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Bought some Aero Bars.
#1
I just got some aero bars to put on my road bike. I really wanted them during my last triathlon. I picked up some Profile Design T2+ off craigslist for $20.

I am gonna practice with them this weekend to see how they work.

Any one here have any experience with aero bars?
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#2
I've also got to get aero bars, but I'll wait a while till I can get back on my new road bike, conditions here are still a bit on the bad side. I didn't use them the last three years but I wish I had them for my olympic distance last year... riding low in the drops all the time makes my arms tired.
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#3
Yeah I did a Tri on the 9th and it was difficult, I wanted to lean over on the bike. I really understood why that position is benifitial. So I had a chance to pick these up and I went for it.
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#4
Do a search for photos of Tri bikes and have a look at how they are set.
I have aero bars for time trialing and the general aim is to get an as horizontal back as possible.
Don't have the elbow pads to close together as this may restrict your breathing.
Adjust the reach for comfort and control. You won't be able to control around tight corners when on the tri's. Practice changing gear assuming you still have STI/Ergos while down on the aeros.
Check for any obstructive contact when / if you have to get out of the saddle to climb (honking).
(so your knees or legs don't catch the rear of the bars).
[font=Trebuchet MS]Ride hard or ride home alone![/font]
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#5
I hate to say it, but aero bars on a normal road bike are a BAD idea. The seatpost angle of a normal road bike is far too swept back to produce a comfortable aerodynamic position with aero bars. Most tri bikes run close to a vertical angle to keep you in a comfortable position while using aero bars.

This is also facilitated by the bottom bracket being swept back slightly, and the rear wheel being brought in close to the bottom bracket (Hence the seat posts with a round cut out) to give proper weight distribution.

All of these things combine for a comfortable bike while giving an aerodynamic position and letting the weight of the rider be supported by the skeletal system, rather than the muscular system like on a road bike.

Another study showed that drag coefficient was almost negligible in an tri athlete that biked at less than 30 mph. So a normal road bike does the same thing as a tri bike for the recreational triathlete. (I just tried to find a source for that study, but I couldn't find it. Sorry.)

The compromised position of the aero bars for your road bike with almost certainly degrade your performance instead of improve it.

Sorry.Sad
Dedicated scholar of bicycles
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#6
- the compromised position (american position) is beneficial, if your speed exceeds about 30-35 km/h on average (Tour-Magazin 04?/2009), so your olympic distance bike split should be less than about 75 minutes
- the seat angle can be changed by installing another seat post and moving the saddle. I ride a steep angle on my road bike.
- The seat angle should be increased, otherwise the angle at your hip is too low (look at the bike fitting articles at http://www.slowtwitch.com) Tri bikes have seat angles of 76°-80°, road bikes about 74°.
- the weight distribution is the main issue. Road bikes are not designed to be ridden in a very steep aero position with lots of weight on the front wheel. It will change the handling characteristics of the bike dramatically, not necessarily for the better. (the round cut out in the rear is because they want to get the gap between wheel and frame as small as possible, for aerodynamical reasons)
- Look at e.g. the German tri league. Most riders have shorty bars on their bikes. TT bikes / pursuit bars are not allowed because of drafting being allowed. I think also in Olympia some used ITU-compatible bars (not reaching before the brake levers), but I cannot find any pictures at the moment.
- For me the main reason to put aero bars on my road bike would be that I have another position to choose from. As long as I maintain the same body angles as if I was deep in the drops I will not change the handling (too much) and I'll benefit from being able to relax my arms and shoulders a bit. Being able to ride without tiring is a huge benefit (the benefit of a closed jersey zipper is about three minutes for a 40km bike split at an average of 35 km/h, still I'd open it if it was too warm).
- I also don't have the money to buy (and room to store) a TT bike.

So I'd say: Don't try to achieve an aggressive aero position on a road bike. It cannot (and should not) be done. Go for the compromise, but keep in mind that the drag coefficient will not decrease dramatically.
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#7
Damn, I wonder if I could convince my wife that I need a triathlon bike. Do you think she'd let me have another bike?
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#8
Hm... My fiancé just bought a new camera and new lenses and stuff... things like that help ;-)
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#9
It will be hard to justify a Tri bike for me I only do 2 or 3 a year. But I can hope.
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#10
Serious cash my friend. And don't even THINK of ordering off the internet. You need to be fitted, and fitted but good. Tri bikes are a HUGE investment, and if you find out later that it doesn't fit, they are VERY hard to get rid of later.

On the plus side, you can probably hock those aero bars for $30 bucks and get your money back.Smile
Dedicated scholar of bicycles
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