Friday, 25 May 2012

These Aero Bar Thingys

I've been unconvinced by the "aero" thing for ages. Somewhere at the back of my mind is an old school mentality that firmly believes if you want to go faster on the bike, you should work on the engine. Either train more, train harder or train better, don't just buy a silly hat that looks like a sperm and expect a few extra miles per hour on your next ride.

That said, after countless conversations with various tri bar users the response was unanimous: aero bar definitely make you go faster. I wanted in. Having spent the last few months trying to fine tune the engine, I thought now was the time to treat myself to some premium unleaded (or some other analogy that sounds less like performance enhancing drugs..).

Once all the bolts were tightened, a surge of excitement took hold of me and I had to get out straight away for a test run. Unbeknownst to me, the minute I had stepped out the door Liz had sent a group email out, something about warning people off the road and pre-organising a search party for me.

I was a bit wobbly to start with; the bar make steering a lot twitchier and any bump or hole in the road throws you off kilter a bit more than usual but after a few adjustments and a little bit of practice, I was loving it. By going "aero", your body is forced into a more stationary position and you can almost immediately feel yourself pushing more through the legs. Instead of trying to mash a bigger gear and hopping in and out of the saddle to get more power you actually end up selecting a better gear a putting in a more sustained effort; something I'm usually not very good at!

The other bonus is all this extra surface area to store things and accessorise. The special "aero bottle" slots between the bars, making drinking very convenient and I shall be inventing some sort of very thorough food storage system, though possibly packing copious amounts of riding snacks into every available nook and cranny  could prove counter-productive to the whole aero concept!

The bars do put on half a kilo or so on to the front of the bike, which is a noticeable addition, but if I just stop eating cake for a couple of days I reckon I can even that out again.

All in all I am very happy and I feel like a bit of a pro with my special sticky out bars. I just need to add some nice yellow tape to make them match the rest of the bike and they'll be perfect!

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