Friday, May 6, 2011

Aero Bars. Yeah, I'm off Sailing Topics...

Well, only for a while.

When I got back into riding I had carpal tunnel and the vibration was a killer. Aero bars were a life saver, worth sharing. I started with these:

When I got my new toy, I moved on to these:

The hinged model failed at the hinge from metal fatigue after only a few years of moderate use, which I reasoned was too little time.

Because I need a neutral wrist position I need a bar with an up-turned end. Would bar end shifters be better? No, I think I prefer brake lever shifters, since most shifting occurs on hilly terrain. The bars do add about a pound to the bike, but I don't live in the mountains, not any more.  

I think there is little question that aero bars are faster and more comfortable on the flats, racer or not. There is a learning curve: expect them to feel twitchy to start, but this soon passes; be careful on bumps; no, you can't reach the brakes, but you soon learn to switch one or two hands smoothly; set them high and wide when starting and stay far from traffic; if you're touring and value ease and comfort over speed, set them higher, further apart and not so far forward, and them leave them there. A little cork tape near the ends is nice too.

I'll repeat, they're not such a good idea in traffic. Moderation in all things.

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