Cycling and bicycle discussion forums. 
   Click here to join our community Log in to access your Control Panel  


Go Back   > >

Road Cycling “It is by riding a bicycle that you learn the contours of a country best, since you have to sweat up the hills and coast down them. Thus you remember them as they actually are, while in a motor car only a high hill impresses you, and you have no such accurate remembrance of country you have driven through as you gain by riding a bicycle.” -- Ernest Hemingway

User Tag List

Reply
 
Thread Tools Search this Thread
Old 05-05-12, 05:21 PM   #1
Suburban Grind
occasional cyclist
Thread Starter
 
Join Date: Jul 2010
Bikes:
Posts: 141
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
How much speed/ power penalty from a helmet?

Had an informal 25 mile competitive session against some random middle-aged guy on the trail, him wearing a cycling cap, me with a helmet. I caught the guy from maybe 400 yds back over about 6 miles, it stayed competitive for maybe the next 14 after that, and I was able to slowly build a 200 yd lead over the final 5 miles. Before you attack me for mercilessly beating the middle-aged guy, I am also a middle-aged guy. He had a newer bike, a Cervelo TT with aero bars and tear drop seatpost, vs my older road bars steel bike, so that should have given him an advantage along with the Vroomen and White design, supposedly worth 5 watts against other newer bikes if you believe the marketing hype. Maybe a fitness difference explains my ability to overcome the disadvantage.

My question is, comparing a road helmet to an old school cycling cap, it seems obvious that more cross section area dragging in the wind would have some cost. Neglecting the fact that event sanctioning bodies will exclude riders without helmets, can anyone quantify what it costs in terms of speed or power?
Suburban Grind is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 05-05-12, 05:25 PM   #2
MajorMantra
Senior Member
 
MajorMantra's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2009
Location: Bristol, UK
Bikes:
Posts: 1,136
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Quote:
Originally Posted by Suburban Grind View Post
Had an informal 25 mile competitive session against some random middle-aged guy on the trail, him wearing a cycling cap, me with a helmet. I caught the guy from maybe 400 yds back over about 6 miles, it stayed competitive for maybe the next 14 after that, and I was able to slowly build a 200 yd lead over the final 5 miles. Before you attack me for mercilessly beating the middle-aged guy, I am also a middle-aged guy. He had a newer bike, a Cervelo TT with aero bars and tear drop seatpost, vs my older road bars steel bike, so that should have given him an advantage along with the Vroomen and White design, supposedly worth 5 watts against other newer bikes if you believe the marketing hype. Maybe a fitness difference explains my ability to overcome the disadvantage.

My question is, comparing a road helmet to an old school cycling cap, it seems obvious that more cross section area dragging in the wind would have some cost. Neglecting the fact that event sanctioning bodies will exclude riders without helmets, can anyone quantify
what it costs in terms of speed or power?
Racing on the MUP? Your dignity.
MajorMantra is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 05-05-12, 05:27 PM   #3
zonatandem
Senior Member
 
zonatandem's Avatar
 
Join Date: Dec 2003
Location: Tucson, AZ
Bikes: Custom Zona c/f tandem + Scott Plasma single
Posts: 10,904
Mentioned: 1 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 41 Post(s)
Zero for speed/power, especially if he has the cap's bill facing backward acting like a spoiler!
zonatandem is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 05-05-12, 05:29 PM   #4
ahsposo 
Titanic Member
 
ahsposo's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2010
Location: Deep in the North Atlantic
Bikes: A Home Built All Rounder, Bianchi 928, Specialized Langster, Dahon Folder
Posts: 7,073
Mentioned: 1 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 409 Post(s)
Please.

Somebody shoot me.

Please!
__________________
Quote:
Originally Posted by thelmatimynagle View Post
i glad turn hobbits
ahsposo is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 05-05-12, 05:36 PM   #5
LowCel 
Throw the stick!!!!
 
LowCel's Avatar
 
Join Date: Apr 2003
Location: Charleston, WV
Bikes: GMC Denali
Posts: 17,588
Mentioned: 1 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Helmet compared to cycling cap accounts for 13.7 watts. I read it in on the internet so it must be true.....
__________________
I may be fat but I'm slow enough to make up for it.
LowCel is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 05-05-12, 05:38 PM   #6
MegaTom
Senior Member
 
MegaTom's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2009
Location: Orlando, FL
Bikes: Specialized Roubaix SL3, Lynskey Cooper CX
Posts: 2,012
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
You can't be serious....
MegaTom is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 05-05-12, 05:48 PM   #7
Homebrew01
Super Moderator
 
Homebrew01's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2004
Location: Ffld Cnty Connecticut
Bikes: Old Steelies I made, Old Cannondales
Posts: 20,022
Mentioned: 2 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 267 Post(s)
Quote:
Originally Posted by LowCel View Post
Helmet compared to cycling cap accounts for 13.7 watts. I read it in on the internet so it must be true.....
I think you rounded up. I read it was 13.68149
__________________
Bikes: Old steel race bikes, old Cannondale race bikes, less old Cannondale race bike, crappy old mtn bike
Homebrew01 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 05-05-12, 05:50 PM   #8
LowCel 
Throw the stick!!!!
 
LowCel's Avatar
 
Join Date: Apr 2003
Location: Charleston, WV
Bikes: GMC Denali
Posts: 17,588
Mentioned: 1 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Quote:
Originally Posted by Homebrew01 View Post
I think you rounded up. I read it was 13.68149
I was trying to keep it simple for the 41 characters.
__________________
I may be fat but I'm slow enough to make up for it.
LowCel is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 05-05-12, 06:17 PM   #9
svtmike
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Oct 2008
Location: Chicago, IL
Bikes: S-Works Roubaix SL2^H4, Secteur Sport, TriCross, Kaffenback, Lurcher 29er
Posts: 2,745
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Quote:
Originally Posted by Homebrew01 View Post
I think you rounded up. I read it was 13.68149
You simply can't calculate 41 with higher precision than this thread.
svtmike is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 05-05-12, 06:28 PM   #10
and1homer
Slower Member
 
and1homer's Avatar
 
Join Date: Apr 2011
Location: Boulder, CO
Bikes: 2009 Giant Defy 1
Posts: 328
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Did you consider maybe you were the only one on the MUP who was racing? Just a thought
and1homer is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 05-05-12, 06:31 PM   #11
Elevation
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Jul 2008
Bikes:
Posts: 135
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Elevation is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 05-05-12, 06:34 PM   #12
on the path
Señor Blues
 
on the path's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2009
Location: upstate NY
Bikes: Cannondale CAAD 10, Breezer Venturi Custom Build, IRO Singlespeed
Posts: 1,386
Mentioned: 3 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 27 Post(s)
OP is lucky this isn't a weekday when everybody is slacking at work..
on the path is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 05-05-12, 06:41 PM   #13
achoo
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Dec 2009
Bikes:
Posts: 4,700
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Doesn't matter. If you're REALLY racing helmets are mandatory.
achoo is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 05-05-12, 06:43 PM   #14
HokuLoa
Blissketeer
 
HokuLoa's Avatar
 
Join Date: Aug 2007
Location: USA
Bikes:
Posts: 1,335
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
oh brother...
HokuLoa is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 05-05-12, 07:18 PM   #15
znomit
Zoom zoom zoom zoom bonk
 
znomit's Avatar
 
Join Date: Sep 2006
Location: New Zealand
Bikes: Giant Defy Composite,Trek 1.7c, Specy Hardrock, Nishiki SL1, Jamis Commuter
Posts: 3,353
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 14 Post(s)
I always just wear a cap when I'm on my recovery rides.
znomit is online now   Reply With Quote
Old 05-05-12, 07:40 PM   #16
rangerdavid
Senior Member
 
rangerdavid's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jun 2009
Location: Boone, North Carolina
Bikes: 2009 Cannondale CAAD9-6 2014 Trek Domaine 5.9
Posts: 5,093
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Quote:
Originally Posted by LowCel View Post
I was trying to keep it simple for the 41 characters.


not simple enough unless it comes with crayons and a coloring book
rangerdavid is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 05-05-12, 07:48 PM   #17
WhyFi
Senior Member
 
WhyFi's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2010
Location: Got a castle in - er, Minneapolis, that's where I dwell!
Bikes: 2009 Jamis Xenith, 2016 Diamondback Haanjo
Posts: 14,413
Mentioned: 48 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 1220 Post(s)
100 watts, just like my Sanyo stereo, baby.
WhyFi is online now   Reply With Quote
Old 05-05-12, 08:14 PM   #18
Homebrew01
Super Moderator
 
Homebrew01's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2004
Location: Ffld Cnty Connecticut
Bikes: Old Steelies I made, Old Cannondales
Posts: 20,022
Mentioned: 2 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 267 Post(s)
I'm considering removing the streamers from the ends of my handlebars due to the additional watts they add. Thoughts?
Does anyone make thin, colored carbon fiber streamers that are more aero than the standard plastic streamers I'm using now ?
__________________
Bikes: Old steel race bikes, old Cannondale race bikes, less old Cannondale race bike, crappy old mtn bike
Homebrew01 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 05-05-12, 08:15 PM   #19
WhyFi
Senior Member
 
WhyFi's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2010
Location: Got a castle in - er, Minneapolis, that's where I dwell!
Bikes: 2009 Jamis Xenith, 2016 Diamondback Haanjo
Posts: 14,413
Mentioned: 48 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 1220 Post(s)
What color are they?
WhyFi is online now   Reply With Quote
Old 05-05-12, 08:16 PM   #20
halfspeed
Senior Member
 
halfspeed's Avatar
 
Join Date: Nov 2003
Location: SE Minnesota
Bikes: are better than yours.
Posts: 12,276
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Quote:
Originally Posted by whyfi View Post
100 watts, just like my sanyo stereo, baby.
bpc ftw.
__________________
Telemachus has, indeed, sneezed.
halfspeed is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 05-05-12, 08:41 PM   #21
echotraveler
Senior Member
 
echotraveler's Avatar
 
Join Date: Aug 2009
Bikes:
Posts: 1,799
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 1 Post(s)
wow! OP PLZ DELETE!
echotraveler is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 05-05-12, 08:46 PM   #22
denvertrout
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Jan 2009
Location: North Denver
Bikes:
Posts: 169
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 2 Post(s)
Fitness difference? seriously? You gained 200 yards in 25 miles? Thanks for the laugh
denvertrout is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 05-05-12, 08:51 PM   #23
Crimsonghost
Senior Member
 
Crimsonghost's Avatar
 
Join Date: Sep 2010
Location: San Francisco, CA
Bikes:
Posts: 214
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Quote:
Originally Posted by Homebrew01 View Post
I'm considering removing the streamers from the ends of my handlebars due to the additional watts they add. Thoughts?
Does anyone make thin, colored carbon fiber streamers that are more aero than the standard plastic streamers I'm using now ?
Sad thing is I really do have some carbon fiber cloth in my lab.

Im sure there's a practical application for this somewhere. Think streamers are too much on a Cervélo? They don't match the paint, but I'm sure they will make me look über fast.
Crimsonghost is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 05-05-12, 10:11 PM   #24
adclark
What's a bike?
 
adclark's Avatar
 
Join Date: Sep 2009
Location: USA
Bikes: Bianchi Veloce
Posts: 613
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
It doesn't cost you anything because when you crash and hit your head, you can probably not suffer any long term damage. I doubt the cycling cap will do the same, so you would be far more likely to miss time on the bike.
adclark is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 05-05-12, 10:13 PM   #25
adclark
What's a bike?
 
adclark's Avatar
 
Join Date: Sep 2009
Location: USA
Bikes: Bianchi Veloce
Posts: 613
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Quote:
Originally Posted by rangerdavid View Post
not simple enough unless it comes with crayons and a coloring book
adclark is offline   Reply With Quote
Reply


Thread Tools Search this Thread
Search this Thread:

Advanced Search

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off



All times are GMT -6. The time now is 04:52 PM.