Category: cycling

Tuesday Night Time Trial Series

The McCarthy Project is a proud sponsor of the Tuesday Night Time Trial Series in Minnesota. For over 10 years on Tuesdays, 60-80 riders have tested themselves against the clock TNT-LOGO-NO-Spokeover the 10 mile course just outside Minneapolis, MN.

2016 TNT schedule:
June 7 and 21
July 5 and 19
August 2 and 16
Opens at 6pm
First rider off at 7pm

The course is a 10 mile out and back on scenic rolling Co. Rd 24 which has 8′ wide shoulders and decent pavement.  Results are posted and points earned based on time and class.

For additional information, contact Jeremy Baker, race director, via email at TNT@TribesES.com or visit the TNT website.

Click Here for the 2016 Registration Page

Payment options:
Full series: $75
1/2 series: $45
Day of: $20

Who are the participants?

While the race is a time-trial and the majority of the athletes are serious about their time and their sport, anyone is welcome to ride TNT. there are riders of all abilities, who ride all styles of bikes. recumbents, hand cycles, fixies, adult and youth. Anyone under 18 must have a parent or guardian present with their signature on the waiver. Anyone 14 or under will need to have a rider with them on the course.

An Argument for Oxygen Supplementation in Athletes

Oxygen Supplementation in Athletes a radical, new and old, thought?

live_o2_logo
Live o2, Oxygen Supplementation in Athletes

The great thing about life is perspective.  You can use the information intended for one purpose, but with a different perspective you can look from a different angle, you can see an entirely new conclusion.  My hope is to walk you down the road to see that we have missed one of the most basic building blocks of performance in sport, oxygen.

The question I have always wanted to answer is how Native Americans were able to go on physically demanding hunts, maintain a slendor, muscular build without motor learning research performed during practice sessions or treadmills for endurance work or completed Olympic lifts in their weight room. So how could it be that they were able to accomplish such feats of  endurance and strength without all the training?

My first hypothesis is oxygen and our current lack there of, in our current lives.

Here are my thoughts that lead me to this conclusion.

  1. Otto Warburg, a mid 20th century cell biologist in Germany, cellular respiration is simple truth: cells that cannot breathe, cannot, and will not ever, work properly. Anything that skips the first and obvious neglects the
    metabolism of life.
  2. Current Atmospheric levels:  Compared to prehistoric times, the level of oxygen in the earth’s atmosphere has declined by over a third and in polluted cities the decline may be more than 50%. This change in the makeup of the air we breathe has potentially serious implications for our health and performance, according to Roddy Newman and his book, The Oxygen Crisis.
  3. Manfred von Ardenne, developed in the late 1960s by Professor von Ardenne, (a student of Dr. Otto Warburg), Oxygen Multistep Therapy combines oxygen therapy, elements that facilitate intracellular oxygen turnover, and physical exercise adapted to individual performance levels.
  4. Dr. Mark Sircus states, “long and hard is the search for substances that athletes can use to increase sports performance. There are more than several substances that are natural, legal, non-toxic and safe that athletes can use, but like everywhere else in the world of medicine most still prefer dangerous pharmaceuticals to natural medicinals even with the risk of being discovered and banned from competition.”  and, “extra oxygen increases muscles’ energy production improving athletic output ability; intensity and duration.  The secret to Olympic success is higher concentrations of oxygen delivery to the cells.. ” For entire post, click here
  5. Oxygen has been proven to be a natural, ethical & legal way to stimulate biologically effective levels of growth hormones, especially the ones ethic-challenged athletes use illegally, like EPO, erythropoietin AND HGH, Human Growth Hormone?

I realize that additional details may be needed to connect these dots into a more detailed, comprehensive study, suffice to say that increasing your oxygen intake would benefit athletes, both in the short and long run.

 

 

 

The McCarthy Project EWOT Sessions

Exercise With Oxygen Training Sessions For Elite Performance in Life and Sport

live_o2_logoOver the years, The McCarthy Project has developed gestalt theory of elite performance and oxygen is a major component of that philosophy. Each session is 30 minutes in length: a 5-10 warm-up on a treadmill, or a bike trainer (you can use your own bike. if desired) followed by a 15 minute training session and a 5 minute cool down.

Session Rates:
Individual Sessions $50.00
Elite Package (16 sessions) $500.00
Gestalt Package (Unlimited sessions for 4 months) $1000.00

Location:
23568 Birch Road
Rogers, MN 55374

Each session package includes a 60 minute consultation to review your current fitness level and your goals. All sessions are by appointment only.

For more information on how we may be able to take your training to the next level, contact Stephen McCarthy at 612-741-0982 or cs(at)themccarthyproject.com.

Oxygen Training with LiveO2 Systems
LiveO2 Adaptive Contrast System

Some EWOT Training benefits include:
1. Increased oxygen saturation for the purpose of delayed onset of muscle soreness
2. Development of auto-immune system
3. Super charge current nutrition strategies with the increased oxygen levels
4. Amplify body’s natural hormones for an increase in muscle mass

 

 

BMX Pro Mike Aitken on Creativity

mike_aitkenStephen was joined by BMX Pro Mike Aitken.  Mike has a deep love for the sport of bmx and a creativity that is unbelievable. He has truly paid the price with serious injury and a long rehab to return the to the sport. He talks about his experiences, his love of the sport and the lost concept of creativity.

For the complete interview, visit here.

To connect with Mike, visit twitter

Rugged Individualism or Scientific Management

The Genetic Story: Rugged Individualism or Scientific Management

Scientific Management Through DNA
Scientific Management Through DNA

The scientific management of sports has taken over almost every area of its existence; the analyzation of almost every conceivable scenario ad nauseum, the study of the human genome to locate and develop the certain gene that will bring immediate success to the athlete who has number 23 and if you do this drill or lift, you will produce an incremental gain strength or speed gain over all competitors and lastly, use scientific, chemically-based nutrition to obtain elite performance.   All of these action steps are based on the human body, scientific truths and the athlete’s DNA or human genome. Untold numbers of studies have proven that if athletes complete all of these tasks and memorize all of the numbers you will be prepared for success, right?

One question.. What happens if the foundational concepts of these scientific managed truths were incorrect or manipulated based on a fallacy?

Well, you say… That is not possible.. I hate to burst your bubble, but it may be true. Research the following statements and what narrative do you create?

1.  Science is being held by centuries, old assumptions that have been hardened into dogma. Here are a couple examples; Science or scientific management knows the answer, all reality is material reality or physical, there is no reality but material reality, but only 4% of all energy is known, and that the remaining part of nature, the 96% of reality, is unknown or non-physical. (Science Set Free, Sheldrake, 2012) For additional information click here and here

2. “The displacement of proteins by DNA as the genetic determinants certainly stands out as a paradigm shift, a principal discontinuity in biological theory and practice. Yet the lines of continuity are also striking. The eugenic goals, which had informed the design of the molecular biology program and had been attenuated by the lessons of the Holocaust, revived by the late 1950’s. Dredged from the linguistic quagmire of social control, a new eugenics, empowered by representations of life supplied by the new biology, came to rest in safely on the high ground of medical discourse and latter-day rhetoric of population control. (Molecular Vision of Life, Kay, 1996, pg. 277) For additional commentary, visit here and here.

3. The Human Genome Project, to the shock of nearly all materialists, ultimately proved exactly the opposite of what scientists had hoped. It proved that genes alone do not explain inheritance. “The big lie of genetics exposed human DNA incapable of storing complete blueprint of the human form.” (Mike Adams, Natural News)

4. Propaganda, as defined by the father of Public Relations Edward Bernays in his 1928 book called Propaganda, is “the conscious and intelligent manipulation of the organized habits and opinions of the masses…Those who manipulate this unseen mechanism of society constitute an invisible government which is the true ruling power of our country.” (Propaganda, Bernays, 1928, pg. 9)

After meditating and researching on these concepts, you come to the conclusion that you are an individual who’s future has not been planned and mapped based on your genetic code. You are an individual athlete with God-given talents that you use for the development of your life on this earth, not controlled by some hidden gene in your body.  The next question has to become how do we find the other 96% of the physical or non-physical reality in order to continue our development of elite consciousness?

1.  “We need to realize what our fingerprints and our intuition actually proclaimed long before DNA: no two people are alike, all “averages” are lies, and nobody can be accurately contained by numbers and graphs.” (Weapons of Mass Instruction, John Taylor Gatto, pg. 69)

2. Develop the ability to have intellectual self-defense and how to develop the tools of independent thought. Richard Grove, Tragedyandhope.com. For additional information, visit here.

3. “I concluded that in many sports elite athletes are either systematically taller or shorter than the general population and these differences in height were virtually completely determined by genetic factors. In most of my subsequent publications I have simply referred to this review, and in doing so the importance I place on it may have been overlooked by others. My recent reviews have focused on the rich body of evidence that virtually every other aspect of the human body and nervous system can be modified by intense training, sustained for months and years, and that the degree of modifiability interacted with the childhood and adolescence developmental phase of athletes.” (Dr. K. Anders Ericsson: Florida State University Professor, Father of the Deliberate Practice Framework, British Sports Journal of Medicine)

4.   Stop the Insanity of Circular Creativity, Invest time in the Spiritual, Creative, and Imaginative: As stated by Jon Rappoport, “People in this world believe in what they create, except they’re not aware of what they’re creating. They think, instead, they’re seeing what’s already there. This missing link explains a great deal. People are playing a shell game with themselves. They’re placing the pea inside a particular shell, and then they’re turning over the shell and finding the pea. Then they exclaim, “Look what I found!” NO. They didn’t find it. They put it there to begin with. They created a reality and then denied they created it.” Spiritual Fascism Jon Rappoport. For additional information, click here.

6.  Learn about the soul of life, not just the facts: In materialist science, free will of choice is an illusion, everything is predictable. Long ago, plants and human minds were souls and that the universe was alive, mechanist science rejected these laws and expelled all souls from nature. The material world became inanimate, a soulless machine. Elite Performance with Nate Ruch

7. “People may laugh and tell you it is not true: This idea that your body as a whole, as well as each cell in your body, can tap into a field of information which encodes the “memory” of what a human form is supposed to be threatens the very pillars of materialistic science, upon which nearly the entire pharmaceutical industry is based, by the way. This is why materialist scientists are desperately attempting to defend the human genomes as the single source of all the information needed to develop a human body, even thought. The human genome clearly doesn’t have the storage to represent an entire body (not to mention inherited physiological functions of behavior inheritance.)” Mike Adams, Natural News

8.  Growth and self-mastery are reserved for those who vigorously self-direct, like Stanley; planning, doing, creating, reflecting, freely associating, taking chances, punching the lights out on your tormentors. (Weapons of Mass Instruction, John Taylor Gatto, pg 64)

 

Caroline Buchanan on Competition

Caroline Buchanan, 4-Time BMX and Mountain Bike World Champion, on How She Views Competing and Love of Sport

Caroline Buchanan
Caroline Buchanan

Caroline Buchanan joined Stephen McCarthy to talk about her success as a bike racer, as well as, the 2012 Olympic experience. She is a true professional on and off the track. We taped the interview earlier this morning with almost 90 minutes of technical problems and she was gracious enough to wait them out and be flexible.  It was amazing. If you are looking for truth on elite performance, you need to listen to Caroline. It will start you on your journey of elite performance.

For just the interview with Caroline, click here.   The complete interview and show will air 8am CST September 18th.

World Champion Caroline BuchananHere are a couple of the topics we covered during the 30 minute interview.  (1) Clear thoughts lead to success (2) Have high expectations and goals. (3) Focus on the love of the sport, not getting sponsors (4) What happens next when you don’t do your best (5) Thoughts on why so many elite bike racers are coming out of Australia.

You can connect with Caroline on Facebook, her website or follow her @CBuchanan68.

 

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David Epstein of Sports Illustrated on Genetics in Sport

Sports Illustrated Writer and Author David Epstein on Genetics Role in Training and Sport

Sports Illustrated Writer and Author David Epstein on Genetics Role in Training and SportAuthor David Epstein of The Sports Gene:Inside the Science of Extraordinary Athletic Performance joined Stephen McCarthy of The McCarthy Project to discuss his book and his motive for writing Sports Gene.  Secondly, we discussed how to apply his findings to athletes and the future application of dna or genetic research. Complete interview will be aired on Friday September 6th at 8am CST.

David’s motive was his joy for researching, science and sports. He has always been fascinated with elite performance and why certain athletes from certain areas of the world perform at higher levels.  To listen to this portion of the interview, visit David Epstein and His Story.

During the second part of the interview, we talk about future applications of his research and the trend of analyzing your DNA for the purpose of understanding how you can train at a higher level.  We also discussed some of the pitfalls of the science and how athletes can use the information for their benefit. Click here to listen to David and Stephen’s thoughts on The Future of Genetic Testing and Its Application.

Author and Writer David Epstein
Author and Writer David Epstein

Sports Illustrated Senior Writer David Epstein writes about sports science and medicine, Olympic sports, and is an investigative reporter for SI. His science writing has won a number of awards, including the Society of Professional Journalists 2010 Deadline Club Award for an article on the genetics of sports performance; Time Inc.’s Henry R. Luce Award for public service for an article on the dangers of the dietary supplement industry; and the Hypertrophic Cardiomyopathy Association’s “Big Hearted Journalism” award for his story “Following the Trail of Broken Hearts,” on sudden cardiac death in athletes. Epstein was a 2011 Livingston Award finalist for a package that included articles on pain in sports and the anticipatory skills that allow Major Leaguers to hit 100 mph fastballs.

Nature Valley Grand Prix Final Stillwater, MN

Final Stage of the Nature Valley Grand Prix

It was a great day in the world of cycling today.  It was 81 degrees and sunny for the final stage at the Nature Valley Grand Prix in Stillwater, MN.

Congrats to all the winners on the mens and womens side of the race and thank you to Dave Laporte, Jason Lardy and the rest of the crew for putting on a great race.  Secondly, thank you for allowing The McCarthy Project to be a part of the run-up to the race this year.

Here are some of the pics from the finish line earlier today.

Start Line Nature Valley Grand Prix Stillwater, MN
Start Line Nature Valley Grand Prix Stillwater, MN
Optum Pro Cycling on the Final Turn For the Finish
Optum Pro Cycling on the Final Turn For the Finish
Final Turn For the Finish
Final Turn For the Finish
Nature Valley Grand Prix Hill Finish Stillwater, MN
Nature Valley Grand Prix Hill Finish Stillwater, MN
Optum Pro Cycling Controlled the Race Stillwater, MN
Optum Pro Cycling Controlled the Race Stillwater, MN

 

Mountain Biker Judy Freeman

Judy Freeman Talks About Start of the Season Results

Pro Mountain Biker Judy Freeman
Pro Mountain Biker Judy Freeman

Stephen McCarthy of The McCarthy Project talked with Pro Mountain Biker Judy Freeman. Judy just returned from her trip to Europe to talk about her early season results.

Judy candidly spoke about her results and how they stem from changes she made earlier in the year.  She talked about how they have negatively changed her position on the bike and lead to major power leaks.

She mentioned that sometimes science is not always the best way to go.  She returned to a previous setup on her bike.  Her injuries and performance have increased since the retro-fitting of her bike.

Other areas covered during the show include:

1.  The trickiness of elite performance.

2.  Pursuit of a dream when others give up.

3.  Does science always trump the art in elite cycling?

For the complete interview, visit Pro Mountain Biker Judy Freeman’s appearance.

To visit Judy, check out her blog and website.

 

Swiss Ball Training for Cyclists

Swiss Ball Training is Good for Some, But Not For All Athletes

Ball Training and the Cyclist
Ball Training and the Cyclist

 

We posted on this article on the Nature Valley Grand Prix blog talking about the value of swiss or physio ball training.

For the general public, a great idea.

For the intermediate or high-level athlete, it is a learned event with limited upside.

Here is a couple excerpts of the post.

Check out this post by Paul Rogers, a former Strength and Conditioning Coach for the Australian National Sprint Cycling Team.  For his team, he did not see any benefits of the Swiss ball during the time his team used the ball training method.

Some examples of other training methods include:

  1. Dumbbell training on two feet
  2. Dumbbell training on one foot
  3. Bodyweight training
  4. Olympic lifts

For the complete post, visit the Nature Valley Grand Prix blog.

 

Brianna Walle: Optum Health-Kelly Benefits Pro

Brianna Walle of Optum Health/Kelly Benefits and the Nature Valley Grand Prix

Brianna Walle of Optum Health/Kelly Benefits Pro Cycling
Brianna Walle of Optum Health/Kelly Benefits Pro Cycling

Brianna Walle joined Stephen McCarthy on the the show to talk about the upcoming Nature Valley Bike Race and her first year as a pro.

Last year, Brianna came the the Nature Valley race to prove that she has the talent to be a pro cyclist. And she completed the mission. This year she returns with the Optum Health/Kelly Benefits Pro Cycling team as a member of the team.

On the show, she talks about how she balances her schedule around working full-time with Yakima, the rack company and training 15-20 hours per week.

For the complete appearance, visit here.

Brianna Walle Bio Information from her site:

My name is Brianna Walle (aka “Brie” or “Wee Brie”). I’m a neo-amateur-gone-pro cyclist who is stoked to be racing professionally for the 2013 season!  It took a lot of work, dedication and support from my friends and family to get to this point and I’m seizing the moment! I discovered bike racing in 2010, after a quick 101 session at PIR (Portland International Raceway), fell in love with bike racing and never looked back. Two months later, I was invited to race for Ironclad Cycling Team. I raced for Ironclad from 2010-2013, starting as a Cat 4 and working my way up to Cat 1 within that time.

I consider myself to be a well-balanced racer, fast learner, and team-player. My strengths include: sprints, crazy hard attacks, time trials and power-climbing. I have raced in several roles within our team from rabbit, to domestique, and protected rider. I thrive off of strong efforts to work for my teammates and achieve our team goals. One of my biggest accomplishments last year (2012) was qualifying and racing on Nature Valley Pro Chase Team at the Nature Valley Grand Prix and placed 1st overall as “Best Amateur” Cyclist. I’m looking forward to rocking it hard in 2013 with my new team.

For more information on Brianna, visit her website.

Cyclocross Pro Amy Dombroski

Cyclocross Pro Amy Dombroski Shared Why She Chose Cyclocross?

Amy Dombroski
Amy Dombroski

Pro cyclist Amy Dombroski grew up competing as a ski racer.  After a couple injuries, she switched over the cycling.  Amy has been a pro road cycling, mountain biker, but she has landed on cyclocross.  Amy currently rides for one of the top cyclocross teams in Belgium.

Amy took the time to talk about training methods like the swiss ball and how it assists in her development, as well as, more traditional training methods.

To listen to the complete show, visit here.

For more information on Amy, visit her website

Bike Travel Cases and The Airlines

Airport Gorillas, Your Bike and Bike Travel Cases

Kris Swarthout, Co-host of The McCarthy Project and Bike Travel Cases
Kris Swarthout, Co-host of The McCarthy Project and Bike Travel Cases

Co-Host Kris Swarthout broke down about 10 different variables when it comes to bike travel cases and traveling with your bike.

We talked about hard-sided vs cardboard, renting vs taking your own, if the box dont fit in the rental car, what should you do.  Kris also talked about the circumstances he would or would take his bike with him.

For the complete interview, click here.

Robin Morton: The First Female Owner in Pro Cycling

Pre-7-Eleven, Robin Morton was in the Pro Peleton as an Owner

Robin Morton of G4 Productions
Robin Morton of G4 Productions

Robin Morton was the first female owner int the pro peleton during the mid-1980’s.  She reminisced about being voted into the elite group of men and a couple cool stories about the how the team traveled and competed on shoe string budget.

Currently, she is a partner in G4 Productions, an event planning firm in North America.

For the complete show, visit here. Robin came on the show around the 60 minute mark.

 

Fitting Womens Saddles

Chris Balser, the Bike Fit Guru, Discussed Womens Saddles

Chris Balser, The Bike Fit Guru, on Womens Saddles
Chris Balser, The Bike Fit Guru

Chris has been working with cyclists for a long time. In fact, over 20 years and he still is trying to figure out how to fit womens saddles.  He talked about a couple things to look for when fitting a saddle for your bike.

For the complete interview, click here

 

Rochelle Gilmore: Wiggle Honda’s Bad Weather Plans

Rochelle Gilmore of Wiggle Honda: Flanders and the Bad Weather

Rochelle Gilmore of Team Wiggle Honda
Rochelle Gilmore of Team Wiggle Honda

Rochelle Gilmore of Wiggle Honda talked about the conditions and how the team performed during the Tour of Flanders and how the cold weather continues to change the teams plans.  She also covered the teams plans for the next couple weeks and the focus on the Fleche Wallonne coming up at the end of the month.

For the complete show, visit the show page.

Live with Rochelle Gilmore of Wiggle Honda Cycling

Pro Cyclist and Team Owner Rochelle Gilmore on Tour of Flanders

Rochelle Gilmore of Team Wiggle Honda
Rochelle Gilmore of Team Wiggle Honda

The Tour of Flanders will be rode in horrible conditions.  Pro cyclist Rochelle Gilmore shed some light on how the decisions change based on the weather.  Secondly, Rochelle talked about what it takes to be a champion in the world of cycling when things are not perfect.

For the complete interview, click here

Rochelle Gilmore has dedicated herself purely to the road, a decision which has seen her win a World Cup and claim many World Cup podiums. Her most memorable result to date has been her win at the 2010 Commonwealth Games in New Dehli.  Rochelle is also the current team Owner and Manager of Wiggle Honda Pro Cycling.

For more information on Team Wiggle Honda and Rochelle, click here

The Mental Game with Kristin McGrath

Pro Cyclist Kristin McGrath and The Mental Game of Cycling

Kristin Mcgrath, Pro Cyclist
Kristin Mcgrath, Pro Cyclist

Kristin McGrath left for Europe, but before she left. She joined The McCarthy Project to talk about the weather in Europe and how it affects her approach to riding.

To listen to her thoughts, click here.  She started around 40 minutes into the show.

For more information on Kristin, visit here.

Coachfitter.com: Winter Cycling Apparel Review

winter cycling apparel
Winter Cycling Apparel

This time of year northerners and some brave southerners get the itch to ride outside in the cold.  I can’t tell you how many conversations I have had related to winter cycling apparel and the trick to staying warm.

So check out the post on the coachfitter.com site.  We reviewed Assos, Skins Compression, Desoto, and miscellaneous other pieces of winter cycling apparel.

Topics covered:

What do you use for keeping your feet warm?

What gloves system is the best on the market today?

How many layers do you use?

What type of tights are the best?

Later,

Stephen McCarthy

 

SIDI Road Cycling Shoes are Still the Best

Hey, Everybody.

I came accross these pics of winners on Sidi shoes. Who says the Trek and Specialized have better shoes. As far as I can see, the majority of the pro riders use Sidi road shoes. Here is portion of the a press release of the athletes at the starting line for Milan-SanRemo.

“Sidi will be at the starting line with a string of three victories backing us up: Filippo Pozzato, Oscar Freire Gomez and Fabian Cancellara all won their respective races in 2006, 2007, and 2008. Sidi Sport athletes will have a lot to work! Among the most anticipated are the three kings of sprintAlessandro Petacchi, Daniele Bennati and Robbie McEwen. Add to this roster Filippo Pozzato and Philippe Gilbert, there to give it their all both in breaks and in attacks on the Cipressa or Poggio climbs. Expert riders like Danilo Di Luca and Davide Rebellin will also be ones to watch.” Sidi Cycling, Press Release, March 18th, 2009.

 

Here is Filipo Pozzato winning with SIDI Ergo 2 Carbon’s.

Here is a second pic of Joaquim Rodriguez winning with a pair of Sidi Genius 6.6 Carbon’s.


And lastly, a pic of Michele Scarponi’s Sidi Genius 6.6 Carbon shoes.

Not bad at all for a couple weeks of effort in March.

Stephen McCarthy

HED wheels

The 2009 Hed wheels have arrived. We will be putting toghether a few pics on the differences. The main difference is the width of the rim. The two main benefits is a smaller profile of the tire itself and the smaller surface area that hits the ground. The smaller profile is an improvement in aerodynamics and the smaller surface area creates less friction between the tires and the ground.

Look for the pictues in a couple days.

Stephen McCarthy
Gear and Training

Aerodynamics and clothing, helmets, and shoes

The importance of aerodynamics in cycling and triathlon cannot be stressed enough. To set the importance, here are a couple quotes from industry leaders in the area of aerodynamics.“This Nike Skin suit should give about 30 sec to 1 minute advantages in a 58km Tour de France Individual Time Trial depending on what version of the suit is worn.“ Chester Kyle, the cycling areodynamist who headed up the Nike Skin suit Project for Lance Armstrong. (Zinn 2003)

Also, stated by Scott Duabert, one of the lead individuals working with Lance Armstrong, “We measured less drag with aerodynamically designed pieces, so I know it makes a difference” (Overton 2004)

With those kinds of statements from high-level experts, if you would like to perform to the elite level, you must take into account the choices you will be making in equipment.

For the sake of this discussion, we are going to limit our application of aerodynamics to clothing, helmets, and shoes. We understand the majority of the drag created by your body position while you are riding, swimming and running. But we will cover those areas in future newsletters.

An additional thought is aero drag and how it applies to swimming and running. Swimming is a totally different discussion for another newsletter, so we will not be covering this area today. Generally speaking, the rules only apply when you are moving faster than 8 mph as the main forces you are attempting to overcome are inertial and related to acceleration. If you are running faster than 8 mph, you might look into the type of clothing and shoes you are using and follow the same general rules. (Burke and Kyle 2003)

So lets dig in.

First of all lets start with an overview statement of aerodynamic drag and how we can improve or lower its forces against your efforts.

“You can decrease aerodynamic forces by choosing shapes that move through the air efficiently. This streamlining, an energy conserving process used by all creatures that must move rapidly through air. Hence, each shape, fabric, or material has a drag coefficient related to it. The lower the number, the less energy it takes to move it through air, as well as the possibility of going faster at the same time. (Burke and Kyle 2003) Summarized another way by Scott Daubert, “For the most part you want air to remain as close the subject as possible. By varying types of textures or the orientation of textures, you can start to control some of how the air flows over the subject. We wanted the air to remain attached to as much of Lance’s body as possible, especially on the trailing side of his hips.” (Overton 2004)

So how does that apply to the gear we are using and what are some general rules to follow when purchasing your gear.

Gloves, Suits, Bibs, Shorts, and Jerseys:
The type of fabric makes a difference. Regular materials such as wool or polypropylene used in jerseys or tights could slow the rider down over 1 min in 40km (Burke and Kyle 2004)
Are the seams hidden. If they are showing, make sure they are not across your body.
The amount of body coverage, the more the better. They have found that the newer fabrics have a lower drag than shaved legs. (Overton 2004)

Helmets
You must make a decision between an aero helmet and a standard racing helmet. Aero helmets should be used when cooling is not critical. Standard helmets can loose more than 1 sec per mile to an aero helmet.
Rounded edges are better than hard square, pointed edges. (Burke and Kyle 2003)

Shoes
A smooth upper with the fewest interruptions to air flow. Shoe covers are the best, when cooling is not an issue.
In some cases the type of material the shoe is made of can influence the drag, but we did not find any specific numbers related to this subject. (Burke and Kyle 2003)

After doing all your research and starting down the path of making yourself more aerodynamic, that leaves one question: How do I test aerodynamics if I don’t have access to a wind tunnel? Steve Hed of HED Cycling has a great solution,

“One way to find trends is to do roll-down tests. You’ll need a calm day, a friend on his bike to be the control and a gradual hill 1-2 minutes long. Coast top to bottom next to your friend and make a note or time the difference the two of you at the bottom. Make one change to your position or equipment and do it again. Make sure your friend doesn’t change anything- he is the control. (Overton 2004)

A closing thought.

After all your research, remember sometimes in cycling and triathlon elite performance is an art. What is the best for one person does not mean it is the best for you. If a piece of equipment is the best in class for drag and your friends all think it is the greatest, but it does not fit with your style or makes you feel totally uncomfortable, then stick with the product that makes you feel the fastest. Even Lance Armstrong used the some of the same gear for almost 10 years, because the other solutions did not feel right.

See you next month.

Stephen McCarthy
Extreme Performance Gear and Training

References

Zinn, Lennard, July 25,2003, Tour Tech-It’s Gotta be the Suit, VeloNews.

Overton, Frank, July 6, 2004, F One Aerodynamics: What Lance Armstrong’s Wind Tunnel testing means for your time trial, PezCycling News.

Burke, Edmund and Kyle, Chester, 2003, High-Tech Cycling, Human Kinetics, pg. 1-46.

February Coupon: Take 5% off your next purchase from Extreme Performance. Simply, visit http://www.gearandtraining.com/ and use the discount code of “Aero” or bring a copy of this newsletter to our store.

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