BIKE POSITION BASICS
Triathletes are constantly being told that they are the number-one factor when it comes to going faster on the bike.
“Two things in particular affect performance on the bike,” says German pro Andi Boecherer. “First and foremost it’s the mass that sits on top of the bike – in my case, me. My position and body shape account for the lion’s share of the overall system’s aerodynamics. The second factor is what surface the wind is moving over, and how it goes past.”
Boecherer is vocalizing a trend that has become a popular practice in Germany, dialing in an athlete’s bike position based on aerodynamic testing. The goal is to minimize your CDA (coefficient of drag) to as little as possible. In the past, that kind of information was only available through wind-tunnel testing, but over the last few years, we’re seeing new tests become available that allow real-time analysis. We’ve written stories about the revolutionary Alphamantis testing process. But that system tests riders while they are going around a track, which isn’t always accessible to athletes. Which opened the door for some other companies to come up with products that make the process considerably easier to access. Germany is possibly the most triathlon-mad country on the planet. Basking in the heady performances of a steady stream of top competitors in Kona, age-groupers and elites alike pursue the sport with an intensity unrivalled in other countries. Aerotune is a company based in Germany that has developed a system that can measure your aerodynamic drag simply by analyzing the results from 1- to 2-km efforts. Using the power and speed data from your cycling computer, the Aerotune system can accurately measure your aerodynamic drag. A two-hour session provides lots of time to test various types of equipment and positions, so you can dial in both your fit and the wheels, helmet, tri-suit and other equipment you’ll use on the bike. The company is looking to expand to North America this year, so hopefully Canadian and American triathletes will have the chance to dial in their perfect set-up for their next race.