blog banner

blog banner

Sunday, May 4, 2008

Aero bars

I recently added these Bontrager carbon aero bars to my road bike.

Adding aero bars to a road bike is not ideal... it's better to get a purpose-built tri bike as they have the right geometry for being that far forward. But for now, though, these are a nice compromise.

First thought: OH MY GOD I'M GOING TO DIE. I almost wiped out... not only is your grip much narrower than usual, but you're resting your body weight further forward on your elbows... it's a different sensation, and one I wasn't prepared for.

Second thought: I'm glad I already had my 3 kids, because I won't be able to father any more. Leaning that far forward put some serious pain in my delicate regions. I managed to find a position that is a bit more comfortable, but I think a new seat is probably in the cards to make this work.

Third thought: I need to upshift! In fact every time I get down on the bars, I find I need to upshift. This tells me that these things really do work... with equivalent effort I'm going faster. I don't know how much faster, but enough that it was noticeable. When we were going into a particularly strong head-wind this effect was even more noticeable, I was gaining a couple of gear changes.

My riding buddy noticed that my back was almost flat. I felt nice and long and efficient, more like a dart and less like a giant sail. And it felt like it really focused my stride on my legs, rather than doing a whole-body jiggle.

The one downside - by bringing the hands so close together, I found my chest was a bit compressed. I'm not sure how much this impacted my breathing, but it didn't feel great.

$150 well spent!

Bonus article.
Setting up a bike for triathlons.

No comments: