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500m handlebar choice

Old 08-22-19, 11:02 AM
  #51  
Morelock
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Originally Posted by carleton View Post
The amount of obsession they have and money they throw at equipment is unbelievable. Not every racer, but there are many who buy into the hype constantly.
It's super interesting sociology I think.

triathlon really exploded in popularity around the same time carbon became "the norm" and you got this perfect storm of designers wanting to make the latest/greatest, and a huge population boom that were willing to buy them, so they had plenty of reason to continue designing.
In the 90's (and even 80's) some really fast bikes were built (Zipp, Corima, Lotus, "GT" Look etc all made crazy future frames) but cyclists as a community are fashion first and beam bikes looked weird. It stunts growth when you can't sell 1995's inventory to make room for 1996's. Flash forward and you've got a huge demographic of "Try a Tri" once and doner Ironman competitors who buy a bike, train, race, then never touch it again. Plenty of turnaround and plenty of "new" folks to sell to each season. (also one of the reason's a 10 year old Felt TK1 still fetches a good price, but a same year Felt DA is worth virtually nothing)

Then take something like track cycling... very niche of already niche. The people that spend money on a Felt TK1 aren't generally planning to get out of the sport next year. The total demographic is also low, with not a ton of people entering the sport each year. So you've got the current riders who bought a bike they liked and will likely ride the wheels off of it, and then you've got just a super low demand to start with. So you end up with most "high end" track frames really being "co-developed" as TT/tri frames to recoup costs. I wonder how many people riding a Cervelo T4 right now would "upgrade" to the T5 if it became readily available tomorrow?

Also with triathlon the population is pretty much early 30's to 55-60. The demographic has paid for school, solidified a career, raised family, etc and has disposable income to spend. Probably true'ish of track cycling as well, but almost certainly a different "type" of person. Location restriction also likely stunts Track growth... not many people in East TN near me own a track bike... and with DLV/Rock Hill being the closest tracks (besides the Mellowdrome but that doesn't really count) it doesn't make sense for most people to own a track bike at all.
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Old 08-23-19, 12:18 AM
  #52  
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Pretty fascinating conversation and topic (and experienced perspectives here). I've run power meters on my road and TT bikes for a few years, but not on my track bike yet. At some point when I settle on a frame to stick with long-term and get a power meter on track, I've got to do some testing in aero and sprint bars practicing 500m, and see what can be learned.
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Old 08-23-19, 12:40 AM
  #53  
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I've said this before on here, but IF (and that's a pretty big if, as Carleton mentions) you can get your hands in the same place as your sprint bars with your aero hooks, then there should be no difference in standing start power produced or 1st lap times. Maybe there is a psychological difference?

One thing I thought of is that a lot of contemporary aerobar hooks are just a straight section of pipe with no up-curve to it (for example, the Profile Svet-V mentioned above), being created for road time trials where the start is not really that important. Perhaps these do not give you as much purchase when pushing forward on the bars coming out of the gate during a start? Old-school Mavic or Nitto cowhorns and similar have this up-curve to push against, so should be no different to a drop bar.
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Old 08-23-19, 04:32 AM
  #54  
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^In theory the 3T Revo's would be good for this too, albeit the "handles" are a little short for most men's hands. I remember seeing a pic of someone (Bos maybe?) who had added carbon length to them.
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Old 08-26-19, 07:27 AM
  #55  
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What about hand positioning on the aero bars, narrow (hands touching) or wide (hands not touching)?

While I believe narrow is more aero, based on my own crude experimentation with cockpit setups on the road TT bike (and adopted the exact same hand position on my pursuit/TT setup for track), certainly there are plenty of very fast world class track cyclists who use a wider hand position, and they have both the time and resources to optimize.

I would imagine that a feeling of stability with hand position in the mix may be a factor, differing from rider to rider. And perhaps wider hands make for more comfortable breathing with some. But humans are adaptable, and if one hand position is more advantageous over another at higher speed, wasting less power, I would think each rider would adopt that position as a standard and adapt through repetitive training so that any discomfort disappears.

So, what are the positive aspects to wider position of the aero bars?
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Old 08-26-19, 11:40 AM
  #56  
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loaded question, and any answer other than "depends" is going to be speculation at best.

Some things I've seen working with folks... narrow as possible (elbows touching) usually is the right choice if you can't go low. Low and moderate elbow width (within your silhouette) works "pretty good" for most people with some tweaking. Wide (wide like Sarah Hammer or some team pursuiters) is iffy, and usually on the "not great" side of iffy. Some people do find it more stable at speed, which may be why TP and Kilo guys are often wider. (besides kilo specialists being bigger guys to start with) If you're going to try wide (hard to do nowadays with modern bars... best I've set up are the newer 3T offerings that you can set the clamps up narrow or wide - older stuff like the old HED/OVAL bars worked better) some things to test out are - keeping your arms/extensions in line all the way vs. coming to a "point/wedge" with your hands - how "wide" you actually are going (keep the silhouette of your arms within your thighs/hips from a head on view)

My over-arching guess is that for *most* people that can't/won't/don't test - buy a really cheap (round) basebar, some cheap clip-ons and an adjustable stem, jump on the trainer (with your aero helmet) and video yourself riding (after warming up) making power from a side on shot.

Find the video where your head "slots in" the best, then start refining from there. Another generalization is that if you feel like your power is being stifled, higher/narrow is usually better than lower/wider. If you're really bad at staying on the black line, it's possible that wider will help stabilize you. (also could help with TP riding)

*Going longer (more reach) is also usually a good way to drop drag... under the 75(80)cm rule though, it often means running a lot of saddle setback.
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Old 08-26-19, 01:51 PM
  #57  
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Morelock has helped me adjust my position. I recently shaved a second off my admittedly slow kilo by going narrower but angling my bars up more - also went to a longer stem. At low speed, it's super wobbly, but at speed, I was holding a much better line than when I was a bit wider and angled farther down.
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Old 08-26-19, 05:35 PM
  #58  
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Originally Posted by Morelock View Post
My over-arching guess is that for *most* people that can't/won't/don't test - buy a really cheap (round) basebar, some cheap clip-ons and an adjustable stem, jump on the trainer (with your aero helmet) and video yourself riding (after warming up) making power from a side on shot.
This. Buying the full-carbon "dentist bike" set-up won't make you faster if you can't get in a good position. The cheap, old-school way is far more adjustable.

Also, if you are even a little bit tall you'll run up against the UCI rule for extension length with a sprint-ish saddle fore-aft position. I'm only 5'10" but I'm at the limit, and I get around it by holding on to the extensions with just two or three fingers.
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Old 08-26-19, 06:34 PM
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Originally Posted by Morelock View Post
loaded question, and any answer other than "depends" is going to be speculation at best.

Some things I've seen working with folks... narrow as possible (elbows touching) usually is the right choice if you can't go low. Low and moderate elbow width (within your silhouette) works "pretty good" for most people with some tweaking. Wide (wide like Sarah Hammer or some team pursuiters) is iffy, and usually on the "not great" side of iffy. Some people do find it more stable at speed, which may be why TP and Kilo guys are often wider. (besides kilo specialists being bigger guys to start with) If you're going to try wide (hard to do nowadays with modern bars... best I've set up are the newer 3T offerings that you can set the clamps up narrow or wide - older stuff like the old HED/OVAL bars worked better) some things to test out are - keeping your arms/extensions in line all the way vs. coming to a "point/wedge" with your hands - how "wide" you actually are going (keep the silhouette of your arms within your thighs/hips from a head on view)

My over-arching guess is that for *most* people that can't/won't/don't test - buy a really cheap (round) basebar, some cheap clip-ons and an adjustable stem, jump on the trainer (with your aero helmet) and video yourself riding (after warming up) making power from a side on shot.

Find the video where your head "slots in" the best, then start refining from there. Another generalization is that if you feel like your power is being stifled, higher/narrow is usually better than lower/wider. If you're really bad at staying on the black line, it's possible that wider will help stabilize you. (also could help with TP riding)

*Going longer (more reach) is also usually a good way to drop drag... under the 75(80)cm rule though, it often means running a lot of saddle setback.
I think I'm going to have to bite the bullet and do some instrumented testing at some point next year, because despite my question, I'm thinking (based on learnings before, and reminded while reading your post) that the answer for this is subjective, and there are many factors which apply perhaps differently depending on the person.

For example, I've done my own rudimentary testing with power, speed, cadence and HR to see how my cockpit changes affected things, and I "think" I've done a decent job of creating a balanced solution that is efficient, seems to be fast on my road TT bike, and feels good enough to be sustainable...BUT, some folks do this for a living, and I could be off by a healthy margin. While I enjoy doing these things myself, I may have fakked it up nicely.
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Old 08-26-19, 06:39 PM
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Originally Posted by Baby Puke View Post
...Also, if you are even a little bit tall you'll run up against the UCI rule for extension length with a sprint-ish saddle fore-aft position. I'm only 5'10" but I'm at the limit, and I get around it by holding on to the extensions with just two or three fingers.
I'm right there with you. 6' tall and long arms like a monkey, so I built up a ring of electrical tape at the end of each aero extension, then wrapped that with a layer of sandpaper, and I hold on with just the pinky and ring finger. Seems to work fine, although a little sketchy on bumpy outdoor surfaces---but that just makes your pinkies stronger, I suppose.
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Old 12-25-19, 06:02 PM
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Originally Posted by Baby Puke View Post
In most cases you you need an adjustable stem with two pivots like the old LOOK Ergo stem (I have one) or this thing which is just as good for a fraction of the price: Satori Cobra

Once you have your hands in the right place then it's a matter of getting your skis spaced correctly. This is probably not possible with most integrated aerobars which are mostly designed for road TT or triathletes. Dedicated basebar and adjustable clip on is the way to go, and also much, much cheaper in most cases.

Profile are now making a nice carbon base bar that comes narrow enough (38cm) and has enough drop to be useful to kilo/500 riders. I think it's called the Svet or something, Ken Lo can comment if he sees this. (Edit: here it is Profile Svet V )

Another option I'm seeing more lately is just putting clip-ons on your sprint bars, but this obviously won't work with something like a Scatto.

My standing start times are identical on drops or aerobars.
Thanks for the page from Baby Puke . To date, I still haven't found any aeroski setup that would match my drops position. However, this Profile Design and Look Ergostem combo is close. Personally, I prefer drops for any distance below 501m and typically can go quicker by 0.2"-0.3" in the opening lap. I'm hoping to correct that in due time. However, results are highly subject to individual preference and physiology.

Below are the specs for the image below
  • Look Ergostem (thank you, carleton )
  • Profile Design Svet V base bar (38cm width, 60mm drop)
  • Profile Design Subsonic Race 35a
  • Profile Design spacers
PD spacers come in a range of heights and are readily available at a reasonable price ($20-30 each). I tried to source Deda spacers for 1.25 seasons but eventfully gave up.


Carleton's Ergostem, Profile Design Svet V (38cm), Profile Design Subsonic Race 35a
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Old 12-26-19, 06:46 AM
  #62  
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^Looks good

One caution/psa. Although those Ergostems were/are overbuilt, they are getting on in age (20+ years for a lot of them) so before putting one to serious use, I'd recommend disassembling it and checking the teeth on the plates. You don't want to find out one is chipped/broke during a standing start. My guess is if you got it from Carleton he kept it in shape, but always good to be sure.

Also the torque rating on the pivot bolts is very high for a bicycle part. Something that's pretty unusual to be aware of (20-25nm I think although it's been a while since I used one)
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Old 12-26-19, 11:03 PM
  #63  
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Originally Posted by Morelock View Post
^Looks good

One caution/psa. Although those Ergostems were/are overbuilt, they are getting on in age (20+ years for a lot of them) so before putting one to serious use, I'd recommend disassembling it and checking the teeth on the plates. You don't want to find out one is chipped/broke during a standing start. My guess is if you got it from Carleton he kept it in shape, but always good to be sure.

Also the torque rating on the pivot bolts is very high for a bicycle part. Something that's pretty unusual to be aware of (20-25nm I think although it's been a while since I used one)
Also, there's a couple different types, but the serrated washers are a pain in the ass too. The kind I have are hardened are are basically one-use. They crack and fall apart easily, so you basically throw them away if you need to loosen and re-adjust. Probably unobtanium now, luckily I stocked up. Permanent solution is probably to have something made to duplicate once you find your perfect position, but I don't have that kind of time/money/freedom.
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Old 12-30-19, 10:37 AM
  #64  
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FYI: You can get replacement washers directly from LOOK USA...or Felt. The felt adjustable stem for the TK1/FRD uses washers that are the same size (when last I checked).

You should be able to order these from a local shop.

The Ergostem above was my second. The first one I owned was included in the sale of my LOOK 496. I was able to get fresh washers directly from LOOK USA for that stem.
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