Touren & Events

Ultradistance Cycling Aerobar Setup

The following article is written in English for a change. Why? Just because I wrote a good part of the reasoning already inside the english Facebook group for the Transcontinental Race.

I guess there are two main reasons why one would want to fit aerobars to a normal road bike and therefore most probably a typical drop handlebar. Either to gain speed and coming as close as possible to a time trial bike setup without really owning one. E.g. for participating in time trial events or in triathlons. Or to gain comfort and support for covering extreme distances by providing alternative hand and a sort of „resting“ positions – while at the same time providing a bit of extra speed through aerodynamic advantages.

Depending on the course (of the time trial event), the length of the route and the experience and training level of the rider both aims and set up characteristics may overlap. But I think it’s save to say that the first group is trying to change their road bike (at least temporarily) to a complete time trial set up and aim to ride their events as close as possible on the aerobar position. This means they also can and really should change their saddle position and their whole position on the bike. Basically, the whole rider rotates forward. This means, they most probably want short head tubes, horizontal or negative rising stems and pads with low stack heights, so they can achieve the sought after deep and aero body position.

On the other hand ultra cyclists pursue an array of different aims with aerobar setups. First, they want a position to let them rest their hands from the constant pressure when holding a normal handlebar and instead rest on their forearms or better the part just below their elbows. Then a position to have part of the body not supported by the hands and arms but by resting on the passive skeletal structures is quite helpful. On the same time, variety and versatility is key. So the normal riding and handlebar positions shouldn’t be compromised. Either lowering or raising the normal handlebar for significant amounts just to accommodate a particular aerobar model is most probably not an option or at least not sound. This is also true for the saddle. Well, there is a solution which consists of a special kind of seat post with two positions – changeable midride. If it weren’t for seriously hampering any kind of saddle and seatpost mounted luggage this would be a very nice thing, I guess.

So we established, that most probably as an endurance cyclist, you will have to stay with your tested and proven normal contact point setup and fitting. This means you can’t bring your saddle up and/or forward (at least only very little so) and you probably can’t or didn’t want to bring your normal handlebar up and nearer to you.

Add to this, that the position you are trying to reach, should be sustainable for hours and days. You also want to cash in that aerodynamic advantages, yes. But not for the prize of additional muscular strain. On the contrary, you want less muscular strain ideally. So you  don’t want to go too low with the aerobars. This is also of importance because there is a condition which got dubbed „Shermer’s Neck“. As far as I read it’s more prone to develop if you are constantly on the (low) aerobars, (over)extending your neck the whole time, just to be able to see ahead.

This all means, that while a time trialist or triathlete may look after models of aerobars which can be mounted rather low an endurance cyclist and very likely a beginning user of aerobars may look after models of aerobars which can have the pads mounted rather high above the base handle bars and which can be also mounted at a range of distances forward and back in reference to the handlebar.

I made a row of figures to explain these basics a little better by showing the joint and limp positions in several riding positions and why some aerobar positions are to be preferred. However you may reach them. Either by leaving the handlebar where it is and position the aerobars accordingly high and a little further back or by moving the handlebars up and closer to the saddle and mounting the aerobars closer to the handlebar.

Let’s start with a normal, but for an amateur already rather agressive – meaning deep – position in the drops.
Now, let’s stay with the upper body in the same position, but rest the arms on aerobars. This is where we land.
Well, we successfully replicated the deep drop position and got some additional support by the pads. But the upper arm is not very vertical which means you will have to continue to sustain a power curve through your body and – for long hours – strain your core and back more than what is probably favorable.
Additionally, being so low with your torso means you have to (over)extend your neck (even with peering upwards) just to see the road up ahead. Potentially giving rise to shoulder and neck pain if not even to the dreaded Shermer’s Neck.
So it is much better to don’t go as deep with your torso. As depicted here this is also a much more often found position of riding in the drops. I would even say, not many amateur cyclists are really using this position in the drops in this way or for prolonged periods of time. They most probably have the arms even straighter and don’t spend much time in the drops. But – as you see – this is still an aerodynamic position. But much more relaxed and with a not so extended neck which is also of importance here. Now – do you notice where the elbow is and therefore where the pads of the aerobars have to be…?
… yes, quite a bit above and behind the base handlebars is most probably where you find you would want your pads of your aerobars. Really – if you can reach this position with the pads directly above the handlebars but with raising those handlebars and putting them further back in the first place – go for it. But if you find this detriments your normal riding positions while not on the aerobars, then leave your handlebar in place and go for adjustable aerobars.

Well, all this may be a nice theory and the fact is – yes, I wrote this text because I, like many others, asked myself the question: „Do I need aerobars for ultracycling?“, „Will aerobars be of advantage when participating in the Transcontinental Race?“

Followed by the finding, that the majority of participants of such events and also the majority of the members of the pointy end of such races tend to use aerobars.

Because, well: comfort, free speed, more places to hang donuts onto – what’s not to like?

Well, there’s the headaches: Which model should I use? How do I don’t block the normal handlebar positions with mounting those things? Will I like the riding style? How long will it take me to get used to riding in the aerobars (and not develop strains in tendons or soft tissue because of different positions)?

So I began already this spring with trying out several different aerobars. Who hasn’t yet read Chris White’s excellent site on everything bikepacking and ultracycling related – please do so. I really recommend it and it was what I did then and doing since over and over as a rookie myself. :) He has a nice section on handlebars and aerobars.

Well, I read it and figured: Yeah, I need a flip up solution. And he stresses the point of low stack height of the pads. So my first aerobar model were the Profile Design V2+ Flip-Up Aerobars. I didn’t like them. First I found, that the concept of pads over the base handlebar, extensions below the base handlebar doesn’t float. I’d wager they float not only not my boat but neither everybodies. Why is that so? I can imagine only a certain height difference between pad surface and grip area of the extension bar which is feasible and will work. With a handlebar diameter worth between lower pad cup and extension bar this height difference is already to big. And if this is difference is to big, even with a very pronounced ski bend you can’t really grip the bar without over-extending your wrist. If you can reach the extension bar at all. Which is very possible if the aerobar model feature straight or low s-bend extension bars.

Well, that was shortcoming number one for me. Shortcoming number two was the flimsy flip up arm design with a flimsy spring. The pad levers were rattling annoyingly and I questioned the durability of the springs or their staying in place over several hundred kilometers. Let alone several thousand kilometers.

Shortcoming number three of such an design: you can’t adjust the pads. Not in height – not only is this not possible you would also only exaggerate the problem of not being possible to grip the extension bars which remain down low below the base handlbar – nor in their position relative above or behind the base handlebar.

Back they did go.

Next came the Syntace C3. I take it they are pretty popular despite being not very cheap. I also found many things to like in them. They are surprisingly light, they feature a nice form and grip position and they seem rather sturdy (well – the base bar part, the pad shells not so much). Mostly because the pads support is welded to the extension. But this is also of disadvantage. As you can’t slide the pads fore or aft. You can only adjust the lateral width between the pads. Also they are available in threes sizes… for some reason the only measurement which really changes is the length of the last grip bent. Not the distance between pad and grip.

The positive things of the C3 is the lightness, comparatively sturdiness and the pretty smooth bottom of the pad area. Meaning, you probably won’t hurt yourself while gripping the handle bar tops underneeth the pads (if there is enough space due to using several riser pieces).

In the end I came to the conclusion that I would be only happy with a model which provides adjustment in every direction: Rise (pads and extension bars) over handlebar, lateral width of pads (even better: also pad angle) and distance of pads and grip independent from another in fore aft direction.

The third aerobars I tested beside of the Syntace C3 are the Profile Design T1+ Aluminium. They are cheaper and the needed riser pieces are much cheaper than the Syntace C3. They are also heavier. But they are adjustable in every needed way. But – what can be adjusted can also go loose… Everything hinging on a round extension bar profile could possibly slip if not fastened tight enough and encountering a pot hole… But I think you can prevent this by proper mounting.

But my remaining gripe with all these options is… the Pads do get in the way. In the needed height and with a good comfortable lateral width I only just have enough clearing to the forearms when in the hoods of the base handlebar. With me being tired or wanting to adjust the angle of my hands (i.e. hinging me on the hoods towards the handle bar insides…) which will be important for long time comfort and preventing hand problems I’m afraid to touch the pads or being blocked. Just getting a slight irritation would be a long time problem.

And I didn’t even touched the position ‚on the tops‘ yet. That position is only possible of the needed rise which is around 20 mm for me. But even so I just can grip the outermost part of the tops, pretty much half in the bends already. I am really not satisfied with this yet.

I would love there would be a feasible flip up solution for the T1+. But alas, there is none. If you ask me, a real gap in the market.

But by switching back and forth between the Syntace C3 and the Profile T1+ and fine tuning the positions of the pads and lateral width of the bars I arrived at a set up I think I’m satisfied with.

I now think I have a good height and angle of the aerobars, have clearance for my knees and for the arms, have no hindrance to use the hoods and the drops and have a very usable tops position (although on the tops I can come into contact with the pads outer rims). But they are far enough behind the handlebar, far enough in the middle and shaped advantageously so to give the most possible clearance for my forearms. And – should all else fail and I find me on extended days in the mountains where I find I want all of my handlebar tops I could simply losen the screws of the pad arms and rotate them up…

In the following I show you some iterations of my testing and my final set up as of yesterday. There is no guarantee given this will be really the final set up for me and also no guarantee that this will bring me fast and without problems through Europe. But I sure do hope so. :)

First three photos of the Profile Design V2+ Aerobar. This is a flip up version. As I wrote above I wasn’t satisfied at all with this aerobar.

Then I tested the Syntace C3 Aerobars. I had both those and the Profile Design T1+ and switched a little back and forth between them. BTW: my C3 Aerobars are now for sale. :)

Next up are the Profile Design T1+ Aerobars. I like their complete adjustability. Really every measurement and angle can be adjusted. Pads in x and y direction. Pads angled also perpendicular or parallel to the stem. Grip area also back and forth independent from the pad position. At first I used the normal T1+ ski bend extensions.

But I kind of liked the shape of the Syntace C3 extensions so I looked for similar shaped extensions which I could buy as spare parts. I found some from 3T. They are the same diameter as the Profile Design extensions so you can swap them as you like. Through some iterations I also found the lateral and horizontal positions of the pads I like. I have used original Profile Design 30 mm riser pieces to mount the aerobars 30 mm above the handlebar.

Now I will have to think about finalising my cockpit. Where to mount all the other stuff like handlebar bag, food pouch, smartphone and lights… :)

Happy riding!



19 Kommentare

  1. Hi Torsten, very interesting and extremely helpful!! Unless I am missing something, your final solution (PD T1+ with 3T extensions) looks equivalent to PD T3+.

    1. Hi Oskar, yeah, these are the flimsy ones I mention in my article. They are meant to connect directly to the handlebar and the extensions then get to be fastened on the lower bracket or eyelet. While I guess you could bodge your way out of the height problem with trying to wedge a rise piece between the lower and top handlebar mounting cradle the problem with the for-aft adjustment would persist. I figure you could even overcome this problem by bodging even more and mount the whole system on separately mounted extensions. Ultracycling setups are all about ingenuity, right? ;-) But I’m not sure how feasible and sturdy such a construction would be. And my major gripe would still persist: that rattling and the flimsy springs below the flip-up lever.

  2. Hallo Torsten,

    ich mache mir gerade zum allerersten Male Gedanken über Aerobars. Da die Lenkerkabel auf meinem 2004er Cube Agree noch klassisch geschwungen sind, bin ich ab und zu für wenige Km mit ähnlicher Haltung ohne Aerobars unterwegs, wobei ich die Kabel dann zur Fixierung nutze, ohne wirklich lenken zu können. Ganz ungefährlich ist das nicht, und es funktioniert auch nur auf Geradeausstrecken. Die Haltung an sich sagt mir aber zu, gefühlt sind ca. 2-3 Stundenkilometer mehr drin als bei der Oberlenkerhaltung, ohne mehr Kraft aufzuwenden.

    Ich will mir demnächst noch ein neues Rad kaufen, stecke allerdings gerade in der Entscheidungsfindung. Da ich aber im Augenblick viel Rollentraining mache, würdest Du empfehlen, die Areobars bereits für die Rolle (also jetzt) anzuschaffen? (Das Agree befindet sich aber der Rolle.)

    Ist bei Deinem Setup eigentlich noch eine vernünftige Oberlenkerhaltung, also nicht nur vorne an den Bremsgriffen sondern am Querlenker möglich, oder sind da die Pads im Weg? Was ich nicht unbedingt möchte, ist diese Möglichkeit zum Umgreifen zu opfern. Ziel des Unterfangens ist übrigens das TPBR 2020.

    1. Hi Stefan, also machst du im Moment auf deinem Cube so etwas wie im Bob? Seilzuglenkung? ;-) Huiuiui! ^^

      Tja… ich weiss ja nicht, wie weit du in deiner Neuanschaffungsplanung schon gediehen bist und in welche Richtungen die geht. Bei manchen Rädern muss man ja heute schon fast aufpassen, in welcher Konfiguration man sie kauft. Integration in allen Ehren und da kommen (oft) fein anzuschauende und aerodynamisch gute Lösungen bei heraus. Aber nehmen wir nur mal ein Canyon Endurace. Da musst du entweder eines der Einstiegsmodelle kaufen oder später Hand anlegen und das integrierte Aerocockpit austauschen, wenn du möglichst freie Konfigurationswahl für dein Cockpit haben möchtest. Sprich: Du brauchst einen klassischen Rundlenker. Wenn das schon so feststeht, dann spricht nichts dagegen, schon jetzt Aerobars zu kaufen. Mich würden sie indoor stören – ich brauche meinen Computer direkt vor mir… ;-)

      Aber das Wesen hast du schon erkannt: sich im vorhinein zeitig genug langsam an die Position zu gewöhnen. Das sollte aber auch auf der Straße gut gehen (und da lernst du dann direkt auch noch dabei, wie sich’s darin fährt und lenkt). D.h. sofern dein neues Rad dann nicht erst zwei Wochen vor dem geplanten Event fertig sein sollte…

      Viel Spaß bei der Vorbereitung und beim Rennen. Das TPBR ist toll. :)

      1. Hallo Torsten,
        ich habe es nun endlich geschafft, mir Aerobars zu bestellen und zu montieren, und natürlich ist der neue Renner auch angeschafft. Gestern habe ich die erste kurze Probefahrt gemacht. Auf der einen Seite bekommt man ganz schön Speed drauf, auf der anderen Seite bezahlt man das mit einem Unsicherheitsgefühl, naja, es ist halt ungewohnt, und Schaltung und Bremse sind nicht griffbereit. Ob das meine Lösung für das TPBR sein wird, weiß ich gerade noch nicht.

        Magst Du mal in etwa beziffern, wie viel Prozent der Zeit oder Strecke Du beim TPBR oder TCR in der „Liegehaltung“ so verbringst? Aus meiner jetzigen Sicht würde evtl. auf einer relativ ebenen und geraden Strecke mit viel Autoverkehr (oder Radweg mit vielen anderen), diese Haltung ausscheiden, weil einfach die Zeit bis zum Griff zur Bremse sich nochmals um mindestens 0,5 Sekunden verlängert. Sollte ich mich entscheiden mit Aufsatz zu fahren, überlege ich mir gerade, ob ich nicht die ca. 250 Euro für die Extraschalter und in den 5-Port-Verteiler für meine Di2 investieren sollte, das Problem mit den (hydraulischen) Bremsen jedoch verbleibt.

        Der Lenkaufsatz bringt irgendwie auch für Gepäck und Licht noch kleine Möglichkeiten der Befestigung, die man auf dem normalen Rennradlenker so ja nicht hat. Man kommt u.U. nur um den Aufsatz herum, wenn man Gepäck dann auch noch in einem kleinen Rucksack mit sich führt, aber soweit bin ich in der Planung noch nicht, es schwant mir bloß bereits ein wenig :-)

        VG Stefan

      2. Hallo Stefan,
        klar – da muss man sich erstmal ein wenig dran gewöhnen. Sowohl was die Haltung für das Produzieren von richtig power als aber natürlich auch das Fahr- und Kontrollgefühl an sich angeht. Letzteres ist sicher auch noch ein klein wenig davon abhängig, wie eng man die Aerobars und Pads wirklich zusammenschiebt. Ich nehme aber mal an, du wirst da sowieso keine extreme Position fahren, wie man sie manchmal bei Zeitfahrern und Triathleten sieht. Wo die Ellenbogen teilweise direkt zusammen aneinander liegen. Damit hat man dann nochmal weniger Hebelarm zum steuern.

        Aber mit ein bisschen Übung wirst du dich schnell wohler darin fühlen. Schaltknöpfe an den Aerobars machen viel Sinn. Ich möchte nicht ohne fahren.

        Prozentanteil in den Aerobars? Puh, schwierig. Eigentlich fast immer, wenn dem nichts entgegensteht. Was steht entgegen? Alpine oder besonders steile bzw. besonders kurvige Abfahrten. Stadtverkehr. Wuseln durch enge und schmale Radwege. Anstiege über, sagen wir mal 1 bis 3 % Steigung. Sonst eigentlich immer.

        Und das läppert sich sehr. Denn gerade die als Beispiel gewählten kurvigen und engen Radwege nerven auf Dauer so sehr, dass man da eh keine Strecke drauf machen will. Aerobars hin oder her. Oder sie sind zwar schmal, aber reizvoll und gut befahrbar. Dann ist sowohl der Radweg toll wie auch das Fahren in den Aerobars eine Wucht. Was kann man geil über Radwege wie die Vennbahn in der Eifel oder den tollen italienischen Radwegen in Südtirol und Venetien heizen und richtig Strecke machen. Herrlich! :)

        Zum Thema Gepäck – nun ja – man findet sowohl mit als auch ohne Aerobars viele Möglichkeiten, Dinge, Licht und Taschen am Lenker unterzubekommen. Da können Aerobars genau so förderlich wie hilfreich sein. Oder einfach nur neutral.

        viel Spaß beim weiteren Ausprobieren!

  3. Hi, Torsten. I actually read this post already about one year ago but keep coming back to it as I’m trying to optimize my aerobar setup. Previously I was using a Profile Design Fast Forward seatpost that puts the saddle way forward and allows you to put more power to the pedals, so to speak. But there was a drawback because then the hood and drop position was excessively too short as my saddle was so far forward to make the aerobar position more comfortable. This was also more difficult as I bought the cheapest aerobars I managed to find which of course were not that well adjustable.

    Anyway, I think the learning curve has gone up and I’ve since purchased the profile design T1+ bars with ample range of adjustment. I also replaced the Fast Forward seatpost to a normal seatpost with 15mm setback (because of the aforementioned issues with positioning myself and also knee pain probably due to my position being too far forward). With the new aerobars I was able to move the pads closer so that also the hood and drop position was not compromised.

    However, since the pads are closer to me and further behind the actual handlebar, my knees hit the pads almost inevitably when I’m climbing out of the saddle (standing on the pedals). I’m wondering if you’ve had this problem, and if so, how have you managed to cope with it? I have tried to stand further back when pedaling out of the saddle but it feels really unnatural and inefficient. It’s not that it’s disturbing me too much yet (I’m still using long bib tights so my skin is intact despite my knees/lower thigh hitting the pads, but it could be worse when the weather warms up and using bib shorts = bare skin hitting the pads).

    Any help would be highly appreciated! :)


    1. Hi Alex, thanks for commenting. First I’m with you in that regard that for us as ultra- or to put it a bit milder: distance cyclists one point has to be clear: don’t mess with your normal contact points as they are of importance still. That is riding in the hoods, on the tops and also in the drops. As you yourself now have established.

      In regard to the knees: I could imagine this if you maybe have especially long legs in regard to your upper torso or have the elbow pads especially far back behind the handlebar or have the elbow pads rather low over the handlebar (and thus also reducing the distance from your knees when out of the saddle).

      I myself have to really force myself in a very forward position to just so ever slightly come close to begin to touch my elbow pads. I.e. under every normal condition they are so far away that it’s simply a non issue for me. But as I said, I can imagine that it could pose a problem.

      Solution: a) get a bike fit which also fits you on your aerobars. You would need a fitter which pays attention to and knows about the needs for long distance cyclists and doesn’t know only triathletes and the occasional time trialist. These are completely different needs.
      You might also find that you need a bit of a longer frame or reach. Or get confirmed in the choice of your current geometry but arrive at a slightly other pad position.

      b) Test if you could stay relaxed and without shoulder issues when moving your elbow pads a bit further forward.

      c) Go for a higher rise of your elbow pads. You will probably arrive at an even more comfortable position and get more distance from your knees at the same time. And probably also improve the grip possibilities on your normal handlebars as well.


      1. Torsten,

        Many thanks for giving your take in the topic, I didn’t expect such a detailed response! :)

        Here is my current setup for the aerobars:

        Earlier I had the 20mm riser kit which put the pads pretty much on the same height as my saddle. I had already ordered another kit of 15mm spacers which I added subsequently, resulting in 35mm of extra rise of the aerobars above the handlebar, now the pads about 1 cm above the saddle. I also shifted the pads 1 cm further away from me. Today was a test ride, there’s certainly less knee hits but still some. If I don’t move my body that much forward when riding out of saddle, then there’s no rub, and I think this standing position is manageable (it feels alright and not like I’m forcing myself further back while standing, as an attempt not to hit the pads). Actually it’s not too hilly here in southwestern Finland so the problem might grow bigger in more mountainous areas, now I only stood up on maybe 10 small uphills. I agree that the higher aerobar position made it more comfortable. However, I don’t have problems to reach the hoods or drops despite the pads being behind the base handlebar, only the top position is out of game but I practically never use it anyway, and if I want to be more upright I can put my hands on the curve where the hoods intersect with the straight part of the handlebar, this is not hindered.

        In addition, I’ve had some problems with a new saddle (well, I’ve ridden it for 2000km now) Specialized Power Arc, as I’m on the aerobars I tend to rotate myself forward a little bit, which puts pressure in my perineal region due to the nose of the saddle which I’ve now tilted downwards a little bit to mitigate the problem but it’s still there. I might get back to my ISM PN 1.1 saddle which didn’t have that problem but caused me terrible saddle sores on longer brevets due to chafing (perhaps I had a model that was too much padded and created friction, I might try the less padded version of the same saddle, PN 1.0).

        I have moderately long legs (182cm tall, 87 inseam), this might be one part of the problem. Currently riding a 56cm cyclocross bike (56.5cm ST length, 56cm TT length) which I think should be a good size, at least it looks well balanced (seatpost not sticking out too much, now running 110mm stem… I know this does not tell everything about the size and whether it’s good or not, but that’s how it is).

        Actually I just found and purchased a titanium gravel bike with excellent components at a decent price on eBay, this one has about 1-2cm longer top tube than the current bike (but with 53cm seat tube), so the reach might be longer (although the head tube angle is 2 degrees slacker at 71°, so the difference in reach may not be that significant). Anyway, it might be one part of the solution. I will probably also buy one more riser kit for the aerobars (this time 30mm), even though they’re quite expensive but what can you do… I was also thinking that crank length can have an effect, currently have 172.5mm cranks, not sure if there are some potential (anatomical) issues for running shorter, like 165mm cranks. These are already doing quite a bit, so we’ll see how it evolves.

        I have been thinking about a bike fit but like you said, ultra cycling has quite different considerations and requirements compared to Sunday club rides or even triathlon. In Finland the community for ultra cycling is rather small so I’m not sure if there’s someone who has more knowledge of this discipline, I will try to figure out.

        PS. Also snapped the armrest of the aerobar on today’s ride… not too confident about it as I’m not a big guy (67kg). But I’m glad these problems occur during training and not during a longer event! I’m actually planning to ride NorthCape-Tarifa this summer, hopefully everything will go smoothly before the start (and, of course, after that :D). By the way, congrats for finishing AMR 2020, I know this is a bit late but still, it’s a cruel race for sure, as created by Nelson Trees :).

        Sorry for lengthy reply…


  4. Thanks for the article, it gave some ideas to experiment. Got a really good bike fit for my normal position on my Canyon Endurace. However, using the aerobar give me strain in the Achiles tendon and I stopped using them worried that I may cause a more severe injury. The bikefitter says aerobars are not well suited to endurance bikes due to the need for higher/more advanced saddle. What to do? I have the PROFILE DESIGN SONIC ERGO 4525a. From your post, I will try a riser piece and put the pads more in the back. Why did you settle on 30mm riser piece and not higher? Thanks!

    1. Hi Alan, thanks for commenting and asking :)

      I think it’s very prudent that you stopped at least a bit using the aerobars if you are afraid or certain that the condition of your achilles stems from using them.

      I always advise to slowly get used to aerobars if one never used them. I don’t know about the achilles but the hamstrings are for sure an area which has to slowly get used to this position. Especially if you are really pushing the watts. Regardless you would change the saddle position to a more forwards point or not.

      I don’t know whether your bikefitter is versed in positions with aerobars at all and if he is it may only be for actual triathletes or for (shortish) time trials. In the latter and especially in the former the usual way of positioning the athlete is a sort of rotating the whole athlete forward around the pedals. So feet stay where they are, saddle goes slightly forward and maybe a tad up and bars go down. Well, that’s at least the start. Then you have to look how and where you are most aero (maybe it’s in a deep position but maybe it’s a high position which gives you a better shoulder shape etc. pp. And then you have to also be able to put the power out and not be more compromised than you gain aero advantage – it’s a science and art at the same time!)

      BUT – that’s not what we are after (if you want to use the aerobars for really loooong cycling events like ultracycling and bikepacking). We want comfort and practicality first and aero only second.

      So while there are indeed a few solutions with switchable seat posts (e.g. from redshift sports) I usually advise to leave your saddle where it is most optimal for your normal positions on the handlebars (Hoods, Drops). And instead get the ellbow pads (with the extensions) high enough over the bars and far enough back, so that you are comfortable – like shown in this article.

      So yeah, for sure use riser pieces. And start slowly using your aerobars again. Maybe for a start only on two rides per week 2 x 10 mins each and just for easy pedalling. And continuing from this until you know you can rest comfortably the whole day in them. :)

      I myself uses 20 mm risers first and successful for 2 Ultracycling events but later figured, why not just try 30 mm? Worked as well, slightly better even. So it was an informed trial, you can say.

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