Aero bars were introduced to the world of cycling in dramatic fashion by U.S. cyclist Greg LeMond at the 1989 Tour de France. The race had come down to the final time trial stage. Frenchman Laurent Fignon held the yellow jersey with an apparent insurmountable lead of over one minute.
LeMond left the chute, aero bars intact. The first time the bars would be seen on the Tour. The game plan was basic. LeMond, refusing to hear split times, would stay tucked and go all out right into Paris. At the half way point, he had gained 24 seconds. He would still need 27 seconds to match Fignon’s pre-trial time. In the end, as Fignon crossed the finish line collapsing in defeat, LeMond was engulfed in the chaos of the victory. The U.S. cyclist had won the Tour de France miraculously by 8 seconds, the smallest margin of victory to date.
The science of aero bars is simple. Less frontal exposure means less drag and, subsequently, more speed. In fact, when you consider speed, nothing comes closer to making you faster than aero bars; not an aerodynamic helmet, not a triathlon bike or, even a set of hot wheels. Just by putting on the aero bars, you can save up to 2 seconds per mile!
Aero bars come in varying designs, weights, and costs. But, you don’t have to spend a lot to be fast. Clip on bars are versatile. Bars for a beginning triathletes can be set wider for more control. As an athlete gains experience, the bars can be moved closer for a tighter tuck. There is no question that aero bars will make you immediately faster. If you have a NFS (need for speed), come into PK Bikes to discuss your options.