alcatraz wrote: ↑
Sat Feb 03, 2018 3:48 am
Clip-ons complicate things. They bring you lower but often too low and too far forward to benefit at all from them. To optimize I need to bring the seat forward (maybe even swap the seat) and put on 5mm shorter cranks. Shorten the stem perhaps to give you skeletal support on the pads. (90 degree elbow angle)
Otherwise I can't get comfortable. Even with all the changes I detect a higher heart rate on the clipons than off. Don't know if that's right.
Lets say you optimize for the clip-ons, then your upright position is all wrong.
I think the best way to let an aero bike make use of both worlds is to really choose a bit shorter cranks. Have a set of clipon bars that can be mounted high with several spacers, and where the elbow pads are not a part of the clamp but separate so they can be brought closer to your body. Then a seat with a special linkage underneath to enable a forward position when needed.
Then you'd really be able to get into a comfortable tt position on a road bike that wasn't designed for it.
I don't have these things. I just have a normal road bike where I've put base bars, short stem, forward seat (forward offset seatpost) and just optimize for tt position alone. I call it my flat road bike. I am on the lookout for a tt frame though. I want that 78 degree seat tube angle that no aero/climbing bike has.
I came from mountain biking, I have always preferred a smaller frame, it's just more fun handling, hate large frames, but can always seem to work around smaller ones. I also have done a lot of skiing and the TT bars were originally inspired by downhill skiing tuck position, and Giant slalom was always my favourite kind of skiing other than powder. For me a TT bar has a permanent place on the front of my bike, I just feel that extra 300 grams is worth it for me, it seems so natural, gives me more enjoyment and an extra position on very long rides. People say they are dangerous, they are if you use it in a group or heavy traffic.
There's nothing quite like flying along at 45 km/h with a light tail wind or taking the worst bite off a head wind. It's obviously not an optimal position on a climbing bike, but I think it's good to work around less than ideal positions. I feel my position on a bike that's marginally too small works rather well for a TT-clip-on application. I think 172.5mm cranks are ideal and I think you are right - if I used 175mm cranks they would be a bit too long for this purpose.
Whatever bike I have its number one job will always be technical mountain descending, I like DH/enduro mountain biking, skiing and motorcycle track riding. Second is climbing, third is going fast on the flats. If my number one interest was going fast on the flats then I think I'd set my bike up more optimally for it or maybe just buy a TT bike.
What I'm really trying to get at here is can someone with experience compare the handling characteristics on technical descents between:
1. A traditional road bike
2. A climbing bike
3. An aero bike
4. A TT bike
Also how well does each bike deal with being lent over on rougher, off camber or wet surfaces?
Also to try to describe the long distance (all day) comfort levels between each bike.
So far I'm very impressed with the way my slightly too small climbing bike (Fuji SL 52cm) descends, and slightly less enthusiastic with my Enduro road bike (Specialized Secteur 56cm) and similar with my steel frame CX bike.