Why your body is more important than your bike

With all the aero frames, aero wheels and other assorted aero gadgets available to buy you’d think the bike was by far the most important part of a cyclist’s aerodynamics. In fact, it accounts for less than 15% in most cases. Your body makes up the rest. So why all the focus on the bike? I think it’s because you can actually do something about it!

Because everyone’s body is different it is harder for designers and engineers help you find the right position. When it comes to your body’s aerodynamics, most of us are on our own. There’s plenty of “poor man’s” advice on how to make yourself faster, from adjusting your position in a mirror, to doing controlled runs on a consistent stretch of road. But do your changes really work? It’s hard to tell.

It’s difficult enough that most riders get a faster bike or wheels, rather than go through the trouble of self-testing, or the cost of wind tunnel testing. But is it the right choice? Daniel Healey of Tinkoff/BMC estimates the average pro’s aerodynamic drag (CdA) is 0.18 to 0.25 while the average amateur’s is 0.25 to 0.30. What does that mean in terms of speed? At 300 watts it’s roughly 2.5 km/h! That’s how valuable a wind tunnel can be.

Aero equipment for the body is even trickier. Do special skinsuits and aero helmets work? For sure, but almost every review of them ends with the caveat that there is no one fastest suit, or helmet, for everyone. Again, without a wind tunnel it’s hard to know if you’ve made the right choice.

Our goal in developing the Body Rocket system is to give riders everywhere the tools to understand that 85% of your aerodynamics that you can’t simply buy. To give you a way to test a new position, a new skinsuit, a new helmet. Not just in a straight headwind, but across a full range of yaw. No review of bikes or wheels would be complete without a comparison across all yaw angles. Your body, your skinsuit, and your helmet are no different.

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*Daniel Healey quote taken from http://blog.trainerroad.com/how-much-does-aerodynamic-drag-effect-my-speed/

*85%/15% split quoted from Simon Smart http://blog.trainerroad.com/achieving-the-proper-balance-of-power-aerodynamics-and-sustainability/

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