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6 Tips For Aero Comfort | Make Your Triathlon Bike More Comfortable

6 Tips For Aero Comfort | Make Your Triathlon Bike More Comfortable

– Aero bars, much like riding a bike can be a daunting prospect. They get a bit of a
reputation for being twitchy, perhaps a little bit uncomfortable, in fact, they get a bad rep in general and that’s really for something
that can be solved, right. – Yeah exactly with the right adjustments, the right training, you can
make the aero bars comfortable and feel more stable. So today we’re gonna be
running you through some tips that can help newcomers to the sports of triathlon and time
trialing, and also hold hands. (electronic pulsing) (upbeat techno music) Okay despite it being
a beautiful day here, it pains me to say we are not going to be riding today Frazer, I’m sorry. We really feel like this is
quite an important topic that, while we want to make sure
we get the information across to you clearly and we can
demonstrate that clearly too. – Yeah, now whether you are
setting up a brand new position or you are making adjustments
to an existing one, you really need to do these changes as incrementally as possible. Now, this not only good
practice for injury prevention, but it also affects our comfort and position on the bike too. Because if we make really major changes to the position of our bike,
well it can affect things like our pedal stroke or
the handling of our bike to such an extent that
we’re not really sure if it feels good or really
just plain old bizarre. – Yeah and actually by making
these changes more gradually it almost, well our perception
of how we feel on a bike kind of have time to catch up with those changes that we’ve made. And what we find is that those athletes that do make those small
incremental changes, actually stick to those changes that they’ve made in those new positions. Whereas those athletes that rush ahead and they make dramatic
changes, kind of revert back to their old position and
actually are quite opposed to making any changes in the future. So, if we take our stack height, which is a prime example
for changes of position. You actually only want to make a movement of around five to 10 millimeter. So say your dropping
those armrests down five to 10 millimeter is the maximum at a time, and that on some bikes could
literally be one riser stack. – Okay, so, once you find
that desired position, or in fact you might well
still be in the middle of the incremental changes it’s time to start riding in that position. But rather than heading outside and forcing yourself to
ride for sustained periods of time in the aero bars,
just take a step back and ease yourself into it. So I’d suggest popping the bike indoors on the turbo trainer and
just doing some nice, short, easy reps in the aero bars and then coming back out of them to have a little bit of a rest. And I’d suggest something
like three minutes down in the aero bars, two
minutes out of the bars repeat that through five
times giving us 20 minutes of work time on the aero bars and then 30 minutes as a total. We can as we get more
advanced spend longer times in the aero bars and just reduce how much time we have out of them. – Now as we dial into that position, another area to look to for comfort is the actual elbow rests
and pads themselves. Now, much like the saddle this is a really, really important area. So, do not feel like you’ve just got to stick with whatever
comes with the bike. So, first of all, it might just be simply the angle of those pads. Now, a lot of athletes are going for slightly more angled pads and even with ski bends in front. Now, if that is mostly for aerodynamics, but actually, I also
believe, it is slightly more comfortable too. You’re almost are locked
into your position. Another are is with the rests. Now, you want to go for something ideally with a bit of curviature on the outside of the rest and that just helps to
lock the elbows into place and you feel a bit more stable there. And, finally, you might also want to look at the actual padding on those rests. So, now, you might actually
want to change them out for something slightly thicker. And actually in the past
I’ve bought something online like go-cart seat padding, which is… I’ve got about ten millimeter thick. Cut it to size and stuck that down to replace the existing one. – Now, once you find that new position the key is to start
accumulating saddle time in that changed position. A real issue with a lot of athletes is they forget to actually
spend time in their new position when they’re riding hard. And as we eluded to before, if you’re going to be able to race in this position, you
must be able to train in this new position
and at a good pace too. More often than not, it will feel easy and comfortable at a lesser pace, but by going out there and
riding hard in this new position it might flag up some issues or changes that might need to be made. And I know, for example,
when I’m riding really hard I’ll tend to creep forward
on the nose of the saddle. And what that means is I really just need to
shunt pads and ski pulls further forward. (upbeat techno music) – Now, obviously cycling
mostly comes from the legs, but by having a slightly
stronger upper body and core we can actually
maintain a position in the aero bars for
longer, fatigue less quickly and ultimately feel more comfortable. Now, I’m not suggesting we all head out to the gym and we get huge, but by just improving our
strength and our stability a little bit can help massively and also help with our power
transferred to the pedals. Now, a perfect exercise
for this is the plank and in case you’re not sure
how you do one of those, well, um Fraser is
demonstrating it perfectly for us right now. – Um, and a side plank, Fraser? – Nah. – Nah, okay no side plank, but um do not feel like you need to do this in your cycling kit or out on a ride. You can, of course, do this at home or at the gym. – Now, then. If you’re
gonna be out on your bike, on the roads it can be narrow or twisty, it could be really difficult
to settle into your aero bars for any length of time. When I was gonna have my TT bike out, I always try to look for wider or flatter terrain, where
it’s gonna be easier to be in my aero bars for more sustained periods of time. I’m not saying you necessarily
have to be that thorough with your route planning, but do try and avoid busier roads or side streets or driveways. And the same goes for
group riding, actually. Just being around other riders especially when you’re trying
to settle into the aero bars can be unnerving, so just be careful. Also, you’re gonna be quite
far away for your brakes and this just stops you from being able to adapt to maneuvers in the group or avoid obstacles. And actually you’re not
gonna make any friends really quickly if you’re
riding on your bars and they aren’t. – And, finally, be mindful of
the terrain that we’re riding. All too often I see athletes
staying in the aero bars beyond the point of efficiency. And what I mean by this is actually the lower certain speed, we lose the aerodynamic advantage of our aero bars. And technically speaking that’s around 15 kilometers per hour, but personally anything around 20 kilometers per hour and obviously below that I jump about the aero bars because that’s what feels comfortable for myself. So, what I’m saying is just be wary of the terrain
that you’re approaching and coming up to, keep an eye out for and actually make some smooth changes. Get a part of the aero bars
as you’re approaching them rather than almost almost erratically fighting your bike because you just haven’t noticed
those inclines coming up. – Well, there we go. There are our six tips to
getting more comfortable in the aero bars and this is actually something that we have each had to go through and kinda still do at each and every new bike that we get. So, I guess you could say this is tried and tested methods. – Sure is. Now, if you’ve got any
of your own suggestions, please drop them in the
comments section below. We’d love to hear those. If you’ve enjoyed this video, please give it a thumb up. Don’t forget, click on the globe, subscribe, get all the
other videos we’ve got on the channel. And if you want to see
a video that Mark did about comfort versus aero,
you can get that here. – Yeah, and if you’d like
to find out how you can increase your power on the bike, then just click down here.

21 comments on “6 Tips For Aero Comfort | Make Your Triathlon Bike More Comfortable

  1. im in the middle of the process after losing 20kg over the winter I got on the tt bike this week and I really don't suit my old riding position at all…gr8 video guys thankyou

  2. When I did my first Ironman it was hard to ride outside (in the middle of a very large city), so I did my training in the gym. When I then found a park where I could do loops, I noticed how hard it was to stay in the bars. I solved this by designating certain sections of the race to be in the bars and still had an ok ride. It was a great lesson though to realise the amount of energy you can save for the run, just by practicing going to the bar!

  3. great again. #askgtanything: what angle should the upper arm be in your view, or is there a range of angles that are acceptable in you views?

  4. Something i noticed is the structure of your sunglasses can really mess up your TT position and comfort. You can't see quite well in front of you if the sunglasses have a frame on the top of the lenses so, to see the road better, you either overextend your neck which is painfull, or you quit your "turtle" postion which is less aero (or like i did during my last ride, take off the glasses and get your eyes reaaaaally dry)
    The solution would be to chose sunglasses with no-frame on the top of the lenses or to go with a TT helmet with built-on glasses 🙂 Anyone else encountered this problem ?
    (hope it was understandable, i'm not a native english speaker)

  5. To aero bar or not to aero bar, that is the question.
    I just wish I went fast enough to need to make the choice. 😉

  6. I have a question about handlebar height. Riding Specialized Shiv Elite, and the default spacers are 2.5 cm. I tried to remove one spacer for better aerodynamics and it became quite uncomfortable (I used to ride in the aerobars all rides including 100+km ones for nearly 100% of the time, except very steep climbs). Tried it for several rides and even 60 km was painful, shoulders tired quickly and big drop of power especially on climbs (the less steep ones which I still ride in the aero bars). What do you recommend, just stick to the old position, or find some way to gradually reduce bar height? If so how it can be done if "stock" spacers are 2.5 cm and not 0.5-1cm as you recommend?

  7. I would say stretching on a regular basis is something that can allow you to become more comfortable on your tt bike and also make it easier to get in a more airo position more comfortably.

  8. I like being a old hand since 1985 lol , riding indoors is a bit harder making heading outside easier, so all 3 bikes are the same, indoor bike, road bike with aero bars, and race bike , and last 3 days , 3hr ride indoors, then day 2 2x2hr rides – day 3 2hr ride . 9 hrs in 3 days indoors and comfortable , switch cycling pants each 1 hr , new cycling groves . 5 pairs of new cycling pants cleaned and close by .

  9. When I am in the aero position i can only really hold it for about 2-3 min max and then my shoulders are starting to hurt. Just wondering if this is because they are not used to it? I have not done many rides in the aero position and am very new to a TT bike.

  10. First tip should always be removing the fairing and recumbent ban, thus allowing recumbents and velomobiles to compete in triathlon. More comfort as you're in a "lazy chair" position and more aero as the fairing slices the air resistance. Triathlon is UCI-ist as we know there are pressures from sponsors and bike manufactures to keep triathlon bike rules as it is.

    The bike itself is not ergonomic and aerodynamic. We just add more tech to address the pain and even disease problem while the aero gain from "aero"ing everything is such insignificant compared to a recumbent and fairing. It's also unsafe as your head is at the front and has a high risk of crashing

  11. I would say stretching would be the #1 for me, as all the others would not work without it. Tight hamstrings and back muscles are my main reason for discomfort. The plank exercise is a very nice tip and worked very well for me

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