The Cheapest Aero Upgrade For Cycling? | GCN Tech Wind Tunnel Tested

The Cheapest Aero Upgrade For Cycling? | GCN Tech Wind Tunnel Tested

– In this video, we’re going
to test the different upgrades you can make to your bikes or equipment to see which of them actually
makes you the fastest. – That’s right. We’re going to see which is
the biggest bang for your buck. We’re going to test aero
helmets, deep-section wheels, tri bars, and a whole heap more. – To do this testing, you
may be able to see behind us, we’ve come to a wind tunnel, but this isn’t any old wind tunnel. This is the Silverstone
Sports Engineering Hub, a cycling-specific wind tunnel. And when aero testing gets
done in the cycling industry, it’s often done at pro speeds and a lot of you guys
complain, rightly so, that this isn’t representative of what us mortals can ride at. – The goods news is not today. No, no, we’re going to be
doing all of these tests at 25 kilometers an hour,
35 kilometers an hour, and 45 kilometers an hour,
meaning these are actually speeds which you’re very likely to encounter during your very own rides. – Yes, and before we crack
on, you know the drill. – Oh, yes. – Subscribe and help support the channel if you haven’t already. – Yeah, and guess what? Guess who I saw earlier
on hanging about here? – Who? – Mr. Original Aero himself, Rob Hales. – No!
– Yeah, he’s going to come in and give him some nuggets
of information, too. And we’re going to put you through your pretty
little paces on the rig. Come on. Oh, you can borrow this too. (relaxing EDM music) (metallic whooshing) – [Ollie] We be measuring
the power required to ride each setup at each of those speeds. To put this in perspective, traveling at 30 kilometers an hour, 10 watts equates to
0.8 kilometers an hour. At 45 kilometers an hour, 10 watts is 0.4 kilometers
per hour in speed. Now, depending on your perspective, that might sound like a lot or not much. However, the goal of this video is demonstrate the relative
aerodynamic gains in watts that you can typically expect from different types of equipment. The data from the wind tunnel is going to be presented as aerowatts. This is the watts required
to overcome aerodynamic drag. As cyclists, we also have to
overcome frictional forces from the tires and drivetrain
and this is about 10%. (hypnotic music) – Right, as mentioned in the introduction, we are going to be doing these experiments underneath real-world speed because, well, I don’t think Ollie’s ready
for the Olympics just yet. Maybe doing a bit of disservice there. But anyway, we are going to be doing them at 25 kilometers an hour, 35, and 45. And, of course, we’ve got to
have the base drag coefficient, haven’t we, so handily on
here, we’ve got a green outline so you’re going to have
to stay inside of that for each and every run. – It’s really useful to have these cameras that are actually recording my position, a more set and standard position, and then I can use it as a line guide to make sure that I always replicate that same position on the bike
so that that doesn’t change, to make it more consistent and accurate. That’s really cool. – Yeah, we’ve liked playing
around with this, haven’t we? I’m going to get out of it because I don’t want
to mess on the results or anything like that,
but good luck, mate, and just stay inside those lines. Just think of it like
driving on the motorway. Don’t leave your lane. Start the fans, please! As they used to say on Crystal Maze. (chuckling) (futuristic electronic music) – First up, we wanted a base line, so we tested myself in
the tunnel on my Pinarello in just standard kit
in a standard position and from this, we could
compare everything else. – Yeah, so on the baseline
position of Ollie, excluding friction and gravity, for you to travel at
25 kilometers per hour, you would need to produce just 82 watts. Moving up then, up to
35 kilometers per hour, you would need to produce 222, and then at 45 kilometers an hour, well, it jumps up to a whopping 464 watts. – Yeah, and note that this isn’t linear because drag is proportional
to the square of speed and therefore the power
required to overcome that drag is proportional to the cube of speed. – Thanks, mate. – It’s all right. Before we do, Olympic medalist
and aero Jedi Rob Hales is going to go through some of the things that you can do for free. – Right then, Rob, we’ve
got our guinea pig here on the bike. – The tunnel rat. – Yeah, yeah. (stammering) I’m not sure about his
cadence at the moment, he could do with working on that. But you are a man who
loved trying to get faster without spending any cash. – Faster for free if you can, yeah. What’s not to like? – Exactly, yeah. It’s good for someone like me. I don’t like opening up my wallet. What can we advise Ollie then to do to get him a little bit
faster straight away? – One of the first things that
I do when I’m commentating, you’ll get a small break go early on and there’ll be riding at 70, 75%, just once the break’s established, and what I will always say is, well, “the rider’s struggling a
little bit to bend his elbows.” – There we go.
– There we go. Now, this is more of a race position and you can always tell
at the back end of a race when the break has started
to really have to try because that’s what they do, they start to bend their elbows. It’s little bit for me, it’s a little bit like
drinking and eating. If you drink when you feel you’re thirsty, it’s a little bit too late. So do this, even when you’re
only riding at 70, 75% in a break, out on a ride. You’re still saving a
percentage that you will need potentially later on in
the race when you move. So bend your elbows, keep your elbows in, narrower bars slightly,
rather than going for 44s, ’cause we always say, “yeah,
yeah, you need those”– – [Jon] I used to love 44s. – Yeah, 44s, it helps you breathe. – Helps your lungs when you climb. – Well, then why don’t
you put your tri bars out here as well, ’cause
that’ll help you breathe. Get yourself tucked in nicely. Roll the shoulders in, if you can roll those shoulders
in and tuck your head down. – [Jon] He already looks
faster, doesn’t he? – [Rob] He looks so good and, as we know, looks, it’s the only thing. It’s the overriding thing. It’s the looks. – It can crack the
competitors down with that, if someone looks good on a bike. – It only helps you look fast. – That’s it, that’s it. And don’t make it look like
you’re breathing either. (chuckling) Your diaphragm’s going up
and down and up and down, but you hide that. The next thing I would say is the helmet. Lots of vents, that’s great, because it does keep you cool but at the same time, there’s more drag. It’s likely to get to you later on. It needs an awful lot of
ratio just to keep cool. And the trouble is the more
vents you’ve got there, the more you require because you’re actually creating more heat to push yourself forward. So the next thing in your
armory is basically the helmet. – So we’ve got one here. It’s essentially the same
sort of shape, isn’t it, but it’s just filled in. – Just a little bit filled in. – Got a few vents there to
cool him down a little bit. – It is, it’s pretty much
the same profile, isn’t it? In fact, it’s the same thing,
isn’t it, but it’s better! – Now, you played around, didn’t you, with helmets during your career? – Filled them in. – There was a very famous
one you did, wasn’t there? – There was a quite famous one. But if you notice, these
days all the helmets now, they tend to be flattened off. Now, this one has got a very slight scoop. That one follows round. Now, what I used to do with mine, which obviously you can’t do nowadays, but basically, I ground that off. – Admittedly, if I saw
someone, Ollie, not just you, but anyone riding along
on a normal road bike and wearing an aero helmet
like this, proper TT helmet– – You’d be in Richmond Park. – I’d be in shock, wouldn’t I, really? – You would, yes. – I think I would. But it serves a really
important purpose, doesn’t it? – Well, it helps you go faster, exactly. Ordinarily, this helmet would go with a completely different style of bike and a different style of
riding, obviously the TT rig. But if you wanted to go the whole hog, then yeah, stick one of those on. But the thing is, there’s no good. You see a lot of people, helmet like this, head bolt upright. You’re getting some advantage with that, but then you’re negating a lot of it because your head’s up
in the wrong position. So it’s all about the
head and the shoulders and the arm position. That’s the first thing that hits the wind. Anything further back, you’ll decrease in the
advantage you can have. So, yeah, if you’ve got one
of these or an aero helmet, then you need to make
the most of those gains by getting the body into the position. – Now who were the classic riders then that you can think of modern day who get into that super aero
hood position, down low? – One of the guys who’s
just very recently retired, Taylor Phinney was one of those guys. He got it extremely aero. And another guy of his ilk, the Brit who we all know
very well, Steve Cummings. And this is the thing, you look at it and you say, “well, I
can’t hold that position “all day long out on the bike.” If you only do it when you
need to, then, no, you won’t. But like Steve does in a lot
of lower-grade training rides, hold that position so that
your body gets used it. That’s the thing, you’ve
got to do it in training. Steve and Taylor, those
were two of the guys who really did get it. A lot more do so nowadays, but there’s still a lot out
there who ride straight arms– – Bolt upright.
– [Rob] Yeah, bolt upright. – [Jon] It’s like wind
cell, isn’t it really? You ride like that, you’re not
going to get anywhere very fast. – Feels nice. You’re opening up your hip angle, so that you’re nice and
powerful, especially on a drag. Yeah, you get that, you’re
going a little bit slower. But the longer you can
hold that aero position. Always think, “I’m trying to go “not necessarily as fast as I can, “but I’m trying to be
as efficient as I can.” That’s the thing. It’s not necessarily about
going faster than anyone else. It’s going for the same
speed as the guy next to you but for less energy. So would I ride like this in a TT? If the answer’s no, then just have a long
hard look in the mirror. – Yeah. – [Ollie] The savings for the aero helmet was two watts at 25 kilometers an hour, seven watts at 35, and 16 watts at 45. Now, if we divide the price of the upgrade by the maximum watts saved, we can calculate a pounds-per-watt value, or whatever your respective
currency happens to be. This will hopefully make
the bang for your buck of the different upgrades clear. Now, for the aero helmet, this works out roughly as £13 per watt. – We then switched Ollie
into a time trial helmet. Now, admittedly, there aren’t many people who are going to wear one of
those all day out on a bike because they’re not
necessarily the best thing for vision and everything,
quite obscuring. But the savings there are actually very
interesting, aren’t they? At 25 kilometers an hour,
the saving is just six watts, but then you go up to
35 kilometers an hour and you save 18 watts,
which is pretty huge, and then at 45 kilometers an hour, you’re saving 41 watts, massive, which works out at £4 per watt saving. – Yeah but as Rob pointed out, the time trial helmet
kind of comes into its own when you get into an aerodynamic position. And position makes a huge
amount of difference, so we tested it again but in a kind of aero hoods position with it tucked into the back. – Now, this is where it gets
mega interesting, I reckon. 19 watts saving over the baseline
at 25 kilometers an hour, which is pretty big
because at those speeds, you don’t really generally
see massive savings, but that is quite a lot. 53 watts at 35 kilometers an hour. And then, I’m just going to
have to double check this, 116 watts at 45 kilometers an hour. – [Ollie] That is ridiculous. – Absolutely mad. It shows exactly how important
the position of a rider is and that basically you
are the biggest obstacle when it comes to getting through the air a little bit faster. – Yeah and if we sort
of split the difference, compared to the TT helmet
in the standard position, the saving is 13 watts
at 25 kilometers an hour, 35 at 35, and 75 at 45. So changing your position
is likely to give way more difference than
any helmet you can buy and, bonus, it’s free!
– That’s always good news. – Costs per watt, £0. – (chuckling) I like that. – Yeah, (chuckling) nice. (electronic music) – We then chucked Ollie into
a skinsuit back on the F12 and also we’re using an aero road helmet and, well, you only saved three watts at 25 kilometers an hour. But then things started to, again, get a little bit interesting because at 35 kilometers an
hour, we saw 30 watts saving and at 45 kilometers an hour,
a whopping 50 watts saved, which is a hell of a lot, really. – Yeah, that is loads. I mean, a skinsuit is typically
going to cost £200-300, so if we say for the
sake of argument £300, that’s £6 per watt, which is pretty good. – Yeah, not too bad. (tranquil electronic music) – Deep-section wheels then. So we tried some shallower
wheels in the bike and then compared the difference and it came out as being two
watts at 25 kilometers an hour, just five watts at 35 kilometers an hour, and just 10 watts at 45, so not much. – No, not a huge amount
then for the wheels, really, let’s face it, considering deep wheels
are one of the first things that would probably spring
to most people’s minds when it comes to an upgrade on a bike. I mean, there’s two reasons for it. Firstly, they look good. They do perform better aerodynamically. And also, I suppose it’s
three things, isn’t it, because you can also say
it improves the ride feel, the quality of the ride. But, importantly, and we’re looking at the geeky stats today, aren’t we, so you’re going to probably
save about 30 seconds over a 40 kilometer time trial. – Yeah, even with just 10 watts like that, and that is still significant, although it’s much less than the helmet, as we’ve demonstrated. But it should also be pointed out that we only tested the wheels
head-on, it was zero yaw, and the experts in the tunnel and other aerodynamicists have told us that deep-section wheels
tend to perform better as the yaw angles increase, so if you angled the bike
relative to direction of the wind. And this is because wheels
have the ability to sail in the wind, something
called a sail effect. And we didn’t have time
to do it unfortunately but it is something we’d like
to test more in the future. Now, if we think about the price-per-watt, well, let’s say for the sake of argument deep section wheels
typically around £1,500. Works out to about £150 per watt. – Yes, it’s not the best
payment-per-watts saving. – Yeah, but they look awesome though. – They do, yeah, I agree with you on that. We should do something,
pounds-per-bling-point or something. It’s an idea for another video. (dreamy electronic music) For the tri bars, we saved nine watts at 25 kilometers per hour, 40 watts at 35 kilometers per hour, and 81 watts at 45 kilometers per hour. (dreamy electronic music) Right, Rob, you gave me my instructions and I’ve raised the bars up, but, well, what’s the thinking behind that? – Well, this is what we call
the preying mantis position. Now, this is the original
position we used to adopt on tri bars. The theory was that the
wind would go around you. You’re trying to get the
air to pass around the body. Then we had the aero bike come in, so we went from the round-tubed to the carbon fiber monocoque, and so what we thought was
we’d actually channel the air. So we would go more of the flat arms that we’ve got used to that position and it would channel
the air around the bike. But now we’ve gone back pretty much to adopting this preying mantis position. And it’s not just the arm position. What it does, it helps to hide the face and the body behind your hands, so you’re breaking the air
early, but also in doing this, what happens is you tend
to roll your shoulders in and your head comes down. So rather than being open to the wind, as your arms come up, your head tucks in, and then your shoulders roll in. So it’s not just the one thing. It’s a chain of events that
works down through the body that gives you an overall package. So hopefully what we’ll see
now from the previous test is this should be much more aero and you might be able
to break half an hour for your next 10. (laughing) – On that note, we’ll leave– – One can dream. – Oh that’s right, a boy can dream. On that note, we’ll
leave you to it, Ollie. Right, don’t pass out. (Jon chuckling) With the tri bars angled angled into the preying mantis-style position, we saved 19 watts at
25 kilometers per hour, 54 watts at 35 kilometers per hour, and 104 watts at 45 kilometers per hour. That is mind-blowing. – [Ollie] But the best thing
about clip-on tri bars is, although they can vary in price, they can often be picked
up for around £40, making a cost per watt saving
of just 38 pence per watt. (calm electronic music) – Right then, Rob, this
is more like it, isn’t it? Ollie’s obviously been saving
up his paper run money. He’s got himself a new bike. He hasn’t got himself new wheels yet, a disc wheel and a tri-spoke
or anything fancy like that. But what sort of gains do you reckon we could expect to find here? – It’s designed basically for speed, for longevity, over a
fast time, over distance. And so hopefully we should
see some sort of gain. Okay, we’ve kept the helmet the
same and the wheels the same ’cause we want to see
the different, really, in the setup of the
position and the frame, isolate those changes, just
to see what we can find there. – So I reckon we’ll put him
through a few more tests like we have done. He must be knackered by now but he’s doing all right
though, isn’t he, still? – He’s doing all right but if
he can’t go quicker on this, then I think what we’re going to do, we’re fill his Optic up with rum and make him drink it on the way home. (chuckling) – Bit of Captain Morgan. What we might do as well is give him, I reckon we’ll let him do this and then we’ll kit him out
with some fancy kit as well. – ‘Cause there’s
certainly more to be done. And, yeah, the kit is the biggest thing but we want to see the
difference in the bike and then we’ll go the full-hog to see exactly what he’s made of. – The Full Monty, his favorite film. Right, good luck, mate. Don’t let us down. – [Ollie] For the time trial bike, we saved 20 watts at
25 kilometers an hour, 60 watts at 35, and a whopping 130 watts at 45 kilometers an hour, which is huge. But when you consider we
used the same clothing on this run as we did
with the clip-on tri bars, if we compared that to the preying mantis tri bars position, at 25 kilometers an hour,
there’s just one watt difference and at 35, there’s just
six watts difference and at 45 kilometers an hour,
there was 25 watts difference. So the TT bike is faster but not by much, especially when you consider
that a TT bike like this typically costs around £6,500, equating to £50 per watt. – Right, we’re back in here and I think I’m just going
to check Ollie’s all right. Okay, don’t speak if you can’t. Blink once for yes, twice for no. Are you okay? I don’t know what he did. I think we’ll just run with it. You just stay there, Ollie. Right, we’ve him kitted out now. He’s in a skinsuit. He’s got a teardrop helmet on. He’s looking like a
time trialist, isn’t he? – He’s suited in boots though, isn’t he? – Yeah, he looks good. – There’s not a lot else
that we could do, really, other than maybe some aero socks and obviously get you halfway up between your knee and your ankle bone. I know that otherwise the UCI will be getting their protractors out. But other than that, this
is about as good as it gets with the biggest stuff,
obviously the body, the suit. Okay, yeah, he’s a little bit tired now but the helmet all looks
good and it all looks great and generally if it looks good, it should be good. – Exactly, I mean, in a wind tunnel, it’s going to show up
everything, isn’t it, but a lot of it actually,
when you’re out on the road, it comes down to that
mental thought of it. If you feel fast– – If you feel good, when you ride past those shop windows and you look and you look good, then yes, definitely,
it’s all in the mind. And ultimately, what’s left in the body has got to propel you forward
when you’re out on the road, but ultimately, all this will help. The other thing you could potentially do, a slightly deeper front rim
and obviously a disk wheel, but we’re nitpicking now. We’re looking for the biggest differences comparing with previous tests. So this is not a bad endpoint for the end of a very long day. – Or is it the end? – We’ll see. – Yeah, I think we’ve
got a couple more tricks up our sleeve, haven’t we? Yeah, he’s looking all right. He’s looking all right still. So go on, mate. We then put Ollie into a more,
well, recognizable setup, so a TT bike with a TT
helmet and the skinsuit and the savings are as follows. 24 watts at 25 kilometers an hour, 75 watts at 35 kilometers an hour, and 167 watts at 45 kilometers an hour. The crazy thing here was that to travel at 45 kilometers per hour, Ollie only needed to overcome
297 watts of aero drag, compared with 464 on the baseline run. Crazy! Also the difference the
suit and helmet made over just the bike was huge. (futuristic synth music) – So, there you have it. In terms of bang for your buck, the best thing you can do to
get faster is learn to ride in a more aerodynamic position. It’s free speed. – Yeah, but you can buy it too. It can be easier, let’s face it. – Yeah, but if you’re
going to splash the cash and spend money on getting faster, then based on this video, we suggest you prioritize
things like tri bars, a helmet, and then clothing and skinsuits and things like that. – Yeah, wheels and fancy time trial bikes, they do make a difference
but in comparison, they’re relatively expensive
for the savings you get. – Yeah, now we hope
you’ve enjoyed this video and found it informative and useful and if you have, then
please give it a thumbs up. Share it with your friends. We should also point out that whenever we visit a wind tunnel, there’s always more things we want to test than we have time for, so if
we haven’t tested something that you’d like to see
us test in the future, then let us know in the comments and we’ll endeavor to do it next time we visit the tunnel. – Yeah and if you’ve enjoyed this and want to see even
more wind tunnel content, then why not click just down here to see the difference between
a retro and a modern bike? I enjoyed dressing you up that day. – Thanks. – See you next time.

100 thoughts on “The Cheapest Aero Upgrade For Cycling? | GCN Tech Wind Tunnel Tested

  1. It always has to be kept in mind that wind tunnels, whilst useful, are not accurate replications of real world riding environments so whilst this data is bang on for track work it's only a guide when we think about our outdoor rides.

  2. One of the best ways to reduce rolling resistance for free is to ride on the white strips marking the edge of the road. Be safe of the cateyes but that white line is polished smooth and super fast. Exercise caution. Might be illegal or unsafe so I hold no responsibility but its just that extra edge you might need.

  3. Watching this article on aero upgrades I notice Jon was wearing an aero helmet. The shape difference between the models can be hard to choose between and not knowing the individual advantages of each type. Should you go for a rounded tail model or should you go for a long tail such as on Jon's Bell end ?

  4. Still working on my bent arms aero tuck on the hoods. Took a lot of physical therapy after neck and shoulder injuries from being hit by cars twice over the past 18 years. It's definitely more efficient when I can hold the tuck.

    The aero bars praying mantis position was also more comfortable for me… well, less uncomfortable. Biggest problem with aero bars is getting comfortable – settled and stable – and holding the tuck.

    But the few times I've used aero bars there was a consistent improvement in speed or energy savings. But I don't even have aero bars on my main road bike for group rides. Drives me nuts to see unskilled riders on aero bars in group rides, drafting within inches, hands nowhere near the brakes.

    And recently I've gotten some benefit from an aero helmet (not a full TT helmet) and more form fitting long sleeve jerseys, rather than my usual looser fitting windbreaker for winter rides. Good for maybe a 1 mph gain over 20-40 mile routes compared with my usual helmet and jerseys or jackets.

    Recently I re-watched the 2006 TdF highlights and noticed Floyd Landis used the praying mantis position and was more settled and confident in the TT bike than some other riders in the stage 7 and 19 TTs. Some of them looked very uncomfortable in the time trials. PED controversy aside, Landis was a stronger time trialist than most of the GC contenders that year.

  5. I'd really like to see a comparison between different depths of wheels, measured in the wind tunnel. Typically, the deeper you go, the more expensive the wheel and you can still get alloy wheels up to around 35mm in depth for a much greater cost saving. So, how much aero advantage is there between wheels of depths: 20mm, 30mm, 40mm, 50mm, 60mm, 80mm, for example?

  6. I think I feel comfortable getting the tt helmet out for my normal rides, screw the haters they won’t like it when their koms gets beaten

  7. What is the optimal angle for the praying mantis aero bar position? Is there a guideline to use when setting that up? And did you adjust the stack height of the bars to compensate for the delta added by the aero bars? Great video Jon & Ollie!

  8. Jon, let's test for mental attitude on how it affects speed. When Ollie's is next in the wind tunnel with aero everything including a true aero disc wheel set, we'll have him do two equal time segments.
    On the second segment enter the tunnel and show Ollie the cow bell, don't ring it. We want to see his mental affect just knowing that it is there. LOL #cowbellsforOlliefortheholidays 😀

  9. The only problem with riding on the hoods with your forearms parallel to the ground, is that when you get tired, you tend to straighten your elbows and end up in a completely non-aero position. You're better off riding in the drops with your elbows bent. Even if you get tired and straighten your elbows, you're still in a semi-aero position.

  10. Skinsuits can be purchased for much less than £200…..I've got 5 skinsuits hanging in my closet, and none of them cost more than the equivalent of £125. If you are not riding in a time trial, or in a criterium, you'll look pretty funny riding in one (same goes for riding in a TT helmet on a quiet Sunday ride)

  11. Just a thought… but Ollie might be faster(not necessarily drag-wise) if he got a bit up to help with those drifting knees at the top of the stroke(external hip rotation is a common symptom of inadequate hip flexor RoM relative to trunk position) to eke out a few watts of pedaling efficiency and then(maybe) also some watts in being able to tuck his head better and keep the tail of his helmet closer to the back and shoulders.

  12. Well, I ride at 59 KPH when I’m going for a flat stage KOM so imagine the speed I could achieve if I had tri bars etc. I have a £500 boardman endurance hybrid bike that is 4 years old.

  13. Stupid question, but if a helmet with less ventilation produces less drag, would a cheap skateboard helmet be more aero than a normal well-ventilated road helmet?

  14. As it’s winter time could you do an aero test comparing the extra watts needed for full winter kit.
    A bike with full mudguards, mudflap etc and full winter clothing etc

  15. Great test, guys! Great work Ollie, no complaints from you (at least on camera) for all that work! Lots of great take aways!

  16. Another excellent video! One thing I'd say about wheels, other than yaw testing, is the gains are literally bolt on. Like the helmet its spend and go for gains. Position is irrelevant to those gains so they feel good. Position is hard to notice as you are putting out the same effort with more distress so it feels like your trying harder. My 2 cents. (or 2 p?)

  17. Usually what happens is the other way around; buy a TT bike, then expensive wheels, then maybe a helmet and suit before visiting a bikefitter. Good advice this one though, I like this type of videos. Sponsors Assos, Canyon and Orbea got the right type of advertising without you guys being annoying about it.

  18. Skin suit you can buy cheap on ali express. 30 Pounds. Maybe the fabric is not as good , however is probably only marginal gains

  19. Great video, but after showing how much of a difference angled up / praying mantis style position makes with just clip-on aerobars, was a bit surprised you didn't use that set-up on the TT bike… wasn't that kind of the point, to show the most aero combination of position/equipment?

  20. one of Graeme Obree's early tricks was to turn normal drop bars upside down , fit bmx brake leavers and get into a ski tuck position. The same position he used to break the hour record.

  21. Not a fan of deep wheels, but the wind tunnel doesn't capture the rotational drag element. This is typically one third of the translational (as measured in tunnel). So add 3 W on to a 10W saving.

  22. Thanks for the video, but something is missing. Indeed I would have loved to see the aerodynamic gains in watts between the standard position (with standard kit) and the position with elbows bent (still with standard kit). It was said to be essential but there was no figures to proove it in the video.

  23. The thing about wheels is you get the savings no matter what position you ride in. Its a constant saving unlike the ones that rely on boby shape, position etc. One thing with the mantis position being the most aero why didn't you finish with all the other gains in that position?

  24. It could be nice to see the difference between classic round bars and more aero handlebars as they are a relatively big part of your frontal area.

  25. How would that aero-on-the-hoods position compare to riding with hands in the drops with the same angle of the rider's back?

  26. Quick question: would the TT bike position but with the hands raised higher at an angle like the praying mantis position show another gain? Also, how much gain do you think could be had from empty aero-boxes on the front, back and inside the frame, like on the front of the Ribble Ultra Tri, and back of the Specialized Shiz amongst others? Could you tie-in the GTN for their thoughts?
    Great shows guys, thanks!

  27. "Ollie is absolutely nackered!" "But, lets keep talking longer while he peddles away and wishing we'd shut up so we can get this over with."

  28. I have a lemond washoe steel frame and a carbon DeBernardi Modena. When I put the 58mm deep wheels on the dB, it doesn't seem to have the same straight line benefit that I get from putting those wheels on the steel frame. And it weighs a ton when I do it, no less. Going to have to dedicate some time to tracking my speed and time over the same course using both, and also with my tub wheels, which make the carbon frame ride like a dream.

  29. Great informative video. I would particularly like to see some tests on the yaw angles of different section rims (from box to disc wheels) and their watt savings.

  30. Since the rider is the biggest drag source, the best aero upgrade is therefore get rid of the rider, and make it a riderless bicycle! 😛

  31. Spend 10 min talking about body position using a very specific description…then don't show body position with normal helmet vs baseline.
    Or did I miss a slide?

  32. Interesting stuff guys. Enjoying this hour record series. Rob is awesome. Can we see more of his expertise on the show and maybe more of his stories too? A wealth of info. Cheers.

  33. Good video, but you have done this before, can we take it a stage further, maybe look at if you can get a road bike as fast as a standard TT bike, i.e. rear disc wheel cover, aero bottles in the V, Tri bars etc. This would be useful as not having to buy an expensive tt bike would be great?

  34. I would like to see the difference between 40 cm wide bars and 38cm bars in both the base position and bent arms. The other thing that I find odd is that nobody has thought of filling the space behind the helmet. i.e. a small discrete hump sown in to the jersey. I suspect it needn't be huge. And I think for a laugh, we could try sowing in some padding into the socks to get an aero shape. I think I need a GCN skin suit, they look rather nice.

  35. Question for Ollie… did you adjust your saddle or seating style when going the clipons? Or did you just roll forward and deal with the 'extra pressure' for the sake of testing?

  36. Problem is if you turn up to your average club ride on a bike with tri bars & wearing a skinsuit & tt helmet, your mates will be in hysterics all the way to the cafe.

  37. Hi guys , Ken here . My tarmac has 50mm wheels and that yaw or tacking effect is real . Cross winds can be tricky with 50mm wheels but ,I have felt that sail effect .

  38. Very nice video. I'm slightly surprised you tested everything at three different speeds, but that gives enough information so that we can actually back-calculate the CdA's, assuming a reasonable rho. Were those savings all compared to the baseline? And was the fixture tared out?

    Comparing the results at 12:20 with those at 17:50, it appears the TT helmet with bent elbows on the hoods is more aero than road helmet with mantis.

  39. Lose weight? Whatever, its definately not shaving your legs. Wind tunnel tests ruled that idiocy out ages ago. My mate says its 'hygene'…..yeah….whatever love! XD

  40. So, Ollie needs 297W for 45 km/h, but for Merckx record of 49.4 km/h he will only need a further 6W extra. That is SCIENCE!!! 😉

  41. Guess who I saw recently John? Hambini foaming at the mouth at your failure to incorporate to unsteady state aerodynamics into your equations. He did his whole PhD on that topic 🙁

  42. Hey guys great video as always… Just wanted to ask about TT Bar position – is this vertical setting shown in video allowed by UCI regulations? For example shifters shouldn't be more ten 10cm above arms pads 🙂

  43. You completely forgot about spokes. It's not just the deep rims that make wheels aero, it's mainly the reduced number of spokes with elliptic cross section.

  44. So Ollie shaves his legs to get aero but face… not so important. I want to know the drag difference – legs unshaved and shaved and face unshaved and shaved.

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