Cycling Myth Busters #1 – Reducing wind resistance

Triathletes have been known to deploy full disk wheels to reduce wind drag. The downside is difficulties in control when you get a cross wind. Did you know that your water bottle and cage adds drag?

Look at this table published in a report – Bicycle and Aerodynamics by Rainer Pivit published in 1990.

Aero Shopping List Approx. Cost Aerodynamic Advantage Time saved over 40 km Costs per % of Aerodynamic Advantage
Part DM % seconds DM/%
Remove water bottle and cage 0 2,8 26 0
Tape over shoe laces 0 0,8 7 0
Pump under top tube instead of in front of seat tube 0 0,8 7 0
Shave the legs 0 0,6 5 0
Remove the small chain ring 0 0,3 3 0
Fill the front tire gap at the rim 2 0,2 2 10
Benotto Aero bottle with cage 30 1,6 15 19
Smooth nylon socks 8 0,4 4 20
Pearl lzumi lycra shoe covers 32 1,4 13 23
Aero helmet. ANSI approved. Bell Stratos. 140 5,2 47 27
Aero front wheel: Araya aero rim,
28 Hoshi bladed spokes,
Dura Ace hub,
Avocet 190 g tire
180 4,8 44 38
One-piece skin suit, short sleeves and legs 180 3,2 29 56
Aero rear wheel: as above, but 32 spokes 90 2,0 18 45
Aero brakes and levers, Dia Compe AGC 300 200 2,0 18 100
Gloves with Lycra backs 24 0,2 2 120
Disk wheel in front 1000 7,2 66 140
Clipless pedals 240 1,0 9 240
Disk wheel in back 1000 3,6 33 280
Cinelli aero bar 80 0,2 2 400
Edco Competition Aero crank set 250 0,6 5 420
Shimano Sante aero Schaltung 320 0,4 4 800

FACTS: Surprising, aerobars did not come out tops for wind resistance reduction but aero helmets, bladed spokes, disk wheels and the attempt to make one as smooth as possible made the biggest impact (so maybe we will start to see more guys wearing i-Fit compression undergarments since teletubbie tights are not available? i-Fit long pant/sleeve compression keeps your muscles tight and limbs smooth and cool under this hot humid weather. Our Number 1 always wears “full” gear

Looks like we will have some team MBS guys

with very smooth shaven legs and arms soon LoL

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