How far would you go to improve your race time?

Blurred image showing cyclists racing

Cycling Weekly has written about 13 ways to increase your average cycling speed. The baker’s dozen of tips to improve your race time are:

  1. Bend and tuck elbows
  2. Listen to music (*this has some caveats!)
  3. Ride with others
  4. Pump up your tyres
  5. Brake less
  6. Ride on the drops
  7. Track stand
  8. Ride out in a headwind and home in a tailwind
  9. Lose weight
  10. Intervals
  11. Build muscle
  12. Aero bike and/or wheels
  13. Tighter clothing

I have to admit that several of these I don’t do as much as I should, but others (such as lose weight and build muscle), I’m working on… but what I found more interesting was an article in Triathlon: ‘Secrets of the wind tunnel‘.

The secrets that the article reveals are that marginal gains can be made by tweaking:
  • helmet
  • wheels
  • arm position
  • kit

with a much larger gain (hopefully for hairy blokes, rather than fairly hairless ladies, like me) being by shaving your lower legs.

Peloton of professional cyclists

Do you (or your partner) shave your legs for the purpose of riding more quickly (and not just in the hope of avoiding road rash)?


2 Responses

  1. I am a male however my wife envies me as most of my lower legs are devoid of hair naturally. I don’t know why this is but I am sure that in races people look at my legs and think to themselves ‘look at that twit he’s only shaved half his legs’. Ha ha

    I think that if I was a top 10 finisher in big races that I would shave down but since I finish around 20% place shaving my legs or making other minute (very small not 1 minute in time) isn’t important to me. I did get tri bars for the bike though but the aero helmet will remain in the shop. 🙂

    • I definitely think I need better bike handling skills before considering tribars… and as I’ve ripped my wetsuit, that’ll be my next big spend!

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