
     
  14. Uawadall

    Uawadall Well-Known Member

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    There not really something that I've though about much or am seeking to use. Just curiosity, something I've heard of, but never saw in use.What a coincidence, todays GCN topic.

     
  15. Weatherby

    Weatherby Well-Known Member

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    The riders who do RAAM and 24 hour time trials tend to have their tri bars elevated by a couple inches. Google Marko Baloh or Valerio Zamboni.
     
  16. mpre53

    mpre53 Well-Known Member

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    When you're out front on a pace line, aero bars are fine---the issue is, a lot of riders tend to unconsciously pick up the pace when they get more aero---I've even seen it happen when someone goes from the hoods to the drops. :D
     
  17. maydog

    maydog Well-Known Member

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    It takes a lot of practice to use them effectively and safely around other riders. I do use a bike with clip ons for a few group rides a year. I never go aero in a paceline, unless at the front and then only if I want to make wheelsuckers hurt a bit.
     
  18. zipp2001

    zipp2001 Well-Known Member

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    Been using aero bar since 1989 on my TT/Ultra marathon bike. Used them for many 12 and 24 hours events, and local club time trials. I still ride on them several times a week. Have used that bike on several group rides but never go on the aero bars unless I'm at the front.
     
  19. Djordje87

    Djordje87 Member

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    I'd say that it doesn't look comfortable at all but on the good side it looks aero-dynamical and that is probably the reason for the added speed. Personally, I am not that much into speed. I like to go fast but my bike is heavy and tires are wide and I think that rolling resistance or whatever you call it is not on our side (me and my bike) so I do not need this piece of equipment. Especially if you consider the fact that I have some back pain from time to time.
     
  20. SirJoe

    SirJoe Active Member

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    I have never tried them before but the look odd. Do they actually make you go faster?
    I don't think I would some they might help you out in a race but not for daily use.
     
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