Riding on the Drops - Headwind

Mettan Posts: 2,103
edited November 2007 in Road beginners
Went out on the bike today for a 16 mile loop - very windy/blustery/slippery and some rain (had 1st slight rear-wheel skid on new bike :D) - had plenty of opportunity to try riding into a headwind on the Drops versus using the hoods (which I use for about 85% of the time at the moment).

Got me thinking - can anyone put a "rough estimate" on how much "easier" it is to ride into a headwind using the drops v the hoods (body on a relaxed angle when on hoods) - ie would it be 5% easier, 10% easier etc - I'm just trying to gauge just how useful it is to ride the drops into headwinds and near headwinds.



  • oldwelshman
    oldwelshman Posts: 4,733
    Personally I dont think theres much differeence if any.
    When I ride on the hoods I can tuck down with arms in and head down to almost same aero position as when on bars.
    Tend to use the drops mainly for sprinting out of the saddle.
  • Zendog1
    Zendog1 Posts: 816
    There is'nt a simple answer to this one.

    Air resistance is proportional to the coefficient of drag of you and the bike and the square of the effective wind velocity. Coefficient of drag is sort of related to the crossection you present to the wind. If you go from say a 45 degree back to flat back this area will reduce a lot for a big benefit or lif like oldwelshman more or less the same profile then not much effect. If you are really curious get someone to trace your outline in a mirror in both positions and work out the area's. The pro's use a wind tunnel.

    The other complication is its the square of the wind velocity. Any benefit will incease 4 times for a doubling in wind speed.

  • fossyant
    fossyant Posts: 2,549
    Trick...keep your arms/elbows in - my position on drops isn't much different these days.
  • John.T
    John.T Posts: 3,698
    The most aero position is often by adopting a low crouch while holding the front of the hoods. The 10sp Shimano ones are especially good for this. It is close to a TT position but does make the arms ache a bit at first.
  • You can improve on John T,s position a bit by holding the bars either side of the stem but still keeping your elbows tucked into your chest I find that usually gives me an extra 2/3 mph into strong headwinds
  • Mettan
    Mettan Posts: 2,103
    Thanks guys - went out again today on the same route - still quite windy (no rain though) - the drops do seem a fraction better going into a headwind although it doesn't seem to be a great deal of difference than riding low whilst on the hoods. I've been a bit suprised with side winds on me and my cheap aero-rim wheels (that came with the bike) - quite a blow side to side - took 10 minutes or so to get used to that level of side wind on the road-bike - especially when your regularly doing 20-30mph.