Are Road Cycling Handlebars Aerodynamic?
To be aerodynamic or not aerodynamic, that is the question: That is a very good question. The industry would like to think so, but the bottom line is that handlebars are NOT aerodynamic, you are, or you should be. Let’s take a look at how this all got started shall we. Bike companies are always trying to improve how fast a human can move through space. They do this by tweeking the tubes of bikes, use different shaped spokes, cool pointy helmets, water bottle cages etc. All this to make you, the rider, cut through the air like a hot knife through butter. These can all add up to improved speed and reduced times, especially for racing, but they do not address the main factor in getting aero, and that is you, the rider. When we look at how we are on the bike, there are 3 points of contact, the seat, pedals and handlebars. What I have seen over the years are innovations in pedal technology for comfort and function (no improvements in aero here), and the seat just needs to be as comfy as possible. You know where I haven’t seen any work done? You guessed it, the handlebars. Why is that? All this wind tunnel testing to decrease the drag coefficient, did I mention they do most of this testing without a rider? But I digress. The last big change was when Greg LaMond used aero bars to win the Tour De France, he came out of…Read More