Athletes are constantly looking for the most efficient position during a time trial, or triathletes during their non-drafting event. Of course if you are a “drafthole” you can stop reading here ! Or not…
In my opinion it still is “the puppet on the bike that makes the bike dance…”. After this report you can certainly make your own conclusion about that. There are legends in cycling who tried new positions. We can recently think about Landis with his high arm positioning, but in my mind the most remarkable athlete on that part was Graeme O’Bree, the man was simply a genius, an inventor. He made his perfect bike out of a washing machine. Later no athlete ever has been that creative anymore. And maybe never will, because common sense believes an expensive bikeframe is a good bikeframe.
It was in his opinion that you don’t need the most expensive gear, but your position, a good wheelset, chain and good functioning bikeparts made your race.
It’s also in my opinion that expensive bikeframes don’t make you cycle better. Your physical shape, your positioning, and good working gear does. When I look around between my own athletes I can make the conclusion that one of my strongest TT-specialists won several ITT-races on a rebuilt roadframe of around 10years ago. But there’s 1 thing right about the bike, he’s positioned well on it!
One of my athletes, Sam (Gydé), is a hard working amateur athlete performing on a very high level and is also constantly looking to test new gear and looks at the efficiency of it. In that opinion he recently did a windtunnel test to see, feel and test different positions in different situations in a Long Distance Triathlon event.
Sam had the chance to do this this at Flanders Bike Valley very recently!
The Graphs and photos below are all property of Flanders Bike Valley.
Important to know: Every test is done during 8minutes at 40 and 50km/h. So make the conclusion yourself if you ride slower or harder in a triathlon to what might be the benefit of it for you!
I ride with a frontal drinking system, if I cycle without drinking or with drinking do I have a lot of drag?
Do I need a helmet with a visor or without it?
Putting my head down and the tail of my helmet up, how much more drag will this give me?
Question 4: What’s the truth about more aero shoes?
Are my clothes influencing the drag?
Is it beneficial to put my aerobars higher or lower? Do I need to sit to the extreme to ride fast?
The last test Sam could do was testing how beneficial it was to take risky positions in a downhill. He tested 3 different positions and there was no big benefit for one of these three. So in a downhill, play safe, be aero and push the pedals where you can instead of taking risks!
I hope you had a good reading, Same dared to get the wind in the face…once u have turned u’ll get the wind in the back. I hope you have…and remember “don’t blame the bike”!