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Old 08-27-17, 02:21 PM
  #1226  
carleton
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Yeah, I'm curious about the sweet spot for aerobars, too. 99% of the advice for aerobars comes from the road TT/Tri communities who have to ride them for 40 minutes. Taking their advice for aerobar fitting would be as appropriate as taking their advice for drop bar fitting. Similar, but different-enough to warrant further investigation. Especially in a sport where winners and losers are determined by less than a second at the world level and a few seconds at the local and national levels.

For example, Sarah Hammer, one of the best ever...if not the best ever pursuiter, rides with very wide elbows which is very contrary to what you'd see at the world level for Road TT or Triathlons:



Even wider than her teammates:


I gave my aerobars to @theblackbullet. He's much faster than I ever was on them

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Old 08-27-17, 03:38 PM
  #1227  
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Originally Posted by carleton View Post
The problem is not simply getting the reach shorter for aerobars or longer for drop bars. The problem is that when you change the reach (for whatever bars) you change the handling of the bike because you are not changing the top tube length. Therefore you are simply adjusting where your bars are in relation to the front axle.
While all of that's true it doesn't automatically preclude getting a good fit for both positions on the same frame. There are just too many variables that come into play (torso length, arm length, how aggressive/low your pad position is relative to saddle height, etc). One thing that allows this to work for me is I'm running quite a bit of drop for my pursuit/TT position, about 15cm despite not having long arms. If my front end was higher, I might need a shorter top tube.

In my case, the 85mm stem I'm using for pursuit position is only 5mm shorter than what I have on my TT bike, and well within the normal range of what's commonly used on TT bikes (in fact the stem is purpose-made for use with TT bar setup). My elbows are slightly further behind the front axle on the pursuit bike compared to my TT bike; but that's because my TT bike is actually a little too short and I have the pads shoved all the way forward on that bike. My next TT bike will have a longer top tube.

As far as the mass start setup, I'm running a 110mm stem which is 10mm shorter than what I use on the road but again, well within the normal range for a drop handlebar setup. If I were to buy a track bike solely for mass start I would get something with a taller top tube so I could use a flipped stem, but that's just a cosmetic issue.


I should also mention I have two seatpost/saddle setups, with the saddle being further forward and slightly higher for pursuit. Using the same saddle setup for both wouldn't work for me.
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Old 08-27-17, 03:43 PM
  #1228  
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Originally Posted by taras0000 View Post
It would be interesting to figure out where that "sweet spot" for neutral handling is with aerobars. We have the usual guidelines like "elbows under the ears"... but what about the weight distribution? Where should the pads be in relation to the axle/steering column? My guess would be somewhere in between, but does anyone know this for sure? I haven't had aerobars on my bike for almost 15 years now, so I can't recall exactly how it related, nor do I have them around to check.
Somewhere in-between I think; at least that's my preference. Too far back and steeling feels very twitchy. In my first ever road TT I just put some clip-ons on my road bike without making any other adjustments, and the pads were barely in front of the heat tube. Steering feel was awful.

Too far forward also doesn't feel stable because weight balance is too far forward. On my TT bike the front of the pads are just about even with the front axle. The pads are fairly long, but even so they're a bit farther forward than I'd like, descending speeds can get pretty scary (and I'm not talking major mountain descents, but at 35-40mph).
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Old 08-27-17, 03:54 PM
  #1229  
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Originally Posted by carleton View Post
For example, Sarah Hammer, one of the best ever...if not the best ever pursuiter, rides with very wide elbows which is very contrary to what you'd see at the world level for Road TT or Triathlons
I would be shocked if that position has actually tested more aero for her compared to having the elbows in more narrow.

Generally speaking narrower is faster from an aerodynamics standpoint. Bringing the elbows in too far can actually be counter-productive, particularly for riders who are wider through the hips and shoulders. But for most people, bringing them in narrow enough so that the arms line up in front in the thighs will be fastest.

I've noticed more riders with wide elbows on the track. I think it must be a stability issue, where they're just not comfortable through the turns with a narrower position (getting the elbows narrow does make the bike handling worse).
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Old 08-27-17, 05:36 PM
  #1230  
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Originally Posted by jsk View Post
I would be shocked if that position has actually tested more aero for her compared to having the elbows in more narrow.
It's probably tested as most speed (net effect of available power and aerodynamics) for her. Wind tunnel testing isn't that expensive - IIRC there's one in San Diego that's well within range of what a small group of masters could rent for the day, and Sarah has had enough support to be able to do some testing. The best aerodynamics also aren't necessarily obvious or intuitive for complicated shapes like the moving body of a rider on a bike.
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Old 08-27-17, 07:26 PM
  #1231  
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Originally Posted by bitingduck View Post
It's probably tested as most speed (net effect of available power and aerodynamics) for her. .
I've devoted this season to working on my Road TT position. And this, balance of available power and aero, is the holy grail. Finding a balance is time consuming (factoring in adaptation to changes). The biggest gains for me came from moving the seat foreword, a lot. I'm moving that position to Pursuit, starting out a bit lower and wider as that seems to be the consensus. Unfortunately I won't be taking it to the track (Alkek) to fine tune any time soon.

Carlton, more than just reach to Pads the Road TT geometries are adapting to a foreword seat position. The resulting common feature in TT Geo is a long front center. On the TT bike I'm not a whole lot more "over" the front wheel even with a seat 30mm foreword from my road position. A concern that I have with my Pursuit setup is that I'm using a standard Track frame but using my TT seat position. Not sure how that will impact stability. I wonder if some of the "wide elbows" for control is a result of too much weight on the front wheel as riders move up to open their hip angle, on bikes that aren't really built for it?

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Old 08-28-17, 08:20 AM
  #1232  
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Yeah, I've seen wide elbows lately, and I doubt it's due to stability. We're talking about world-class riders, chasing seconds, with aerodynamic testing cheaper than its ever been. I'm with bitingduck - it's probably the Most Speed position.

Eyeball aerodynamics just doesn't work. Or, it works - but only to a point and that point comes pretty fast. Aerodynamics can be counterintuitive, like bitingduck says.

Plus, some really weird positions work really well. I remember seeing shots of Evie Stevens before her hour record and thinking that her position looked very antiquated, but her coach says that it was one of the most aerodynamic positions he'd ever worked with.


And I was watching some Bobridge pursuits recently - he had a very heads-up position, but it was aerodynamic enough for him to set the IP world record.
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Old 08-28-17, 09:39 AM
  #1233  
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Originally Posted by queerpunk View Post
Yeah, I've seen wide elbows lately, and I doubt it's due to stability. We're talking about world-class riders, chasing seconds, with aerodynamic testing cheaper than its ever been. I'm with bitingduck - it's probably the Most Speed position.
I wouldn't discount the stability issue, it may be that some riders just don't feel like they can ride a tight line at maximum power output with elbows further in. I can't think of any other reason that wide elbows would help. Having the elbows all the way in almost touching won't be fastest for everybody, you can take the narrow elbows thing too far. But short of seeing actual wind-tunnel tests that prove it, I just can't believe that having the elbows wider than the thighs (which is what Hammer looks like in Carleton's second pic) is more aero.

If you look at the guys winning WorldTour TT's and Ironman bike legs, you see a lot of commonality in their positions, and most of them have pretty narrow elbows (at least compared to Hammer's position). There's a reason for that. I'm also willing to bet those guys have spent a lot more time in the wind tunnel than Hammer has (it's still not exactly cheap these days at a couple hundred bucks and hour, plus travel expenses if you're not local).
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Old 08-28-17, 10:11 AM
  #1234  
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You're right that World Tour pros have probably spent more WT time than Hammer, but worth noting that road TTs and Ironman are very different events than an IP or TP. The only thing they have in common (literally) is aerobars and a stopwatch.

Hammer's arms aren't wider than her thighs. Her hips are wider than her shoulders, and her arms don't go *out* from her shoulders. They're in line

As bitingduck pointed out, most aerodynamic doesn't necessarily mean fastest. Most Speed might sacrifice some aerodynamics for power, and the shorter the TT the more important maintaining the utmost power output is.

Of course, we could be talking in circles, or saying the same thing from opposite directions. Maybe it's for stability in turns - and maybe that's where they get power from.
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Old 08-28-17, 11:45 AM
  #1235  
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(Preface: Sara Hammer's first kilo split is faster than I've ever ridden a kilo.)

When I was doing full-speed kilos and flying laps in aerobars, riding at 60kph/37mph is a lot easier when your arms are wider.

I adopted a style similar to Hoy with the elbows (relatively) wide but the forearms narrow. Sorta makes an aerohead shape. That was an unintended result. It was simply most stable.




Notice the placement of his pads against the forearms, closer to the wrists than the elbows.

I tried the narrow position and it felt too delicate and I felt like I spent more mental energy wrangling the bike than I did focusing on what I needed to focus on.

Hammer (or Hoy) wouldn't have these problems as they've done these a million times. But, my guess would be either stability when laying down lots of power and/or breathing.
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Old 08-28-17, 12:29 PM
  #1236  
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Carbon fibre arm rests https://www.shopforwatts.co.uk/colle...aero-arm-rests
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Old 08-28-17, 12:49 PM
  #1237  
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Originally Posted by queerpunk View Post
I remember seeing shots of Evie Stevens before her hour record and thinking that her position looked very antiquated, but her coach says that it was one of the most aerodynamic positions he'd ever worked with.
the thing that stands out in that picture is how high the trailing tip of her helmet is off her back - When you do that it tends to dump a vortex (energy lost into spinning air) off the the tip, rather than guiding air onto your back.

Originally Posted by jsk View Post
If you look at the guys winning WorldTour TT's and Ironman bike legs, you see a lot of commonality in their positions, and most of them have pretty narrow elbows (at least compared to Hammer's position). There's a reason for that. I'm also willing to bet those guys have spent a lot more time in the wind tunnel than Hammer has (it's still not exactly cheap these days at a couple hundred bucks and hour, plus travel expenses if you're not local).
A couple hundred/hour is pretty cheap when you look at the cost/benefit, especially when it's local (and it was for Sarah for quite a long time, and she still has a lot of SoCal connections). Renting the VSC is in that neighborhood, of cost, too, and teams do plenty of that for private practice. Queerpunk correctly points out below that IP/TP is very different than an ironman or road TT. She needs max possible speed for about 4 minutes, not 45, or 240. At 45 or 240 minutes.

Originally Posted by queerpunk View Post
Hammer's arms aren't wider than her thighs. Her hips are wider than her shoulders, and her arms don't go *out* from her shoulders. They're in line
Sarah has wide hips and narrow shoulders. If you watch her at max power she also rocks her hips a lot (and gets a ton of power from it). I looked at some other pictures at different angles and see the same thing - her arms are inline so if you look at her from the front or top, the air is guided around the sides. If the arm position helps flow air around her hips it may very well be the most aero. Just looking from the side and trying to add a narrow cross section at the very front is only looking at a small part of the airflow.

Originally Posted by carleton View Post
(Preface: Sara Hammer's first kilo split is faster than I've ever ridden a kilo.)
Some time ago (~5 years maybe?) Sarah and Mini-Phinney were both at elite track nats the same year. Phinney was the only male rider whose 3K split in the IP was faster than Sarah's 3K. If she'd ridden the 4K, she'd have probably gotten silver behind him.
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Old 09-04-17, 06:35 PM
  #1238  
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The last pic I saw posted showed water up to the top of the track on the start/finish line.
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Old 09-05-17, 05:11 PM
  #1239  
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Originally Posted by Voodoo76 View Post
The last pic I saw posted showed water up to the top of the track on the start/finish line.
They can hold rowboat battles til it drains.
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Old 09-06-17, 06:34 AM
  #1240  
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Looks like an indenti-kit rip off of the kask bambino, and apparently world champ/olympic level racers are using them:
https://www.planetx.co.uk/i/q/ZXKRON...3-visor-bundle

Anyone have any experience or knowledge to impart?

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Old 09-06-17, 08:52 AM
  #1241  
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Originally Posted by ruudlaff View Post
Looks like an indenti-kit rip off of the kask bambino, and apparently world champ/olympic level racers are using them:
https://www.planetx.co.uk/i/q/ZXKRON...3-visor-bundle

Anyone have any experience or knowledge to impart?
That's awesome! And reasonable!

Cycling helmets simply should not cost $300 or more. Period.

A skate helmet goes for about $50USD and is rated to survive 3 crashes. Most cycling helmets are only rated to survive 1 crash. The skate helmets weigh about the same as a Casco warp.

Caveat Emptor:

The helmet has to be approved for use in USA Cycling and/or UCI events.

This is why some popular European helmets aren't offered in the US, it's because they haven't applied for CPSC certification.

So, for a USA Cycling ONLY event, the helmet must be CPSC approved. For a USA Cycling event held under UCI Rules (like Elite/Jr/Masters Nationals), then EU helmet rules apply.

So, before you buy with intention to use it at a big event, it may be worth an email to see if it has the proper certifications. If it does, I'll probably get one.
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Old 09-06-17, 02:46 PM
  #1242  
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Don't you guys have any shops in the states?
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Old 09-06-17, 02:55 PM
  #1243  
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Originally Posted by Poppit View Post
Don't you guys have any shops in the states?
What do you mean?

For example, you can't get CASCO helmets in the USA. They are all imported. I think Catlike Helmets had the same deal. (not sure if they are available in the US now or not).
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Old 09-06-17, 05:05 PM
  #1244  
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Actually Catlike Helmets were imported and distributed by Lambert-Hawley until this year for Canada/USA.
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Old 09-06-17, 09:23 PM
  #1245  
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Originally Posted by Poppit View Post
Don't you guys have any shops in the states?
I assume that you do not live in the USA.
Many USA cyclists buy items from the UK because prices excludes sales-tax/VAT and often includes free shipping and convenient delivery time.
Of course I support my local bike shop for most items I purchase.
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Old 09-06-17, 09:36 PM
  #1246  
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Originally Posted by Godsight View Post
Actually Catlike Helmets were imported and distributed by Lambert-Hawley until this year for Canada/USA.
It's my understanding that when the Catlike Whisper was popular (2010, 2011?), they were not being imported into the USA.



Rumor had it at the time that even though some people could get them, they were not legal for use at USA Cycling events that were not UCI events (e.g. State Championships or Regionals are not OK but Nationals are OK)

The same went for Casco (I had a Casco at the time).
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Old 09-07-17, 01:02 AM
  #1247  
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Originally Posted by carleton View Post
What do you mean?

For example, you can't get CASCO helmets in the USA. They are all imported. I think Catlike Helmets had the same deal. (not sure if they are available in the US now or not).


Do you have the same as Planet X, Dolan, Velodrome Shop, Brooks, Wiggle, Chain Reaction, Ribble, Merlin, etc.
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Old 09-07-17, 01:07 AM
  #1248  
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BTW, the new Kask Mistral looks like a nice helmet, Aero Helmets
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Old 09-07-17, 07:06 AM
  #1249  
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Originally Posted by Poppit View Post
BTW, the new Kask Mistral looks like a nice helmet, Aero Helmets
I've heard the Bambino's are out of stock in a lot of colors at Kask, and it is rumored that it is being discontinued. This could be the replacement.
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Old 09-07-17, 09:00 AM
  #1250  
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Remember, the wind doesn't care how much you spent on your helmet, it only cares about how it's shaped
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