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What does a speed suit do?

Old 01-05-19, 08:50 PM
  #26  
Maelochs
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Originally Posted by Maelochs View Post
Aero resistance ramps up exponentially as speed increases so it takes a Lot more power to go from 30 mph to 32 mph than it does to go from 15 to 16. And at 15 mph aero drag, while still the biggest thing you back, is minuscule compared to drag a to drag at 20.If you are not expending that many watts to begin with, the savings are going to be pretty smallóprobably not noticeable. .
Originally Posted by asgelle View Post
To set the record straight, aero drag goes quadratically as speed, not exponentially. It takes 21% more power to go from 30 to 32 mph; it also takes 21% more to go from 15 to 16 mph. The drag at 15 mph is 56% that at 20 mph.
Originally Posted by seamuis View Post
translation: pretty much nothing matters, aerodynamically speaking, at speeds below what pro racers average. So a skin suit is perfectly designed for the people itís designed for. Therefore the cost is irrelevant. If youíre not one of those peoples, you have no reason to even care that they exist, much less wether theyíre worth the cost.
Originally Posted by asgelle View Post
You completely misunderstood my post. If you have something to say, say it yourself. Donít hide behind someone else.
Actually, @seamuis pretty much translated my post.

I am not a mathematician. I do understand that aero drag increases at a rate in multiples of speed, not directly, so that id you go twice as fast, the drag quadruples ... or some such. I thought it went by the square of the irate of increase ... but the basic principle is the same. if you go slowly, drag is relatively low. If you go a little faster, drag increases even more quickly. if you go way faster, drag balloons and gets to be huge.

Therefore ... if you are riding at 15 mph, the aero drag isn't huge, but if you are riding at 25 it is. if you are trying to get from 30 to 32 mph, the wattage increase is proportional to the increase in drag, which is Way more than the increase in drag going from 15 to 16 mph. (And yes, I see where @asgelle claims it takes the same watt increase to go from 15-16 as from 30-32---but since the aero resistance is about three times as great or more, i don't see how that makes sense since you need power to overcome resistance and the resistance is not growing in a linear fashion... why would required wattage? Whatever.)

So, while anyone Can wear a skinsuit, it might not make much of a difference---spend the money on hiring a coach or something. or buy a skinsuit and wear it proudly--I don't care.

I have seen a couple different charts showing how much each alteration translates into a time advantage---but those all presuppose a person riding flat-out over a 40-k TT or some such.(I notice they all claim radically different numbers, which makes me totally doubt their accuracy. Science is performing the same experiment and getting approximately the same result. if one gets a number twice what the other got, someone is doing it wrong--maybe both.)

Also, this chart lists aero bars and an aero position ... but how can one achieve an full aero position without aero bars? Hmmmm .....

In any case ... even a hardcore pro TT expert isn't going to gain much from wearing a skinsuit when he is riding around the block with his kids on their bikes with training wheels. So, pretty much, at speeds below what the really fast riders ride, that skin suit is likely not the most effective investment.

Still might be the right purchase. That is a personal thing. I never see sea lions while out riding.
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Old 01-05-19, 09:14 PM
  #27  
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Originally Posted by Doctor Morbius View Post
Just shave your entire body and wear a thong and apply a dash of oil to the skin. Way cheaper.
Yes, oil definitely reduces friction.
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Old 01-05-19, 09:41 PM
  #28  
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Originally Posted by asgelle View Post

You completely misunderstood my post. If you have something to say, say it yourself. Donít hide behind someone else.
woa there mate, first of all I wasnít hiding behind anything. My entire post was jest. Secondly, I didnít misunderstand anything. Again, my post was jest, it wasnít meant as an actual explainer of your words.
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Old 01-05-19, 09:41 PM
  #29  
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Originally Posted by OBoile View Post
No, it means a speed suit will make you faster at all levels/speeds.
Aerodynamics certainly factor in at speeds well below what the pros do.
Sure, but when looking at performance "upgrades" in any speed sport, aero is the thing that bumps you from 99.5% to 99.9%, it is something that can bump up speed a bit when much larger contributions are running consistently as fast as they can. It is absolutely critical at top competition, because everyone else has the body tuned out, it can provide the marginal gains you need to win.

Yes, someone averaging 15mph can go marginally faster with a suit, but they aren't consistent to the point where you can actually look at the suit and notice it making any difference. They may well beat their suit time in jean shorts and a cotton tshirt the next day, simply because that day they got into a better rhythm.
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Old 01-05-19, 09:48 PM
  #30  
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Originally Posted by fietsbob View Post
and have the fancy graphics painted on your body..
Tattooed
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Old 01-05-19, 10:01 PM
  #31  
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Originally Posted by Maelochs View Post
Science is performing the same experiment and getting approximately the same result. if one gets a number twice what the other got, someone is doing it wrong--maybe both.)
Ignoring all the other errors in the post, Iíll point out that you misunderstand these results. For the most part they arenít from direct measurements, rather they come from a model (which has been thoroughly validated so thereís no question as to its validity) applied to different equipment sets. Since different people use different underlying assumptions/conditions, thereís really no contradiction in the results. Thereís no one answer to how much time a skin suit saves. It depends on the riderís power, the other equipment sheís using, and what she was wearing before.
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Old 01-05-19, 10:23 PM
  #32  
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Originally Posted by jefnvk View Post
Sure, but when looking at performance "upgrades" in any speed sport, aero is the thing that bumps you from 99.5% to 99.9%, it is something that can bump up speed a bit when much larger contributions are running consistently as fast as they can. It is absolutely critical at top competition, because everyone else has the body tuned out, it can provide the marginal gains you need to win.

Yes, someone averaging 15mph can go marginally faster with a suit, but they aren't consistent to the point where you can actually look at the suit and notice it making any difference. They may well beat their suit time in jean shorts and a cotton tshirt the next day, simply because that day they got into a better rhythm.
It's been said many times on this forum, the absolute time differences are actually greater at slower speeds.
How much that matters to someone is personal preference, but it doesn't change the fact that it will make a difference.
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Old 01-05-19, 10:26 PM
  #33  
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Originally Posted by Maelochs View Post
Actually, @seamuis pretty much translated my post.

I am not a mathematician. I do understand that aero drag increases at a rate in multiples of speed, not directly, so that id you go twice as fast, the drag quadruples ... or some such. I thought it went by the square of the irate of increase ... but the basic principle is the same. if you go slowly, drag is relatively low. If you go a little faster, drag increases even more quickly. if you go way faster, drag balloons and gets to be huge.

Therefore ... if you are riding at 15 mph, the aero drag isn't huge, but if you are riding at 25 it is. if you are trying to get from 30 to 32 mph, the wattage increase is proportional to the increase in drag, which is Way more than the increase in drag going from 15 to 16 mph. (And yes, I see where @asgelle claims it takes the same watt increase to go from 15-16 as from 30-32---but since the aero resistance is about three times as great or more, i don't see how that makes sense since you need power to overcome resistance and the resistance is not growing in a linear fashion... why would required wattage? Whatever.)
He didn't say this.
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Old 01-05-19, 10:29 PM
  #34  
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Originally Posted by OBoile View Post
It's been said many times on this forum, the absolute time differences are actually greater at slower speeds.
How much that matters to someone is personal preference, but it doesn't change the fact that it will make a difference.
In all threads like this there are people whoíve made up their mind that something isnít important to them and then twist or straight out make up facts to show it isnít important to anyone.
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Old 01-05-19, 10:59 PM
  #35  
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Originally Posted by caloso View Post


and you need somewhere to pin or glue on your number.
htfu
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Old 01-06-19, 12:17 AM
  #36  
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Originally Posted by OBoile View Post
It's been said many times on this forum, the absolute time differences are actually greater at slower speeds.
How much that matters to someone is personal preference, but it doesn't change the fact that it will make a difference.
Not quite sure I'm following you here. Are you saying if you put a rider that could average 13mph and one that could ride 25mph on the same course, the presence or lack of a suit would affect the 13mph rider more?
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Old 01-06-19, 04:18 AM
  #37  
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I'm an ex-college football player. If I get a skin suit it's going to say GOODYEAR on it.
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Old 01-06-19, 04:28 AM
  #38  
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Originally Posted by jefnvk View Post
Not quite sure I'm following you here. Are you saying if you put a rider that could average 13mph and one that could ride 25mph on the same course, the presence or lack of a suit would affect the 13mph rider more?
if for no other reason than because he will be on the course longer and enjoying the benefit for longer.

As i tried to say earlier ... as far as I have heard, aero advantages are greater proportionately for slow riders .... but that means you are going from 15.75 to 15.85 mph----and smaller proportionately but greater overall for fast riders. if a skin suit saves 5 watts and you are only putting out 100, it is a five percent gain. if you are putting out 400 watts, 5 watts is almost negligible ... but it might be the difference of beating the guy who didn't wear the skinsuit.

For someone who is riding at 40 percent output ... and not even timing his ride ... what metric matters? Wear a skinsuit if you like it.

For someone pushing for maximum performance in a race, the metric which matters is shortest time from start to finish ... and skinsuit will save a couple seconds.
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Old 01-06-19, 04:36 AM
  #39  
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Originally Posted by Maelochs View Post
I have seen a couple different charts showing how much each alteration translates into a time advantage---but those all presuppose a person riding flat-out over a 40-k TT or some such.(I notice they all claim radically different numbers, which makes me totally doubt their accuracy. Science is performing the same experiment and getting approximately the same result. if one gets a number twice what the other got, someone is doing it wrong--maybe both.)
Originally Posted by asgelle View Post
Ignoring all the other errors in the post, Iíll point out that you misunderstand these results. For the most part they arenít from direct measurements, rather they come from a model (which has been thoroughly validated so thereís no question as to its validity) applied to different equipment sets. Since different people use different underlying assumptions/conditions, thereís really no contradiction in the results. Thereís no one answer to how much time a skin suit saves. It depends on the riderís power, the other equipment sheís using, and what she was wearing before.
I guess you donít see that your reply completely validated my post Ö but thanks. The numbers quoted are not absolutes, as you say Ö they are specific to a single experiment or set of experiments.

So any one quoting thos e figures and applying them to any other rider in any other situation (ďA skin suit will save you X, acas this chart showsĒ) is wrong. All it show s ihtat there is some saving to be had under certain conditions. And as I pointed out, we donít even know how they did their experiments---how did they evaluate the benefit of a Ďwind-tunnel-refined aero riding positionĒ which had to have been done with aero bars Ö and then determine a different value for the riding position and the aero bars? Canít have one without the other. So Ö as I stated those are not scientifically derived and verified values Ö. And in themselves, all they say is that there seems to be some advantage to certain gear and practices. Glad we agree.
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Old 01-06-19, 08:22 AM
  #40  
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Originally Posted by Maelochs View Post
And as I pointed out, we donít even know how they did their experiments ...
Speak for yourself. If you looked up the articles from which the figure was taken, Buying Time: Costs and Benefits of Time Trial Equipment - The Buzz http://www.aerosportsresearch.com/pdf/buying-time.pdf all the details are described. I'd say the fault is with Elvo for presenting the figure out of context and any reader who thinks that one figure is the sum total and definitive word on the subject.
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Old 01-06-19, 08:37 AM
  #41  
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Originally Posted by jefnvk View Post
Not quite sure I'm following you here. Are you saying if you put a rider that could average 13mph and one that could ride 25mph on the same course, the presence or lack of a suit would affect the 13mph rider more?
Depending on your perspective, yes.

As I understand it, the 13 mph rider will actually save more total time over a given distance. But, the percentage of time saved will be lower. So for example (I'm just making these numbers up) lets assume a 13 mph rider and a 26 mph rider. For a 13 mile course, the 13 mph rider might save 1 minute over an hour of riding. The 26 mph rider may save 40 seconds over half an hour of riding. Something like that.

But all this is just going by what I've read here.

Ultimately, it will make both riders slightly faster. It's up to you if that is worth the cost/expense of a speed suit. I don't own one, so it clearly isn't worth it to me.
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Old 01-06-19, 09:12 AM
  #42  
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Originally Posted by OBoile View Post
Depending on your perspective, yes.

As I understand it, the 13 mph rider will actually save more total time over a given distance. But, the percentage of time saved will be lower. So for example (I'm just making these numbers up) lets assume a 13 mph rider and a 26 mph rider. For a 13 mile course, the 13 mph rider might save 1 minute over an hour of riding. The 26 mph rider may save 40 seconds over half an hour of riding. Something like that.

But all this is just going by what I've read here.

Ultimately, it will make both riders slightly faster. It's up to you if that is worth the cost/expense of a speed suit. I don't own one, so it clearly isn't worth it to me.
the rub is that if youíre riding at 13mph on average, itís very unlikely that youíre actually trying to go fast, or save time. Because 13mph does neither for you. So while a skinsuit would actually save you more time over a set distance than a pro rider thatís averaging 25mph, itís the pro rider that needs that marginal gain, more than the 13mph rider needs their larger gain. This is exactly why I said that the skinsuit was designed for the pro rider. The fact that an average rider, riding at a pretty average pace would get a bigger benefit from the reduction in drag that the skinsuit provides, is for the most part meaningless, precisely because the 13mph rider is highly unlikely to be trying to get any gains. And if they are, they would be better off getting up to the pro riders level first, before worrying about the skinsuit. Even though, at that level, the skinsuit gives a smaller gain. But if the 13mph rider wanted to wear a skinsuit, regardless of reason or cost, it would indeed be quite beneficial, just not in a way that practically matters, when youíre riding at 13mph.

so what does it do? It makes you look like you spent a bunch of money, while youíre still riding at an average speed. Thatís about it. So if thatís what youíre going for, then crack on.

see how this all works? Continue on with the puffed egos and fact/figure chest pounding, lads. Iím sure youíll make marginal gains in forum discourse.

Last edited by seamuis; 01-06-19 at 09:20 AM.
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Old 01-06-19, 09:36 AM
  #43  
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Originally Posted by OBoile View Post
Ultimately, it will make both riders slightly faster. It's up to you if that is worth the cost/expense of a speed suit. I don't own one, so it clearly isn't worth it to me.
Originally Posted by seamuis View Post


the rub is that if youíre riding at 13mph on average, itís very unlikely that youíre actually trying to go fast, or save time. Because 13mph does neither for you. So while a skinsuit would actually save you more time over a set distance than a pro rider thatís averaging 25mph, itís the pro rider that needs that marginal gain, more than the 13mph rider needs their larger gain. This is exactly why I said that the skinsuit was designed for the pro rider. The fact that an average rider, riding at a pretty average pace would get a bigger benefit from the reduction in drag that the skinsuit provides, is for the most part meaningless, precisely because the 13mph rider is highly unlikely to be trying to get any gains. And if they are, they would be better off getting up to the pro riders level first, before worrying about the skinsuit. Even though, at that level, the skinsuit gives a smaller gain. But if the 13mph rider wanted to wear a skinsuit, regardless of reason or cost, it would indeed be quite beneficial, just not in a way that practically matters, when youíre riding at 13mph.

so what does it do? It makes you look like you spent a bunch of money, while youíre still riding at an average speed. Thatís about it. So if thatís what youíre going for, then crack on.

see how this all works? Continue on with the puffed egos and fact/figure chest pounding, lads. Iím sure youíll make marginal gains in forum discourse.
Hence my statement above. Others may feel differently. It's entirely a matter of personal preference.
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Old 01-06-19, 10:01 AM
  #44  
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resident 13mph PRO

Originally Posted by seamuis View Post


the rub is that if youíre riding at 13mph on average, itís very unlikely that youíre actually trying to go fast, or save time. Because 13mph does neither for you. So while a skinsuit would actually save you more time over a set distance than a pro rider thatís averaging 25mph, itís the pro rider that needs that marginal gain, more than the 13mph rider needs their larger gain. This is exactly why I said that the skinsuit was designed for the pro rider. The fact that an average rider, riding at a pretty average pace would get a bigger benefit from the reduction in drag that the skinsuit provides, is for the most part meaningless, precisely because the 13mph rider is highly unlikely to be trying to get any gains. And if they are, they would be better off getting up to the pro riders level first, before worrying about the skinsuit. Even though, at that level, the skinsuit gives a smaller gain. But if the 13mph rider wanted to wear a skinsuit, regardless of reason or cost, it would indeed be quite beneficial, just not in a way that practically matters, when youíre riding at 13mph.

so what does it do? It makes you look like you spent a bunch of money, while youíre still riding at an average speed. Thatís about it. So if thatís what youíre going for, then crack on.

see how this all works? Continue on with the puffed egos and fact/figure chest pounding, lads. Iím sure youíll make marginal gains in forum discourse.
As a (Passive, Retired, Old (68) rider I agree. The only time I hit 30mph is bombing down the mountain, and then I'm dragging the brakes and promising myself disc brakes on the next bike. And I am certain the "slick" advantage (to me) of a skin suit is lost by the extra weight and resistance of additional water bottles needed to get there in twice the time. I think skin suits are really effective for only two types of riders. Pure racers and Egos with money to burn.
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Old 01-06-19, 10:14 AM
  #45  
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Pure racers and Egos with money to burn.
Oddly enough, exactly who theyíre marketed to. Funny that. So all this egotistical arguing of statistics and tests, is for the birds. Because literally the only worthwhile response to the OPís statement is: they help you go a little faster, and they cost what people are willing to pay. Wether that is Ďsillyí is completely up to the individual.

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Old 01-06-19, 10:22 AM
  #46  
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Originally Posted by grayEZrider View Post
I think skin suits are really effective for only two types of riders. Pure racers and Egos with money to burn.
Again with the special physics just for cycling. Skin suits lower drag and hence are effective for all riders at all cycling speeds. whether the cost is worth the gain is up to each rider to decide for themself. Don't impose you values on others. And what do you mean by a pure racer? What separates the pure from the impure?

One thing to mention regarding greater time saved for slower riders, if you look at results for a time trial, the absolute time gaps between riders is about the same for the slower groups as it is for the faster ones. That means a slower rider is likely to move up more places by optimizing equipment than a faster one.
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Old 01-06-19, 11:37 AM
  #47  
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not imposing values.. and agree

Originally Posted by asgelle View Post
Again with the special physics just for cycling. Skin suits lower drag and hence are effective for all riders at all cycling speeds. whether the cost is worth the gain is up to each rider to decide for themself. Don't impose you values on others. And what do you mean by a pure racer? What separates the pure from the impure?

One thing to mention regarding greater time saved for slower riders, if you look at results for a time trial, the absolute time gaps between riders is about the same for the slower groups as it is for the faster ones. That means a slower rider is likely to move up more places by optimizing equipment than a faster one.
I agree that the gear does work and to a larger (percentage wise?) for slower riders, as I can feel and measure the difference between my bulky winter riding gear as opposed to light, tighter summer riding gear. As for a definition of "Pure racer"? I think a pure racer is anyone who actually enters and races at any level. Its a question of determination.
First race, once a year, Pro, whatever. It is the dedication to the task that defines "racer".
Or maybe that is just my age giving into the new age "participation trophy" thinking?
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Old 01-06-19, 02:22 PM
  #48  
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Well .... evolution is proven. This is what grew out of the "Does weight matter" debates.
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Old 01-06-19, 06:57 PM
  #49  
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Originally Posted by Teamprovicycle View Post
To a amature racer skin/speed suits seem kinda silly .
spend almost 1000 bucks to cover up in a thin silly material.
why not just race naked , or shorts only .
Body position generally matters most. When you got that, then work on bike and kit. It all adds up from bike parts, to placement (cables) etc. Shaving legs and arms helps. A speed suit (like a Castelli body paint) is noticeable when riding for time. Booties - vs most shoes, help. Vs some shoes, not as much. Silicone spray bike, oil body, don't turn head - or get a different helmet. Aero water bottle. If you are really into it you need to get a rule book and see what you can get away with. The really fast stuff is not allowed.
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But naked would be pretty fast, just that hard to pedal in bare feet, also most would fidget vs a good set of shorts with correct pad. The compression on the kits (technically UCI illegal, they just ignore speed suits) is likely better than being naked.
So my guess is a naked person would put in a slower speed than one in a speed suit.
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Old 01-06-19, 07:38 PM
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OK, fair enough @Maelochs and @OBoile, that makes sense what you are saying now. Yeah you are probably always going to be faster with it on than off in that exact situation.

Originally Posted by Doge View Post
Shaving legs and arms helps.
I always thought the shaving was more to aid in medical attention to road rash, than actual aero affects?
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