Sunday, March 4, 2012

Back to square one...

Well, I've been riding the 3T "Zefiro" handlebars for a couple weeks now. The conclusion? It looks like the Zefiros are not going to meet my needs. They should work great for what they were apparently designed for - shorter (less than 100-mile) time trials. Unfortunately, I haven't been able to get the conservative aero position I had been hoping for, and still retain my traditional road (bar) position for riding on the hoods and in the drops. Part of the problem is that the reach of these bars is more than I prefer. I could use a slightly shorter stem, but then the tops of the bars, due to the deep platform area, brings them too far back, resulting in my knees scraping on them when climbing out of the saddle.

The reach and drop dimensions of these bars matches up to the dimensions of the 3T "Ergosum" model. I believe if 3T would have designed these with a shorter reach, mimicking the design of the "Ergonova" model, the bars would work much better for riding in all available positions. So for now, I've put the original Easton "EC90 SLX3" bars back on, offering me a much more comfortable traditional road position. There is one thing I will really miss about the 3T Zefiro bars though. The deep, wide tops offer the most comfortable design for riding on the hoods that I have ever experienced from any set of handlebars. I felt like I could ride in that position all day. However, that really wouldn't be a good idea for the 18+ hours that I'll be on the bike for the record attempt this summer, as the ability to change hand positions can be one of the most important ways to remain comfortable, and ride more efficiently, when attempting to stay on the bike for such an extended period. I still have a couple "slam" type clip-on bars that I've been experimenting on and off for the past year, and I might have to reconsider that approach.

But for now, it's back to square one in deciding if I'm going to be using any kind of aero-bar set up at all. Maybe I'll just end up doing what I had originally considered, riding the entire 290 miles with nothing more than traditional drop bars. And really, I am kind of an crusty old traditionalist after all.

See ya on the road!

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