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Aero Bars frowned upon?

This will be my first RAGBRAI and someone told me that “aerobars” are frowned upon. Mainly from a safety standpoint. Any truth to this?

14 Replies

mentor58, May 28, 2012 at 7:53 pm

You don’t want to ride on the aero bars when you’re riding with a group, since your control is more limited. No problems out on the open where there is nobody around you anywhere, but I have a feeling that is few and far between on RAGBRAI.

A lot of people will make sure to let you know not to get aero around them. I suspect that you’ll get tired of hearing it. :)

Steve

#220043

spaul, May 29, 2012 at 2:00 am

Ragbrai is about as far from a time-trial as you can get!

Having said that, if that’s your set-up, you’re probably not a beginning rider with bike control problems. I’m not riding my TT bike, but if I were, I’d have no trouble. Considering the contraptions of all descriptions that people will be riding out there (with varying degrees of competence), I don’t see why a good rider with aero-bars would attract any attention.

#220106

Davy Sprocket, May 29, 2012 at 8:21 am

spaul:
Ragbrai is about as far from a time-trial as you can get!

…I don’t see why a good rider with aero-bars would attract any attention.

The problem is usually not with the biker with the aero bars, but with the incompetent riders around them. The point is, no matter how good a rider you are, if a stupid rider plows into you, there is not much you can do except to maintain the safest posture you can. i.e. stay off the aero bars when around other riders.

#220486

jwsknk, May 29, 2012 at 8:30 am

There will be time when you can use them, times you would like to but probably shouldn’t, and times when it’s just too freekin crowded to even think about it. I have seen people on them in questionable situations, both on RAGBRAI and off. Like on busy 8 foot wide trails that are fairly well wind blocked. You have them now and know how they handle and are not thinking about adding them now, right?

#220494

Gockeye, May 29, 2012 at 11:06 am

Use common sense, and recognize that there will be VERY FEW times you can get down on your aerobar on RAGBRAI — it’s just too crowded. Occasionally, especially later in the day when the crowd spreads out, you’ll find yourself with no other riders within 20 yards, and you can tuck in for a few minutes here and there. Don’t do anything stupid, and nobody will give you any hassle. Nobody has ever said anything to me about my aerobar on RAGBRAI.

#220579

cubbies1945, May 29, 2012 at 1:00 pm

Totally agree. There will be very few times when you will be able to use them. But at the end of the day when the main pack has thinned out, you should be able to use them. Just be careful and stay to the left of the right lane. Depending on how long the day is, and how early you left, there may only be a handful of riders around you at any given time. Having said that, do not use them early in the morning. Also, obviously, get off of them while entering towns. No matter how thin the pack is, it gets heavier near towns.

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Dan Fatka, May 29, 2012 at 1:24 pm

I only use them to relieve the pain in my wrist, and ONLY when no one is around…On RAGBRAI they will be used as a radio mount or camera mount…. :)

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Sandaltan ., May 29, 2012 at 4:35 pm

They are handy for errands in the evening. Like hauling a boxed pizza or a twelve pack of hydration fluids.

RIDE RIGHT and carry a couple of bungee cords.

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hubie, May 29, 2012 at 7:33 pm

Lots of good advice and I should’ve also stated I moved my brake controls to my aerobars as well. Where I normally ride it’s just me,the cows and some horses. I definitely don’t use them for racing, it’s for resting. Love that position and so does my back and hands, but I do want every advantage possible when it comes time to take evasive action so I may leave them at home. I hear the crashes happen to you or right next to you.

#220849

RonB, May 30, 2012 at 12:13 pm

Hubie, think you are making a good decision to leave them at home. Since it’s your first Ragbrai, you just will not believe how crowded ~10k bikes will be. Unless you leave extremely early or late, crowded roads are the norm.

#221465

Ragbrai Nation, June 1, 2012 at 3:07 am

I hear the crashes happen to you or right next to you.

…and they happen ahead of you and behind you :)

#222685

Iceman, June 1, 2012 at 10:37 am

Davy Sprocket: The problem is usually not with the biker with the aero bars, but with the incompetent riders around them. The point is, no matter how good a rider you are, if a stupid rider plows into you, there is not much you can do except to maintain the safest posture you can. i.e. stay off the aero bars when around other riders.

Davy – you are absolutely on point. I will say, however, that there have been some days on RAGBRAI’s past where headwinds spread us out and I wished for some aerobars. But I don’t use them anymore since I generally ride with my usual group of riders at home and we are all comfortable drafting together. But drafting on strangers at RAGBRAI is a fool’s leap of faith – not worth it. I just wish I were not so old and fat so I could stay in my drops for a longer period when headed into a headwind.

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Michrider !!!, June 1, 2012 at 10:39 am

iceman: Davy – you are absolutely on point.I will say, however, that there have been some days on RAGBRAI’s past where headwinds spread us out and I wished for some aerobars.But I don’t use them anymore since I generally ride with my usual group of riders at home and we are all comfortable drafting together.But drafting on strangers at RAGBRAI is a fool’s leap of faith – not worth it.I just wish I were not so old and fat so I could stay in my drops for a longer period when headed into a headwind.

Stranger danger!!!!!!

#222916

SSC1, June 1, 2012 at 10:53 am

Sandaltan:
They are handy for errands in the evening.Like hauling a boxed pizza or a twelve pack of hydration fluids.

RIDE RIGHT and carry a couple of bungee cords.

I love this response!!
:mrgreen:

#222935

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