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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I'm racing a local race this weekend and there are several stages, one of which is a 10k TT. I don't have a TT bike so I was just planning on riding hard and taking my lumps from the TT bike owners wizzing by me.

Should I get some clip-on aero bars...will they make that big of a difference considering I really have no time to get used to them? Also, are they easy to take on and off? The TT is Saturday evening but there's a stage Sat morning and Sunday morning and I would need them off for those two.

Yeah...I know this is late notice...I just signed up yesterday though. Otherwise I would've asked this Q a long time ago.

thanks
 

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You might notice some difference, but not an absolutely huge difference since it's just a 10k. You could buy them and they're usually not too difficult, but best if you can get out a few times to adjust for the feel.
 

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+1 on the aerobars
+1 on the TT bikes. Bikes aren't fast.....legs are fast.
Stick a slow guy on a TT bike, and he'll still be slow.
Most fast guys end up with a TT bike because that 10 to 15 seconds it saves, in a 40K makes the difference between 1st & 4th.
Buying a TT bike so that you move up from 14th to 12th is just silly.

If you buy and train on aerobars, you can save lots of time.....but you MUST get your body used to them.
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
I've only been riding road for about 6 months or so after a few years of MTB so I know my legs and form are nowhere near justifying a TT bike. Plus most of the TT here are short and the occasional duathlon is short as well. I figure clip-on aero bars make a lot more sense than another bike (What am I saying?!!!)

thanks for the advice
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
Nope just 1/2, 3/4, 5...but that would be nice!

I've only done 2 other races and neither time I was prepared for the quick start. I was used to group rides that roll for a little bit before we pick up speed. So I got smoked. But I've been riding a lot more recently and signed up for the "5"

This is the first "stage" race I've seen around here...usually a local club puts on a few TT or Team TT a year...

I've been wanting to get aero bars just in general because we get a lot of wind here in South Texas...I usually ride with 15-20mph headwinds so I think aero bars would be nice if I had to ride alone. Which I used to do a lot but I've started doing more groups rides recently.
 

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MR_GRUMPY said:
.....but you MUST get your body used to them.
this!

It took me about 3 weeks of 1-2 days a week riding with aero bars to get my legs used to them. I have about a 2" drop from seat to bars and the extra reach makes my glutes work a lot harder. Get some aerobars, ride em for a while, but don't try them for the first time on a race day.
 

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I just bought and installed T1 aerobars on my road bike as I am competing in triathlons this summer. I rode about 25-30 miles with them before I competed with them so that I would be comfortable using them and not be a danger to myself or other riders.

I found my straight line and level speed went up about 2-3 mph with the aerobars over riding from the hoods. The advantage dropped to 1-2 mph faster in a relatively strong headwind, but I also felt stronger after using the aerobars against the wind when I turned to go downwind, so the speed is not the only advantage aerobars can provide.
 

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I don't know about you, but they helped shave a minute off a 15km TT time for me...Same course...

Week one was done on my race bike, which is a Blue AC1, nothing aero...

Week two was on my Tarmac with clip on bars, TT helmet and skin suit...Same wheels as the Blue...

I have now permanently set-up the Tarmac as my TT bike with the bars pretty well as low as I can get them...I'd like a TT bike just so I have a true dedicated TT rig and thus allowing the Tarmac back to being a backup/training bike...
 

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I'll go against the grain here and suggest using the aero bars, even if you're only able to get out and spin around the block on them.

Positioning is extreemly important when it comes to going fast in TT's. If you have ever ridden with your forearms on your bars, then putting aero bars on won't be any different other than being more comfortable.

The position on the bike when it comes to hip angle will be similar to that of riding in the drops (so you won't lose any power), but your position will be much more aerodynamic and could save 20-40 seconds over not having aero bars on a 10K ITT.

Aero bars are some of the cheapest speed you can buy.
 

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Don't go for aero bars unless you are willing and able to change over your bike setup to make them useful.

(I only mention this because I ride my bike near the limit of my flexibility and riding aero bars puts me well over that limit, cramping my legs and causing them to lock up too quickly. That and I am too lazy and not knowledgeable enough to swap setups.)
 

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The TT bikes are designed to position the rider on the maximal efficient aero position while keeping him comfortable enough to stay on it for 50Km.

if you have an standard road bike setup in a way you can go down on the drops and have your back parallel to the floor, you'd be as much aerodinamyc and even more than a guy on a TT bike with his back on 30°.

10 Km is not so long so you could hold yourself on a 0° back position on the drops for that distance, be sure to set your saddle in the best position for that.

Also, mounting a set of aerobars on a road bike with standard road setup will not put your back on 0°. you'd need an special stem to lower your bars.

A road bike with a good setup would put your back at 0° on the drops with the elbows at 90°

in images

something like this.



is more aero than something like this

 

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Salsa_Lover said:
something like this.



is more aero than something like this

I bet it's not.

A well set up TT bike and rider position will save between 4 and 10 seconds per km in a typical road TT compared to using a mass start road bike set up.

On a borrowed rig I rode for first time, I got a bit more than 4 sec/km than my road bike ridden as aero as I could in the same conditions (air density and wind) at the same power output over the same course:

https://alex-cycle.blogspot.com/2009/04/new-skool.html

Considering also no aero helmet or rear disk wheel/deep section front, then definitely much more time gains are possible over the road rig.
 

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Salsa_Lover said:
The TT bikes are designed to position the rider on the maximal efficient aero position while keeping him comfortable enough to stay on it for 50Km.
Who says? A lot of guys only race much shorter TTs. Heck I race 3km pursuits.

Salsa_Lover said:
if you have an standard road bike setup in a way you can go down on the drops and have your back parallel to the floor, you'd be as much aerodinamyc and even more than a guy on a TT bike with his back on 30°.
And you might end up with a hip angle that significantly compromises power output, so much so that any aero gains are negated and you might actually go slower.

Those of us that actually measure such things know that going lower is not always more aerodynamic, and it is certainly not always faster.

What one seeks to achieve is to maximise the ratio of sustainable TT power (FTP) to coefficient of aerodynamic drag (CdA) since that's what dictates the speed we can sustainably ride at.

FTP:CdA ratio is what matters most in TT riding, then pacing.
 

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yes but he is asking about how to sort out a short TT race without an specific TT bike.

putting a set of TT aerobars will not be better than riding on the drops.

and look at the TT pic, I put it because the rider has a 30° back, this negates many of those seconds you gain on a TT bike when you are in the right position.

like these ones


 

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Salsa_Lover said:
yes but he is asking about how to sort out a short TT race without an specific TT bike.

putting a set of TT aerobars will not be better than riding on the drops.

and look at the TT pic, I put it because the rider has a 30° back, this negates many of those seconds you gain on a TT bike when you are in the right position.

like these ones
I take it you have wind tunnel or field test data with a power meter to back up your assertions?

Even on a road bike, some good TT bars and position will help gain speed over a standard mass start bar position. It certainly has helped me gain speed in the past.

And again, a flat back is not always what it's cracked up to be. Testing will show you this.
 

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Alex_Simmons/RST said:
I take it you have wind tunnel or field test data with a power meter to back up your assertions?

Even on a road bike, some good TT bars and position will help gain speed over a standard mass start bar position. It certainly has helped me gain speed in the past.

And again, a flat back is not always what it's cracked up to be. Testing will show you this.
I'd agree with that. If the flat back were THE answer, ALL riders would be using it.

I know I've toyed with the idea of a more aero position, but my most frequent TT has enough rollers and headwinds to basically keep me in the saddle for about an hour, give or take based on my form/weather conditions. I certainly wouldn't mind a bike with a more aggressive posture for ~20km TTs, but I think I have enough in bikes these days.....

A good friend of mine has gone through many different TT positions from a modified Iron Man "relaxed" geometry to the flat back. Between changes in power, back issues, etc, I think he settled on something in between the flat back, but more aggressive than something like a Lance Armstrong type of positioning.

BTW, anyone notice that it seems to be the larger riders using the flat back and smaller riders are more upright? I've also noticed that there seem to be more riders using basic tri bars and not as much of the ski poles. I liked the idea of the ski poles, but have enough wrist issues as a former musician and guy who spends his days pounding on computers.
 
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