Author Topic: aero bars for brevets, which ones?  (Read 2861 times)

whosatthewheel

aero bars for brevets, which ones?
« on: December 13, 2018, 07:50:46 am »
I want to try aero bars for long audaxes, as I normally get numb fingers (last two) which then last for weeks. The thinking is that having a broader range of positions should prevent that.

Problem is my light (cateye volt 400) mounts on the bars and I am not quite sure whether it will fit. Folding pads would be a desirable option (unikely to use aero bars in the dark) but I can't see any.

what are people using? Budget is tight... 50 quid is as much as I can stretch it

bludger

  • Randonneur and bargain hunter
Re: aero bars for brevets, which ones?
« Reply #1 on: December 13, 2018, 07:59:52 am »
£26 and they've been terrific.

https://yacf.co.uk/forum/index.php?topic=108887.0

Also available in 'straight' flavour but I find j bend very comfy.
YACF touring/audax bargain basement:
https://bit.ly/2Xg8pRD


Re: aero bars for brevets, which ones?
« Reply #2 on: December 13, 2018, 08:03:38 am »
For lighting bracket solutions try RaceWare Direct.   He has a huge range of 3d-printed brackets.

On my race bike I have bridge between the bars that has an underhanging USE light bracket and a Garmin mount on the top.

Karla

  • car(e) free
    • Lost Byway - around the world by bike
Re: aero bars for brevets, which ones?
« Reply #3 on: December 13, 2018, 08:49:53 am »
For a bracket you can also do the usual job which is to use a cylindrical object, which might be a piece of old handlebar, the top of your broomstick or anything else, then file the end to fit your tribars, drill to holes in it and secure it with zip ties. 

If you want to see a more bodgetastic approach then see my recent Arrivée article (also linked here with bigger pics ) and see what I've used in the penultimate pic to attach my lights.

Re: aero bars for brevets, which ones?
« Reply #4 on: December 13, 2018, 09:13:32 am »
For a bracket you can also do the usual job which is to use a cylindrical object, which might be a piece of old handlebar, the top of your broomstick or anything else, then file the end to fit your tribars, drill to holes in it and secure it with zip ties. 

I did this when using aerobars for commuting. It has the big advantage of taking the lights well forward of your eyes, so you don't get glare coming up into your sight. Very big improvement for people who wear glasses.
<i>Marmite slave</i>

whosatthewheel

Re: aero bars for brevets, which ones?
« Reply #5 on: December 13, 2018, 09:35:39 am »
A bridge might just be the solution, thanks

quixoticgeek

  • Mostly Harmless
Re: aero bars for brevets, which ones?
« Reply #6 on: December 13, 2018, 11:06:54 am »

Couple of things to consider with tri bars.

a) Position. Many of those who use tri bars don't use them for more than an hour or so, so being in a position that puts aero above comfort is less of an issue, sure you're a bit sore in the shoulder after an hour, but that's fine. Use the same aero bars for 16+ hours straight, and you you're gonna find yourself unable to move your neck, with all sorts of fun pain and related issues. I learnt this the hardway. I was fortunate that my physio is a triathlete who does iron mans, and thus knows a little about how to use aerobars for hours on end. The trick appears to be that you want the arms at as close to 90° at the shoulder, and at the elbow, when viewed from the side. This means that you want the arm pads and any J bend or uprights bits, quite close to you (relatively speaking). But this also requires that your bars are adjustable for both reach of the pads, and reach of the bars, and if possible, height. Unfortunately it means that things like the Profile Designs Stryke with the folding pads aren't ideal, unless you're lucky that they fit perfect straight off.

b) practice. know when it's good to use them, know when it's good not to. I've had aero bars fitted for the last ~10000km or so, and I've experimented a lot with them. I've got enough control with them that I can go round a roundabout while on the tri bars. I can even climb out of the saddle while on them[1]. Such things are fine when you're solo on a ride, but it scares the crap out of many cyclists who aren't used to seeing someone on aerobars going round a roundabout on them, or descending on them...

c) when on the aero bars you will use slightly different muscles to when on the hoods. So train on both positions. This back fired on me recently, I'd spent so much time slogging into headwinds on the tri bars, that those muscle groups are stronger, I thus found it was easier to climb up the a hill on the aero bars...

I run Profile Designs T2+ bars. I've destroyed one set of pads, and PD even replaced the plastic arm rests with aluminium ones after the plastic ones broke. I found that the angle of the wrists was a bit uncomfy after very long use, so I added a pair of stubby bar ends to give me a position for my wrists that was straight through from fore arm to wrist. I did this as I got the bars for €20 second hand from a LBS who just wanted rid of them, hence being ok spending another €9 on bar ends, and then eventually another €20 for some arm pads. Still cheaper than getting a set brand new. As you can see in the picture, on long tours, it's very easy to use the bars as yet another place to hang crap off... I've got a sleeping bag slung under the bars, a spare jacket I'd just taken off in the dry bag on the top of the front of the bars, the empty bottle under the bungee... I think my overshoes are slung under the bungee holding the sleeping bag, as is a first aid kit... Having this much shite attached to the bars doesn't make them as aero as they could be, but it's still better than most other places to hang luggage...



Hope that gives some useful info.

J



[1] DAMHIKT... Just because you can, doesn't mean you should.
--
Beer, bikes, and backpacking
http://b.42q.eu/

T42

  • Tea tank
Re: aero bars for brevets, which ones?
« Reply #7 on: December 13, 2018, 11:19:16 am »

Having this much shite attached to the bars doesn't make them as aero as they could be, but it's still better than most other places to hang luggage...




Dunno: if you make the shite kinda pointy in front it acts as a fairing.
I've dusted all those old bottles and set them up straight.

bludger

  • Randonneur and bargain hunter
Re: aero bars for brevets, which ones?
« Reply #8 on: December 13, 2018, 01:52:22 pm »
At this point I begin to wonder if there is a market for an aerodynamic hyperlight fairing for 'bikepackers'/fast tourers.
YACF touring/audax bargain basement:
https://bit.ly/2Xg8pRD


quixoticgeek

  • Mostly Harmless
Re: aero bars for brevets, which ones?
« Reply #9 on: December 13, 2018, 02:04:03 pm »
At this point I begin to wonder if there is a market for an aerodynamic hyperlight fairing for 'bikepackers'/fast tourers.

Would the benefit of the fairing outweigh the weight penalty? Would it be allowed under the rules of the race?

Being more aero helps with the amount of energy used on a long ride, but half the time, it's more about another position to put the body in to give things a rest...

J
--
Beer, bikes, and backpacking
http://b.42q.eu/

Re: aero bars for brevets, which ones?
« Reply #10 on: December 13, 2018, 02:20:16 pm »
I thought I read somewhere that aero bars are not allowed in some events?

Or did I just dream that up?

A

quixoticgeek

  • Mostly Harmless
Re: aero bars for brevets, which ones?
« Reply #11 on: December 13, 2018, 02:21:39 pm »
I thought I read somewhere that aero bars are not allowed in some events?

Or did I just dream that up?

A

PBP doesn't allow them. Neither do some other big rides. I think indian Audax's also ban them.

J
--
Beer, bikes, and backpacking
http://b.42q.eu/

bludger

  • Randonneur and bargain hunter
Re: aero bars for brevets, which ones?
« Reply #12 on: December 13, 2018, 03:28:22 pm »
I think they are outlawed in most sportives which suits me fine.

There's never been a problem with them in brevets in my experience.
YACF touring/audax bargain basement:
https://bit.ly/2Xg8pRD


quixoticgeek

  • Mostly Harmless
Re: aero bars for brevets, which ones?
« Reply #13 on: December 13, 2018, 03:33:13 pm »
I think they are outlawed in most sportives which suits me fine.

There's never been a problem with them in brevets in my experience.

It's a mass start thingy. Using a set of aerobars in the middle of a bunch unless you're exceptionally good at driving them, and have total trust in those round you not to try to brake, is a recipe for big crashes.

Hence they are banned from mass start events pretty much everywhere. For Audaxes, some audax national bodies interpret that as including them, others do not. BE, NL, UK, DK, all seem fine with it. FR seems not (at least for PBP, assuming it applies to most).

J
--
Beer, bikes, and backpacking
http://b.42q.eu/

Re: aero bars for brevets, which ones?
« Reply #14 on: December 13, 2018, 03:36:12 pm »
Get a (proper) bike fit. You shouldn't be getting numb fingers.

Re: aero bars for brevets, which ones?
« Reply #15 on: December 13, 2018, 03:42:17 pm »
If you want to see a more bodgetastic approach then see my recent Arrivée article (also linked here with bigger pics ) and see what I've used in the penultimate pic to attach my lights.
I'd not noticed that before, chapeau  ;D

I can mount my light(s) (Hope One) inboard of my triathlete bars (upside down, like). But I've also got a 90degree mount, that clips onto the skis. Can't remember where I got it, but they exist.

quixoticgeek

  • Mostly Harmless
Re: aero bars for brevets, which ones?
« Reply #16 on: December 13, 2018, 03:44:19 pm »
Get a (proper) bike fit. You shouldn't be getting numb fingers.

The description says last 2 fingers, I'm assuming that's the smallest two. Pain/numbness in these is very common among long distance cyclists, some even go so far as to refer to it as "the claw". Even with a perfect bike fit, ride long enough, and you're gonna have some numbness in the ulner nerve.

J
--
Beer, bikes, and backpacking
http://b.42q.eu/

LittleWheelsandBig

  • Whimsy Rider
Re: aero bars for brevets, which ones?
« Reply #17 on: December 13, 2018, 03:50:03 pm »
I've been fine up to 1600km brevets with no aerobars but YMMV. When I first started audaxing, damaged hands were sometimes a problem during even short brevets.

Short of RAAM heroics involving riding 21 hours a day for a week, where wearing skin off your hands is likely, even with aerobars, a perfect position on the bike probably means you won't get numb hands.
Wheel meet again, don't know where, don't know when...

Re: aero bars for brevets, which ones?
« Reply #18 on: December 13, 2018, 03:52:30 pm »
Even with a perfect bike fit, ride long enough, and you're gonna have some numbness in the ulner nerve.
Naw.

Just naw.

It can happen, it happened to me after the Mille Cymru this year*, but it should never be a certainty.

*turns out my saddle was 5mm further forward than it usually is after being fitted to a different bike the week before. Whacked it back and rode a 600 the next week with no issues whatsoever ¯\_(ツ)_/¯

whosatthewheel

Re: aero bars for brevets, which ones?
« Reply #19 on: December 13, 2018, 04:17:53 pm »
Not interested in a bike fit, but thank you

Re: aero bars for brevets, which ones?
« Reply #20 on: December 13, 2018, 06:09:39 pm »
I have some you can have for a tenner, if you would like them. If you are interested I can do a picture for you. They were used once, maybe twice, then taken off. Let me know.

Re: aero bars for brevets, which ones?
« Reply #21 on: December 13, 2018, 07:43:24 pm »
£26 and they've been terrific.

https://yacf.co.uk/forum/index.php?topic=108887.0

Also available in 'straight' flavour but I find j bend very comfy.

I love these bars, and they're so cheap too!  Importantly, they're also very adjustable, and you can replace the stock extensions with any 22.2 mm aftermarket ones.

You can get them under a variety of different brand names (or lack thereof), but they all seem to come from the same factory.  Here is the s-bend variety (sold as Token):

http://www.wiggle.co.uk/token-tk9741-2-aero-clip-on-bars-and-pads/

Re: aero bars for brevets, which ones?
« Reply #22 on: December 13, 2018, 07:45:42 pm »
At this point I begin to wonder if there is a market for an aerodynamic hyperlight fairing for 'bikepackers'/fast tourers.

Would the benefit of the fairing outweigh the weight penalty?

Almost certainly :)  Aerodynamics really matters on all but the hilliest routes.

There's somebody on this forum who rides (drives?) a recumbent with a full fairing.  I think he said it weighs in at close to 30 kg, but he goes seriously fast – well over 30 km/h.

Quote
Would it be allowed under the rules of the race?

Probably not  :(

whosatthewheel

Re: aero bars for brevets, which ones?
« Reply #23 on: December 14, 2018, 10:42:13 am »
I have some you can have for a tenner, if you would like them. If you are interested I can do a picture for you. They were used once, maybe twice, then taken off. Let me know.

Picture would be good

Re: aero bars for brevets, which ones?
« Reply #24 on: December 14, 2018, 11:05:57 am »
I have 3t flip-clip on bars that let you get the pads out of the way of the tops when you need.  I like them!