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Plasma fit almost there; Aerobars: J-bend vs S-bend

Thursday, November 19, 2015 by  
Filed under Daily Blog

November
19
2015

After another round of fit adjustments in my bike work stand, I took my new Scott Plasma time trial bike for another ride yesterday morning.

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):

Profile Design T3+ aerobars have an upward ski-bend curve.

Profile Design T3+ aerobars have an upward ski-bend curve.

 

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):

Profile Design T2+ Carbon aerobars.

Profile Design T2+ Carbon aerobars.

 

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):

Tony Martin uses aerobars with a race-oriented S-bend. Note the angle of his wrists.

Tony Martin uses aerobars with a race-oriented S-bend. Note the angle of his wrists.

 

Now contrast Tony’s wrist position to that of David Millar, who is using aerobars with a traditional ski-bend:

David Millar is using aerobars with a J-bend, and his wrist position is neutral.

David Millar is using aerobars with a J-bend, and his wrist position is neutral.

 

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.

John Stone Fitness Comments

6 Responses to “Plasma fit almost there; Aerobars: J-bend vs S-bend”
  1. Nice write-up as usual. Out of curiosity are you planning on getting a professional fit? In the past I’ve gotten a good set-up at the LBS, but this time around I plan on seeing getting a pro-fit on the new road (frame replacement) and TT bike. I’ve heard it makes all the difference.

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    • Thanks, Ryan, and excellent question. I am seriously considering a bike fit for the TT bike. Some people swear by them, some people say they are a waste of money. I’ve never had one done before, and I think I owe it to myself to form my own opinion. I think my readers would also appreciate my thoughts on the subject.

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