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Aero bars are scary!!
CREATED: 03/23/10 by rmurdock REPLIES: 12
rmurdock    JOINED: 1/25/10    POSTS: 4
Aero bars are scary!!
POSTED: 3/23/10 9:14 AM

I was out at Haines Pt. this weekend and since I am feeling pretty good on the bike I finally decided to try my bars. I nearly crashed into the curb/tree and decided to hold off for a bit. So I am wondering how long it took for some of you experienced people to get the hang of it. It's so precarious and I just wonder if ever will feel natural.

Thanks !!

Rachel

dsgrunning's ravatar dsgrunning    JOINED: 2/28/09    POSTS: 1312
RE: Aero bars are scary!!
POSTED: 3/23/10 9:36 AM

Indeed it is. It's like riding clipless, scary at first but the more your ride the more natural it becomes over time. Did you get properly fitted with the aero bars? That could play a big role in your ability to handle the bike in the aero position. It may help to calm your nerves a bit if you put your bike on a bike trainer and ride aero for a bit. It's not the same but it will give you some mental comfort.

We are all different, I don't that there is a timeframe as to how quickly you adjust to it. It's one of things where you ride and ride and one day it becomes second nature without you even realizing it.

The first time that I was riding aero on my tri bike was like the first time I was on a pair of roller skates ... where I go, no one knows :) If it helps any, these days I'd rather be in the aero postion than the sit up standard position. I do the vast majority of my rides in aero because I'm more comfortable and relaxed while in it.

Tuan

vatriathlete    JOINED: 2/28/09    POSTS: 682
RE: Aero bars are scary!!
POSTED: 3/23/10 10:44 AM

even if you are fit properly to a bike it is a bit disconcerting riding in aerobars bc you have slightly less control in them.

so be careful, if not for your safety, the safety of other riders around you.

for the first few times you do a ride try to do it in a non crowded area and road so that you can start to feel comfortable on them.

also, it helps if you work on riding out of the aerobars in a straight line and such, bc if you weave and can't ride straight out of the aerobars, then in the aerobars the wobblyness you have is only magnified.

good luck.

merlinkim's ravatar merlinkim    JOINED: 2/28/09    POSTS: 295
RE: Aero bars are scary!!
POSTED: 3/23/10 11:40 AM

If your aero bars are on a road bike, try choking up on the extensions so that your hands aren't so far forward. Using aero bars shifts your weight forward on the bike, making it much "twitchier", and your elbows can't steer as well as your hands. Keeping your weight back will help out until you get more comfortable. Just make sure your knees don't hit your elbows.

(Tri bikes like Tuan's are designed to account for this different weight distribution when in the aero position.)

kmwpro's ravatar kmwpro    JOINED: 2/28/09    POSTS: 269
RE: Aero bars are scary!!
POSTED: 3/23/10 12:09 PM

This post made me laugh - they are indeed scary! I taught myself how to use them one arm at a time. Just try riding with one arm in one bar and the other hand on your hoods. Then if you feel wobbly you can easily pop back upright. Then try the other arm. Then try both arms for a short distance. Going around curves and down hills will just come with practice.

urbanlumberjack's ravatar urbanlumberjack    JOINED: 3/25/09    POSTS: 143
RE: Aero bars are scary!!
POSTED: 3/23/10 1:15 PM

After a while they feel great, but at first they really are quite scary.

I'd recommend practicing getting in and out of the aero bars, as this is the hardest part and developing general balance on the bike tends to translate well into feeling more comfortable in aero.

pgfde121's ravatar pgfde121    JOINED: 2/28/09    POSTS: 235
RE: Aero bars are scary!!
POSTED: 3/23/10 4:42 PM

Relax your upper body and you'll find you are able to steer much better...too much tension in the back/shoulders will lead to exaggerated movements. Hains Point is a great practice area, straight wide open space to drop down in the bars without worrying too much...just be careful of the potholes, some of the deeper ones can cause problems in the aero bars.

PotomacTriathlete2009's ravatar PotomacTriathlete2009    JOINED: 9/19/09    POSTS: 525
RE: Aero bars are scary!!
POSTED: 3/23/10 4:59 PM

Aero bars are fun!! For some reason, I adjusted to them pretty quickly last summer.

Definitely take the time to practice in a safe place, away from crowded areas. Your back will have to get used to the position. Don't ride too long in the aero position at first or else your back might act up. Increase the amount of time gradually until you can spend most of the ride on the aerobars.

Core strength work can help with your balance, which is a big part of steering in the aero position. If you have poor balance skills, you'll have more difficulty with aerobars.

If you have clip-on aerobars added to a road bike, they may be too far forward for you. This is why many recommend that you have a forward-facing seat post when you put aerobars on a road bike. Tri bikes have a different geometry so your body is already closer to the aerobars.

mfinazzo    JOINED: 3/22/10    POSTS: 2
RE: Aero bars are scary!!
POSTED: 3/23/10 8:59 PM

Anybody know why USAT mandates bar end caps on handle bars?

PotomacTriathlete2009's ravatar PotomacTriathlete2009    JOINED: 9/19/09    POSTS: 525
RE: Aero bars are scary!!
POSTED: 3/23/10 9:05 PM

I think it's a safety issue. If the bar speared someone, an uncovered end might be more likely to break through the skin and cause serious injury. I guess you could get hurt if you got speared by a covered end too but the bar would be less likely to break through the skin.

Disclaimer: I haven't actually performed any experiments verifying any of this.

jane456's ravatar jane456    JOINED: 2/28/09    POSTS: 69
RE: Aero bars are scary!!
POSTED: 3/23/10 9:09 PM

If the tube is left open, it can easily create a puncture in your skin or tear out a chunk of flesh if you come in contact with it in the event of a crash. Ewwwh.

And that is why I love bar ends.

Lindsey

dsgrunning's ravatar dsgrunning    JOINED: 2/28/09    POSTS: 1312
RE: Aero bars are scary!!
POSTED: 3/23/10 9:26 PM

Anybody know why USAT mandates bar end caps on handle bars?

>>> This is in USAT's own words:
Rule 5.11.i
"Handlebars and stem must be fashioned to prevent any danger. All handlebar ends must be solidly plugged to lessen the possibility of injury."

Rule Book

Tuan

mfinazzo    JOINED: 3/22/10    POSTS: 2
RE: Aero bars are scary!!
POSTED: 3/23/10 9:51 PM

Thanks for the info- for whatever reason I never thought about those issues.

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