Clip on aero bars - recommendations?

marcusjb Posts: 2,412
edited October 2013 in Road general
Right - be gentle - this is a whole new world for me.

Next year's goal is to ride a 24 hour time trial. Distance doesn't scare me at all - I have that pretty nailed. Speed, however, is a different matter and I will be working on that over winter. I don't yet have a target, 350 miles sounds very achievable (and I have done not too far off that in Audax conditions), 375 miles sounds better.

n+1 is not practical - partly for space reasons and partly as this is likely to be a one-shot attempt at the 24.

So, I'll be using my Audax bike (Condor Fratello) - I will take the mudguards and Carradice off for this though :wink:

Step one will be aero bars, which I want to start using sooner rather than later so I can adapt my position on the bike and my body.

Does anyone have any recommendations for a pair of clip-ons that might be suitable for such a ride?

I've had a recommendation on the USE Boost bars - I think I'd need to see them in the flesh to work out which bend I wanted. Anyone using them?

What sort of tweaks to my bike's setup would I be likely to need once the aero bars go on? Shorter stem?

As I said, be gentle - I might well be a pretty experienced long-distance cyclist, but I've never really done anything involving speed before!

I'll be pondering wheels etc. as well in the spring as I continue my build up. I'm unlikely to end up with a pointy hat or skinsuit though!


  • morstar
    morstar Posts: 6,190
    Shan't recommend as I simply bought an affordable pair.
    Shape will be important. Modern bars are quite straight which gives the most aero position but historically they were a bit more curved up at the front. Not as aero but more relaxed / comfortable to hold. For a 24 hr ride, I'd suggest comfort is important.
    Similar with the width. Wider is more relaxed but not as aero.
  • marcusjb
    marcusjb Posts: 2,412
    Shape is the really confusing part - just looking at USE's website, there are 10 different shapes/materials! And they are not unusual in that respect.

    I guess that something with a bend at the end will be comfier for longer as the wrist is not twisting flat to hold it?

    Comfort will trump absolute aero performance for sure and I guess I am looking more at something with very adjustable arm pads to try and dial those in over winter/spring.
  • Comfort all the way.
    i've used Profiles and Syntace clip ons for 24hr events. Both have decent pads.
    I wouldn't alter position on your road bike though - or at the most shift the saddle forward on the rails if it feels comfortable.
    As for targets: 400 is a lovely round number. 360 is only(!) 15 mph average and shouldn't be too tricky if you've got the audax experience of round the clock riding.
    The trick is to take it steady from the off. over-exert in the early stages, even if others seem to be flying past. It's the last 4 hrs that make all the difference. The first 4 are a gentle warm up really. To that end, I used to change my inner chainring to a 46t and stick in it most of the time (better than trying to get on top of the 53/52 which is too tempting to push a little too hard).
    Commute: Langster -Singlecross - Brompton S2-LX

    Road: 95 Trek 5500 -Look 695 Aerolight eTap - Boardman TTe eTap

    Offroad: Pace RC200 - Dawes Kickback 2 tandem - Tricross - Boardman CXR9.8 - Ridley x-fire
  • marcusjb
    marcusjb Posts: 2,412
    Everything I have been reading does seem to conclude that ski bend is correct for longer events. A trip to Sigma Sport is in order.

    Good advice ex-pat scot as well - I've a lot to learn on pacing for sure. I have been advised to ride a 100 earlier in the season to help develop my feel for pace. It's all so different to anything I have done before, audax isn't about riding super fast. Lots to learn!
  • morstar
    morstar Posts: 6,190
    Re pacing. I've not ridden a 24 so my comment comes purely from an endurance perspective regarding mental strength.
    Ran an ultramarathon this year which was a new ball game for me entirely. Being very analytical I pored over finishing and split times for previous years results. The astonishing thing was that outside of a very small elite group. Around 98% of the runners demonstrated a huge drop in performance over the course of the event.
    After a lot of training and scenario analysis I consistently came to the conclusion that I would need to be almost the very last person at the first check point despite expecting to finish mid-pack.
    Indeed I was around 301st out of around 320 at 15 miles. From that point onwards, not a single person ever passed me again and I finished around 200th. Hardly elite I know but the point is that my pacing was totally consistent for over 17 hours and continually passing people was very motivational in the latter stages.
    Be mentally strong about pacing and don't get sucked along!