How to Get More Aero on Your Bike

London Criterium O-Cup #7

How to Get More Aero on Your Bike

Every cyclist loves going fast and we are always looking for ways to get even faster.  Whether its to win a big race, take a prestigious Strava KOM, beat your riding buddies in the town line sprint, or just ride faster on your favorite Sunday loop, we all are just looking for more speed.

Usually that means putting in a lot of hard work in to training and patiently waiting for results.  But the easiest way to get faster on your bike is to improve your aerodynamics.  Normally that involves spending a ton of cash on the latest and greatest aero tech, but here are a couple tips for getting more aero on your bike without changing your equipment or spending the annual income of a small country.

Get Low

Most of a cyclist’s energy is expended over coming air resistance and the biggest source of resistance comes from the rider.  The easiest way to reduce drag is to reduce your surface area by getting lower and presenting a smaller front to the wind.  This can be easily done by putting your hands in the drops or bending your elbows on the hoods in order to get a flat back.  The best part is this is completely free and requires no change to your equipment.

Tuck It In

Another way to reduce your frontal area and cut down on drag is to tuck your elbows in and tuck your head down between your shoulders.  Get your head down and in line with your now flat back so that the wind will flow smoothly across your back.  Bringing your elbows in will help funnel the air through your chest cavity more smoothly.

Tight is Right

There is a lot to be gained in terms of aerodynamics by making a couple changes to your kit.  Changing from a lose fitting club cut kit, which has a lot of extra material to catch the wind, to a tighter fitting race cut or even sizing down can save you a lot.  Or if you really want to go all in for maximum speed, you can go for a skinsuit which has been shown to save more than 2 minutes over a 40 kilometer time trial.

Conclussion

These are just a couple suggestions on how to get more aero on your bike.  Your body accounts for the vast majority of drag when you are biking meaning these little changes are an easy way to save money and watts.  But if you have some money to spend, you can still go out and buy the latest and greatest in aero tech if you want to to shave off even more time.

Looking for more aerodynamic tips?  Check out Aero on a Budget.