Monday, April 9, 2007

Aerodynamics and trying to keep up...

Today I was reading Slowtwitch, and came across this article on Ivan Basso, and him testing his TT position here in San Diego, at the Low Speed Wind Tunnel. It's a great article discussing all the different tweaking and position changes which can affect the aerodynamics and overall speed of the rider.

In this article, it talks about Chris Lieto being at the tunnel, waiting for the Discovery Team boys to finish up, so he and his coach, Max Testa, can get into the tunnel. I just shook my head incrediluously, as Trek is really taking good care of their riders. I wish I had a company putting me in the wind tunnel to test my position.

It's ironic that I read that, because I am really, really looking at my aerodynamics a lot more. If I want to accomplish the major goals I have this year, I have to be serious about aerodynamics and it's importance. Reading that about Chris Lieto just shows what I'm up against. Normann Stadler and a bunch of other triathletes have been in that tunnel doing testing. I can't pay to get into a wind tunnel. I can't afford to hire Steve Hed and the San Diego Wind Tunnel Staff and get them working with me on my position and maximizing my speed. Instead, I have to read all the different studies I can, and try to apply everything I've learned. Hopefully some day I can get a sponsor who will help me like these other athletes have been privileged.

I emailed John Cobb today, from Blackwell Research, about his opinion on some of my aerodynamics questions and what I was thinking. I'm anxious to hear back from him.

It's amazing how much small aerodynamic changes can effect a bike split. Joe Friel has a blog, in which he recently discussed the differences in a 40K TT, with simply adjusting the aero helmet on a rider. He found 77 seconds in one change with the helmet, (and mind you, this helmet was already an AERO HELMET), in only 40K. An Ironman is 180KM, so 4.5 times that! Do the math, and that's 5 mins, 46.5 seconds in an Ironman. Imagine how much time you can gain with a more substantial adjustment than just a helmet and it's position on your head and back, or find a couple other smaller changes with similar results. I could find myself on top of the podium come Coeur d'Alene.

I am expecting my new Kalibur to be built tomorrow morning, and me hopefully riding it on Wednesday. Hopefully I will be applying the principals I've learned very shortly.

Vance - 2007 NFA

1 comment:

Dave said...

Great article on Slowtwitch Jim! I wonder what would've caused a decrease in drag with the aero helmet to save even more time??