Upgrading with Aerobars

21 04 2011

Last Christmas, I bought Chris what I thought would be a great gift…aerobars.

He is an avid cyclist and I thought that this oh so cool “elite” gadget for his bike would really take him by surprise and turn him into an even speedier rider than he already is. Chris was definitely surprised and excited to receive the gift; however 4 months later, the aerobars sat at the foot of his bike, still in the box, collecting dust.  I asked him why he had not put them on his bike and he went on to inform me that he while he thought it was a very thoughtful gift,  aerobars are (for the most part) intended for triathletes. While he has competed in a few triathlons, he is not quite as “into” triathlons as I am and that putting them on his bike simply for his road rides didn’t make sense. So…being the amazing boyfriend that he is, he graciously thanked me but offered to put them on my bike! I apologized for not doing my research and GRACIOUSLY accepted his offer. And not only did he give them to me, but he put them on! (He’s a keeper).

Don’t they just make my bike look more professional??

The aerobars went on my bike on Monday night and I was out on the road on Tuesday afternoon. I considered trying to get a random stranger on my ride to snap a photo but found this cool picture that I thought would give you an idea of what you are “supposed” to look like when riding with aerobars. Basically…you are supposed to be crouched down so that your body is more aerodynamic…duh.


I wish that I could say that I have a really cool aerodynamic helmet like that but I don’t. I have seen many riders cycling with aerobars and it looks fairly easy. Just rest your arms on the pads and pedal right? Not so much….I learned that it is harder than it looks! With the bars on my bike, I not only found that my balance was off, but also that different muscles in my legs were being used when I pedaled.  It took some time for me to feel comfortable bending over so low while pedaling, but when I was crouched down, I definitely felt like I was going much faster. Unfortunately I had to take off my odometer to put on the bars and didn’t have a chance to re-attach it, so I couldn’t tell exactly how fast I was riding.  I rode about 15 miles and by the end, I felt like I had gotten the hang of it, but….I came home with questions! Questions that I am hoping that YOU, my triathlon (and cycling) friends can help me answer!

1) What part of the top of the aerobars are you supposed to hold on to? What part of your forearms should be resting on the pads?

2) Are the padded sides supposed to sit flat on the handlebars when pushed down? This is what it looks like when I push them down on my bike…

3) Do your aerobars rattle when you are not resting on them? There were some leftover pieces after putting mine on my bike…so I am thinking that we might have missed a few steps while assembling.

4) When SHOULD you be riding in the aero position (I just made up that position :)) and when should you be upright holding on to your aerobars?

Thanks in advance and have a great Thursday!

Question of the Day: When you get a new gadget/are trying a new recipe/are putting something together, do you read the directions? I admit…I tend to just give it a shot on my own 🙂 and come back to the instructions or recipe later on if things don’t go according to plan.