Mark Cavendish says aero bikes and helmets have reduced his edge over rivals

British champion working on building strength in gym as preparations continue for Tour de France

by Simon_MacMichael   April 24, 2014  

Mark Cavendish wins Tirreno 2014 stage 6 (copyright LaPresse)

Mark Cavendish believes the introduction of more aerodynamic bikes and helmets to the peloton has reduced his advantage over bigger rivals such as Marcel Kittel and André Greipel – and the British champion says he’s hitting the gym to work on his strength.

Crouched improbably low over the handlebars as he makes his final surge to the line, meaning he encounters less air resistance than his rivals, the Omega Pharma-Quick Step rider's trademark style has helped make him the most succesful sprinter in the history of the Tour de France, with 25 stage wins to his name.

His big aim this year is to take his 26th stage - and with it, the race leader's yellow jersey - on the opening day of the race on 5 July, when Stage 1 from Leeds finishes in his mother’s home town of Harrogate.

But others are targeting it too, including Giant-Shimano’s Marcel Kittel – who last year won the opening stage on Corsica, and was in Yorkshire this week with the Dutch outfit to recce the routes of the opening two stages – and Lotto-Belisol's André Greipel.

Cavendish, smaller and lighter than Kittel or Greipel, says that developments in technology have reduced his edge over his rivals, and is now in the gym doing exercises such as squat thrust as well as seeking to strengthen his core stability.

“With the aerodynamic advancements in the bikes and the helmets now those big strong guys, like Griepel and Kittel, are getting a bigger advantage than I am, percentage-wise, compared to their body mass,” he said, quoted in the Daily Mail.

“I thought I'd better get a bit stronger because my aerodynamic ability is not going to help me as much as it used to.”

Reunited with his former leadout man at HTC Highroad and with ex-rival Alessandro Petacchi also now riding alongside him, Cavendish has built his season around the Tour.

After winning at least five stages in each of the previous three editions, 2012 saw Cavendish, then with Sky, play a supporting role to Sir Bradley Wiggins' overall ambitions. He still came away with two stages.

What’s more, on the final day in Paris last July, Kittel became the first man to beat him on the Champs-Elysées, where Cavendish had won for four years in a row, the German winning his fourth stage of the race.

Should Cavendish win the opening stage of this year's race, he would be only the third British rider to have worn the leader’s jersey of all three Grand Tours, joining David Millar and Sir Bradley Wiggins.

Regarding his prospects of winning the stage, he said: “I'll do everything I can to make it happen,” he added.

Unlike Kittel, however, he hasn’t yet been to Yorkshire to look at the route of the stage in person.

“I have done the third stage [from Cambridge to London], but we're planning with the team to go in the next weeks [to Yorkshire] and see it,” he said.

“It's not beneficial to go when it's three degrees.”

A virus picked up after Milan-San Remo kept Cavendish out of races such as the Scheldeprijs, and despite the Giro d’Italia changing the way the points competition works to favour sprinters, Cavendish, winner of that contest last year, will miss the race to focus on his preparations for the Tour.

That begins this Sunday with the Tour of Turkey, followed by the Amgen Tour of California in May and the Tour du Suisse the following month.

41 user comments

Latest 30 commentsNewest firstBest ratedAll

Wait, is this the same guy who's been knocking about in one of the specialized aero lids for a few years now???

posted by geargrinderbeard [39 posts]
24th April 2014 - 12:48

24 Likes

I think he is focusing in the wrong area. Looking at many of his sprints this year he does seem to be missing his position far too much for the quality of lead out he has.

Now, there are a few reasons for this.

1. The lead outs of other teams have got stronger and accordingly, it is harder for Cav to automatically be in a good position to sprint
2. That after many, many victories, maybe Cav isn't quite so hungry and accordingly, not quite so willing to take the risks he used to to maintain position for sprints
3. Cav's form may simply not be there yet... he is putting everything on the tour de france and we'll see the best of him there.
4. That the other teams have woken up to the idea that in a straight fight, Cav is going to win more times than not, so the simple tactic is to ride in a way that ensures Cavs leadout and route to the finish is impeded as much as possible

Personally I think number 4 makes a lot of sense... if I was a team manager, thats the route I'd be exploring. However I accept that number 4 may simply be an unintentional side effect of number 1.

posted by Jimmy Ray Will [432 posts]
24th April 2014 - 12:50

29 Likes

Summary of slighty longer response that I somehow lost before it got posted: bollocks, conjecture unsupported by data, not over that distance, "hyper intelligent" *guffaw*, "lasts longer" *oo err*, bollocks, maybe, hope not. Kittel has a stupid haircut.

posted by surly_by_name [213 posts]
24th April 2014 - 12:54

30 Likes

surely being a pro cyclist of some merit, Cav knows better than us??
Just saying

posted by gareth2510 [155 posts]
24th April 2014 - 13:05

32 Likes

Cav was quick to pick up Aero equipment where others were not which they have now done. Aero equipment also pays dividends over the whole stage meaning the sprinters can arrive 'fresher' at the end. It would have been easier for Cav given his size to hide from the wind during a stage also while the bigger sprinters were at a disadvantage. So now the bigger riders are also saving energy over the stage with the new Aero stuff available.

posted by Nzlucas [119 posts]
24th April 2014 - 13:14

23 Likes

I have to say that I think all the points made so far are valid and make sense.

I think you're all missing a very important point though - if I had Peta Todd at home I wouldn't be putting all my energy into sprinting either.

chrisp1973's picture

posted by chrisp1973 [57 posts]
24th April 2014 - 13:19

35 Likes

surly_by_name wrote:
Summary of slighty longer response that I somehow lost before it got posted: bollocks, conjecture unsupported by data, not over that distance, "hyper intelligent" *guffaw*, "lasts longer" *oo err*, bollocks, maybe, hope not. Kittel has a stupid haircut.

http://books.google.com/books?id=fRlC01uXRpwC&pg=PA48&lpg=PA48&dq=cyclin... - short of it - "aerodynamic drag would certainly become a significant factor at the speeds calculated for final velocity"

http://www.cervelo.com/en/engineering/ask-the-engineers/aero-in-the-pelo...

http://roadcyclinguk.com/gear/kask-infinity-and-specialized-s-works-evad... - "2.6metre saving in a 200metre sprint"

I think that pretty much covers data, distance, lasting longer the physical vs biological factors involved in sprinting. Probably way more on Training Peaks if you're wanting more sport science based evidence.

In regards to lasting longer, biologically that's absolutely normal in a smaller riders case like Cavs, he is generally built well for that sort of endurance and it's not exactly a secret that he's one of the best in the world at suffering, someone like him would have to be (as would all pure sprinters) to get to where he is now.

I can give one of his old teachers a ring and see if I can get some old school reports if you like. He is exceptionally clever.

I know a clever bastard when I see one (I'll send you my most recent Mensa test along with those school reports), and I know a fast f**ker when I race against one.

Hair - not my department, I'll leave that one to you. Wink

Hope that clears things up! Smile

Merlin Cycles women's race team ~ http://www.merlincycles.com
Manx nerd peddler ~ http://mooleur.blogspot.com

mooleur's picture

posted by mooleur [542 posts]
24th April 2014 - 13:40

24 Likes

overshoot wrote:
I also disagree with this claim due to basic physics:

Aero bikes and helmets mean the final velocity is higher, for an equal power output. Governing factor still is aero drag as it squares with speed, therefore Cav should have an even greater aero advantage against his rivals.

Cav should win more races. QED.

Although he is correct not to rest on his laurels!

It's not as basic as you think. In fact the total amount of power lost by aero drag has reduced with faster speeds due to more aero equipment.

Why?

The riders are all putting out the same amount of power with their new pointy hats and bikes as they were before, lets say 2000W.

Before 1800W went to drag the rest went to other factors, say 200W to rolling resistance (RR) which increases proportionally to speed. If they are going 10% faster due to reduced drag then it's now 220W RR and 1780W drag.

So now as a fraction of total power aero is now less important, that's not to say Cav is losing out though as rolling resistance becomes a bigger factor which benefits Cav's lighter weight, calculating which is more of an advantage to him is much more complicated.

posted by cub [71 posts]
24th April 2014 - 13:45

24 Likes

According to the linked article he is doing squats (barbell squats I'd guess) rather than squat thrusts as it says here.
Squat thrusts are cardio not a strength exercise.

posted by stem [15 posts]
24th April 2014 - 13:55

16 Likes

Cavendish, smaller and lighter than Kittel or Greipel, says that developments in technology have reduced his edge over his rivals, and is now in the gym doing exercises such as squat thrust as well as seeking to strengthen his core stability.

Back in the HTC days his edge was his speed combined with the best lead out train in the sport. Now with more teams getting better lead outs for their sprinters, it's made it harder to get in the best position.
If OPQ improve on their lead out he will be winning plenty of stages.

The gym work will certainly help though.

posted by thereverent [334 posts]
24th April 2014 - 14:16

12 Likes

I'm sure he's right about marginal comparative gains given his size and sprinting position on the bike. Any relative gains will be specific to rider(s), situation, finishing speed, wind direction and sprint length and therefore impossible to quantify in the real world.

However, I agree with the posters who've said that he's just not as well positioned. A few years ago he was 3rd-5th wheel, no matter where his team were. Last year his train tended to break down under pressure from other strong lead-outs. So far this year (see the Middle East races), he just hasn't been putting himself in the mix like he used to do very consistently. Maybe a bit less desire/need to win and he's got a family and doesn't want to come down at 70kph or maybe the other teams have found a way to shut the door on him. Whatever is going on, let's hope he and Renshaw are hungry for July! He's a lot of fun to watch when he's winning.

posted by jamiemfranklin [8 posts]
24th April 2014 - 14:33

14 Likes

OVER analysis by everyone. just give er dixey with 250 to go

posted by mylesrants [122 posts]
24th April 2014 - 14:52

22 Likes

Can see the benefits of aero kit in TT scenario but really, in the madness of a bunch sprint won't the surrounding air be rather turbulent anyway? Be that as it may, last year felt like a real changing of the guard, obviously Froome was Sky's priority but even on the Champs it looked like time was starting to catch up with Cav. With a better lead-out train at OPQS he will still win his fair share of stages but Kittel is clearly the coming man.

posted by Yennings [230 posts]
24th April 2014 - 15:18

18 Likes

gareth2510 wrote:
surely being a pro cyclist of some merit, Cav knows better than us??
Just saying

Don't be silly, the resident internet experts know more than Cav...
After all sitting behind a keyboard qualifies for knowing what wins a Grand Tour stage.

glynr36's picture

posted by glynr36 [628 posts]
24th April 2014 - 15:53

27 Likes

glynr36 wrote:
gareth2510 wrote:
surely being a pro cyclist of some merit, Cav knows better than us??
Just saying

Don't be silly, the resident internet experts know more than Cav...
After all sitting behind a keyboard qualifies for knowing what wins a Grand Tour stage.

Exactly!

Didn't Brailsford just quit to make way for some dude in an armchair?!

Merlin Cycles women's race team ~ http://www.merlincycles.com
Manx nerd peddler ~ http://mooleur.blogspot.com

mooleur's picture

posted by mooleur [542 posts]
24th April 2014 - 15:57

34 Likes

mooleur wrote:
glynr36 wrote:
gareth2510 wrote:
surely being a pro cyclist of some merit, Cav knows better than us??
Just saying

Don't be silly, the resident internet experts know more than Cav...
After all sitting behind a keyboard qualifies for knowing what wins a Grand Tour stage.

Exactly!

Didn't Brailsford just quit to make way for some dude in an armchair?!

I think the main criteria was how many posts on online forums had candidates made...

glynr36's picture

posted by glynr36 [628 posts]
24th April 2014 - 16:26

26 Likes

glynr36 wrote:
gareth2510 wrote:
surely being a pro cyclist of some merit, Cav knows better than us??
Just saying

Don't be silly, the resident internet experts know more than Cav...
After all sitting behind a keyboard qualifies for knowing what wins a Grand Tour stage.


haha Applause

posted by gareth2510 [155 posts]
24th April 2014 - 16:42

29 Likes

mooleur wrote:
Hope that clears things up! Smile

This is almost as much fun as baiting you over equal prize money for (unequal) women's racing.

I'm not as clever as Cav (and I am really supposed to be doing something else), but the relevant bit of the first article (I'm on pages 50 and 51) says nothing more than "you need to stand up to generate power but you have to remember that your drag goes up when you do so by virtue of the increase in your frontal area so the increase in drag means your increased power is partly wasted". This seems about as surprising as "ursines defecate in boreal environments". Its consistent with - and I can see how - getting low over your bars a la Cav in the good old days to reduce CDA so that you get to "keep" more of the increased power you derive from standing up. If I am reading it correctly, the author suggests that the best strategy is probably to stand up to start then sit down at just the right point in time. Cav kinda gets there by getting low over his bars. This is the macro aero advantge thing I've already agreed with you on. Unless it's in the pages I can't read over the internet, I don't see how the article provides any evidence or even any commentary about the benefits of aero frames or helmets to a sprinter. (As an aside, it doesn't actually appear that the author actually tested the effect of increased drag from standing up. He refers to "correcting ... calculated" velocity, i.e., he's measured sitting and standing power output then worked out difference in drag sitting and standing then calculated (NOT measured) the difference. This is a bit different to actually measuring what happens, no?)

As for the other links to research sponsored by the very people who are interested in its outcome, google "Tobacco industry manipulation of research" just for a laugh. Am I wrong, or has Cervelo built a brand around "aero" bikes? And was that the noise of Kask and Specialized (and pretty much everyone else) jumping on the same bandwagon?

Of course, the placebo effect might mean that if Cav thinks it makes him faster then it will.

After that - right about the point you descended into hero worship ("not exactly a secret that he's one of the best in the world at suffering"; "excpetionally [sic] clever") and just before you descended into playing the man and not the ball - I kind of lost the thread of your argument.

Cav has actually grown on me. I used to hate him, especially when he opened his mouth. But jesus he was fast. Now I actually have a bit of time for him - I particularly like the fact that he seems to recognise his place in the sport as a whole, including its development and its history. He's not as fast as he used to be, or others have gotten faster or both - and that's good (in my opinion), 'cause I don't like foregone conclusions and a hard fought victory is always better to watch than an easy one. But I guess I'm a bit too old for heroes, at least ones drawn from the world of sport.

At the risk of descending into the personal - the other thing about getting old is that I'm reconciled to my own shortfallings/don't feel the need to tell everyone how wonderful I am. But if you need to work out your insecurities then you go ahead and post your high school results, your Mensa scores, whatever works for you babe.

Unfortunately hair hasn't been a problem for me for many years now (but I am cool about that as well).

Pretty shortly I am going to go for a ride on my bike. I imagine THAT will clear things up nicely.

Kisses.

posted by surly_by_name [213 posts]
24th April 2014 - 17:33

20 Likes

chrisp1973 wrote:
I have to say that I think all the points made so far are valid and make sense.

I think you're all missing a very important point though - if I had Peta Todd at home I wouldn't be putting all my energy into sprinting either.

In all seriousness, becoming a father reduces levels of testosterone [insert peer-reviewed reference here].

Dedicated cycling price comparison | http://www.leadoutbikes.com

posted by mckechan [213 posts]
24th April 2014 - 19:44

12 Likes

surly_by_name wrote:
mooleur wrote:
Hope that clears things up! Smile

This is almost as much fun as baiting you over equal prize money for (unequal) women's racing.

..blah blah..

After that - right about the point you descended into hero worship ("not exactly a secret that he's one of the best in the world at suffering"; "excpetionally [sic] clever") and just before you descended into playing the man and not the ball - I kind of lost the thread of your argument.

..blah..

At the risk of descending into the personal - the other thing about getting old is that I'm reconciled to my own shortfallings/don't feel the need to tell everyone how wonderful I am. But if you need to work out your insecurities then you go ahead and post your high school results, your Mensa scores, whatever works for you babe.

..blah blah...

Pretty shortly I am going to go for a ride on my bike. I imagine THAT will clear things up nicely.

Kisses.

My god, you really are an insufferable misogynist prig.

posted by ficklewhippet [49 posts]
24th April 2014 - 22:18

18 Likes

Yep, I'm with ficklewhippet - conversation over!

Merlin Cycles women's race team ~ http://www.merlincycles.com
Manx nerd peddler ~ http://mooleur.blogspot.com

mooleur's picture

posted by mooleur [542 posts]
25th April 2014 - 7:53

13 Likes

surly_by_name wrote:
mooleur wrote:
Hope that clears things up! Smile

This is almost as much fun as baiting you over equal prize money for (unequal) women's racing.

After that - right about the point you descended into hero worship ("not exactly a secret that he's one of the best in the world at suffering"; "excpetionally [sic] clever") and just before you descended into playing the man and not the ball - I kind of lost the thread of your argument.

Cav has actually grown on me. I used to hate him, especially when he opened his mouth.

You pretty much lost me at these three - firstly, you don't know him personally, secondly, you don't know him personally and thirdly, you are a misogynist pig. As per above. Your debate isn't worth the time of day!

Also, my provision of links and offerings of school reports of Cavs and myself were merely to satisfy your inherent requirement to troll anyone who doesn't cite their statements. I'm not quite sure why that would warrant personal insult, other than you really don't want to have this conversation with a woman. It does seem clear that you probably would have had more time to develop a more coherent reply had you not seen previous posts regarding the state of women's sport. Not sure why you seem to think I worship him, after only having a positive opinion on his abilities, and as a Manx person I'm absolutely within my right to hold these opinions with pride.

Not sure if you've noticed this or not but my gender has nothing to do with my knowledge on aerodynamics.

Keep calling me babe, makes you look big and important in front of this stupid little girl, and keep your kisses to yourself you disgusting little man!

Merlin Cycles women's race team ~ http://www.merlincycles.com
Manx nerd peddler ~ http://mooleur.blogspot.com

mooleur's picture

posted by mooleur [542 posts]
25th April 2014 - 8:38

14 Likes

surly_by_name wrote:
mooleur wrote:
Hope that clears things up! Smile

This is almost as much fun as baiting you over equal prize money for (unequal) women's racing.

I'm not as clever as Cav (and I am really supposed to be doing something else), but the relevant bit of the first article (I'm on pages 50 and 51) says nothing more than "you need to stand up to generate power but you have to remember that your drag goes up when you do so by virtue of the increase in your frontal area so the increase in drag means your increased power is partly wasted". This seems about as surprising as "ursines defecate in boreal environments". Its consistent with - and I can see how - getting low over your bars a la Cav in the good old days to reduce CDA so that you get to "keep" more of the increased power you derive from standing up. If I am reading it correctly, the author suggests that the best strategy is probably to stand up to start then sit down at just the right point in time. Cav kinda gets there by getting low over his bars. This is the macro aero advantge thing I've already agreed with you on. Unless it's in the pages I can't read over the internet, I don't see how the article provides any evidence or even any commentary about the benefits of aero frames or helmets to a sprinter. (As an aside, it doesn't actually appear that the author actually tested the effect of increased drag from standing up. He refers to "correcting ... calculated" velocity, i.e., he's measured sitting and standing power output then worked out difference in drag sitting and standing then calculated (NOT measured) the difference. This is a bit different to actually measuring what happens, no?)

As for the other links to research sponsored by the very people who are interested in its outcome, google "Tobacco industry manipulation of research" just for a laugh. Am I wrong, or has Cervelo built a brand around "aero" bikes? And was that the noise of Kask and Specialized (and pretty much everyone else) jumping on the same bandwagon?

Of course, the placebo effect might mean that if Cav thinks it makes him faster then it will.

After that - right about the point you descended into hero worship ("not exactly a secret that he's one of the best in the world at suffering"; "excpetionally [sic] clever") and just before you descended into playing the man and not the ball - I kind of lost the thread of your argument.

Cav has actually grown on me. I used to hate him, especially when he opened his mouth. But jesus he was fast. Now I actually have a bit of time for him - I particularly like the fact that he seems to recognise his place in the sport as a whole, including its development and its history. He's not as fast as he used to be, or others have gotten faster or both - and that's good (in my opinion), 'cause I don't like foregone conclusions and a hard fought victory is always better to watch than an easy one. But I guess I'm a bit too old for heroes, at least ones drawn from the world of sport.

At the risk of descending into the personal - the other thing about getting old is that I'm reconciled to my own shortfallings/don't feel the need to tell everyone how wonderful I am. But if you need to work out your insecurities then you go ahead and post your high school results, your Mensa scores, whatever works for you babe.

Unfortunately hair hasn't been a problem for me for many years now (but I am cool about that as well).

Pretty shortly I am going to go for a ride on my bike. I imagine THAT will clear things up nicely.

Kisses.

You're a bit of a cock aren't you?

chrisp1973's picture

posted by chrisp1973 [57 posts]
25th April 2014 - 10:10

17 Likes

As a relatively mediocre road and track sprinter, I can confirm that at the speed of a sprint aerodynamics plays a significant role. Aero helmets and bikes allow you to accelerate a little quicker and hit a slightly faster top sped.

l see what Cav is talking about when he refers to aero benefitting larger riders. The bigger you are the more you can benefit from getting aero, relative to a smaller rider. And a bigger rider usually has a power advantage too.

posted by Gordy748 [99 posts]
25th April 2014 - 16:07

10 Likes

I reckon he's past it and others are now better than he is.

posted by fret [35 posts]
26th April 2014 - 0:22

9 Likes

Well you've nailed Mooleur dead to rights. She's a bit to in love with her pro-cyclists and doesn't exactly listen to anything but herself. I guess that's because she's in love with her 'pro-cycling' career which you can read all about, if it doesn't bore you first. But that's only my opinion given her proclivity to abuse me over my opinion.

Not that I claim to have any expertise in aero-dynamics, but the claim always seemed to be that Cav's lower frontal area gave him a massive advantage over bigger sprinters with a bigger power output (i.e. Griepl). Griepl hasn't exactly been trouncing the sprints in the age of new aero helmets, and it's only really Kettel who seems to have benefitted last season. I'm not going to debate the aero advantage as it seems to be a read herring. If the helmet and bike are the same (assuming all other sprinters have received the same aero benefits from these) the differences I would think would be marginal and proportional - not enough to deny Cav a win - after all he's still going to have a much smaller frontal area.

In my mind the jury is still out as Cav has, for two seasons, played second fiddle to Wiggins and then a team of Classics riders. OPQS is a Low Countries team, and is filled with the sorts of riders which would have as strong a following in the fan base area so I can see him having a fight of personalities to be recognised and have riders work for him like he had at HTC, But even then he seemed to fair far better at Sky when then were very obviously not focused on sprint finishes. So, either the team isn't working well enough (though this didn't stop Cav in previous years), the competition has caught up, OR Cav has had a dip in form (temporary or permanent).

Still, given he won the Sprinters jersey in the Giro it's been far from a disaster. He's got everything to play for.

posted by Colin Peyresourde [1430 posts]
26th April 2014 - 1:54

11 Likes

Dedicated cycling price comparison | http://www.leadoutbikes.com

posted by mckechan [213 posts]
26th April 2014 - 17:35

6 Likes

chrisp1973 wrote:

You're a bit of a cock aren't you?

Yes, sometimes. Although usually I regret it afterwards. I wouldn't take me so seriously.

Quality win by Cav in Tour of Turkey today, looked back to his imperious best, opposition not TOO shabby. Would be interesting to know how much of the 2 or so bike lengths he won by was attributable to his aero helmet and bike.

Also a great win by Gerro in LBL - also in a silly helmet - two monuments for him now.

posted by surly_by_name [213 posts]
27th April 2014 - 20:20

7 Likes

mooleur wrote:
You pretty much lost me at these three - firstly, you don't know him personally, secondly, you don't know him personally and thirdly, you are a misogynist pig. As per above. Your debate isn't worth the time of day!

Also, my provision of links and offerings of school reports of Cavs and myself were merely to satisfy your inherent requirement to troll anyone who doesn't cite their statements. I'm not quite sure why that would warrant personal insult, other than you really don't want to have this conversation with a woman. It does seem clear that you probably would have had more time to develop a more coherent reply had you not seen previous posts regarding the state of women's sport. Not sure why you seem to think I worship him, after only having a positive opinion on his abilities, and as a Manx person I'm absolutely within my right to hold these opinions with pride.

Not sure if you've noticed this or not but my gender has nothing to do with my knowledge on aerodynamics.

Keep calling me babe, makes you look big and important in front of this stupid little girl, and keep your kisses to yourself you disgusting little man!

Score one (or two?) to you: I do not know Mark Cavendish personally. (Err … x 2.) I do not know how knowing him personally is at all relevant, particularly as I don't claim (as you do) to know when someone is clever.

I am a misogynist pig: this is probably more true than I'd like it to be but less true than you'd like it to be. But it's all about perception, so if you think it's true, then I will try my best to do better.

Not citing statements: this is the heart of the debate, no? Could we go back to the article that you referred to please. Could you please point me to the data that demonstrates the benefits of aero helmets and aero frames when sprinting. This whole (undignified) exchange began when I expressed scepticism that aero helmets and aero bike frames make a difference in the final 200m of a race. There is plenty of conjecture and lots of "calculations" but a distinct lack of real world, measured data.

Not wanting to have the conversation with a woman: it's the internet. You could be a man pretending to be a woman. I could be a man pretending to be a woman pretending to be a man. Etc, etc ad nauseam. I am delighted to argue (or exchange insults) with persons of any gender.

Coherent reply on women's sport: didn't we do this on another thread? My reply was plenty coherent - albeit less "right on the sisterhood" than yours.

Your knowledge on aerodynamics is not related to our gender: agree completely. Your conjecture would be as unsupported by data if you were a male (or a woman pretending to be a man, etc).

I give in. As per my earlier reply - well done to Cav for today's sprint.

posted by surly_by_name [213 posts]
27th April 2014 - 20:46

8 Likes

Colin Peyresourde wrote:
but the claim always seemed to be that Cav's lower frontal area gave him a massive advantage over bigger sprinters with a bigger power output

To be clear - I have always agreed that Cav has less drag by being smaller and getting lower. I am sceptical that an aero helmet and an aero frame will make a measurable difference to his already better (from an aerodynamic perspective and relative to his larger, more upright peers). Equally I don't buy that his (larger, more upright) peers adoption of aero helmets/frames explains the fact that some of them are now able to beat him. That's all I said.

posted by surly_by_name [213 posts]
27th April 2014 - 20:51

9 Likes