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Thinking out loud in 3D for a moment here, when it comes to arm pad and aerobar extension width, has anybody thought about using a formula derived from shoulder width to drive the starting point for aerobar setup?

My thought is that if someone has, say, 42cm wide shoulders versus someone else at 38cm, when we get aerobars and pads set up for fitting, we can at least predict a comfortable starting point within the range afforded by aerobar manufacturers. The 38cm wide person would start narrower. I would think that it would also be influenced by how far apart the hands are on the extensions, length of forearm, and length of upper arm.

Maybe I'm just really complicating something simple or maybe I'm ignorant of existing solutions, but it seems to me that we could quantify this. Maybe a formula like arm pad center-to-center = (shoulder width + aerobar extension center-to-center)/<some factor>.

We've got F.I.S.T. formulas for the X and Y planes, but how about the Z plane?

Any thoughts are greatly appreciated.

Travis Rassat
Vector Cycle Works
Noblesville, IN
BikeFit Instructor | FMS | F.I.S.T. | IBFI
Toughman Triathlon Series Ambassador
We do a simple pad width calc, not really worth getting excited about complicating it when there are so few bars with good adjustment granularity.

What you're talking about is heading towards defining an ideal angle from elbow to hands. As usual I've done calculations around this, it's interesting for bar design but I haven't seen a use for developing a prescriptive formula.

Much prefer to monitor the impact on shoulder lateral travel and frontal area.

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cyclenutnz wrote:
We do a simple pad width calc, not really worth getting excited about complicating it when there are so few bars with good adjustment granularity.

What you're talking about is heading towards defining an ideal angle from elbow to hands. As usual I've done calculations around this, it's interesting for bar design but I haven't seen a use for developing a prescriptive formula.

Much prefer to monitor the impact on shoulder lateral travel and frontal area.

Thank you for the thoughts. To build on your thoughts, I would go so far as to say that what I'm talking about is defining an ideal angle from hands to shoulders. Essentially reducing the lateral stress on the elbows and adjacent joints and musculature by keeping it on the plane between the shoulders and hands. I'm thinking in terms of comfort first, but aerodynamics certainly come in to play.

Like I said, I'm probably just over-complicating something simple. Or trying to simplify something that's too complicated!

Travis Rassat
Vector Cycle Works
Noblesville, IN
BikeFit Instructor | FMS | F.I.S.T. | IBFI
Toughman Triathlon Series Ambassador