How to become more aero
When trying to become faster on the bike, we often hear that we need to become more aero in order to do so. However, knowing how to do this can be a challenge.
In our quest to becoming faster on the bike, many factors play a key role. Being aero is important, but so is, the bike you are riding, your training plan and your outfit. There are many gadgets that can help us achieve this, but they can be costly. The first factor to improve on your journey to becoming more aero is you! To become even quicker you need to reduce the drag caused whilst riding, which is done through getting lower, taking up the position and making yourself more aerodynamic.
These tips won’t cost you anything extra, and can help you become more aero:
Remember that the ride is 80% of the frontal drag and the bike is only 20%. So a good position on the bike is essential to save watts and go faster for no extra effort.
We want to be low down, however, you still need to be able to generate enough power to continue pedalling at a good rate. Experiment with different positions to see what works for you. You can either go on the drops or stay on the hoods but just lower your elbows. The head position should be nice and low, with the aim to get this infront of your body. You should still remain looking up, so that you can see where you are going!
Changing position and old habits do not come easy. Therefore, it is important to give yourself time to adapt and make sure you practice in training and improving over time.
Improve your flexibility and strength
So the position described above, and the one we watch many great riders perform, is the ideal position to become more aero. However, it is changing and when you start off, can be very uncomfortable. On your journey to becoming more aero, it is important that you work on improving your flexibility and strength. This will firstly help you achieve the key position, and secondly, enable you to stay there, whilst still exerting large amounts of power.
When trying to become more aero it is important you are wearing the appropriate outfit to help you do this. The tighter you are, from your bike, position and outfit, the less drag you will create and the more aero you will become. Make sure you have a tight-fitting jersey that is zipped up and that your shorts are also tight.
So while the bike is only 20% of the total drag it is still worth having it as aero as possible. Although don’t get caught up in the marketing hype of many bike brands. Just go for an aero option with a wheel depth of around 40mm. The Factor Ostro is a great all round option. Read my review here.
It is important to remember that every little change you make can help improve how aero you are. But equally, it is important to give these changes time. This is so that you are able to adapt to them before that event or race. The bike and your outfit are obviously very important. However, before splashing out, try to improve your position on the bike. This is one thing we can all do, which is guaranteed to give us better results.