Thursday, March 24, 2011

Re-Evaluating the Extreme Aero Position

The first 40k time trial of the year was held in March in northern Kentucky. Its a flat to rolling course along the river, pretty typical terrain and similar to Cleves. Prior to the event, I took my position on the bike to as low in the front as possible and raised my saddle to open my hips. I took some pictures and this is about as flat as I've ever had my back. I rode several times in this position and changed my Cycle-Ops Indoor 400 to a position pretty close to this. After seeing the extra power it took on the indoor tt's to just a little faster I really thought going more aero would be the answer to going faster.

About 5 miles into it, I realized I had made a huge mistake. First of all, my neck was killing me. If I looked down at the road, I was fine but given the potholes and just general riding safety this isn't a great way to ride. I was also finding that I just wasn't generating the power I usually do. I was also extremely uncomfortable. For the first time ever in a tt, I was coming out of the saddle just to use some different muscles and take some of the pressure off my neck. Lesson learned---back to the old position. In fact, I'm even experimenting with bring the bars up a little higher and moving back on the saddle. I was pushing big power at the indoor tt's in that position. As long as I stay as narrow as possible, take advantage of the equipment (tires, tire pressure, helmet, etc), I may gain some speed in a position that allows a little more power even if a little less aero.

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