General Discussion Triathlon Talk » Tri Bike Ride - % in Aero? Rss Feed  
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2013-09-20 11:49 AM


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Subject: Tri Bike Ride - % in Aero?
I'm on my first tri bike, and I'm having a hard time time figuring out how to take it out on a ride. Sounds silly, but if you take your tri bike out on a training ride or ride with a group, what percentage of your time is down on the bars in aero? I'm trying to find some group rides since I'm not familiar with riding in the area, but they all involve at least some amount of city riding, even if it's going out of town into more aero-friendly territory, so I'd think that I have to be out of aero for a good deal of the ride. On the other hand, can I ride for an extended period of time (or any portion of time) with my hands up on the horns? Do I even have the slang right here? I'm such a noob!


2013-09-20 11:56 AM
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Subject: RE: Tri Bike Ride - % in Aero?

Originally posted by runningmon I'm on my first tri bike, and I'm having a hard time time figuring out how to take it out on a ride. Sounds silly, but if you take your tri bike out on a training ride or ride with a group, what percentage of your time is down on the bars in aero? I'm trying to find some group rides since I'm not familiar with riding in the area, but they all involve at least some amount of city riding, even if it's going out of town into more aero-friendly territory, so I'd think that I have to be out of aero for a good deal of the ride. On the other hand, can I ride for an extended period of time (or any portion of time) with my hands up on the horns? Do I even have the slang right here? I'm such a noob!

To answer your general question, I am in aero as much as possible. I know, rot an answer really, but it depends on several factors; speed, road conditions, technical aspects of the route, etc. Naturally, the more you ride the tri bike the more comfortable you'll be both physically and mentally. As for group rides, I'd suggest a road bike instead if you have one. It's just easier for everyone.



Edited by mrbbrad 2013-09-20 11:57 AM
2013-09-20 11:57 AM
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Subject: RE: Tri Bike Ride - % in Aero?

Originally posted by runningmon I'm on my first tri bike, and I'm having a hard time time figuring out how to take it out on a ride. Sounds silly, but if you take your tri bike out on a training ride or ride with a group, what percentage of your time is down on the bars in aero? I'm trying to find some group rides since I'm not familiar with riding in the area, but they all involve at least some amount of city riding, even if it's going out of town into more aero-friendly territory, so I'd think that I have to be out of aero for a good deal of the ride. On the other hand, can I ride for an extended period of time (or any portion of time) with my hands up on the horns? Do I even have the slang right here? I'm such a noob!

Do you have a road bike or only a tri bike?

I ride all my group rides (anything more than just me) on my road bike.  I'm just not comfortable bumping elbows on the tri bike.  

All my solo training (most riding during spring/summer) is on my tri bike, and I'm in aero like 98%.  I only come off the bars when my speed is pretty low (like 12-13 or less - usually on a hill) or through traffic areas (as you say above).

If you have only the tri bike, just be careful and expect to spend a lot more time on the bullhorns than in the drops if you're on a group ride, IMO.

Good luck and enjoy the bike!  

Matt

ETA:  You beat me to it!  Laughing



Edited by mcmanusclan5 2013-09-20 11:58 AM
2013-09-20 12:22 PM
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Subject: RE: Tri Bike Ride - % in Aero?
A simple answer is the more time in aero you are the faster you will go. I will ride a sprint 100% in aero, an Oly maybe 90-95% just because I have to shift around in the saddle a bit on a longer ride.

As far as group riding, anyone with any experience in a pace line will not be amused at you in aero as you have far less control than being on the horns. So, as a general rule, aero is not an accepted practice when in a pack. I don't think you need to buy a road bike, you just can't ride in a pack and be in aero. The few times I have ridden with a pack, I have dropped well to the back to ride in aero. Most of my road time, however, is me, myself, and I and so I am free to ride however I want.
2013-09-20 12:40 PM
in reply to: Oysterboy

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Subject: RE: Tri Bike Ride - % in Aero?

I ride by myself +99% of the time.  Of that, probably 90% in aero.  The exception would be for intersections and busy stretches I have to go through to get to my primary riding areas.

As per the previous comments, a lot of group rides frown on newbies with tri bikes until they get to know and trust you.  Accepted behavior is generally to only be on your aerobars if you're pulling or are riding well off the back.  Best thing is to ask the ride leader beforehand.  Groups that are composed mostly of triathletes may be more tolerant than roadie groups.  I know one of our local rides that makes all newbies ride in the "D" group the first few times to verify your bike handling skills, no matter how fast you may be.

Mark  

2013-09-20 1:11 PM
in reply to: runningmon

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Subject: RE: Tri Bike Ride - % in Aero?
First of all, make sure the group will allow you to ride a tri bike to start with... not all are that accommodating. Also, if they do allow you to ride your tri bike, never be in aero in the middle of the group, only when first wheel.

In training, it kind of depends on the terrain, etc., but I would say about 75-95% in aero. The remaining is either climbing or technical descents.


2013-09-20 7:49 PM
in reply to: runningmon


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Subject: RE: Tri Bike Ride - % in Aero?
As often as possible. Pop up during climbing, technical descents, crossing intersections, in traffic and when reaching for the rear pockets/food intake. Your may need experience to find out what works for you.
2013-09-21 12:40 AM
in reply to: Billyk


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Subject: RE: Tri Bike Ride - % in Aero?
I realize now that I was asking two very different questions. The heart of the matter: my biking and bike handling are... *ahem*... Poor. I need bike handling experience, and am not sure where to get it. Group rides (shop, local club, etc.) seem like the natural answer, but riding tri bike in city with group seems to be "not a thing we do" at best. It now seems like buying the tri bike instead of a road bike was a bad choice, but that's not likely to be rectified anytime soon.

TL;DR: Fool only has tri bike and needs to learn to ride. Where does fool go?
2013-09-21 2:29 AM
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Subject: RE: Tri Bike Ride - % in Aero?
Solo rides for now. It is tough to keep up with road bikes on a tri bike IMO. I can't match STI shift for shift and hammer too.
2013-09-21 7:14 AM
in reply to: runningmon

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Subject: RE: Tri Bike Ride - % in Aero?
I don't have a tri bike but I did go through learning to ride with aerobars on my road bike. Is there anywhere you can go where there is minimal traffic and few pedestrians to work on your handling? I mainly learned to ride in aero on a MUP (converted rail trail) about a 30 minute drive from my home in Oregon. It starts from a small town and goes up to a scenic area near a lake. It's never crowded, almost deserted during the week, and is well-maintained; potential hazards have been marked by a local cycle club. I tried learning at first on our local MUP and found it really hard--it's poorly surfaced and I was always popping out for hazards and pedestrians. If you're not so fortunate to have a secret bike path, maybe a solo ride on a well-surfaced, very lightly traveled road?

Around here I generally only ride in aero on the trainer and during about 30-40% of a training loop around an industrial park. That stretch is well-surfaced (probably the smoothest stretch of road in the country!) and very rarely has any vehicle traffic; even motorbikes are rare. Once I a while if I fall behind while riding with others on a pretty deserted stretch of rural road with no intersections, I will drop into aero for a little while and pursue them. That's it. Prior to a race last spring I had never actually ridden in aero on a road, anywhere. Then I did 62 km through rural Vietnam, 90% in aero. So it can be done.

As others have said, not a good idea on group rides, esp. if your bike handling skills are poor, and even then it's not welcome with many groups. No one's ever asked me to remove the bars, but it's pretty much understood that you won't be in aero when riding in the pack. In the US I usually end up in a big gap on club rides (behind the hard-core cyclists, ahead of the novices), so I still have plenty of chances to ride in aero!
2013-09-21 8:28 AM
in reply to: Hot Runner

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Subject: RE: Tri Bike Ride - % in Aero?
Don't sell the tri bike yet. Find out where the triathletes in your town ride. You are looking for long stretches that you can ride in aero, 5-10 minutes at a time. In the city, look for greenways or parks with big loops; elsewhere look for highways with shoulders and few lights. Bike handling skills will come with practice. On a properly fit bike and on the right course, you should feel more comfortable in aero than out. The payoff is, of course, at your race, when you shave off a minute or two and pass a bunch of other bikes with less effort.


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