Riders have long been trying to get themselves into a more aerodynamic position on the bike in order to gain watts and race more efficiently. It seems like everything from socks to sunglasses are claiming to give you an aerodynamic advantage, but what is really worth your investment? We explore five essentials that will help you become more aerodynamic during your next race.
The right bike
A tri bike is going to be more aero than a road bike not only because of the position that it places the rider in but also because of the frame itself. A tri bike will have a flatter frame designed to cut through the wind while a road bike’s frame is more rounded and designed for comfort.
A proper bike fit
It never fails, you see a really nice tri bike on the race course and then see that rider in a position that negates the advantage of the bike. Your position on the bike will depend on your experience as a rider, your strength as a rider, any history of injury, and your goals.
You can clearly see the evolution of a bike fit to match the athlete's abilities and strength in the following photos:
We offer bike fits at our two-Atlanta locations. Read more about a bike fit and book here.
The right helmet
As you are riding in the aero position, the wind is flowing over the surface of your helmet. To reduce the drag around your head, add an aero helmet to smooth the airflow around your head and allow you to slip through the air more effectively.
Two of our most popular helmets are the Giro Vanquish and the Giro Aerohead. People often wear the Vanquish as a training and racing helmet, while the Aerohead is a true racing helmet
In the last few years, we’ve seen more and more long-course athletes make the transition from a sleeveless kit to a tight-fitting sleeved kit for at least the bike portion of the race because of the aerodynamic advantages that this type of suit offers the athlete. Your head and shoulders lead the way as you ride in aero. A sleeveless top will have seams that will catch the wind as it flows across the surface resulting in increased drag. The tight-fitting speed suits are designed to act as a second skin, allowing air to flow over them much like an aero helmet does for the head.
With a deeper rim, wheels can give you an incredible aerodynamic advantage. Some riders report up to a 1-mph increase in speed when going from regular road wheels to race wheels. Read our full article about race wheels to get all the scoop on wheels.