It seems that whenever I show up for an organized ride, the pre-ride announcements always include a caution not to use aerobars in a group. And then, a few miles into the ride, I usually get passed by riders down on their aerobars. That’s not a great idea, as this video illustrates:
In the slow-motion replay, it’s pretty clear that the rider who crashed was on his aerobars. They gave him a little edge in speed, and he was about to pass the second rider in line when the second rider moved slightly left, to pass the lead rider. Aerobar man couldn’t control his bike and grabbed the drops, but his momentum caused his front wheel to overlap the second rider’s rear wheel, and they touched. The rider behind always comes out worse in these situations than the rider in front.
In this case, Mr. Aerobars almost saved himself. It looks like he got things back under control until he veered off onto the gravel shoulder and did an endo. But that’s not the whole story.
So, two no-nos are apparent after watching this incident:
1. Don’t use aerobars on group rides (or in a paceline).
2. Don’t overlap the rear wheel of the bike in front.
A couple of my biking friends also noted that riders should consider sturdier wheels, too. One suggested 36 spokes on the rear and a minimum of 32 on the front. I don’t know how many fast roadies would go for that, but after seeing the video, I’ll continue to be happy with my relatively heavy rims.
It looks like the rider was not seriously hurt, I’m glad to see.