Thursday, August 28, 2008

Trial and...not for me

Thursday, 28 August

As I've done the last two years, I'll close out my season with a time trial. It has a lot of climbing, so you don't want to use your TT bike, but it has some descending too and one nice flat stretch along the Deschutes River. So I thought I'd try clip-on TT bars to see if they would offer the best of both worlds. Lots of people have suggested this is the way to go. This morning was my test drive.

Because the clip-ons and the arm rests take up most of your handlebar area, you have fewer choices for positioning. You are limited to riding on the hoods or riding on the aero bars. There's no changing your hand position to shift the load on your shoulders and back.

Because the bike is still fitted for the regular bars, the aero position is awkward. My pelvis rotates forward, which changes how my hip flexors engage and changes how my quads and hamstrings work together. It also changes the pressure points on the saddle. And it keeps you from using your core muscles to support your back.

I can see that if you trained with these, and this is the position your muscles were expecting when you got on the bike, they might work for you. But they are not something I'll be changing to for a race in 8 days.

Oh, and two other detractions: they weigh almost 1.2 pounds. And they did not make me go any faster. So what's the point?

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