Cycling is one such sport that requires concentration, flexibility, pedaling strength, and many more. Although you can control most of these parameters, there’s an external factor that’s hard to control- the air resistance.
As you will be trying to cruise through the air, you will naturally have to face some resistance from it. But does that mean air resistance is a completely untameable foe here? Absolutely not.
Although it’s impossible to completely nullify the effects of air drag while cycling, it is possible to control and bring down its impact.
Through this article, we will share with you 7 ways to reduce air resistance and its effects while biking.
7 Ways To Reduce Drag In Cycling
Here are 7 proven ways to reduce air drag while cycling:
Follow The Correct Body Position
Maintaining the correct posture is perhaps the best way to reduce air resistance while cycling. But one common misconception most aspiring bikers have here is that the more one bends, the better it will be.
The fact is, it is a half-truth. Bend beyond an extent, and you will be getting the exact opposite result.
Here is what a good biking body position looks like:
- Keep your torso as straight as possible. Avoid bending your spine as much as possible.
- Don’t bend too much. If you do so, you will have to lift your face to see forward. That not only nullifies your efforts to reduce drag but will also affect your biking efficiency.
- Never be in a position in which your knees constantly hit your chest or other parts.
There are different kinds of bikes available in the market for different body types and purposes. You can also consider buying a suitable bike for better posture.
Proper Clothing is Key
Your clothes can cause a lot of drag. If you are wearing a loose cloth, there will be a larger surface for the air to come in contact with. This will increase the air resistance.
So, what you should do is, always wear tight outfits, just like those professional cyclists. Slimmer clothes will enhance your efforts to cruise through the air faster.
Nowadays, there are highly advanced bicycle clothes that suit all types of physique for better cycling performance.
Using Aerobars is another great way to reduce drag while cycling. Using it, you will be having a narrower hand position, which will have a significant impact on the drag.
You can consider using advanced tri bars for better hand positions.
But what you may be thinking now is, won’t a closer grip reduce riding strength? Well, the answer is yes but that reduction in riding strength will be outweighed by its effects on the drag.
Use an Aerodynamic Helmet
Like your riding clothes and bicycle aerodynamics, your helmet also matters when it comes to air resistance. An aerodynamically designed helmet can help you cruise faster than when you use a normal helmet.
As you will be riding with a slight bend forwards, your head is one of the very first body parts that come in contact with air. That means, it indeed matters how well your head protection gear can handle the drag.
By spending a few more bucks, you can purchase a well-designed aero helmet for biking.
Look for The Design of the Bike
Your Cycle’s design has a significant impact on how much drag you’ll have to face while racing. So, if you are aiming for the best possible results, you should put some money and effort into deciding which one you should buy.
One important component of your bicycle when it comes to air drag, is your wheels. There are basically two kinds of wheels that racing bikes have. While some of them come with spoke wheels, most modern bikes use a solid disc wheel, or a combination of both.
When you have too many spokes on wheels, all these spokes will definitely have to face air resistance. And of course, that can affect your biking speed.
The Bike aerodynamics is another crucial factor here. An average racing bike will have a weight of somewhere around 20 pounds. The heavier the bike is, the higher will be the air drag you’ll have to face.
Also, it matters how well the bike is designed. For instance, the TT bikes come with a steeper seat tube, which can improve your posture and thereby reduce air drag.
Generally, a TT bike or Time trial bike will need only lesser power from you as compared to a road race bike. But here as well, you should buy a bike only based on your purpose. A road race bike, although it causes higher air drag, will prove more efficient in hilly terrains and longer duration races.
Ultimately, different bikes have different pricing, and you will usually have to pay higher prices for better features.
Shred Some Pounds
Yes, shredding those extra pounds too is an excellent way to reduce the effects of air drag. The logic here is that when you lose some weight, your body will naturally become slimmer and as a result, will have to face lesser air resistance.
Look at all those cycling champions, be it on track or road, almost all of them were slim.
But a catch here is that while losing those extra pounds of weight, you have to maintain your pedaling strength. To shred mass without much effect on body strength, you can find some proven workout and diet plans.
Hide Behind the Leading Pack
If you are participating in a group event, there is a good way to reduce air resistance; that is to go closely behind the leading pack. The pack leaders will pedal against air resistance using more effort.
Meanwhile, you can save your strength and capacity for the last stage of the race.
The Bottom Line
Those were some proven ways to reduce air resistance while cycling. All those methods work really well.
You can make use of these techniques based on your biking goals, where you’re pedaling, how much you wish to spend, etc.