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Aerodynamics of a cyclist

Air resistance during cycling

A cyclist is generally finished by two types of resistance: air and rolling resistance. Aerodynamics, as the word suggests, has to do with air resistance. The term aerodynamics literally means the science of the way air moves around an object. So the more aerodynamic an object is, the less resistance there is and the easier the air passes over an object. Cyclists do everything they can to be as aerodynamic as possible. For example, they wear special socks, bicycles are specially built and they adopt the most crazy positions during a descent.

What can a cyclist do about air resistance?

In terms of aerodynamics, a cyclist can achieve the most by adjusting his posture. But since cycling should also be fun and your back should last longer than Pogajar's current career, I'd like to tell you where you can gain on your aerodynamics without having to compromise anywhere. Where many amateurs can gain is the aerodynamics of your cycling outfit. And although it makes sense for someone who sells cycling clothing to say this, I'd like to explain why.

The fit of aerodynamic cycling clothing

First of all, it is important that a shirt is tight. By that we mean there shouldn't be any big flapping pieces of fabric. A small pleat around the armpits or seams is certainly not a problem and provides the necessary freedom of movement, but large flapping pieces of fabric are very bad for aerodynamics. That is why a shirt should be a bit tight. And although this sounds logical, we still see too often people wearing too large or baggy shirts around races.

The membrane of the fabric

Another part that you might think less of is the membrane of the fabric. In the cycling clothing market, almost every cycling shirt is made of polyester. This is due to the unique properties of this fabric, it wicks away moisture well, is low in weight and lasts a long time. However, there are major differences in the aerodynamics of the different types of cycling clothing. This has to do with the membrane of the fabric. You can see a membrane as a thin layer of foil that is in cycling clothing. In aerodynamic cycling clothing, these membranes are smoothed and guide the air well along the fabric. With cycling clothing without an aerodynamic membrane, the air has much more grip on the shirt. And now I hear you thinking, does this matter that much? The answer to this is a resounding yes. Through research in wind tunnels, we found out that a smooth membrane has 10% less air resistance than regular cycling clothing. As an amateur you can experience a lot of difference with this. In addition to aerodynamic benefits, a smooth membrane also has the advantage that it chafes less on the skin and thus increases comfort.