Author Topic: Aero Bars  (Read 13597 times)

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Offline jakus237

Aero Bars
« on: May 19, 2005, 03:35:15 am »
I'm looking to put aero bars on my newly acquired touring bike.  I have it set up with flat bars.
Any suggestions on what brand/style I could use?
What about the flat bar diameter...or are aero bars
universal for flat and drop bars?

This message was edited by jakus237 on 5-18-05 @ 11:36 PM

Offline RussellSeaton

Aero Bars
« Reply #1 on: May 19, 2005, 02:44:31 pm »
No real useful suggestion on which aero bars to use on a touring bike.  I had some Profile bars with the spring loaded flip up arm pads on my road bike years ago.  Used them for a few months to try something different.  They worked.  But looked awful on a beautiful road bike.

Aero bars clamp onto the bulged center section of handlebars.  On road bikes this used to be 25.8 to 26.0 mm.  Before the new oversized 31.8 mm stuff took over.  On mountain bike flat bars the center bulged section is 25.4 mm.  All aero bars will fit onto 25.4 mm to 26.0 mm bulged sections just fine.

Maybe my only useful recommendation is to make sure the arm rests and aero bars are high enough so you can use them without being bent over into a super aero time trial position.  Probably not a position you are after on a touring bike.  I'm guessing you want the aero bars for a comfortable resting position that also gives some wind cheating.

Offline JohnLee

Aero Bars
« Reply #2 on: May 19, 2005, 05:18:29 pm »
I have "Profile Design - Century" bars on my road bike(with drops) and my MTB(with flat and ends).
They were only sixty dollars a pair.
Russell is partly right, they look screwy on my MTB.
They're worth the looks though...
They're good for another 2 to 3 mph into the wind.
You'll lose the position where your hands are along side the stem but I think it's worth it.
You also lose the ability to mount a handlebar bag easily, but I still think it's worth it.
I've made custom mounts that go between the extended bars for my cyclocomputers and lights.

Offline jakus237

Aero Bars
« Reply #3 on: May 20, 2005, 01:47:39 am »
JohnLee & Russell..
Thank you so much for the replies.  I did check out a set of the Profile Cenury's but the guy thought that they would be too big a diameter for my flat bars.
Maybe I'll give them a shot.  
JohnLee, I'm especially curious about how you rigged your aero bars with that cross bar.  Do you have any pics?  I was wondering where I was going to put my computer, light, bell, etc! That could work...

Thanks again

Offline DaveB

Aero Bars
« Reply #4 on: May 20, 2005, 02:06:33 pm »
I also have a set of Profile Century bars and use them on a bike I ride in Florida where the extra weight (~450 grams) isn't a consideration, since there are no hills worth mentioning, but the wind can be unrelenting. For that use they are a real advantage.  

BTW, I got mine for $13 ;p on the "returns" table at Nashbar when they still had a outlet store near Youngstown, Ohio.  

The Century bars, as John mentioned, don't have flip-up armrests so you can't put your hands on the bar tops anywhere near the stem.  For me, this is not a minor disadvantage.  If I were riding with aero bars all the time, I'd spend the extra money for a set that had flip-up armrests.

I made a mount for my cyclometer by zip-tying a short piece of 3/4" PVC pipe between the bar extensions and building up the diameter to 26 mm with electrical tape. It cost nearly nothing and is plenty secure for the cyclometer.  I don't think it would hold a headlight adequately and your arms would interfere with the light beam anyway.  An underbar light mount is probably the only thing that will work.

One other thing about aero bars, the extra weight out front makes the steering more touchy. No-hands riding is difficult which indicates you have to be more attentive under normal circumstances. They require some getting used to before riding on them is comfortable and gusty sidewinds can be a problem.  Like everything they have their upside and disadvantages.    

Offline JohnLee

Aero Bars
« Reply #5 on: May 20, 2005, 05:17:26 pm »
I don't have any pictures of the mounts I made.
If you imagine what a cylinder stretched between the extended bars would look like, that's the shape of the mount.
I turned mine on the lathe from a scrap of walnut...
One inch diameter as long as the bars are wide.
Cut a cove on each end so the dowel will fit snuggly between the bars.
The light I use shines through the spot where your hands go on the bars. The light mount must be extremely tight or vibration causes the light to point at the ground.
You could make something similar out of PVC but it wouldn't be strong enough to hold a light.
As for gusty winds, I've never noticed that the aerobars make it worse. If the wind is blowing from the side I'm on the hoods/ends/drops/flats and still have trouble tracking a straight line :)
I only use the aerobars if there's a headwind or I'm trying to make time somewhere.

Offline DaveB

Aero Bars
« Reply #6 on: May 20, 2005, 11:56:50 pm »
The cyclometer mount I made sounds like the same design as yours except I started with nominal 3/4" heavy wall PVC pipe (actual OD=.84" or almost 7/8") instead of wood.  I hollowed the ends with a half round file to match the curve of the extension bars and got a snug, non-rocking fit.  I then drilled through the each end of the pipe at 90° with a 1/4" drill bit so I could run a zip-tie through the holes and around the aero bar extension to keep it in place. It is sturdy and stable and may indeed be suitable for a headlight mount.  I've just never done it.  I see where the light beam can go if you mount the Century bars pointed upward slightly.  

Schedule 80 PVC pipe is extremely strong and will take any abuse wood will and then some.

The upshot of all of this is that you can adapt aero bars to mount whatever accessories you need.

My note about gusty winds was intended as an example  that there are some conditions that make the use of aerobars less desirable.  If you are on the bars and get hit by an unexpected side gust, it's going to bounce you around.  Just be aware.  

Offline RussellSeaton

Aero Bars
« Reply #7 on: May 23, 2005, 05:25:14 pm »
"I was wondering where I was going to put my computer, light, bell, etc!"

Profile, and I think others, make little plastic devices that clamp onto the sides of the aero bars to hold light things like a computer and bell.  Cronometro Nob is one I can think of.  See links below.  Some people use this one for lights.  The Minoura Space Grip could also be clamped to the aero bars itself near the stem pointing downwards for a secure mount.

Offline jakus237

Aero Bars
« Reply #8 on: May 24, 2005, 03:54:38 am »
Russell...thanks for the links.  Those are the good type of nick-nacks that are hard to come by in my LBS and that you can only find online.
I especially like the swing grip and the Profile Design Computer mount.  
Dave..The PVC sounds like an option as well.  I think I'm going to get a Profile Century this weekend and play around with it to see what works.  I do have a light, bell and wireless computer that I need to find suitable homes for.

Here are a couple more questions that I was curious about...
My flat bar is a riser bar (not sure what the technical  term is)and it curves up a bit on either side of the stem.  Is this going to stop me all together from  mounting aero bars?

Also, a handlebar bag would still be nice to have...
have any of you rigged a handlebar bag under your aero bars?

Thanks again...hope all of you are out riding and enjoying spring!

Offline DaveB

Aero Bars
« Reply #9 on: May 25, 2005, 03:41:11 am »
My flat bar is a riser bar (not sure what the technical  term is)and it curves up a bit on either side of the stem.  Is this going to stop me all together from  mounting aero bars?

It shouldn't.  The Century bars (and several others, I believe) mount almost flush up against the stem so you only need an inch or so of straight bar on each side of the stem.  I expect your bars are "flat" for at least that distance.