A great podcast critically reviewing the latest cycling science

Episode 14: The effect of aerodynamic time-trial position on gross efficiency

In my interview with Chris Fennell we discuss the importance of optimising aerodynamic position for successful time-trial performance. Air resistance is the major resistive force for cyclists on level ground accounting for up to 96% of a rider’s power output. Over the past few years the time-trial positions have become more extreme in the quest to reduce that all important drag factor (CdA).

Reduction of CdA is most easily achieved by lowering the front of the rider to reduce the frontal surface area. While with it is possible to significantly reduce CdA this comes at a cost in terms of ability to produce and sustain power output. In addition we also know that time-trial intensity exercise reduces cycling efficiency and thus the focus of Chris’s research was to look at these two factors in combination. So what happens to cycling performance during a 20 minute time-trial at 3 different torso angles 0 degrees, 12 degrees and 24 degrees relative to horizontal. In addition what happened to cycling gross efficiency over the 20 minutes in the three torso angles.

Link to the original paper in the Journal of Science & Cycling can be accessed at this link.


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