Optimum time trial position without time trial bars
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  1. #1
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    Optimum time trial position without time trial bars

    I've entered a time trial race for a bit of fun this weekend. My bars dont allow for aero bars , so I was wondering which position is the next best? In my solo breakaway attempts in the crits, I run my wrists straight in line with the hoods, and palm over the hood. This streches my torso out to keep me low. Im thinking the drops would be another simpler option. My body is low and i wouldnt have to move my hands for out of the seat for efforts. Any knowledge whether these are any good, or of anything better would be greatly appreciated.
    Cheers
    Last edited by the rat; 04-16-2008 at 04:59 AM.

  2. #2
    Apa kabar?
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    When I go solo on a breakaway I generally rest my forearms on the bars similar to how they would be if they were resting on aerobars. This not only lowes the body but also decreases your frontal area which makes for a more aerodynamic position.

    It took a little getting used to, and the control is not great. Try to avoid all holes when doing this as well, since you aren't holding on to anything in this position.

    Since you did mention that it was just for fun, I would go out and ride how you mentioned in your post. Best of luck to you.

  3. #3
    No Crybabies
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    narrow

    Just this morning, I was reading a section of Edmund Burke's book, Scientific Cycling (or something like that) on aerodynamics. He said that arm position is critical. Wide arms create a wake that causes a lot of drag, but narrow arms have the body filling in that wake (negative pressure, etc.). He said that wide arms create almost as much drag as the entire rest of the body.

    So, while getting low is important, too, I'd think that if you can't run aerobars, keep your hands either grasping the bars next to the stem, or one or both of your forearms resting on the bars next to the stem, assuming you can maintain adequate control.

    If you are bothering with a time trial, though, you really need to get aerobars.
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  4. #4
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    agree. common wisdom is to go to the drops, but that is the worst( well maybe brake hoods are the worst)

  5. #5
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    Quote Originally Posted by B-Fun
    When I go solo on a breakaway I generally rest my forearms on the bars similar to how they would be if they were resting on aerobars.

    It took a little getting used to, and the control is not great. Try to avoid all holes when doing this as well, since you aren't holding on to anything in this position.
    I'm not a big fan of any position where fingers aren't wrapped around some part of the bars. I've seen somebody slide off this one before and almost take down a bunch of people. Whacked his nose on the stem too.

  6. #6
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    Would these work?



    Disclaimer: I have no experience with them.

  7. #7
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    Looks like ill try a mix of everything, but thats interesting about the arms causing lots of drag, Im thinking hands or forearms next to the stem could be a winner.

    Quote Originally Posted by threesportsinone
    Would these work?



    Disclaimer: I have no experience with them.
    Unfortunately nothing will clamp on to my bars, theyre a weird control-tech ergonomic type. But those things are strange!

    Thanks for the input guys

  8. #8
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    Burke was a physiologist, not a physicist, so take his wisdom with a grain of salt.

    The best position is the one that gets your chest lowest with decent comfort. If its in the drops, hoods, resting your wrists by the stem, whatever.

  9. #9
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    makeshift

    Quote Originally Posted by the rat
    Unfortunately nothing will clamp on to my bars, theyre a weird control-tech ergonomic type. But those things are strange!

    Thanks for the input guys
    Recently I was riding with a woman who did PBP last year (no aerobars allowed on 750 mile ride). She created a makeshift aerobar by taping a layer or two of neoprene mousepad to her handlebars near the stem, then rested her forearms there while hanging onto her Shimano shifter cables. How this is safer than real aerobars, I'll never know, but you might try it as an option. [Although I am not recommending this.]


    Edit: Just remembered this one: http://jtekengineering.com/jtek_Axe_aerobar.htm Should work, if you change stems.
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  10. #10
    P=NP?
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    I would like to warn against draping your arms over the bars. One person did that at a time trial earlier this year, hit a bump, and crashed hard. It's also probably too uncomforatble to do for 30min (or however long your TT is).

    I find that narrow is more imporant then low, so I hold the tops of the bar right next to the stem, and tuck my elbows in. Then bend down as low as is comfortable without sticking your arms out. I've also heard that relaxing your shoulders (so they're rolled down a little) is helpful (decreases frontal area, and provides a smoother path for the air).

  11. #11

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    Ride...

    Ride in the drops. That's where on a normal bike you are going to be most aero.

    As others have said, don't rest your forearms on the tops, you're asking for trouble right there. As in missing teeth and other maladies.

  12. #12
    Impulse Athletic Coaching
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    Rest forearms on the tops if you are comfortable with it. Simple as that. If you haven't done it for awhile, don't start in this TT.

    I'm a big fan, lately, of putting "my wrists straight in line with the hoods, and palm over the hood." My forearms usually rest on the bars, too.

  13. #13
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    IMO when you are resting forearms on the tops, you have no leverage to help your legs. I say go to drops or hoods, keep the elbows in.

  14. #14
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    I was wrong

    Quote Originally Posted by Fixed
    Just this morning, I was reading a section of Edmund Burke's book, Scientific Cycling (or something like that) on aerodynamics. He said that arm position is critical. Wide arms create a wake that causes a lot of drag, but narrow arms have the body filling in that wake (negative pressure, etc.). He said that wide arms create almost as much drag as the entire rest of the body.

    So, while getting low is important, too, I'd think that if you can't run aerobars, keep your hands either grasping the bars next to the stem, or one or both of your forearms resting on the bars next to the stem, assuming you can maintain adequate control.

    If you are bothering with a time trial, though, you really need to get aerobars.
    I was wrong. I would not time trial with my hands near the stem. I tried t his yesterday, and it does not work. You can't get low and pedal at all efficiently like this, and draping your arms over the bars gives no control or power. The drops are there for a reason, and continue to be after over a hundred years of bicycle development. I'm not aware of any records that were ever set on a bike, without aerobars, that were set using anything other than the drops (except that one real funky position Obree used http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Graeme_Obree ), so that must mean something. Use the drops if you don't have aerobars.

    I think this is a case of "expert" advice not taking into account all circumstances and practical reality.
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  15. #15
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    I was re-watching P-R 2006, Cancellara on solo break. Seems like when he's in maximal "time trial" mode, he's on the top of the hoods, with the wrists sort of tilted in. Which naturally moves in the elbows.

  16. #16
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    At yesterday's TdG TTT, aero equipment was forbidden. Here's a photo of stage winners Slipstream-Chipotle:

  17. #17
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    'nuff said.

    Quote Originally Posted by pretender
    At yesterday's TdG TTT, aero equipment was forbidden. Here's a photo of stage winners Slipstream-Chipotle:
    nmnmnmn

  18. #18
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    Just to muddy the waters:

    [That's the only photo I've seen of anyone hanging on the bartops.]

  19. #19
    Impulse Athletic Coaching
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    Quote Originally Posted by pretender
    Just to muddy the waters:

    [That's the only photo I've seen of anyone hanging on the bartops.]
    Not the only photo I've seen of a pro doing it -- maybe in that photo set, but not elsewhere.

    The top photo where they are all in their drops: they are turning. No one dares to turn at 30mph while resting their forearms on the tops.

    UCI rules state that you cannot rest your body weight on your elbows on a TT bike, so I'm sure most pros are comfortable with following the same logic on their non-TT bike.

  20. #20
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    Well that is one advantage Shimano has over Campy. With Shimano you have a cable to grab.

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