Assuming some sort of magical world where all other elements of your fit somehow remain the same (head height, back position, shoulder height, etc.), I’m curious as to everyones’ thoughts on which gives you a more aero advantage:
Narrower, 38-40cm traditional-shaped handlebars, fully wrapped; or
Aero, 44cm flat-top handlebars, wrapped only just past the hoods, leaving the aerofoil shape unwrapped?
In other words, do you gain more with an aero shape, or with 4-5cm narrower arm/hand position? Not sure if anyone has seen any hard data on this, but I’m also interested anecdotal experience.
well after nearly 4 years of owning my current bike and not replacing the stock 42cm bars, I went both narrower to 38 and aero profile (I got prime doyenne bars), so I’m curious how that’ll change some of my rides in the future. I just put them on yesterday so it’ll be awhile before I get back outdoors to ride. but aero bar shape on its own is allegedly around 5w, with the width I’m sure it all depends on the rider
Obviously a valid point……could be that this inquiry is driven by someone’s (who knows who……) current stock of handlebars, and the need to not further waste/spend money and anger their spouse…………I mean, that’s all purely hypothetical…………….allegedly…….
I’m going to assume you are asking which setup is more aero with you actually riding the bike versus just the bike. My gut says the 38 cm bars would have the lowest drag as it would narrow your frontal area the most. But big caveats: if you don’t use a longer stem, then can you get into a position with your arms parallel? Or would you end up in a position that is narrower, but your chest raised more?
The biggest factor isnt is it aero, but how long can you comfortably maintain it.
I like aero profile bars purely out of comfort for resting my hands on them. I’m not going to think for a half a second the shape of my bars or how far they’re taped is having any effect on my performance.
Your body and shoulder position has a far greater impact on aerodynamics than the bars themselves. The narrow bars help your body be more aero, and that’s what really matters. But don’t go to narrow for comfort and handling!