I’ve wanted to write more, but I’ve kept getting involved in big articles, and running out of steam partway through them.
Instead of that, I’m going to write a series of short articles about whether something will make you faster or not.
First up: Aero bars
Drag reduction is important in going faster, and aero bars definitely do it. So, put the bars on your bike, and you’ll go faster…
Well, not so fast (ha ha!). You have to get used to the aero bar position, which requires flexibility that many cyclists lack, and you’ll need to learn to ride on them smoothly. And you have to put up with the derision of many road cyclists.
The reason is simple. Road cyclists are jerks. No, wait, that’s not it. Road cyclists often ride around either in packs or in peletons, and in either case aero bars are dangerous because neither brakes nor direction are as well controlled. Not to mention that you don’t get much benefit from them in a pack, because you don’t spend that much time in the wind.
So, road cyclists may look down on you. Exceptions to this are as follows:
You ride in time trials.
You are a triathlete (all triathletes are considered a bit strange by road cyclists)
Speed improvement: high
Coolness factor: low (most cyclists) high (time trailists)