Sunday, June 16, 2013

Get Faster On The Bike For A Faster Run Off The Bike

My Wind Tunnel Experience
Last week I had the opportunity to experience a wind tunnel test so that I could improve my performance on the bike. It was a lot of fun and I gained quite a bit of knowledge on my efficiency on the bike.  With a few body positioning and accessory adjustments, I was able to improve my time by 2 seconds per kilometer. That may not seem like much however when you are talking about 112 miles it adds up.  I have a habit of riding with a rounded back so I need to concentrate on keeping my back lower and not round my shoulders and back, this can significantly help my speed on the bike. My hand position can also help my performance, I was originally clasping my hands in front of my shifters that contributed to the rounding of my shoulders and arching of my back even more.  Lightly placing my hands on my shifters rather than clasping them together helps keep my back more flat.  Tucking my head or as they say "turtling", also adds to a huge time savings.  In the fastest picture I still have my double water bottle cage that essentially is acting like a wall when the wind flows over my back so if I remove this I will save even more time. Clothing and helmet are also big contributors to wind drag so wearing a tighter fitting top and using a more wind friendly helmet will help to become faster. Here is a video of the 3D fitting before the wind tunnel experience.  

Before I entered the wind tunnel I was fit on my bike which I had not done for over 2 years. Being properly fit with a 3D fitting system is so important to your performance and injury prevention on the bike.  During the bike fitting he noticed my feet and knees were tracking very good.  I rock my hips more than I should on the bike which could be from having the wrong type of saddle.  I did change my saddle however I still have not found the saddle that works best for me.  I thought my specialized saddle was fine but it is more of saddle used with road bikes not triathlon bikes and that could be causing me to rock my hips on the bike.  I tried a Adamo saddle which was not comfortable over the long distance.  Finding a good saddle fit can take some time and patience. Your performance on the bike is key to how you will perform on the run.  Do yourself a favor and get professionally fit on your bike. It may be costly but it will save you a lot of money at the doctor, physical therapist or chiropractor! 
Beginning of wind tunnel session after the bike fit

After optimization in the wind tunnel

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