#FasterThanSuperman – becoming the worlds most aerodynamic triathlete

Aerodynamic has been a extremely fascinating topic since I started with triathlon 10 years ago. My fascination made me use €1200 of my own money to be a few hours on the R.J. Mitchell wind tunnel in Southampton. The results were a true eye opener. Ever since I had looked for an opportunity to get another trip to the wind tunnel and in the meantime read most of the relevant articles how I could improve aerodynamics.

In Southampton I achieved a CdA of 0,202 in the best of my 35 total runs (the roller for the front tire did not work so it probably the number was too good), and as you can see my head was unrealistically low regards of view. Decrease it with 10 percent+ will be a enormous challenge.

This fall I start the project to become the most aerodynamic triathletes in the world, and called the project #FasterThanSuperman. This reference to Chris Boardmans Superman-position, which he took the Hour Record in 1996, before the position was banned by the UCI. His aerodynamic drag, or CdA was measured to 0,1838, which is extremely low. That is my goal to beat.

Chris Boardman talking the Hour Record in 1996, in the so called superman position. For that reason I named my project #FasterThanSuperman.

In order to reach my goal I must get the most aerodynamic equipment and find the most aerodynamic position, which I also must be able to hold for 180km without compromising my following run.

My game plan for achieving this consist of thoroughly testing, with different testing methods. I will be using:

  • Wind Tunnel testing – Two trips to the Boardman Performance Centre with testing in the wind tunnel.
  • Using the tool Notio Konect which measure your CdA in real-time while you are out riding.
  • Estimating of aerodynamic drag with the software Aerotune.com which enable me to inexpensively give a feedback on aerodynamic drag in real world conditions.

With these measuring tools I am certain I would get solid numbers on my aerodynamic performance and find my optimal position and equipment, applicable for the true race conditions.

The brand new wind tunnel at Boardman Perfomance Centre
This little device called Notio Konect measures drag in real-time while being out cycling.

The video above shows how the aero optimizing software Aerotune work

While a few equipment part are set, most parts are up for evaluation.

The Quintana Roo PRSix disc frameset and the Morf-Tech TriFold bar are the only parts that would not be changed out. I believe the PRSix disc frameset is the best combination of aerodynamic, weight and handling performance. It is also difficult to see what could be more aerodynamic than the Morf TriFold as they reduced the surface for brake levers to nothing.

This is the frame set I will be using, the QR PRSix Disc
This is the Morf-Tech TriFold bars, with the left one in brake mode and the right one in aero mode. First I thought they looked dangerous. When I time and again got passed by Morf-Tech sponsored athlete Lars Christian Vold, during the descends in Norseman I decided that my next aero bars would be these.
This is a picture of another Morf-Tech sponsored athlete, Antony Costes, who was leading this years Ironman Hawaii a few times during the bike segment. His position sure look very aerodynamic, and one expert told me that 85 percent of rider get more aerodynamic in this Full Mantis-position. Hopefully I will be one of them.

What is being evaluated is:

  • Wheel-set
  • Helmet
  • Clothing
  • Storage/nutrition/hydration solutions

Certainly, I do not have all the answers what would be best, neither does any one person either. For that reason, I will get in touch with several aerodynamic experts to get the best ideas of what to test out. I know that a lot of my readers also has a lot of thoughts about aerodynamics, so every idea of how I can improve my aerodynamic performance is very welcome.

The journey will be thoroughly documented on my blog with full transparency and hopefully give us all more insight in the fascinating world of aerodynamics.

Publisert av

triallan

I am a 32 year old PRO triatlete. My goal is to swim, bike and run as fast as possible, and enjoy the journey. All my adventures and triathlon related stuff is well documented on this blog.

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