Tri bars added - underwhelming improvements

Discussion in 'Time Trial, Long Distance and Endurance' started by grellboy, 1 Jan 2018.

  1. OP

    grellboy Senior Member

    Moved saddle forward and done some very unscientific comparisons (on bars v on hoods) and seems to be definitely faster for same perceived effort and more importantly not painful so can now begin to sustain the position! So thank you for the help everyone! ☺
  2. If you are dedicated to TT'ing you could purchase one of these a lot cheaper I did a few years back and it seemed to make a massive difference.
  3. themosquitoking

    themosquitoking Veteran

    I like that.
  4. Aero bars take time to get used to, the same as anything new on a bike

    What you will find as you start to get used to them is that it takes less effort to maintain the speed you rode at in the past and you will be more comfortable.

    I am not a TT rider and so cannot comment on the speed difference.
  5. screenman

    screenman Legendary Member

    There is a bloke called Lemond who could tell you about the benefits of tri bars.
    Sharky likes this.
  6. Cronorider

    Cronorider Well-Known Member

    Hope you are making progress in your quest for speed! I have had clip-on aero bars on my road bike since Greg Lemond won the tour, without changing the setup on the bike. It is not surprising that you did not improve your times immediately. It takes lots of training miles to adjust to the position. When I acquired my dedicated TT bike, I was pretty disappointed on my first attempt. I thought I would immediately ride faster than on my road bike, but no, I was slower. It took time to adjust to the more radical position, and specific TT training, to really get going fast on it.
    Have you changed your setup at all? I notice in the pic the saddle is really far back and slants downward. The one thing that I would recommend is perhaps putting on a saddle like a Fizik Arione Tri2, as the front of the saddle is longer and has more cushioning than other saddles.
  7. gds58

    gds58 Über Member

    By way of qualifying what I am about to suggest I will first tell you that I am currently a qualified bike fitter for both road and TT and formerly a six times National TT champion spanning the period when Tri-Bars first came into use in the UK.
    It is impossible to give specific measurements for adjustments without doing a full bike fit which involves a physical assesment to establish such things as flexibility, range of movement in key areas and left to right symmetry.
    However, I would advise some simple changes to start with. First find the mid point of your saddle (front to back) and from this measure down to the centre of the Bottom Bracket to establish your current seat height (which may well be incorrect though!!) Then move your saddle forwards as far as it will safely go on the rails (it is currently set very far back). Once done check the saddle height from the mid point to the centre of BB and adjust (up) where necessary. It will definitely need moving up if you have moved it forwards.
    Next remove all the spacers from under the handlebar stem and drop the stem down as far as it will go. I would suggest initially put the spacers back above the stem before cutting the steerer tube down, as once this is done there's no going back!
    Next, if your Tri-Bars will allow, fit them so that the arm-rests are either behind the handlebar or on top of it, but not in front. If not possible then you can achieve the same by fitting a shorter stem.
    Next, raise the front of the Tri-Bars so that they are angled upwards slightly. This will give you a smaller more closed-up frontal profile. Think of the position adopted by Downhill Skiers (which is where the original idea for Tri-Bars came from) Much more aerodynamic.
    Next, train, train, train, in this new position. You have to be used to it BEFORE you start racing in this position.
    Next, enter a Time Trial, and do a PB - EASY!!
    If none of this works, try Golf. Seriously though, if you do get serious about your time trialling then it is money well spent to have a proper TT bike fit which should take in the region of 3 hours to do properly and will give you massive benefits.
    Hope this all helps.
    Heltor Chasca likes this.
  8. Heltor Chasca

    Heltor Chasca Out-Riding the Black Dog

    Hah! I spent a while sailing from Brightlingsea near Wivenhoe. Happy memories.

    Sorry to jump on this thread @grellboy butbI found @gds58 ’s pod fascinating. May I ask if you have any specific advice for Audax events of around 200+km? My aim is far rather than fast in relative comfort. My snapped radius and ulna and fractured elbow have a tendency of reminding me I’m not a youth anymore, but a 44 year old maintaining my body before I wreck it. Thank you.
  9. I 've got one of those. you will benefit more from raising the bars, to open your hip angle, IME. it won't be quite as aero but you'll be able to go harder for longer.
  10. gds58

    gds58 Über Member

    It’s a much more difficult one to comment on without doing a physical assessment to establish your limitations etc. However, one of the most common issues we hear about when doing bike fits (and I’ve done in the region of 300) is that the rider suffers with either numb hands and/or aching wrists and forearms and the feeling that there is way too much load on their hands/forearms. Sometimes this is a positional thing but in a lot of cases it is due to the rider having a weak or ineffective Core. This results in them having to support all their upper body weight (which is more than half your full weight) on their hands/wrists. A strong and supportive core will drastically reduce this effect. My advice is to either visit a Physio and get them to give you specific core strength exercises or a better way is to simply attend a regular Pilates class. This will improve things no end. I went to one (until it moved locations) and it really helped. I was the only bloke but that does have its own merits!
    I’m not saying that this is the issue with you but it may be and in any case it can only help to improve your comfort on the bike.
    Hope this helps.
    Heltor Chasca and k_green like this.
  11. Heltor Chasca

    Heltor Chasca Out-Riding the Black Dog

    Thank you. As ever, I am grateful for the experience and knowledge of others.
  12. woodenspoons

    woodenspoons Über Member

    North Yorkshire
    Read with much interest: this can be a great place sometimes cant it?
    Heltor Chasca likes this.
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