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Aerobars Palm Pressure - How Much?

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Aerobars Palm Pressure - How Much?

Old 08-06-20, 01:50 PM
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Aerobars Palm Pressure - How Much?

Not sure if this should go in the Bike Fit forum or not ...

I had to change both cleat positions due to peroneal tendinopathy in my left foot - so this threw my current bike fit off.

Since I have to re-evaluate my current position, I thought I'd ask the venerated experts (or at least more experience than me) what their opinions are.

The aerobars I have are close to the ski bend.
I know the "hands should be relaxed" and the fingers can "play the piano" how much palm pressure should you feel against the aerobars.

Of course I'm shooting for that "locked in" comfortable position.

However, I've always had to compromise between saddle comfort and sliding forward on the saddle.
Pressure on the palms might help determine the proper angle of the saddle. But how much pressure is optimum?
Or will palm pressure not help in this aspect? If so, I'd still like to know what is "normal".

P.S. I know many will state I should see a professional bike fitter - but it's not an option at the moment.

Male 5'6" 165 lbs
Average ride: over 2 hours in aero position

2005 Giant OCR 1 Composite (Pics here: https://www.bikeforums.net/21441116-post26523.html)
Forward angle seatpost
Triathlon specific saddle (new as of 5/20 - and at a flatter angle)
Profile Design Lightning Stryke Carbon Aerobars
175mm crank arms
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Old 08-06-20, 06:18 PM
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I've never been professionally bike fit. But personally, I don't like much pressure on the the forward part of the aero bars. Especially if they're clip-ons.I don't think they're designed for very much pressure. Just enough to help maintain balance, and 'assist' with steering. Most of the 'pressure' should be on the forearm rest. But...looking at the pic of your bike in the link you provided...it seems to me that your seat angle is pointing way too down/forward and I think that will cause more pressure in general on the aero bars.

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Old 08-06-20, 08:03 PM
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In my post I stated that I now have a triathlon specific saddle and it is positioned flatter.
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Old 08-07-20, 06:51 AM
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You're probably sliding forward on the saddle because the arm pads are level to almost pointed down towards the front wheel. The opposite of what you want. The other telltale sign of sliding forward on the saddle is too much reach. That's the distance from saddle to the arm pads. If you can't adjust the reach by buying a different stem or moving the arm pads back, then grip the extensions further back.

You should be able to steer the bike and rest almost 100% of your front body weight on your elbows on the pads......NOT on the extensions or your palms. You can help steer with the extensions, yes, but if you're having to hold on tight onto them because of the fit..........that's not right.

I'd start by rotating the clip-on assembly so that the arm pads are tilted a degree or so up.......meaning the extensions might go up a bit at the tips.

Next, the palms don't determine anything with the saddle. Nothing. The saddle is set based on your inseam and the reach/setback you want to run. If anything, it would be the reach to the pads.

As for your "locked in" feeling, you won't get that with a cockpit setup so that you are having to grip the extensions like that. "Locked in" comes from the ergonomics of the pads, their angle, and your hand grip relative to them.

To me "locked in" means you have elbow pads with a touch of support on the outside of your elbows. Next, they have a slight tilt up. Then, the extensions have a hand grip angle such that you kind of lightly grip it and perhaps pull up a bit with your fingers that are wrapped on the underside of the extensions.

The picture below offers an "extreme" example visually of what I'm talking about. It's my bike. I say extreme because it's at the maximum limit of allowed pad to extension tip height and maximum angle of pad tilt to compete. However, you can see that my elbows will rest such that they keep you from sliding forward. Next, the sides are higher on the pads (that's a bling thing, not many pads have that), and lasly the extensions have a hand grip angle such that my grip pulls my elbows into the pads even further.

When people with more talent than I do the "invisible aero bar" thing on a road bike.......there are no extensions. So, they're steering the bike with their elbows. Same thing here. That's where the weight/pressure should reside.

The implications of supporting yourself on your hands is that you'll have a tight neck and shoulders and can't hold your head in a comfortable (or aero) position.

Again, the picture is extreme..........but, it could help visualize what I'm talking about and improve comfort and fit on any aerobar setup. Even aerobar setups just meant for an extra position to ride in for comfort on long leisure rides.

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