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How important are tri bars??

PostPosted: 07 Jan 2010 11:46
by andyb99
hey guys, heres a question thats no doubt been asked before (but not by me). for somebody like me...should i bother with tri bars???
lets face it, being aerodynamic is not on the top of my priorities for IMUK.....and going downhill i think i'll be more inclined to cover the brakes rather than reduce wind drag.
is there a comfort aspect to them (weight off the wrists).

so i don't think they will save me much time, should i get some just to look the part?? or am i just wasting money on them.

be honest please

Re: How important are tri bars??

PostPosted: 07 Jan 2010 12:03
by S11
Hi Andy,

Personally I don't think they are massively important but really will depend on the race. If its going to be hilly then aero bars are not much use as you would be up and down on them too much to make them benefit.

If the race is flat or slightly undulating then definetly get them and get used to them as they will make a difference.

IMUK is going to be hilly so they might not be much use. I've got my road bike set up with tri bars and seat post turned round and I'll be leaving it like that for down hills and any flats, but thats my personal choice.

At the end of the day, they are not going to make a huge difference and lets face it, its all about finishing.

Re: How important are tri bars??

PostPosted: 07 Jan 2010 12:06
by didds
Excellent question.

I'm slower on my tribars than on the drops... but then again i am not the most aerodynamic bloke to start with, and my tribars are clipons that have had no fitting etc made.

they are either the biggest piece of emporer's new clothing going OR like many things they work better for some than others and you get what you pay for . maybe.

One of the podcasts from a few years ago used the "poor man's wind tunnel" test for something or other - basically a set hill that he timed himself freewheeling down. If you find the podcast the details will be in that but he used a set hill freewheeel and igmnored any runs where traffic passed him or somesuch (ie could have influenced the result).

If you are able to borrow some bars off some one first that may be the way to go - and do the freewheel tests downhill - on the hoods, on the drops, on the bars - and the bars in several settings (sloped down, sloped straight, sloped up).

There's is also a technique thing going on here so you may not be maximising your potential until you've actuall ridden with them for some time just to make the decision even harder!

I suspect this hasn;t helped you decide at all!


Re: How important are tri bars??

PostPosted: 07 Jan 2010 12:12
by andyb99
no thats good advice fella, thing is i'm all about getting to the end (as S11 mentions)...not saving time....if they would help my endurance (ie.provide some comfort or respite) then perhaps i'd have some...but maybe they would simply be for show

Re: How important are tri bars??

PostPosted: 07 Jan 2010 12:17
by TRIumphant
I find them hugely beneficial. Not just for the fact you are more aero, and therefore marginally faster, but that on the long drags you can rest your lower arms on the bars which in turn supports your upper body. This prevent your elbws and shoulders forma cting like shock absobers and fatiguing. I find that I'm far more relaxed during my ride, and I'll be keeping mine on for IMUK just o give myself some restbite during the bike leg.

However, once descending then unless I know the hill, or it's straightish and not too technical then I'll be straight onto the drops and cover the brakes.

Re: How important are tri bars??

PostPosted: 07 Jan 2010 12:24
by didds
I will add this... whether corporately supplied (cf profile bars) or a home made rig-em-up (see Ris!) tri bars do give you an option to carry another water bottle with tube better placed for in ride hydration - and there is evidence tio suggest that water bottles in the tribars have an aerodynamic benefit!

I'll probably use my tribars for AT70.3 if only for this reason alone.


Re: How important are tri bars??

PostPosted: 07 Jan 2010 12:30
by ris
not 100% sure about this, but i think that to get the best out of using tri-bars you'd also need to have the seat position right as well (as in s11's post). this means that you not only get the aerodynamic advantage (or disadvantage) and also the benefit to the leg muscles (on the run) of being postioned further forward.

Re: How important are tri bars??

PostPosted: 07 Jan 2010 12:39
by S11
Its also worth getting the measurements of the arms taken. On my bike, the handlebars are dropped as well so I have a few spacers sitting above, rather than below the handlebars.

If I'm doing a hilly events such as the tour of the peaks, I turned her back into a normal road bike, took the tri bars off, lifted the handlebars, turned the seat post back around and fixed the saddle.

Re: How important are tri bars??

PostPosted: 07 Jan 2010 12:47
by andyb99 perhaps there is a comfort factor to be had from them...the answer is to try some i guess.....time to start looking for a cheapo pair on ebay

Re: How important are tri bars??

PostPosted: 07 Jan 2010 13:01
by willtri
They're brilliant - but i am selling some!! :D

Seriously though - Personally I can't get on with them - maybe i didn't set them up properly, maybe i'm not felxible enough, but i always felt cramped on them - couldn't seem to get the same speed/power when on them.

For me, and i'm pretty much repeating what other people have said- I think there's an inherent conflict between the road bike geometry and add on tri bars...