Adding aero bars to a flat bar road bike

Discussion in 'Cyclocross (CX), Duathlon and Triathlon' started by sevans0579, 8 Aug 2012.

  1. sevans0579

    sevans0579 Regular


    I have been contemplating upgrading my giant rapid 3 (road bike with flat bars) for more speed to a normal drop bar road bike but finances are stalling me to make a suitable upgrade. Basically i just need to get lower down for more aerodynamics. I have read its probably not suitbale to add drop bars as the geometry of the bike is not correct as it is made for a flat bar. However was looking into the aero bars, this would add an additional riding position bout still giving me the flat bar when needed, (hands get a little numb and pins and needles sometimes).

    Would adding aero bars to a flat bar road bike look a little odd? and not work so well? if anyone has any pictures or advice, would be greatly appreciated.
  2. PpPete

    PpPete Guru

    Chandler's Ford
    Not sure, but I think Spinacci aero bars are made for this sort of thing ?
    sevans0579 likes this.
  3. VamP

    VamP Banned

    You know, don't you, that N+1 is the answer.

    Why else would you hide your question away in the cyclocross forum :biggrin:
  4. OP

    sevans0579 Regular

    Not quite sure what you mean??
  5. AndyRM

    AndyRM XOXO

    Whitley Bay
  6. VamP

    VamP Banned

    While you're at it, check rule no 12 for explanation of the N+1.
  7. Arjimlad

    Arjimlad Tights of Cydonia

    South Glos
    I did this for a while, I was pressganged into doing a 30km road race by colleagues. It worked OK.

    Someone kindly gave me a set of bolt-on profile aero-bars free of charge, in response to an enquiry on my local triathlon club forum. I had to raise my saddle up quite a bit from its normal position to get comfy, but my times improved a fair bit. I later switched from the FCR3 (fore-runner of the Rapid) to a Defy 2. I'm thinking of putting the aero bars on the Defy for a bit of fun..
  8. SquareDaff

    SquareDaff Über Member

    I did this with my Boardman Hybrid Pro for a while. Worked OK to start with and did improve my technique. BUT....the BHP was a tapered flat bar, which meant I had to use loads of black tape to try and create a flat surface to bolt my bars to. Over time they do work loose and rotate. Eventually I gave up.

    Ultimately for me it was a test to see if I could ride in that position without it causing back problems. I've proved it doesn't so I'll be buying a proper road bike in my companies next C2W scheme window.
  9. pkeenan

    pkeenan Über Member

    Ha - never come across those rules. Awesome :smile:
  10. Arjimlad

    Arjimlad Tights of Cydonia

    South Glos

    Good point there - my bars weren't tapered but I had to crank the bolts on the aero bars up very tight indeed, as the amount of weight on them meant that going over bumps was somewhat risky if they weren't gorilla-tight..
  11. Keith Oates

    Keith Oates Janner

    Penarth, Wales
    Three of the lads that go out on our Sunday MTB rides have aero bars fitted. They don't use them when we are off road but on the 10 to 15 Km road ride section that normally transpires when going back to the assembly point, they drop onto them and it makes a big difference to their speed!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
  12. RecordAceFromNew

    RecordAceFromNew Swinging Member

    West London
    I wonder if you know road bars diameter (23.8mm standard from the grip area up to the larger section in the middle for the stem to clamp on) is not the same as flat bars (22.2mm standard), and you guys are finding attachment an issue on flat bars probably because most aero ad-ons are designed for road bars and for attachment to that section. Ideally the clamps (if alloy, unlike steel) also probably shouldn't be deformed more than they were designed to. To address that for diy shim I would probably use kitchen tin foil e.g. rather than tape.
  13. Rob3rt

    Rob3rt Man or Moose!

    Correct, clip on bars are usually machined to fit oversize (31.8mm) road bars and usually have a supplied shim to fit them to 23.8mm road bars. Shim them out if using on a different diameter handlebar, do not deform the clamp by over tightening it, if it fails suddenly, due to the riding position and no access to the brakes it will end up all kinds of nasty. I had some aerobars fail on me, the arm rests both snapped in half leaving me all of a sudden without arm support and a sudden change of weight distribution causing a nasty wobble (it was a faulty product and was replaced on warranty, the new ones were fine) and I only just managed to hold it.
  14. cyberknight

    cyberknight As long as I breathe, I attack.

    Land of confusion
    Thinking of sticking some clip on aero bars onto the subway with oversize bars atm as i find it too upright although with the wide hand position it affects my dodgy trapped nerves in my neck if i flip the stem .Another alternative would be narrower bars ?
  15. mjr

    mjr Comfy armchair to one person & a plank to the next

    It depends on the drop bars, but classical racing drops will change things. You probably want something with minimal forward sweep and 22.2mm diameter so you don't have to replace the controls and mechs. I replaced my flat bars with VO Montmartre bars (a narrow Porteur-style bar) fitted flipped to give me a slight (5cm IIRC) drop. They're narrower (420mm v 600mm previously), reasonably aero-yet-comfortable holding the lower bend for out on the fens, plus quite a nice near-upright position holding the ends for riding in crowded towns.

    If you switch bars, I'd try to measure and estimate where your hands would be with any bars, to check that levers aren't going to smash against the top tube when turning sharp, for example.
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