Tri-bar curious

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composite
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Tri-bar curious

Post by composite » Wed Jul 17, 2019 10:21 pm

So the more I think about it when I'm riding my "road bike" the more I keep thinking that an aero position when tapping out miles could be a good addition to hand and body positions. I have my first audax Saturday and I suspect that it's something I'm likely to get into doing more regularly and I think that the more options I have on long road rides the better.

With that said, I'm interested in maybe trying out some clip on tri-bars and wondered what others experiences might be? Any suggestions for a cheap-ish entry-level set?

lune ranger
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Re: Tri-bar curious

Post by lune ranger » Wed Jul 17, 2019 10:38 pm

I started using clip on aero bars for exactly your reason . For tapping out long miles on audax and other long solo efforts.
They take more than a bit of getting used to for long periods but imo are worth it.
You get extra variations of position, it can take some weight off your shoulders and are a blessing in a head wind.
I use the cheap Token ones from Wiggle:

https://www.wiggle.co.uk/token-tk9741-2 ... -and-pads/

They are a bit heavier and lack the adjustability of some but are solid and dependable and I find they comfy enough.
They occasionally see service on my Fargo and haven’t let me down off road either.

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dlovett
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Re: Tri-bar curious

Post by dlovett » Thu Jul 18, 2019 6:21 am

I have a pair of token ones also, but they are the older style. I have had them for years now and never really tried them much until this year. I actually put them on Jones bars for long distance racing. You do have to get used to them but once you have they are great. Another load of positions help with fatigue and the aero position makes quite a speed difference. I have found since getting used to them, I am racking up pb’s everywhere. They are also supersizingly good for climbing.

If you aren’t sure grab a 2nd hand pair

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Re: Tri-bar curious

Post by redefined_cycles » Thu Jul 18, 2019 7:06 am

http://www.220triathlon.com/training/bi ... /8848.html

How much of above would you with aero bar experience, say is true and safe for us 'safety conscious' dept of cyclists... I've been toying with the idea (for the road bike commute initially as getting the di2 gearing in the bars should be easy enough) for a little while now. But (without spending a load and getting it) without having brakes in the bars scares the living daylights out of me *

*to be fair I have only just got proper comfy to the idea of (in the last frw years... and I'm 42) driving in cruise control and taking foot away from pedal whilst motorway cruising :smile:

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dlovett
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Re: Tri-bar curious

Post by dlovett » Thu Jul 18, 2019 7:30 am

They scared the crap out of me at first, every ripple in the road surface made the bike swerve, but once you are used to them it’s fine. I tend to use mine mainly when I won’t need to brake quickly and not in traffic much. I find that I can just sit up and move both of my hands to the normal bars and brakes etc very quickly. It’s worth practising it on a quiet smooth road.

Not sure I agree that there is no gain on hills. I am running them on a non road bike and have found big gains on climbing as I can use my arm muscles to help.
Last edited by dlovett on Thu Jul 18, 2019 9:55 am, edited 2 times in total.

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Re: Tri-bar curious

Post by TheBrownDog » Thu Jul 18, 2019 7:32 am

I could never get on with proper aero tri bars but quite liked Cinelli Spiaci bar extensions as you could adjust the height quite a bit and they didnt put me so far forward. Cheap these days too.

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Re: Tri-bar curious

Post by lune ranger » Thu Jul 18, 2019 7:35 am

I think the pertinent line in the article is:

‘Use your aerobars unless there is a compelling reason not too’

For me the compelling reason is the need to brake. Whether I am driving or cycling I tend to go by the rule that you need to be able to brake in the distance that you can see. So I don’t go round blind bends at 60mph in my car or on my aerobars on my bike. I stop feeling comfortable and in control on the aerobars when my speed gets above 40km/h, I think reaction time plus moving to the brakes would take too long to be safe at higher speeds. After all i’m using aerobars on public roads and i’m not racing. As with much in life, a sensible approach is all that is needed.

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Re: Tri-bar curious

Post by redefined_cycles » Thu Jul 18, 2019 9:56 am

Thanks all and Composite for opening such a useful thread. I'd always thought they were for 'don't look up as the Garmin screen is so much more interesting' type roadies.

Looks like I might have to invest for the commuter (its a long commute)...

On the aero tuck position (ignore what I said about looking at screen roadies for a mo), when getting head down low and bum up/back (all fully baggy shortsted out so no indecent exposure going on here :lol: ) in the drops - I do regular watch the mph numbers and can safely say theres easily a rise from 18mph to 19mph without any extra effort...

Another thibg to save up for in due course I guess...

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Re: Tri-bar curious

Post by lune ranger » Thu Jul 18, 2019 10:08 am

redefined_cycles wrote:
Thu Jul 18, 2019 9:56 am
On the aero tuck position (ignore what I said about looking at screen roadies for a mo), when getting head down low and bum up/back (all fully baggy shortsted out so no indecent exposure going on here :lol: ) in the drops - I do regular watch the mph numbers and can safely say theres easily a rise from 18mph to 19mph without any extra effort...
I don’t know about that Shafiq, I don’t monitor my actual speed anymore, just average.
For me it’s about efficiency anyway.
All I say for sure is it feels very businesslike and efficient when you get down and forward on the aerobars.
If you believe the numbers even mortals such as us can scratch out a watt or two, improve efficiency by a couple of percent. Everyone always talks about seconds gained in short TT - magnify those gains over a 600km audax, LEL, PBP or whatever and you are looking at a significant advantage. It’s not just for skin suited pro tour roadies.

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Re: Tri-bar curious

Post by redefined_cycles » Thu Jul 18, 2019 10:21 am

Yup... indeed Luke. I've managed to get the 90 miler commute to Scarb down to 5.5 H... If I can scratch another half an hour (unlikely but can try) of that I may be able get a full time job there :lol:

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Re: Tri-bar curious

Post by thenorthwind » Thu Jul 18, 2019 10:49 am

SJS have some very cheap entry-level tri bars that seem to get good reviews.

I have a set of these, and they certainly seem very well made: https://www.sjscycles.co.uk/handlebars/ ... aluminium/

Other models from the same brand were even cheaper when I bought these a while back :shock:

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Re: Tri-bar curious

Post by dlovett » Thu Jul 18, 2019 11:04 am

On a high drag bike like the Vir Fortis they are worth about 4-6km/h.

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Jurassic
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Re: Tri-bar curious

Post by Jurassic » Thu Jul 18, 2019 3:37 pm

In a previous life as a club roadie I had a dedicated time trial bike with tri bars on it, I used to find the hand/arm position while using them super comfy compared to riding on drops, hoods or even tops. For me the adjustment to riding on them was very short and I didn't feel unstable or unsafe while riding on them, that being said time trial courses are often not very technical. Common sense dictates not drafting while using them as the reaction time to the brakes is slower (I can't believe triathletes do this, it's madness). I'd always come off them for road junctions etc but overall I loved mine and would consider putting a pair on my gravel bike if only for the comfort and additional hand positions.

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Re: Tri-bar curious

Post by Chew » Thu Jul 18, 2019 6:44 pm

I used clip-ons for a while.
They take quite a bit of setting up, and I found that while they were useful in certain situations, the downsides of extra weight on hilly rides made them a bit too much hassle.

If you can get a cheap set/borrow some have a go, but unless its somewhere really flat and windy they may be more hassle than they're worth.
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Re: Tri-bar curious

Post by dlovett » Thu Jul 18, 2019 7:13 pm

If you do get a set, try and get ones where you can take the pole bits off of the bar mounts easily. Mine are very easy to do that and means you can take them off for DH, Bike parks and enduro. It stops you getting skewered if you go over the bars.

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Re: Tri-bar curious

Post by Dave Barter » Thu Jul 18, 2019 7:58 pm

I was converted on a recent ride which had long road sections. They really do make a massive difference but getting them set right is a real art. Believe it or not they do work on hills where I used them as "levers", it's really hard to explain but I gripped bars hard and used this to almost lever my legs down. I have a set of USE Boost Bars but found the rests can slip a bit if used on really bumpy ground.
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Re: Tri-bar curious

Post by lune ranger » Thu Jul 18, 2019 9:57 pm

Dave Barter wrote:
Thu Jul 18, 2019 7:58 pm
I was converted on a recent ride which had long road sections. They really do make a massive difference but getting them set right is a real art. Believe it or not they do work on hills where I used them as "levers", it's really hard to explain but I gripped bars hard and used this to almost lever my legs down. I have a set of USE Boost Bars but found the rests can slip a bit if used on really bumpy ground.
Did you use some on the TDR?

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Re: Tri-bar curious

Post by Dave Barter » Fri Jul 19, 2019 7:36 am

lune ranger wrote:
Thu Jul 18, 2019 9:57 pm
Dave Barter wrote:
Thu Jul 18, 2019 7:58 pm
I was converted on a recent ride which had long road sections. They really do make a massive difference but getting them set right is a real art. Believe it or not they do work on hills where I used them as "levers", it's really hard to explain but I gripped bars hard and used this to almost lever my legs down. I have a set of USE Boost Bars but found the rests can slip a bit if used on really bumpy ground.
Did you use some on the TDR?
Yes
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Re: Tri-bar curious

Post by jameso » Fri Jul 19, 2019 7:53 am

Always been alt/tri bar curious here, back to Syncros Steerhorns and Scott AT4 days and now Jones Loops. I've never really clicked with tri bars though (got a set on my road-ish bike again at the mo but a bit mixed reaction). Interesting comments from Mike Hall further down the interview here, he used tri bars on road but I find myself agreeing with his take on them for off-road use.

https://bikepacking.com/plog/2016-mike-hall-interview/#

I had inboard bar-ends on my MTB that I used for a road tour in my 'pre-bikepacking' days. IE when I called touring, 'touring' :grin:

Plenty of riders love tri bars and I'm not saying they're wrong (well, they are quite Triathlete and that makes them very wrong :wink: ) but if you don't get on with them there are alternatives. I simply find that I either don't have the control on anything but road sections or the basic riding position's not right on an MTB anyway (power output is compromised and offsets any aero gain), so they're of limited use - although no doubt it can be an effective aero gain on the right bike + terrain.

I've cut up a set of tri bars recently to minimise them but still get the basic effect, will post up some pics once that bike's back on the road. Took ~35% off the weight and saved a chunk of bar space by removing the arm rests + supports and cutting down the bar clamp - the bike has a bar that's a useful height and a bit of foam padding does the trick at a fraction of the weight / complexity. Couldn't spend all day there, but wouldn't need to.

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Re: Tri-bar curious

Post by redefined_cycles » Fri Jul 19, 2019 4:36 pm

Thanks Jameso for that link... What an absolutely legendary interview (and interviewer AFAIK)...

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Re: Tri-bar curious

Post by ZeroDarkBivi » Sat Jul 20, 2019 3:30 pm

Dave Barter wrote:
Thu Jul 18, 2019 7:58 pm
I have a set of USE Boost Bars but found the rests can slip a bit if used on really bumpy ground.
I have the same bars on my gravel bike; super-light, great (when they work) on road, but I wouldn’t use them on trails. Don’t fit them all the time; for example, TNR didn’t have enough flat to make the weight penalty worthwhile.

Given up on the useless USE clamps; if you use the recommended 5Nm torque they will slip on the first bump, any tighter and the plastic cracks. Internet forums reveal this is not uncommon, and USE have agreed to refund me. Not sure what to replace them with; Syntace C3 look very comfortable, if a bit heavy, or possible one of the Deda stumpy bars, although they look less comfortable for anything beyond the Olympic Tri they are designed for.

Dave; surprised you got through the TD without throwing them in a skip...! Any tips?

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