Into the Wind: A Pro Cyclist's First Wind Tunnel Test

Small Changes, Big Gains

Now time to actually get to work. Right away we got my head in the right position and saw a ma-jor improvement but like with all adjustments, it's going to take some getting used to.

Next up was helmet choice. My team has two separate helmets from Giro we can use, and luckily the new one is faster for me. Awesome.

Next they dropped my saddle a bit, which felt more comfortable and also made keeping my head in the new position easier. Then the bar extensions were moved to help block my frontal area.

After each adjustment, they would hurry out, shut the door and come on over the loudspeaker. Shortly after, the fans would start and I would begin another effort. This is where my blank can-vas really came into play, because pretty much everything they tried resulted in a noticeable im-provement.

It was almost comical: After every new tweak, they'd look at the numbers and come back grin-ning as to how much better I was in this new position.

The Takeaway

Overall, we changed just about everything: A new head position, lower saddle height, exten-sions raised, bar pads moved inward and hands moved to on top of each other. I also learned how to arrange my hands depending on the wind direction.

Funny side note--the best possible bottle position still has an aero penalty. The wind tunnel guys basically said don't use one.

Finally, we tested what power output was required to sustain 30 mph in my new position. My blank canvas was more or less a blank sail, and the changes made resulted in a 10 percent im-provement. That's massive, and now I'm actually looking forward to getting to the races and testing out my new position in a time trial.

A2 was a great experience--I learned a ton and got loads of help. Let's hope I can repay them with a bump in my TT results and some help for those GC aspirations of mine.

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