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!
After decades of cyclists being weight weenies, cyclists are now at least as focused on aerodynamics. Why the change? Not much about bikes or the air changed, but athletes and bike manufacturers started going into the wind tunnel in the ‘90s, and with that our ability to significantly effect aerodynamics changed. It took another 10 years before anyone outside of triathlon or time trials noticed, but now anyone buying a bike has to consider whether they want the lightweight bike or the aero bike. If you want a more complete history Michael Hutchinson wrote a great article about the history here.
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