Go faster for no extra pedalling effort with these aero tips from Phil Mosley
1. Go tight, not baggy
Your choice of clothing affects your aerodynamics, thanks to something called friction drag. You can reduce this by wearing tight-fitting clothing. That means no more flappy collars, baggy shorts or creased jerseys.
2. Wear the right lid
Aero helmets are designed to smooth the airflow as it travels over your shoulders and back. They can save you 30 seconds over a sprint tri bike leg, but take longer to put on in transition and can get sweaty quickly.
3. Try tri-bars
Tri-bar extensions attached to an aerofoil base bar are the most aero handlebar option. Alternatively, you could use clip-on tri-bars attached to standard drop-handlebars. This gives you greater control, at the cost of some extra drag.
4. Lower isn’t always better
A low body position isn’t always the most aerodynamic. If you have to crane your neck up to see, that creates drag. Raising your tri-bars can allow you to tuck your head into the silhouette of your body, reducing drag.
5. Shorten your cranks
Shorter crank arms give you more room between your knees and chest when you’re riding in a TT position. This helps you breathe and is thought to reduce leg fatigue to help you run faster off the bike.
6. Upgrade to deeper rims
Aero wheels have deep rims and bladed spokes that push through the air with less resistance. They can save you several minutes in an Olympic-distance tri, but can be hard to control in the wind and braking is often compromised.
7. Invest in an aero bike
Dedicated time trial and triathlon bikes have a steeper seat-tube angle than standard road bikes. This rolls your body forward into a more aerodynamic position. But TT bikes are often heavier than road bikes and harder to handle.
8. Take yaw angles into account
Airflow doesn’t always hit you head-on. It often comes at you diagonally, at what’s known as the yaw angle. Aero gear has an even greater benefit when you’re experiencing airflow at significant yaw angles.