Duration in Aero Position

Has anyone experienced a drastic difference in the duration they are able to hold the aero position on the turbo vs riding out doors?

I am competing in a local duathlon that is a sub category in a local half-distance tri that is the half distance without the swim (56 mile bike and 13.1 mile run). I recent did a practice race of 46 mile ride and 10 mile run to test pace and nutrition.

I was able to hold the aero position the entire 46 miles (~2 hr) but I struggle to maintain the aero position on the trainer when attempting to complete a standard sweet spot workout say 4x10.

Is this a common occurrence other TR users and if so does anyone have a tip on how to improve duration in aero position on the trainer, other than keep working at it and attempt to extend duration in that position workout to workout?

Might be completely off the ball on this, but I think you get microrests on the road. Constantly shifting position a little, cornering, watching the road etc. On the turbo it’s relentless.

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Yeah, I think your right, I was thinking mostly the slight rocking back and forth motion makes it a little more tolerable… Been considering making a rocker plate, but I’m not sure if it is worth the time.

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I can hold aero position outside for the majority of a 12 hour TT in the UK (sit up at junctions and roundabouts). On the turbo I’m lucky if I can do 12 minutes! I think it’s a mental thing…


Good to know I’m not the only one who experiences longer durations in aero position outside. Maybe I need to toughen up mentally :wink:

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I’m entirely in the @AndyGajda and @adehughes camp

I’ve also done up to a 12hr TT only coming out of aero for nutrition but struggle with 5 mins on the turbo. Out on the road you are constantly shifting weight ever so slightly for lots of reasons which you just don’t get on the turbo.

Same here, riding for hours in the drops outside is much easier than inside. Don’t think I’ve made it past 10 minutes on the trainer before having to give it a rest for awhile.

One consideration:

When you have a bike that is perfectly comfortable outside, and then leads to problems when ridden inside, I feel it is important to look at what is different. When you do, there are two key differences.

  1. Lack of wind resistance on the body riding inside. That is a difference that I find because you end up with slightly more weight on the hands and arms, because you don’t have the wind pushing your upper body back.
    • To compensate for that, I recommend that people raise the front axle about 1"-2" [25mm-50mm] higher than the rear axle. This shifts the weight slightly back onto the saddle and off the hands and arms.

From: Rocker Plates for Trainers

As suspected, I think a rocker plate could help, especially if you think the locked-in nature of the trainer is the issue.

I would suggest testing the higher front wheel option shown above, because it is quick, easy and cheap.

If that doesn’t fix your issue, consider a rocker. There are some quick ways to hack one for another test, but they are more work than the front wheel trick.

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As you can tell I think it’s pretty common. I’m in the same boat as others, I can sit aero for a long time out on the road inside it’s much harder. Your body needs to get used to it as well. The above post about raising the front wheel does help a little.
Being fixed just weighs you and that static position takes its toll more so then being out moving with slight changes and adjustments that you make to stay straight and all.

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I use the Elite su-sta riser block and even at it’s highest I still struggle indoors.

I’m sure a rocker plate might make a difference though I’ve never tried one. I guess it creates a regular minute ‘unweighting’ on each pedal stroke more similar to outdoor riding.

Another huge one for me is no helmet on the trainer. My nose runs more inside, seriously (WTF?!). And then there is the mental tedium of not being engaged with avoiding potholes, looking out for cars, laughing at the cows when they run along the fence with me, looking for that hawk that always squawks when I ride by, etc., etc., etc.

Since I don’t have a problem holding aero outside, my focus on the trainer is raising power and endurance. I’ll get a good amount of aero time on the trainer, and even play around with hand/elbow positioning, but practically speaking its simply not possible to duplicate outside conditions in my garage. Not worth trying IMHO.

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Interesting. I’ve never noticed a difference holding aero on my TT bike nor staying on the drops on my road bike inside or outside. I didn’t know it was a “thing”.
Maybe because I use a Kinetic Rock N Roll trainer? I like how my trainer moves, not just side to side but also a little movement vertical too.

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Outside if I sit up there is a speed penalty. Some differences are purely mental, others like a sore ass after 90 minutes can be the lack of movement.

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