Cycling equipment can be expensive, but there are some simple ways to improve bike aerodynamics without breaking the bank. Check them out here!
“Going aero” in terms of cycling can also be thought of as “free speed”. In other words, the more aerodynamic you are on the bike, the more efficient you will be, enabling you to go faster without increasing your effort. Who wouldn’t want to go faster without increasing their work? Of course, the greater the distance the bike segment (i.e. Sprint Tri vs. Ironman Distance), the bigger the time savings will be. It sounds great and certainly can be, but for the recreational cyclist or triathlete, a minute time savings on your bike split can cost a small fortune. However, their are some simple ways to improve bike aerodynamics without breaking the bank.
Simple Ways to Improve Bike Aerodynamics
Believe it or not, you can spend thousands of dollars to have the best aerodynamic equipment, but body position on your bike is number one! One of the best things you can do is have a proper bike fit. A bike fit typically involves an hour or more of time with someone specifically trained in body mechanics for cycling. A good bike fit will make you more aerodynamic, but most importantly, it will make sure you are in the proper ergonomic position to prevent injury. If you buy a new bike, the bike shop may offer a free fit, but make sure it is a thorough one (not just seat position and arm reach). A custom fit will take into account: seat height, saddle position, handlebar height, arm reach, alignment of hip/knee/foot to improve efficiency, cleat position, and other flexibility and structural assessments. There is a wide range of pricing for custom bike fits $100 to $250+.
Some people are reluctant to buy a time trial helmet because of their funny appearance. However, if you are interested in saving time, it can be a quick and easy way to do so. An aero helmet works by streamlining the airflow around your head and down your back, which will decrease the resistance or “drag” of the air around your head. How much time will it save? The information varies on this as it depends on how fast you are cycling. If you are averaging speeds of over 20mph, it can be as much as a minute or more over a 40 km course. These helmets also have a wide range of pricing from $170 to $400+.
If you use a road bike, adding aero bars is another easy and relatively inexpensive way to make you more aerodynamic. Shop around and find ones that will work best for you, as there are number of different types of clip-on aero bars available. It is important to make sure they are put on properly and your reach is ergonomically correct to prevent any injury from improper body position. It is also essential that you practice using them several times before racing with them for safety. Practice on a flat, smooth road that you are familiar with riding on. Another advantage of aero bars, is the ability to change position on your bike when you are on a long ride. Price Range: $50 to $140+.
So Tell Me…
Will you try any of these simple ways to improve bike aerodynamics? Do you think the time savings is worth the cost? What changes have you made and have you noticed a difference?
Thank you so much for stopping by. As always I would love to hear your thoughts in the comments section below. Have a great week!
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