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Aero Shoe Cover Question

Old 08-09-14, 04:26 PM
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Little5er
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Aero Shoe Cover Question

So, I recently bought a pair of aero shoe covers, but I didn't realize that they only go up to around mid-ankle. Since I usually wear quarter length socks, they don't reach the top of my socks. Is it more aero to have the sock extend over the shoe cover, or have a bulge under the shoe cover from rolling my sock down?

I understand that this will probably make very little difference in terms of aeroness, but I figured that if I'm going to wear them, I might as well do it right.

Thanks
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Old 08-09-14, 04:36 PM
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Before I say anything I wonder exactly how many people here have tested this concept in the tunnel. Zero? I'm sure that won't stop most responses.


If it were me I'd roll the socks down.
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Old 08-09-14, 04:47 PM
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It's a completely aesthetic question. Aero is irrelevant since the numbers of air resistance and friction were all calculated in a controlled environment such as a wind tunnel. Out on the road the negative variables multiply infinitely. When it comes to Aero, your wheel set choice will matter more than any clothing can.

Roll the socks down and fit inside the cover is going to look about as Goofy as a Disney World character. Same with the sock length above.
Choice is either wear as is, with socks running full length, or get socks that fit lower than the aero booty cuff.
I would do the latter, then again I dislike the trend towards longer short sleeves, shorts leg length that resemble fall bib knickers and of course socks that run up midway between ankle and kneecap. And if they're black it totally reminds me of grandfather look in their knee high black socks and shorts.

I have always preferred that form followed function. The shorter the arm length cut, the shorter ( as in just above the ankle which gives a bit of protection to the ankle bone ) the sock length and shorts where mid thigh is max, not Sky's kit of down to the knees. It's already hot enough and constrictive out on the road, so less coverage allows faster heat and sweat dissipation.
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Old 08-09-14, 04:58 PM
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A recent wind tunnel study has demonstrated that going sockless will save up to 5 sec in a 40k time trial at yaw angles between 10 and 40 degrees. Races have been won and lost by smaller time gaps.
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Old 08-10-14, 11:07 AM
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Here's an interesting, if dated, table of the aero benefits of various bike and aparrel items: Bicycles and Aerodynamics
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Old 08-10-14, 12:00 PM
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Originally Posted by Looigi View Post
Here's an interesting, if dated, table of the aero benefits of various bike and aparrel items: Bicycles and Aerodynamics
OMG .. That is a report published 14 years ago which probably means the data is 15 years old and since Lemond and Steve Hed are mentioned that brings it back to 1989-1990 hence 25 years ago.

I'm not disputing aero advantage, but it's very easy to negate any benefit just on conditions and wether the rider is actually efficient on the bike.
Again there are too many variables when you are trying to correlate elite and pro level cyclists to Cat III / IV / V's.

I do however like the removal of water bottle cages and bottles for that x-tra time gain. Should be beneficial in a 2+hour road race LOL / srcsm

There is way too much emphasis on the aero factor instead of training and getting that to maximize returns.

Case in point, a friend from long ago showed up at a group training ride on an MTB ( smooth tires nevertheless ) They all stopped laughing when he was pulling everyone around and won the sprint for the line by multiple bike lengths.
It did help that he was a former German National team sprinter but still the point remains that even though we all had much better aero equipment he still proved that it's not all about the bike.
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Old 08-10-14, 12:07 PM
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Originally Posted by Moyene Corniche View Post
OMG .. That is a report published 14 years ago which probably means the data is 15 years old and since Lemond and Steve Hed are mentioned that brings it back to 1989-1990 hence 25 years ago.

...

There is way too much emphasis on the aero factor instead of training and getting that to maximize returns.

I don't think air has changed much in the past 25 years. I recently watched the last stage of the 89 TDF (which was exactly 25 years ago!) and I think it can be stated as fact that aero equipment won the tour for Lemond.

Besides, the OP now has the shoe covers and he probably didn't buy them in order to be able to skip training. So... socks are less aero than skin, and skin is less aero than aero shoe covers. So minimize the sock exposure, either by rolling them down, cutting them off, or buying shorter socks.
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Old 08-10-14, 04:37 PM
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why roll the socks down? why not just fold them in half? that should get them under the aero covers and not have a huge bump from the rolled up sock material.
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Old 08-10-14, 05:12 PM
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Originally Posted by Moyene Corniche View Post
Case in point, a friend from long ago showed up at a group training ride on an MTB ( smooth tires nevertheless ) They all stopped laughing when he was pulling everyone around and won the sprint for the line by multiple bike lengths.
I imagine he must have won multiple Tours de France, dozens of one day classics, and numerous world championships? No?

He was strong enough to overcome his equipment handicap when riding with your bunch, but everyone who competes will one day come up against someone equal or slightly better than themselves and then the small differences in equipment will make the difference between winning and losing.

And will you drop the training or equipment crap. Everyone sees through this already. Whatever someone's training level, faster equipment makes them faster. No one buys the false dichotomy that it has to be one or the other.
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Old 08-10-14, 05:57 PM
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Originally Posted by asgelle View Post
I imagine he must have won multiple Tours de France, dozens of one day classics, and numerous world championships? No?

He was strong enough to overcome his equipment handicap when riding with your bunch, but everyone who competes will one day come up against someone equal or slightly better than themselves and then the small differences in equipment will make the difference between winning and losing.

And will you drop the training or equipment crap. Everyone sees through this already. Whatever someone's training level, faster equipment makes them faster. No one buys the false dichotomy that it has to be one or the other.

I agree with all you said, but there in lies my biggest disappointment with bike racing. My enjoyment in racing is seeing how I stack up against my fellow age group competitors, where if I lose to my peer by a few seconds the ONLY way I will get him next week is to train harder. That gives me more pleasure then running out and buying shoe covers. That is why I do running races and ride bikes for cross training and enjoyment.
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Old 08-10-14, 06:02 PM
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Originally Posted by jbenkert111 View Post
That is why I do running races and ride bikes for cross training and enjoyment.
Because there's no such thing as a racing flat vs. a training shoe, right?
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Old 08-10-14, 06:25 PM
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Originally Posted by asgelle View Post
Because there's no such thing as a racing flat vs. a training shoe, right?
Not a good analogy: In running, if you want to race seriously, you buy a racing shoe, if not, you buy a training shoe. Either way you need a pair of shoes, which incidentally, they cost about the same. In bike racing, if you are serious about racing and want to be on an even par with your competitors you are forced to put out big bucks for a good racing bike (all those aero advantages you know) or spend a lot less and never know who is the faster (on his own) rider. Of course racing skills play a role, but that does not negate having to spend money for those aero advantages.
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Old 08-10-14, 06:48 PM
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I lost a podium by 1sec in a tt earlier this season. I had tall socks on. FML.
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Old 08-10-14, 08:35 PM
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fold the socks under.

and spend more time on your TT bike.
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Old 08-10-14, 09:02 PM
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Originally Posted by Moyene Corniche View Post
When it comes to Aero, your wheel set choice will matter more than any clothing can.

mmmm nope
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Old 08-11-14, 04:19 AM
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Originally Posted by gtrob View Post
mmmm nope
Really ? Then ride a 20 km TT with the only change in equipment being a set of Reynolds Assault wheels vrs a set of Mavic Ksyrium.
All conditions being equal there might just be a time gain..
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Old 08-11-14, 04:43 AM
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Originally Posted by asgelle View Post
I imagine he must have won multiple Tours de France, dozens of one day classics, and numerous world championships? No?
He was strong enough to overcome his equipment handicap when riding with your bunch, but everyone who competes will one day come up against someone equal or slightly better than themselves and then the small differences in equipment will make the difference between winning and losing.
No, he didn't as he was a Yale grad student, international amateur racing had been enough for him. But he did race as a Cat-I or Cat-II.
" someone equal or slightly better " at the upper elite level, " Yes " there minute equipment changes do make a difference but where most of us here are racing, there is a point where it just becomes absurd. Of course if you are racing at the Pro / Cat-I and are in that upper 5% then details matter.

Originally Posted by asgelle View Post
And will you drop the training or equipment crap. Everyone sees through this already. Whatever someone's training level, faster equipment makes them faster. No one buys the false dichotomy that it has to be one or the other.
No I said " That there is too much emphasis on the minutiae of one (aero ) over the other, not one or the other. There is a distinction in the phrasing. As for the faster equipment makes anyone faster, not necessarily.

Ironically, the OP"s question was really more about aesthetics then about aero time gains or losses..

Last edited by Moyene Corniche; 08-11-14 at 04:46 AM.
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Old 08-11-14, 04:53 AM
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Originally Posted by jbenkert111 View Post
I agree with all you said, but there in lies my biggest disappointment with bike racing. My enjoyment in racing is seeing how I stack up against my fellow age group competitors, where if I lose to my peer by a few seconds the ONLY way I will get him next week is to train harder. That gives me more pleasure then running out and buying shoe covers. That is why I do running races and ride bikes for cross training and enjoyment.
wrong forum

everything matters, motor matters most.
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Old 08-11-14, 03:02 PM
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Originally Posted by Moyene Corniche View Post
It did help that he was a former German National team sprinter but still the point remains that even though we all had much better aero equipment he still proved that it's not all about the bike.
Heh. Turns out it was not all about the bike but all about the PEDs.
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Old 08-11-14, 04:07 PM
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I would go with shorter socks. Ultimately though, you will need to spend some time in the wind tunnel to know what works best for you.



I wish some of these threads would actually become useful. The whole 41 or why does it matter or who cares about .1% gets old and it is also ignorant. Would be nice to get some real data in the 33 because aero shoe covers could make a difference.
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Old 08-11-14, 07:07 PM
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There have been at least two people from here who have gone to the wind tunnel. As to whether they tested shoe covers, I cannot say.

Both of these trips happened enough years ago that any threads posted would be long long buried.
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Old 08-14-14, 04:06 PM
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Thanks for all of the replys. As some of you noted the point of my question was simply just regarding aesthetics..mostly. I know my training backs up my racing and I knew that this might open up an argument, but I just wanted to know how to look good haha.

Thanks!
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Old 08-14-14, 05:31 PM
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Originally Posted by Grumpy McTrumpy View Post
There have been at least two people from here who have gone to the wind tunnel. As to whether they tested shoe covers, I cannot say.

Both of these trips happened enough years ago that any threads posted would be long long buried.
I've been to three tunnels and a track testing facility. Have one Nats record and one course record. Have worked with Cobb, Giraud, and Ketchel.

There are some absolutes in this stuff, but not many. Read old data at your own risk. When in doubt, test. You can do a lot in the field with the right protocol.
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Old 08-14-14, 07:16 PM
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Originally Posted by thechemist View Post
I would go with shorter socks.
Less weight !!
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Old 08-15-14, 07:25 AM
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Originally Posted by gl98115 View Post
Heh. Turns out it was not all about the bike but all about the PEDs.
Of course, how did I not see that inevitable response.
So every german athlete has gone thru the doping training, is that your response ?

Or could it ( perhaps ) may just be that someone on an excellent training program, combined with optimal physiology is just simply far above the rest ? (sigh)
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