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aero bars on aero road bike..time savings?
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I've signed up for my first tri in almost 5 years. I thought i was done with the sport, but got sucked back in. I'm currently riding a scott foil with the integrated stem/aero road bars. I'm doing Muskoka 70.3 in July. From what i've been told its not as hilly as it was in previous years. Curious on thoughts if I should add aerobars onto the foil. Keep in mind that the only clip ons that would fit my bars would be the syncros clip ons which retail close to $400 CDN. Trying to weigh out the time savings for adding clip ons to aero road bike with those vs. going without.

Appreciate the help!
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Re: aero bars on aero road bike..time savings? [acrx349] [ In reply to ]
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IMHO I wouldn't blow close to $300 US on a clip on setup for any road bike.

Yes, there are tangible gains, but I would not do it for your first tri in years at a cost of $300. That's 1/3 the way to a pretty decent used tri bike.

Maybe get a good aero helmet and tri-suit instead and focus on improvements in other areas that wouldn't be an expensive "sunk cost".

Just my opinion.
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Re: aero bars on aero road bike..time savings? [acrx349] [ In reply to ]
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They are probably THE biggest time savings you can get. A really good CdA in the drops would be about 0.24. Some people are getting down to 0.18 on a TT bike and most of that is the position change for aero bars. I would really hit EBay and the forums looking for a seed pair.
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Re: aero bars on aero road bike..time savings? [burnthesheep] [ In reply to ]
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$300? What chu talking bout Willis?

PD sonic ergo 35A $144. Done.

Decides he still doesn't like tri? Sell for $100.

Or... Keep them and transfer to tri bike.
Last edited by: Tom_hampton: Mar 13, 19 6:31
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Re: aero bars on aero road bike..time savings? [Tom_hampton] [ In reply to ]
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Tom_hampton wrote:
$300? What chu talking bout Willis?

PD sonic ergo 35A $144. Done.

Decides he still doesn't like tri? Sell for $100.

Or... Keep them and transfer to tri bike.

He's got factory aero integrated road handlebars/stem. Meaning, there is no round area by the stem for him to toss on normal cheapo clip ons onto. You have to match the aero profile, meaning a more expensive solution.
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Re: aero bars on aero road bike..time savings? [burnthesheep] [ In reply to ]
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burnthesheep wrote:
Tom_hampton wrote:
$300? What chu talking bout Willis?

PD sonic ergo 35A $144. Done.

Decides he still doesn't like tri? Sell for $100.

Or... Keep them and transfer to tri bike.


He's got factory aero integrated road handlebars/stem. Meaning, there is no round area by the stem for him to toss on normal cheapo clip ons onto. You have to match the aero profile, meaning a more expensive solution.

I should learn to read....all. the. words.
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Re: aero bars on aero road bike..time savings? [Tom_hampton] [ In reply to ]
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https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3P2Vrh3QjBw


GCN did a test on aero bars vs drops. Not super scientific, but better than nothing. They concluded around 15sec over 2km
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Re: aero bars on aero road bike..time savings? [burnthesheep] [ In reply to ]
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burnthesheep wrote:
Tom_hampton wrote:
$300? What chu talking bout Willis?

PD sonic ergo 35A $144. Done.

Decides he still doesn't like tri? Sell for $100.

Or... Keep them and transfer to tri bike.


He's got factory aero integrated road handlebars/stem. Meaning, there is no round area by the stem for him to toss on normal cheapo clip ons onto. You have to match the aero profile, meaning a more expensive solution.
Then buy a stem and base bar as well. Add some bar end shifters and brake levers.

Even a cheap alloy bar bar will be better than drop bars. But anything used will be fine as long as it puts the aero bar pads in the right spot.

This should be possible for well under $400. Plus way more functional with the bar end shifters.

However I would not recommend that unless you also get a tri saddle that you can rotate forwards on and/or move forwards (not sure what your options are with the Foil seatpost).
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Re: aero bars on aero road bike..time savings? [MattyK] [ In reply to ]
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MattyK wrote:
burnthesheep wrote:
Tom_hampton wrote:
$300? What chu talking bout Willis?

PD sonic ergo 35A $144. Done.

Decides he still doesn't like tri? Sell for $100.

Or... Keep them and transfer to tri bike.


He's got factory aero integrated road handlebars/stem. Meaning, there is no round area by the stem for him to toss on normal cheapo clip ons onto. You have to match the aero profile, meaning a more expensive solution.

Then buy a stem and base bar as well. Add some bar end shifters and brake levers.

Even a cheap alloy bar bar will be better than drop bars. But anything used will be fine as long as it puts the aero bar pads in the right spot.

This should be possible for well under $400. Plus way more functional with the bar end shifters.

However I would not recommend that unless you also get a tri saddle that you can rotate forwards on and/or move forwards (not sure what your options are with the Foil seatpost).

Don't forget the new cables and housing you'll need. Plus new bar tape. And possible labor costs if the OP can't do this themselves. Add all of those costs up, and the OP is likely better off shopping for a used tri/TT bike. Lots of 5 year old stuff out there that can be had for less than $1k and has for the most part seen most of it's depreciation. So even though it might be a higher cost, it's easier to dump for nearly what they paid if the OP decides they don't want to stick with tri.

By completely changing out all the parts (bars, shifters, brake levers, seat post, etc) on the foil...the OP would basically be going all in on a tri/TT setup as their Foil is no longer a road bike. Why would anyone do that over just buying a tri/TT bike? If the OP decides that they don't want to stick with tris...now they have a bunch of parts that's harder to sell as a group...because very few people are interested in doing such things. Not to mention they have to take the time/money to put their road bike back together with their original parts.

If the OP can't find a cheap set of clip ons that works with their current bars, then I say just do the race on the road bike as is. If they catch the bug back, then go look for a dedicated tri/TT bike. Don't waste a ton of money making a bike be what it was never designed to be.
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Re: aero bars on aero road bike..time savings? [Jason N] [ In reply to ]
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So you're advocating that someone struggling to justify $400 should spend closer to $1000? On a bike of unknown history, and that would probably need maintenance?


As an example of my costs (AUD, but not dissimilar to CDN):

aero bars used: $35
stem used: $20
base bar and brake levers used: $80 (can probably find cheaper even with new stuff)
bar end shifters: $30 used
bar tape: $10 (you'd need some for clip ons anyway. With luck there might already be some on used parts. Otherwise it's a consumable anyway)
Cables: $30 (also in the consumable bucket)

DIY install, the only "special" tool was a cable cutter. Setup is easy if you can figure out how to google/youtube. It takes me less than an hour to swap the whole cockpit from my road setup.

So it cost me around $200 for a more functional and more aero cockpit. All of which I'm sure I could sell for what I paid.
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Re: aero bars on aero road bike..time savings? [MattyK] [ In reply to ]
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MattyK wrote:
So you're advocating that someone struggling to justify $400 should spend closer to $1000? On a bike of unknown history, and that would probably need maintenance?

No I did not. And the OP did not say that a $400 (CDN) investment was a struggle, just that $400 on one part is hard to justify the time gains provided given clip on bars only provide an additional place to rest your arms...it does not address ideal geometry, hip angle, or possibly enough drop that the OP would get from a true TT/tri bike. And perhaps if you read my entire post, you might see my last piece of advice if the OP doesn't want to invest in a tri/TT bike now nor can find a cheap set of clip ons that will work with their current bar.

If the OP can't find a cheap set of clip ons that works with their current bars, then I say just do the race on the road bike as is. If they catch the bug back, then go look for a dedicated tri/TT bike. Don't waste a ton of money making a bike be what it was never designed to be.


It doesn't really matter if you can convert the Foil into a franken-TT bike for $200 or $600. You're still taking a perfectly good road bike and turning it into a crappy tri/tt bike with incorrect geometry that no longer operates as a good road bike. If the OP is okay with giving up their road bike functionality, then why not just sell the Foil, and buy a used or new Tri/TT bike? The cost difference (if any) won't be huge, an you end up with a better tt/tri bike. Or better yet...just N+1 and just get a tri/TT bike in addition to the Foil.

Either way, this is just my opinion. You are entitled to yours. Cheers.
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Re: aero bars on aero road bike..time savings? [Jason N] [ In reply to ]
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I would rent a TT bike! way cheeper....
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Re: aero bars on aero road bike..time savings? [GS1977] [ In reply to ]
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I see them on Amazon for $180.
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Re: aero bars on aero road bike..time savings? [Jason N] [ In reply to ]
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I appreciate all the replies and insight on this. converting the bike with basebar would be trick as well. I'm also running etap...so the thoughts of basebar/clips ons, blips, and blip box would prove pretty costly. I saw with the last reply about the bars being 180 on amazon. I did see that too. i'm not sure how that factors in with having an amazon.ca(they're listed at 600 cdn on .ca) and how i'd get dinged for shipping/duties/taxes... the thread has given me lots to think about.

appreciate all the replies!
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Re: aero bars on aero road bike..time savings? [acrx349] [ In reply to ]
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I may have a better solution for ya, though it will cost you more but could make a lot more sense. I built up an (used) older P2C frameset a few years ago thinking I would get into TTs, and I've barely touched it. I'd let it go for pretty cheap and I'm in Ottawa, so likely not too far from ya. It's a 51cm, so you'd have to be on the smaller side. Just a thought as this would be your fastest solution, assuming it fit, and not be a tonne more money.

_______________________________________________
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Re: aero bars on aero road bike..time savings? [acrx349] [ In reply to ]
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Prior to my first IM a number of years ago, i did some poking around.

From various articles in various places the most common view semed to be that adding clip ons adds 1.5-2kph over a road bike without.
Obvs that varies with people size / original position etc etc etc but if say on an approx 6 hr IM bike leg (18.5 to 19mph average) thats worth in the region of 15 to 20 minutes.

Anecdotally, that seemed to work for me - I'd typically shift to 1 gear harder and see my speed go up by about 1mph (mixing units) when I went from the normal road bars to the clip ons.
I didn't have a power meter on the road bike and can't prove it with data sets. But it's what I observed.

A couple of points to bear in mind, with that
- I DID fit a new layback seat post flipped around by 180 degrees to push the saddle forward in order to prevent my hip angles getting to small and losing too much power.
- my troad bike is not super slammed low at the front - so again it kept the hip angles sensible.

As other folks here say, you need to be aware that just bolting on clip ons changes your body angles and can reduce your power output. Then you're into a balancing game of power vs aero.


Personnaly I found the clip one really comfortable 'much more so than spending hours down on the drops. (And if youreback up on the hoods for cpmfort that's less aero still)
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Re: aero bars on aero road bike..time savings? [acrx349] [ In reply to ]
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I put aero bars on my road bike last season and regretted it. I got the aero advantage but the position felt unstable. I ultimately wrecked in a race while coming out of aero. While this was partially my fault because I didn't practice enough, I always felt the position wasn't great.

The lack of stability came from the fact that I was on a larger frame, 58 cm. When I got a pro fit with the aero bars, the fitter put the pads behind the steering column so everything felt squirrel-ly. I moved the pads forward to give me more control and that helped but it never felt great.

I also think it forced an aggressive angle between my torso and legs which put a strain on my hip flexors. Going through the wreck basically convinced me to remove the bars and start looking for a TT bike. I've yet to buy a TT bike but I'm hoping a properly fit one will feel more stable. It's been almost a year since I wrecked and I don't have an itch to put the aero bars back on.
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Re: aero bars on aero road bike..time savings? [Jason AZ] [ In reply to ]
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Jason AZ wrote:
I put aero bars on my road bike last season and regretted it. I got the aero advantage but the position felt unstable. I ultimately wrecked in a race while coming out of aero. While this was partially my fault because I didn't practice enough, I always felt the position wasn't great.

The lack of stability came from the fact that I was on a larger frame, 58 cm. When I got a pro fit with the aero bars, the fitter put the pads behind the steering column so everything felt squirrel-ly. I moved the pads forward to give me more control and that helped but it never felt great.

I also think it forced an aggressive angle between my torso and legs which put a strain on my hip flexors. Going through the wreck basically convinced me to remove the bars and start looking for a TT bike. I've yet to buy a TT bike but I'm hoping a properly fit one will feel more stable. It's been almost a year since I wrecked and I don't have an itch to put the aero bars back on.

Def get the TT bike - my Cervelo P2 TT bike feels even more stable than my road bike on my aerobars, thanks to the aero-specific position and fit for that bike.
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Re: aero bars on aero road bike..time savings? [Jason AZ] [ In reply to ]
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YMMV. I’ve never felt unstable in my adapted road bike. There really isn’t that much difference between the fundamental geometry of a road and tri frame. It just takes a bit more mutation to get a good bar and saddle position.
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Re: aero bars on aero road bike..time savings? [acrx349] [ In reply to ]
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I use clip on bars on my venge and think it is a great solution if you only do the occasional tri and don’t want to optimise the last 1% of time savings. I sold my tt bike and don’t regret it.

No way I would put a proper aero front end and franken bike it. If you are going to all that trouble and expense you are serious and may as well get a proper tt bike. I just clip them on, wire in the etap blips with some electrical tape and good to go in 5 mins. I find it comfortable enough for shorter races with the road position and when you are off the aero bars it will handle better than a tt bike. The less bikes to maintain the better for me. I can’t believe from the how many bikes do you have thread how many people have 2-3 tt bikes.
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Re: aero bars on aero road bike..time savings? [Blacky] [ In reply to ]
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Buy syncros clips for 400$, finish your race, return clips to store. Use some tape on clips not to have marks and scratches.
Last edited by: Ksavostin: Mar 15, 19 23:29
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Re: aero bars on aero road bike..time savings? [Blacky] [ In reply to ]
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Blacky wrote:
I use clip on bars on my venge and think it is a great solution if you only do the occasional tri and don’t want to optimise the last 1% of time savings. I sold my tt bike and don’t regret it.

No way I would put a proper aero front end and franken bike it. If you are going to all that trouble and expense you are serious and may as well get a proper tt bike. I just clip them on, wire in the etap blips with some electrical tape and good to go in 5 mins. I find it comfortable enough for shorter races with the road position and when you are off the aero bars it will handle better than a tt bike. The less bikes to maintain the better for me. I can’t believe from the how many bikes do you have thread how many people have 2-3 tt bikes.

Exactly the same story for me.

I wanted to simplify life a bit so I sold the TT bike and I'm down to only my S1. For the occasional race or TT I put on the clip-on bars and forward seat post and I'm good. I don't notice any handling difference and I get a nice bump in speed. The real upside is that the rest of time I have a great road bike to ride.
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Re: aero bars on aero road bike..time savings? [Blacky] [ In reply to ]
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Blacky wrote:
I use clip on bars on my venge and think it is a great solution if you only do the occasional tri and don’t want to optimise the last 1% of time savings. I sold my tt bike and don’t regret it.

No way I would put a proper aero front end and franken bike it. If you are going to all that trouble and expense you are serious and may as well get a proper tt bike. I just clip them on, wire in the etap blips with some electrical tape and good to go in 5 mins. I find it comfortable enough for shorter races with the road position and when you are off the aero bars it will handle better than a tt bike. The less bikes to maintain the better for me. I can’t believe from the how many bikes do you have thread how many people have 2-3 tt bikes.

Interesting perspective. I like simple and hate having clutter. My aero bars were clip on as well. I think I was just on a road frame that was on the edge of the large size for me. I also didn't move my seat as forward as a TT bike setup.
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Re: aero bars on aero road bike..time savings? [acrx349] [ In reply to ]
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I have a 2009 Felt B16, size 56 that is in great condition. It has stock components but not a lot of miles on it. I am not racing tris anymore and I just use it on the trainer now and ride the road bike outside. If you are interested and it’s the right size, let me know and we can discuss price. I have no idea what it’s worth, but I’d be happy to send you a picture.

And for the record, I don’t buy the 15 seconds per 2k claim made by someone else. I rode the same course in a sprint tri, similar conditions and similar fitness, and was only about 40 seconds faster with the tri bike over 12 miles.
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