Aerobar fitting

I’m fitting clip-on aerobars to my road bike for the first time. I’ve played around with them before briefly, but now I’m finally getting serious about making them a part of my setup. For context, my target events are longer-distance (6/12hr, 200mi) non-drafting races. This is a recovery week, so figured this would be a great time to test the position without a lot of strain. Did a 1hr Z2 ride outside yesterday and overall it felt pretty good, but I’m concerned that without adjustment, my periodically occurring knee issues will come back, especially on longer rides or at higher intensities. I haven’t adjusted my saddle yet and I’m worried that moving forward, which is both what feels like needs to happen and what you’re generally advised to do for TT bars, will place additional strain on my patella tendons, especially when riding normally on the hoods. But I’m also worried that trying to keep my saddle in the same place for the aerobars will cause me to pull in weird ways with my legs to keep myself on the saddle and create new injuries. Anyone else have this dilemma or any advice? Do I just need to give it time and let my body adapt to the new position gradually?

Without diving into specific setup info, your delima (road vs tt saddle setup) is the reason this great product exists. I’ve used one since their Kickstarter, and it is worth it’s weight in gold for a road/tt bike setup. Gives you access to both positions in an instant and negates any compromise setup issues. If you have a 27.2mm or larger round seatpost, this is worth a close look.

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This - adjust slowly, spending a minimum of time in position during the first weeks. You can do a fair amount of damage without realising it, only to be in agony days later!

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Wow that looks perfect. I dread having to dial my saddle in on a new seatpost, but that could be worth it. Might pick that up this fall/winter. Thanks for the recommendation!

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Good point. Probably was too eager yesterday lol. I’ll try to slowly phase in the new position, especially on lower stress rides. Feels like doing a bunch of Threshold pulls in a new position right off the bat is a recipe for having to spend another couple of weeks off the bike letting knees heal.

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Having been on a similar path to what you’re looking at, I’ll echo the redshift endorsement! I love it - the saddle adjustment makes it feel fantastic to ride on the bars - alleviates pressure perfectly.

Got it this past winter and regularly try to spend 1/3 of my structured time in that position. It’s been really nice to help ease transition to lower road position - going though SSB high volume 2, it helped me survive 4x20s by mixing road, TT and climbing for example. The position is just different enough to help spread the load on such workouts while getting used to the long intervals.

Did my longest yet TT effort on it this week for 45 mins and averaged 39.8 km/hr @ 255W full aero position on my non-aero road bike. That was still with no TT helmet, bag, pump, two bottles on bike, out and back on a course with a few hundred total feet of elevation. The redshift product is a great gateway drug before spending on a TT bike IMHO, and I think you can get some really solid results on it. Still eyeing a 40k hr attempt this season!

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Another endorsement of the redshift seatpost here. I’ve been using it for several weeks now, and it makes big difference in opening up the hip angle over the standard road position.

Started with 3 minute at a time during recovery rides, gradually upping the length of time, and the power levels. Can now do an hour at a time for zone 2 efforts (only coming out of aero for braking), and can hold z3 efforts on the aerobars for 20 minutes. Still can’t hold zone 4 power during in the aero position, but working on it.

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I actually decided last night to rip the bandaid off and order one. I’m pretty cheap as cyclists go, so I had to debate with myself over whether I was willing to drop $160 on a (heavy! Lol) seat post, but it seems like such a slam dunk solution I couldn’t resist. Heck of a lot cheaper and simpler than owning a separate TT bike though.

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The video on their site shows a guy changing the saddle mid ride, does it have a locking mechanism or does it just hold in the forward/backward position from weight alone?

There is no “locking” mechanism, but there is some spring tension that needs to be overcome. But mostly by weight alone - to switch positions the seat has to go up before dropping back down into the new position. To go from the road to the TT position needs quite a firm pull by hand, to go from TT to road I can push it back with my thighs.

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I also have the redshift Seatpost and it is really practical and well designed. Only awkward thing is, when lifting your bike at the saddle you get the impression that something is broken. I think it is not only a good Solution if you don’t want/can have a second bik for TT/Triathlon. I love that I can do some climbs and 30mins of tt riding in one ride. I also think it could help in a hilly Triathlon or for long distance riding.

Anyone have fitted these to a “non-round”/AeroFrame?

@TxAg15, here’s some advice from a guy who has been through this before…

1.) The redshift product is great but it’s not for you. You want the most aero position that you can hold for the duration of the race. If your aero position is uncomfortable to the point that you need a redshift seatpost to adjust back to a more relaxed position, fix your aero position…don’t buy a seatpost to avoid the fix. If your aero position is good then the reshift product is superfluous…a waste of money and needless dead weight.

2.) Go take some aero data & find your most aero position. I just got done taking a ton of aero data & it always surprises me how non-intuitive it can be. Especially with respect to things like torso/hip angle on the aero bars. Find your most aero position. It might be a lot more comfortable than you think.

3.) Start doing your long rides in your most aero position. Adjust yourself UP to a position that you can hold for the duration of your target event. That way you know FOR SURE what the ideal aero pos’n is and FOR SURE what you can handle for your event.

Don’t be the rider with drop bars and clip ons riding the last two hours of your event sitting up with your hands on the flats. That undoes all the benefit of your aero bars.

I totally disagree for someone just getting into use of aerobars, long term targeting 200 mile rides and starting to adapt. The ability to rotate multiple road positions and TT position will be invaluable for building up to holding a 200 mile TT as well as mixing it into training rides as you are able.

I think the fair question would be how much to bias his setup to optimize around the TT or the road position, which is something he will need to answer based on his planned riding mix near term.

Of course if you have thousands burning a hole in your pocket, sure, go crazy, but don’t think you’ll hop on that new TT bike and go 200 miles right out the gate.

And I’d rather be the guy rotating various aero and road positions and finishing my first 200 mile event than DNFing on an inflexible setup that was too ambitious.

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@Colinbrodsky you should start doing your long rides in your most aero position. Adjust yourself UP to a position that you can hold for the duration of your target event. That way you know you’re NOT going to be DNFing due to discomfort caused by your position. That’s the point of the long ride.

A proper ultra TT bike is not inflexible in position choice. You just shouldn’t need to vary your pos’n much because it’s comfortable enough to hold for 12+ hours. If you need to be on the base bars on some technical portions of the course, fine, no prob. Should be able to do 90%+ of your time on the aerobars.

So the extra weight and drag of the redshift product is superfluous. No need for it in this context. Use your long rides to find an aero pos’n that is comfortable enough to hold.

This is a great discussion and super helpful, thanks guys.

I’m trying to think through this from a “strain-on-my-knees” perspective. If I set my standard seatpost/saddle system up in a more TT position (higher, farther forward), will that negatively impact the strain on my knees as I push through the pedal stroke? Seems like if I adjust in the same manner as the Redshift post (end up the same distance from the bottom bracket as before), my minimum knee angle should be the same, right? I’m thinking that moving forward and up effectively rotates you further forward in the pedal stroke in terms of where you apply initial and peak torque. Am I thinking about that correctly? Or put another way, what’s the downside of riding on the hoods with my saddle in a TT position?

From the Redshift website FAQ:

Unfortunately, the Dual-Position Seatpost currently only fits standard round seatposts that are 27.2mm or larger in diameter. The reality is that every model of aero bike has a different shaped seatpost, meaning that it is impossible to create a post that will work with every bike. We are planning to make a few brand-specific versions for Trek and Cervelo bikes, but we do not currently have a timeline for release of those products.

Well, the main is it is just uncomfortable. It puts more weight on your hands, and your legs are too far extended. Not a major drama for say navigating a few turns where you want to be on the hoods for braking, etc. But for extended efforts on the hoods, (eg. substained climbing) it can be pretty uncomfortable.

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Hmm yeah that makes sense. I think the Redshift post will be a good transitional part of my setup. I can slowly work my way into an aero position, but still be able to do most of my threshold work in the standard position for now without hurting myself. If I decide I like the aero bars and want to stick with that, I can swap back to my standard seat post and make that my permanent position.

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Yea, this is a great use case for this product I think. It’s a huge leap to say go buy another bike or permanently reconfigure your bike fit for aerobars if you are just starting to get into this, but it’s a nice way to split your time to start riding more aero if you’re not ready to commit 100% to moving all of your training there. It’s probably also worth trying some harder intervals aero too, but then you have the option of just doing part of your repeats in that position as you get used to it.

From this thread, I don’t see that he’s at the position where the weight and drag of a seatpost is his concern… he’s just looking to see if he can start spending some time aero and ease into it. I’d say he’s about the perfect candidate to dip another toe in this way unless he 1) says he never wants to ride road again and commit to a new bike fit around ultra aero TTs on his current bike or 2) says money is no object and just go buy a second bike today with a fit just for this purpose. A very well respected fitter in our region even supports the use of these recognizing that not everyone can afford or has the space for a fleet of bikes.

And please understand that I’m not saying it’s the only solution for everyone long-term - I may even decide to treat myself to a TT bike once I “earn” it via accomplishing 1 hr 40k TT goal on my current setup :slight_smile:

I gotcha @Colinbrodsky! You’re advice is clearly in good faith.

Here is where I’m coming from: TxAg15 should be reaching out for podium spots. It’s not that ‘I just want to make sure I finish’ isn’t a worthy goal it’s just well below what this rider should aim to achieve.

Don’t leave for next year what you can achieve this year. (and I’m almost certainly giving this advice to my own detriment! :stuck_out_tongue: )