I would like to ask some questions about aerobars, also known as tribars.
I've seen them used on bicycles meant for very different purposes. In theory, the very low, horizontal, position is ideal for aerodynamics. I've seen them used on timetrial bikes and on triathlon bicycles.
However, as a matter of intuition (I personally have never used aerobars), it seems to me they might offer a lot of comfort when you're out on your bicycle for many hours. I mean I have leaned on my (flat, mtb) handlebars when tired. Well, that intuition seems justified considering I have seen some touring vloggers use aerobars. The world famous Mark Beaumont who has gone around the world on bicycles TWICE and the second time he used aerobars.
I like to use visual aides with my question/explanations so: vlogger with aerobars:. Mark Beaumont's world touring bicycle, the newer model: .
Timetrial and triathlon bikes respectively: https://freerider.ro/noutati/pinarello-isi-arata-clasa-bolide-noul-armament-de-contratimp-52164 And triathlon: http://www.magazinuldebiciclete.ro/userfiles/b81e6ae7-410b-47f7-8144-c2900c09a8f7/products/11333345_big.jpg
My question - the core question - is this: How do you set-up aerobars for comfort and how do you set up aerobars for speed? What are the geometric differences between the 2 setups?
Extra questions: What are the other geometric differences between those touring bikes and a timetrial/triathlon bike? I mean in addition to geometric differences between aerobar set-up, what other geometric differences are there? What about frame geometry? Are the TT/tri bikes comfortable? I've heard TT bikes are awfully uncomfortable, but triathlons can be hundreds of kilometers long so i would assume a triathlon bike has to be comfortable... and fast.... Is a triathlon bike a bicycle ideal for BOTH speed and comfort? What are the geometric differences between a TT and triathlon bike? They look incredibly similar yet one is supposed to be for sprints, the other for cycling for hundreds of kilometers... So I dont understand how they can be so different.
And most important question: If you wanted to make a compromise between comfort and speed, how would you set-up your aerobars? And what properties would you seek regarding the geometry of your frame? As i said above triathlons can be very long... maybe look for a bicycle whose frame most closely matched a triathlon bicycle?
I am actually thinking of buying a new XC bike.
I dont want to just google "ideal measurements to look for when buying a new mtb".
I've seen many times on the internet MTB geometry being characterized as "very slack". I've never really understood what that means 100%. I do know that in general the ideal geometry of an mtb and of a road bike/tt bike /tri bike are at odds with each other. I dont want an mtb whose geometry is too much at odds with speed geometry.
What I want is to creat a chimaera between an mtb, touring bike and a speed demon (a place-holder term for either road bike/tt/tri bike). Actually my original idea was just "mix mtb and road bicycle into one ideal bicycle". There's such a wide variety of bike out there, including of bikes meant for high speed, that "speed demon" seems more appropriate. I've actually posted on this forum before asking about mtb tyres at road tyre pressure. 2 inch thick, 7-10 bars. The idea was to use 7-10 bars on the road and deflate the tyres on off road. That was sci-fi. I've analyzed tyres until ive become an expert on them. I've now moved in my "project" to other issues.
While the original idea of mixing mtb and road into one ideal bike seemed daunting if not impossible, putting aerobars on mtbs is something some people actually do. Adapting mtbs for touring is something people actually do. Makes sense that you can do both: mtb adapted for touring but also set-up with aerobars. So this seems to be the right direction for my "project". I should mention the idea is for it to still be usable as an mtb, so it would still be set-up with thick tyres (or at least thicker than a road bicycle), flat handlebars and suspensions (maybe front or full, not sure yet). I could then go many kilometers in relative comfort on road and then just use it as a classic XC bike when deciding to go off-road.
But my current mtb sucks. I'm not going to set this one up like this. I definitely need a new mtb, so I should buy one whose geometry is already best suited for such compromises.