BIKE PO­SI­TION BA­SICS

Triathlon Magazine Canada - - T1 -

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.

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