Aerodynamics are one of the biggest challenges that road cyclists face, especially those who compete. Wind resistance on your body and your bike, is the number one challenge to getting quicker on your bike.
Luckily for us, cycling teams and professional cyclists have been focusing on improving cycling aerodynamics for a long time - and we can borrow the resulting tactics and products, with ease. In this post, we look at some of the tips & tricks from the professionals, on how to become more aerodynamic on a bike, and shave seconds off your times.
The two main ways of becoming more aero - are changing parts of the bike to upgraded, more aerodynamic parts - alongside making your body position and riding position more aerodynamic.
Lower the Front End of the Bike
Many Road Bikes leave the factory with a comfortable upright riding position - which with a couple of small alterations, can be changed into a more aerodynamic riding position. Most road bikes have spacers below the stem, which you can remove to provide a more leant over and aero riding position. Don’t remove too many spacers here, and remember to test out small changes before making greater changes.
Zip up Your Jersey & Jacket
Ensure you have the right jersey or jacket for the weather conditions that you are riding, i.e. - a lighter jersey for summer conditions/strenuous riding - and a thicker, yet comfortable choice for the winter months. Riding with a jersey or jacket open, is a surefire way to wreck your aerodynamics and slow down your riding times, as the wind turns your jacket into a parachute.
Deep Section Wheels
Deep Section Wheels are one of the biggest areas where you can make aerodynamic gains, deep section wheels are used by the world’s race teams, and they provide a number of benefits when it comes to reducing wind resistance. Firstly, the smoother shape of the wheel means that wind resistance is lowered - with wind flowing through the wheel better. Deep section wheels also perform well in cross winds, providing extra forward momentum.
Time Trial Helmets
The helmet is one of the most exposed and therefore one of the most important aspects of reducing wind resistance and improving aerodynamics. One of the best ways to improve aero performance is to purchase a time trial helmet, an aerodynamic type of road bike helmet. These helmets have a smooth profile, but are not as vented as standard road bike helmets - making them not the best choice for long climbs, in hot weather. Many riders choose to cling film their helmets to make them more aerodynamic, without having to purchase a new helmet.
Aerodynamic Cycling Clothing
Aerodynamic cycling clothing is another area where small improvements can add up to a big difference in overall performance. Aerodynamic cycling suits have been growing in popularity in recent years - and these all in one suits, are often seen at high level competitions, as well as local races. Other than all in one suits, race focused jerseys provide excellent aerodynamic performance.
Aerodynamic Bike Components
Many components on a road bike can be changed to provide a more aerodynamic performance. An example of such a component, is aerodynamic and aero handlebars - which provide a more aerodynamic performance compared to traditional handlebars, helping slice through the air.
Aerodynamic Bike Clothes & Components
At Westbrook Cycles, we stock and supply a great range of aerodynamic bike clothes & components - all of which are available to buy online.