Triathlon Magazine Canada - - T1 - BY KERRY HALE

It was quite some time ago that the term “aero­dy­nam­ics” be­came the hottest word in cy­cling. And rightly so, be­cause when­ever we pedal our bikes, there is an in­vis­i­ble force that we are fight­ing in our bid for speed. To go faster re­quires that we re­duce the ef­fects of air re­sis­tance. At race pace, roughly 75 per cent of a rider’s power is used to over­come aero­dy­namic drag and, at even higher speeds, this air re­sis­tance con­sumes al­most your en­tire power out­put.

If you be­lieve that only se­ri­ous bike rac­ers can ben­e­fit from im­prov­ing aero­dy­namic ef­fi­ciency, think again. All cy­clists and triath­letes can ben­e­fit from a few tips and aero tweaks.

Adam Kourakis of Velofix, North Amer­ica’s largest fleet of mo­bile bike shops, is in the busi­ness of help­ing ath­letes be­come com­fort­able, safe and ef­fi­cient on their bike. As owner and op­er­a­tor of four Velofix fran­chises across Canada, he’s also a tri coach and a suc­cess­ful age-group triath­lete.

Ac­cord­ing to Kourakis, “It’s true that hav­ing the right equip­ment is part of the aero­dy­namic equa­tion. You have to know how to max­i­mize the equip­ment you’re us­ing, but it’s not all about equip­ment. An aero­dy­namic po­si­tion on the bike is cru­cial to per­for­mance; it will min­i­mize frontal sur­face, which is the amount of space the hits the air when rid­ing for­ward. Less sur­face area cre­ates less drag and al­lows an ath­lete to ride with less re­sis­tance, equat­ing to higher speeds and a more ef­fi­cient ride.”

Get­ting more aero can be an ex­pen­sive busi­ness. Of­ten ath­letes pay big bucks for state-of-the-art, tricked-out rigs that run well into the thou­sands of dol­lars. Then there’s the deep-dish car­bon wheels that are sure to burn a hole in the bank ac­count, wind tun­nel test­ing … the list can go on. Th­ese mea­sures are sim­ply be­yond the reach of many triath­letes.

The good news is that there are cheap – and of­ten free – ways to get more aero. Here are 10 tips, as dis­cussed by Kourakis, that are well worth con­sid­er­ing:

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