Author Topic: Tri bar use and long distance  (Read 1659 times)

vorsprung

  • Opposites Attract
    • Audaxing
Tri bar use and long distance
« on: March 18, 2009, 12:42:02 pm »
I have been using tri bars on my good bike since last April, so almost a year.

The reason I am using these devices is that I intend to do the London-Edinburgh-London (LEL) 1400km audax.  There are long, flat roads on there that would benefit from tri bar use.  I deliberately started using them several months ago so I would have time to get used to them

I have them in a position that seems to be fairly comfortable.  I rest my forearms on the centre of the bars which are coated in sections of pipe lagging.  When riding over poor road surfaces this is actually better for vibrations than using the drops. My bike has moderately high bars so the position is not "extreme"

What I am interested/concerned about is neck ache.

I have done a few 100mile+ rides recently.   I am now fairly confident with bike handling on the tri bars.  Some of the rides included longish sections that were suitable for using the tri bars.   I did do fairly long ( 10min + ) stints down on the tri bars.  However after the rides I noticed more neck pain than usual.  This is not a serious, debilitating neck pain and did not need RICE or drugs.  It was noticable though.

Should I do some specific exercises to strengthen some part of my core to make the tri bars more comfy?  Should I do yoga to become more flexible?  Will this neck pain diminish as I get more practiced on the tri bars? Any other thoughts?

I'd like to be able to use the tri bars during LEL with low/no impact on my comfort
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LittleWheelsandBig

  • Whimsy Rider
Re: Tri bar use and long distance
« Reply #1 on: March 18, 2009, 01:46:34 pm »
Something that made the difference for me:
Check that you are not overly craning your neck to see through your glasses (sunnies or prescription) or under a helmet peak (if you have one).  The upper restriction to your range of vision should be your eyebrows, otherwise you have to tilt your head further up than is ideal.
Wheel meet again, don't know where, don't know when...

Re: Tri bar use and long distance
« Reply #2 on: March 18, 2009, 01:53:39 pm »
Are these allowed in LEL?

I'm pretty sure they aren't in PBP. Although I've seen comments about very sturdy mapholders of a strange shape.
<i>Marmite slave</i>

Re: Tri bar use and long distance
« Reply #3 on: March 18, 2009, 02:00:43 pm »
Are these allowed in LEL?

I'm pretty sure they aren't in PBP. Although I've seen comments about very sturdy mapholders of a strange shape.
The PBP restriction is French law, not just an event rule.
They are banned in all mass-start events.
(or so I'm led to believe)

Re: Tri bar use and long distance
« Reply #4 on: March 18, 2009, 02:18:04 pm »
I've been practicing a more aero position recently for the same reason (LEL).  I get on the top of the hoods and bend my elbows to about 90% or more, which brings me into a similar position as I would achieve with aero bars, except the arms are still out to the side and not together, so not quite as efficient at cutting through the air.

For me the problem with aero bars is I have so much gubbins on my bars already there's just no room for anything else, and I don't want to go down the bar extensions route.  Also, I like being able to cover the gears and brakes most of the time.

In terms of neck/back problems, I'm gradually building up to longer and longer periods in the drop position.  I started with just a few minutes and now I can do the best part of an hour time trial, having a break of a few seconds to stretch the body every 10-15 minutes.  No problems so far.

vorsprung

  • Opposites Attract
    • Audaxing
Re: Tri bar use and long distance
« Reply #5 on: March 18, 2009, 02:45:28 pm »
For me the problem with aero bars is I have so much gubbins on my bars already there's just no room for anything else
The tri bars I've got hold the map and the spare light.  I will try and post a picture
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Re: Tri bar use and long distance
« Reply #6 on: March 18, 2009, 04:36:26 pm »
Core strength exercises are my way of dealing with this.

I used my tri-bars for about 150km of the London->Edinburgh ride I've just done (mainly following the LEL route). Very useful for bludgeoning my way through a headwind, or taking it easy (same speed for less effort, or 2kph faster for no extra effort). Definitely a good idea. Had them on the bike for ages and use them whenever possible. A 10 second break and stretch is enough every 10 minutes or so. My longest stretch on them was probably 2 hours or so of dull Cambridgeshire.

Remember that you don't want a full on TT position on aero-bars for long distance. You want a comfortable crouched position that you can hold for long periods.

Pic 1: http://www.greenbank.org/bikes/tempo/tempo7.jpg

In use Oop North: http://www.greenbank.org/misc/le13.jpg

They're Profile Century Aero ZB tri-bars mounted on Profile T2 Wing bullhorns. TRP RL970 aero brake levers.

GPS goes on its mounting at the top of the aero bars (easily visible in both aero-tuck and normal position) but you'll need "closed" tri-bars to do this. Rixen & Kaul MiniMap mounted on one arm of the tri-bars. Don't use this when using a GPS.

Computer will be moved to the stem when I get a chance and that Minoura Space Grip will be removed. That's just the way I had it setup before I swapped the handlebars.

The other (forward) space grip holds the light(s). Right now it's got Solidlights on it, but for LEL I'll be using two B&M Ixon IQ battery powered lights and getting rid of the extra drag of a SON wheel (no matter how small the drag is).

I don't have to worry about covering the gears or brakes as I don't have any gear levers and always have two feet on the brakes. :)
"Yes please" said Squirrel "biscuits are our favourite things."

Tiger

Re: Tri bar use and long distance
« Reply #7 on: March 18, 2009, 05:24:59 pm »
You may wish to use a bungy hoooked onto the saddle, aver the back, hooked into either the helmet or a headband. No neck strain at all but a bit of a wedgie after 18 hrs or so.

Re: Tri bar use and long distance
« Reply #8 on: March 18, 2009, 11:42:02 pm »
Are your tri bars too far forwards?
My upper arm is roughly at the same angle as my head tube and my forearm is roughly paralell with the road. Having them too far forwards will put a strain on the shoulders and neck. Too far back wil strain your triceps.
I use Pofile Century bars with the pads set as wide as they will go. I use them for comfort more than speed.