Endurance Innovation 70 – Kurt Bergin-Taylor on Aero Optimization

Endurance Innovation 70 – Kurt Bergin-Taylor on Aero Optimization

Friend of the show and sport scientist at Cycling Canada, Kurt Bergin-Taylor is back to share (what he can!) about improving your cycling aerodynamics.

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  • 5:00 baseline aerodynamics CdA values
    • Most aerodynamic male pro triathletes are around 0.200 and even below
    • 0.230 considered very good for average-sized male
    • 0.250 to 0.270+ is common for reasonably well-fitted male age groupers
    • Track riders can be as low as 0.160
  • 6:45 how much of a time difference does this make? The Cody Beals case study
    • At his current-ish CdA of 0.22, and using his IMMT power output of 260W average, Cody would be traveling at ~42kph on a flat course
    • If he could get down to a very ambitious CdA of 0.18, he could get up to ~44kph, which is a savings of almost 12 minutes over 180km!
    • At an optimized, track cycling world-class CdA of 0.16, he could hold 46kph at 260W. Of course, this is not a realistic value in all likelihood.
  • 16:15 what can we do to improve aerodynamics?
    • Test to determine CdA
    • Experiment with position changes, starting with the front end and retest each iteration
    • Spend some training time in that optimized position and at race-specific power AND speed
    • Spend time wearing your full race kit in simulation workouts – especially helmets
  • 22:45 achieving and training that optimal head position
    • Experiment with stack height: sometimes a slightly taller stack can allow you to lower your head
    • Mirrors / photos and videos from the side
    • Train the position in an interval format
  • 29:00 focus on that front end
  • 32:15 important equipment choices
    • Find the best helmet, test as many as possible
    • Understand your target speed and local climatic conditions
    • Evaluate cost-benefit of aero overshoes
    • Marginal gains add up – especially in TT
  • 34:30 Saving energy on the bike is key in long course racing
  • 38:30 consider your ‘sustainable drag’ that is, making sure you can hold that position for the duration of the target event
  • 39:45 skin suit fabrics and fit

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