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Strategies for Combating and Using Wind

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

Strategies for Combating and Using Wind

Old 05-18-15, 06:52 PM
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Inpd
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Strategies for Combating and Using Wind

Hi,

I do a lot of up and back country road riding which is exposed to wind. So I get the worst and the best wind has to offer!

What strategies do people use to combat a head wind. I found on trails I can just put my head down and follow the yellow line only occasionally looking up. But that isn't going to work on a road.

I also ride solo a lot (no one will ride with me since I have a BikesDirect bike ). I was considering getting Aero bars since my wrists get sore in the drops.

Any other suggestions?
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Old 05-18-15, 06:58 PM
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bt
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tt bike
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Old 05-18-15, 07:04 PM
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Ride in the drops. If your hands are getting sore you might need to change your fit. There shouldn't be a lot of pressure on your hands.
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Old 05-18-15, 07:09 PM
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Ride in the drops or get a TT bike, speed suit and aero helmet. The wind isn't going away.
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Old 05-18-15, 07:09 PM
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only one principle to remember. the wind can only affect things it can contact. so try to hide from it as much of you as you can. if it's in your favor, expose yourself to it.
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Old 05-18-15, 07:20 PM
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Lil Jon has your answer

http://youtu.be/IYH7_GzP4Tg
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Old 05-18-15, 07:22 PM
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asgelle
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Originally Posted by hueyhoolihan View Post
only one principle to remember. the wind can only affect things it can contact. so try to hide from it as much of you as you can. if it's in your favor, expose yourself to it.
Maybe you want to reconsider that last part?
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Old 05-18-15, 07:33 PM
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check the forecast before you ride
when riding with the wind go all out and get your PRs and KOMs
when against wind get in the drop and spin in an easy gear for recovery
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Old 05-18-15, 09:36 PM
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Race fit jersey and shorts... anything baggy is just extra drag
Aero helmet like the giro synthe, s-works evade, lg course, etc
If you can't stay in the drops then stay as low as you can on the hoods
Shave your legs... seriously.. specialized tested it and it makes a difference
Check the wind forecast before heading out for your ride... adjust route accordingly.
Clean up the cabling on your bike, if you have long shift and brake cables try to route them closer to your handlebars and frame... cables... while small are surprisingly unaero.
Better tires, Continental GP4000s are aero and have low rolling resistance.
and... don't put your head down even on a trail, that's just asking for trouble.
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Old 05-18-15, 09:45 PM
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seems around here the wind shifts right as I'm turning around. Still, the only way I can stand the wind is to try and head into it the first part of the ride, to enjoy the tail wind on the way home. Sometimes it works. Sometimes it doesn't. It's how you get stronger.
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Old 05-18-15, 09:59 PM
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Old 05-18-15, 10:07 PM
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Get skinny, get low.
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Old 05-18-15, 10:18 PM
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After 13 years cycling in the flatlands and winds of Manitoba ... my tips.

Ride easy into the wind. Don't push too hard. Spin as much as you can. Conserve your energy. Settle in and just ride.

Then, the moment the wind is blocked or it shifts slightly so that it is even a little bit behind you ... give it all you have. Ride like the wind! Take advantage of whatever small opportunity you've got to make some distance.
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Old 05-18-15, 10:40 PM
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Try a different tack
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Genesis 49:16-17
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Old 05-19-15, 12:07 AM
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I get down into the drops and just keep pedaling.

You could try to slide your saddle back to try and put your weight on your legs more. Using the outside of my palms also helped me a lot.
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Old 05-19-15, 03:32 AM
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I decided to just ride :-), it is what it is, but I do love that quiet sweltering feeling when you turn and it is at your back, right before you crank up to warp speed :-).
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Old 05-19-15, 03:52 AM
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The biggest damage wind does is to the ego. It can slow you down by 5 mph or more. What if you decide that speed doesn't matter? What if you find something else rewarding about biking other than going as fast as you can?
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Old 05-19-15, 05:17 AM
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Originally Posted by Elvo View Post
Wow! Where'd you get that? Pretty eye-opening numbers - especially how big a difference a skin suit makes and how little difference aero tubing makes. But when you think about it, it makes sense. Even ordinary round tubing is reasonably aerodynamic to begin with, but ANYTHING that flaps in the breeze is decidedly not.
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Old 05-19-15, 07:05 AM
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'Round here, you just gotta keep track of who's planting corn and who's planting beans. Plan your route accordingly.

Corn'll block the wind...beans, not so much.
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Old 05-19-15, 07:29 AM
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Originally Posted by thump55 View Post
'Round here, you just gotta keep track of who's planting corn and who's planting beans. Plan your route accordingly.

Corn'll block the wind...beans, not so much.
Same here. I can't wait until it starts getting high enough to block the wind.
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Old 05-19-15, 09:11 AM
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Originally Posted by kbarch View Post
Wow! Where'd you get that? Pretty eye-opening numbers - especially how big a difference a skin suit makes and how little difference aero tubing makes. But when you think about it, it makes sense. Even ordinary round tubing is reasonably aerodynamic to begin with, but ANYTHING that flaps in the breeze is decidedly not.
Much of that data has been shown to be incorrect. For example, shoe covers are more likely to increase drag than decrease it. You should never rely on a single source. Check multiple sources for confirmation and consensus. (also be very wary of people who post data without attribution.)
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Old 05-19-15, 10:16 AM
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Originally Posted by asgelle View Post
Much of that data has been shown to be incorrect. For example, shoe covers are more likely to increase drag than decrease it. You should never rely on a single source. Check multiple sources for confirmation and consensus. (also be very wary of people who post data without attribution.)
I suspect that it's more mistakenly generalized than erroneous - at least there are indications that they are the result of a (somewhat) scientific study. Which is why I asked for the source - perhaps there are details available. The skinsuit was very specific, but one wonders what the "regular" jersey was. Also, what kind of shoes benefit from shoe covers, and what is a "tuned" tuck, etc.
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Old 05-19-15, 10:26 AM
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Practice riding in the drops, i.e. on every ride every so often try to spend 5:00 in the drops, then work up to 10 then 15 min etc. When you can comfortably do that for periods at a time, try lowering the bars a spacer or 2. You can also try bending elbows and getting low on the hoods like the pros do:
Want to ride faster? Hunker down on the hoods, say researchers | road.cc

Work on core strength and flexibility and/or bike fit if you can't do above. Assess your equipment and clothing like jeff@work mentions. Better wheels, with deeper rim and bladed spokes can give you marginal improvement.

I used to hate the wind but by riding on windy days and getting beat down by it time and again and working on above has done wonders for morale and made it more tolerable.
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Old 05-19-15, 10:27 AM
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Originally Posted by gregf83 View Post
Ride in the drops. If your hands are getting sore you might need to change your fit. There shouldn't be a lot of pressure on your hands.
Exactly. I deal with headwind all the time on open roads, and learning/setting-up prolonged comfort in drops is my trick. Ritchey has great bars with many styles of drops. I was using EvoCurve for years happily, but just got some Streem II bars I like more.

Aero bars probably work better, but I prefer a slightly 'longer' TT setup. Aero bars would probably over-stretch me.
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Old 05-19-15, 10:33 AM
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Use a headwind to your advantage. It's extra effort just like a steep hill. Go hard and use little/no wind for recovery.
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