I’m 180cm tall with a longish torso (77cm legs). I used to ride a 56cm bike but I felt too stretched out and now ride a 54cm Tarmac. My wife recently told me that I look like a gorilla humping a bike when I try to get into an aero position.
So what is an aero position supposed to look like? Most photos of “aero” positions I look up involve a very flat back, Sir Bradley Wiggins comes to mind. But these photos also show the cyclists riding on the nose of the saddle or have their hips tipped forward, this results in a ton of genital numbness/pain for me.
For me, while my back is rounded in an aero position I am able to keep my sit bones engaged with the saddle and my elbows are at a 90º position next to my body. Is this considered an aero position or is my rounded back basically making this position pointless?
You need to post photos and I am thinking you need to buy a fit.
Thanks, I’ll see if I can post a photo later. I actually have been fitted three times, all three fitters said I “should” fit a larger bike, but since the smaller bike resolves my hip, neck, and back pains, that’s the on I need to ride…despite looking like a gorilla on a bike.
A video is probably better honestly while you are pedaling with some resistance.
Having just come out of a wind tunnel, I think it’s fair to say it’s different from person to person.
For example, I worked through various positions, some reduced drag, others increased it. How your body interacts with the air is going to be different for the next man. For example, getting my elbows narrower and lifting my hands into more of a praying mantis position drastically increased my drag, whereby a lot of riders see big improvements with these changes.
In the end, my quickest position was more ‘stretched out’ elbows forward, hands slightly higher, which did flatten my back and drop my head lower. I am a tallish, larger rider for reference. (188cm and 80kg).
If you can’t get to somewhere that offers testing, I’d suggest a few experiments of your own to see what work for you, and importantly, position you can hold!
Thanks. I actually visited Specialized’s HQ and really wanted to ask them about the win tunnel.
One thing I didn’t mention in my original post is that I put out more power in my gorilla(aero) position than if I were just on the hoods. I don’t have any percentages, but one sustained threshold intervals I’m usually in my gorilla position as it feels more difficult to get a higher cadence if I were upright.
@TRusername are you talking about getting aero on a road bike or a time trial bike?
Look into ISM saddles. I too had issues with numbness (hurt to pee after a ride and made a change that week). The ISM PN range allows me to sit in drops etc for as long as a like, no discomfort.
Head shoulders as low as possible; elbows around 90 degrees and forearms parallel to ground (for me hands on hoods if not technical riding or in a group).
I know from the time trial bike getting longer is more aero. I think this is sort of because longer is narrower. This is all super general and may not be as easy to apply to a road bike but I think the general principles are the same. Long, low, narrow.
The benefit of getting longer is that it gets you lower…it does help make you narrower as well, but it really helps in lowering your head and getting it more in line with your back.
FWIW, lower is not always better: it might drop your power too much, and/or it might not be more aero.
I’ve noticed a big change in the sustainability of efforts going into a slightly more upright position, which allows me to actually breathe and better recruit leg muscles, and I just concentrate on being “narrow” instead (shrug the shoulders, tight elbows, etc.)
Alex Dowsett, who won the British TT championship this year, made exactly this change last year. You can see his latest position in the link - it shows you don’t need a ridiculous position to go fast (though obviously his >400 watt FTP helps) https://keyassets.timeincuk.net/inspirewp/live/wp-content/uploads/sites/2/2019/06/DSC_0328-920x601.jpg
Proper Aero probably looks something like this:
100% this - I had brief issues with pain while urinating when I was still using a “standard” saddle on the TT bike, which is pretty scary. Managed to get an ISM saddle from a friend and the change was immediate. Realised that you don’t have to feel like someone’s shoving a spike up your backside when you’re in the aero position. Can just concentrate on all the other (good) pain instead…