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Tri bars or not..I'm confused!

joolzdjoolzd Posts: 245
So...I have a friend who is a pretty darn good cyclist and when I mentioned Tri bars he instantly shot me down saying I didn't need them!! However, I still went out and got some, still not fitted but....What are the benefits? Are they necessary? Do we really need them? Having watched the TDF I didn't see many there on the long routes...although they are hilly climbs in most instance...but can someone help me decide whether or not I should actually fit them?


  • risris Posts: 1,002
    watch the tour time trial sections, which is the nearest thing to what triathletes do in their race, and there are aerobars aplenty.

    i think that tour riders aren't allowed to use aerobars in the normal stages as a safety measure (might be wrong with this..)

    for a lot of triathletes the aero position probably offers very little actual benefit. clip on bars fitted to a road bike means that the aero position is compromised (seat angle, frame geometry etc all being different to a tt bike). i find that clip on bars help me maintain speed on flatish sections and offer an extra range of hand positions, which is good when i'm getting tired.

    they took me a while to get used to though and i still can't climb with them though.
  • willtriwilltri Posts: 436
    Hiya Joolz,

    All i know is i've got some - i'm now going slower....

    Think it might be that i moved the sadle (as i'd heard somewhere) Had a bit of adjustment yesterday so see how that goes.....
  • BlinkybazBlinkybaz Posts: 1,144
    The benifits for me have been about 3 extra miles an hour and the bike looks great with them on.
    It does seem that since putting them on the cyclist pureists seem to ignore me now on a sunday morning ride when they had been saying morning and a nod of the head. Oh well at least i am still waving and saying hi to them.
  • oh yes! get them fitted and once your comfortable with them, watch your times drop, more so on a flat course, even into a head wind you'll feel the benefit.
  • garyrobertsgaryroberts Posts: 869
    i love my tri bar clip on's.......i have no idea if they make me faster or slower! But i know i like riding on them. When riding on them i find it so much easier on your hands (as you're on your forearms).....

    I get up when climbing but thats fine as it keeps me mobile!

    Get em fitted and judge it for yourself........i will add that when i first fitted mine i found using them very unstable but after a few rides (no more than three/four) i found them great and love them to bits now
  • SwizzlenapSwizzlenap Posts: 160
    Disclaimer - I Know Very Little (ok with that out of the way)

    Apparantly you can lose a little power if you don't tweak your position on the bike. This is due to the extra reach to the Tri bars altering your power delivery a little. The way to counteract this is to move your saddle forward slightly either with an angled seat post or buy a saddle with a longer nose such as Fizik Arione giving you more room to move forward.

    Given that aeorodynamics play an important part in cycling anything you can do to improve your front area profile will help you go faster / be more efficient. So I'd say go for it, paying attention to saddle set up.
  • TRIumphantTRIumphant Posts: 850
    Get them fitted and give it a go. I've got clip-ons on a road bike.

    Doesn't make a quantum leap in speed, but certainly increased mine by a couple of percent. Not much I know, but every little helps. What I find is that it's far more comfortable on the long drags, rather than supporting your upper body on your arms, which constantly twitch, and tires your triceps, resting on your lower arms/elbows just seems to be much more relaxed. I aslo find that being further forward and flat seems to stretch the back of the legs more and make the run a little easier.

    However, first/second/third time of using you will feel very unstable, but persevere and you will get more confident. As to climbing, if it's a smallish hill, and I can climb it in the saddle, then I can generally climb in on the aerobars. If I need to stand up to climb, then aerobars or not wouldn't make a difference.

    Also handly place to fix a bottle (a thread in itself), hang your helmet in T1, and makes you feel like a proper Triathlete.
  • joolzdjoolzd Posts: 245
    Thanks for the advice folks... I guess I better get them fitted ready for next season, and therefore hopefully a faster bike leg!!!
  • jules653jules653 Posts: 11
    I had tri bars fitted recently and it instantly made me faster - I agree with comments above about 3 miles per hour faster. The windier it is, the more the benefit.

    My advice is to get them properly fitted - I think badly fitted tri bars may slow you down and just feel uncomfortable. Doing it yourself is not a great idea - having someone who knows what they are doing look at your position is well worth it. If you live near Ealing, West London, google the "bike whisperer" - he works magic, and is well worth the money
  • ZacniciZacnici Posts: 1,385
    Hi Joolzd

    You may want to look at this although your mind is (correctly in my mind made up to get some)

  • Jack HughesJack Hughes Posts: 1,262
    Error whilst Doing a Replacement, Error in srv_convert.
  • willtriwilltri Posts: 436
    Wow Jack - is this your full time job!?!
  • TRIumphantTRIumphant Posts: 850
    Fantatsic reponse Jack. I think it fnnaly makes sense. Just have to wait now until someone asks me the same question, and I can reel off the answer. Good work, and proves the Forum is working and alive.
  • u_j_2001u_j_2001 Posts: 47
    Just when I was on the verge of heavy heartedly moving my allegiance to the TriTalk forum Jack comes along with a wonderfully detailed and educated reply to this debate.
    Certainly helps me in my decision on what the next piece of kit I will be buying.

    Thanks Jack, answers like this are really useful for novices like myself.
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