I’m constantly talking to my clients, triathletes and competitive cyclists alike, about the importance of aerodynamics. On the weekend I was reminded first hand just how important an aerodynamic position is.
You see I was competing at the Hell of the West triathlon out in Goondiwindi and at the 40km turnaround in the bike (half way) my aerobar extensions failed and I was forced to sit up for the entirety of the return journey.
Now the base bar of my TT bike is pretty low, so the position would somewhat resemble the ‘Road Racer – Aggressive Position’ below and top left, whereas my normal TT position is closer to the ‘Triathlon – Aerodynamic Position’ bottom left.
I estimate the change in position cost me a little over 6mins, which in turn relegated me 3 places in my age group and 16 overall.
Luckily I wasn’t out there to win, I was simply using the event as a training day as my main goal isn’t until December when I’ll tackle Ironman No10 in Busselton WA.
Now 6mins over 40km equates to 26mins over 180km, that’s time I certainly won’t want to give away in December.
Getting into and maintaining an aerodynamic position not only ensures you’ll finish the cycle leg of a triathlon faster, it’s a fair bet you’ll have conserved a little more energy for the run also and from a psychological point of view it’s always better to be overtaking your competition in the back end of the ride than being overtaken yourself.
So whether you own a road bike and are considering aero bars, or you own a TT bike and and want to ensure you’ve optimized comfort, speed and efficiency, it’s worthwhile getting a bike fit to ensure that all that hard work you’re putting in to training is paying dividends come race day.