Plasma fit almost there; Aerobars: J-bend vs S-bend
I think I’ve finally got the bike’s fit pretty well dialed in now. Slamming the stem a couple days ago made a massive difference: the lower bar position is much more comfortable for me, and it’s certainly more aero. I’ve also been messing around with the aerobar length adjustment quite a lot, and I think I’ve finally got that nailed down, too.
Before I picked up the Plasma, I had Profile Design T3+ aerobars on my Madone road bike (I removed them after I built up the dedicated TT bike). My Plasma time trial bike comes stock with Profile Design’s T2+ carbon aerobars, which are of a very different design than that of the T3+.
The T3+ bars have a traditional upward ski-bend (J-bend) design (click to enlarge):
The T2+ aerobars, on the other hand, are of a much more race-oriented design than that of the T3+ bars. The T2+ uses an S-bend instead of a J-bend, and the bars run parallel to the ground rather than pointing upward (click to enlarge):
You don’t have to look very hard at those two pictures to see which set of bars will provide the most neutral wrist position. I found the T3+ bars extremely comfortable, even over very long distances, but the T2+ bars are taking a lot of getting used to.
To further illustrate the difference, take a look at the position of Tony Martin’s wrists in this photograph (click to enlarge):
Now contrast Tony’s wrist position to that of David Millar, who is using aerobars with a traditional ski-bend:
I’m becoming more comfortable with the new S-bend bars now, but I still experience some wrist discomfort when I’m on the bars for extended periods of time. Hopefully this discomfort will diminish with time and minor position changes as I ride.