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2013-08-23 5:41 PM

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NH
Subject: Water bottles - weight/aero weenies
I was just at Timberman 70.3, and I like to check out the pro bike rack. I noticed every single pro had at least one bottle on either the down tuber or seat tube, and some even had two, usually in addition to an aero bottle up front.

What's the deal? I've always heard never on the seat tube and wondered why they had anything on either tube instead of just an aero bottle when the bike has three aid stations. I know the pros should all have great setups and have done wind tunnel testing and all, or at least they know the best way to get aero on their bike setups. I didn't get a chance to talk to Potts afterwards (though he talked to a lot of the Wish racers), or I would have asked him.

What do all of you think?


Edited by wbayek 2013-08-23 5:52 PM


2013-08-23 5:55 PM
in reply to: wbayek

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Master
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Subject: RE: Water bottles - weight/aero weenies
I'm pretty sure I read somewhere that on some bikes a bottle is more aero than no bottle.

I have yet to do an event longer than an oly, so haven't yet dealt with aid stations on the bike but I'd say the more self-sufficient you can be the better. Just dodging people and debris in the road could slow you down or even take you out of a race so why bother with them if you can avoid some or all of them by carrying your necessary hydration and fuel with you?

2013-08-23 5:59 PM
in reply to: faded_memories

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NH
Subject: RE: Water bottles - weight/aero weenies
Originally posted by faded_memories

I'm pretty sure I read somewhere that on some bikes a bottle is more aero than no bottle.

I have yet to do an event longer than an oly, so haven't yet dealt with aid stations on the bike but I'd say the more self-sufficient you can be the better. Just dodging people and debris in the road could slow you down or even take you out of a race so why bother with them if you can avoid some or all of them by carrying your necessary hydration and fuel with you?


I know for sure some aero bottles up front are better than nothing, but I just assumed the bottles on the tubes would negate the bike design. And since the pros are out in front of everyone they would not have any issues with clutter or other people. For us AG shleps in the latter waves I totally agree with your points and I'm strongly debating carrying a bottle in my race this weekend to avoid the aid stations.
2013-08-23 6:11 PM
in reply to: faded_memories

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Regular
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Subject: RE: Water bottles - weight/aero weenies
Go to cervelo website. They test some of the fast TT bikes and place water bottles on them. In every case no matter position a normal water bottle creates more drag, but more calories and hydration may be more important.
2013-08-23 6:12 PM
in reply to: faded_memories

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Champion
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Subject: RE: Water bottles - weight/aero weenies
Several factors are likely at work, including:

1. Aerodynamics is a funny business. When it comes to the fine points, it can be very hard to predict what is best.
2. Pros most definitely do not always have the most aero setups. This can be for a lot of reasons, including ignorance, but also including (for example) the requests of sponsors. Some pros are quite knowledgeable about aerodynamics, but others are not.
3. Other factors can trump aerodynamic ones. If, for example, a pro (or anyone) knows that he or she cannot handle the nutrition that is available on course, then it could become necessary to carry it, even if that's an aero penalty.

Not all pros visit air tunnels. Most young pros could never afford it.
2013-08-23 6:26 PM
in reply to: 0

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Subject: RE: Water bottles - weight/aero weenies

Here are my thoughts.

1.  Not all pros are good at maximizing aerodynamics.  You would think they would be, since it's their job and all...but the fact is there are many pros that don't pay attention to a lot of the small details.

2.  Not all pros test in the wind tunnel.  In fact, I would say a very small percentage of them do.  It's expensive, and pro triathletes don't make that much money.  There are many pro cyclists that don't test in the wind tunnel either.  ETA:  Most of the AGers who have reported going to the wind tunnel...they have everyday jobs that pay 3-5x more than your average pro cyclist or triathlete makes.

3.  Pros are racing against each other.  They are not "racing their own race," and slowing down at an aid station while the rest of the lead pack hammers away could make a huge difference to them.  Sometimes for them the decision to carry more on board can help them stay calm when passing by aid stations rather than having to slow down, grab, then spike the power up so they can get back with the guys they're racing with.  Also, while Timberman is not a 2 loop bike course, I can imagine there are some 2 loop bike courses where pros would prefer not to use any of the bike aid stations on the second loop to avoid interaction with the slower riders they are lapping.



Edited by Jason N 2013-08-23 6:30 PM


2013-08-24 11:47 AM
in reply to: Jason N

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Subject: RE: Water bottles - weight/aero weenies

Aerodynamics is more complicated then most people think. Most bike bottle aero studies I've seen show the bottles on the frame being very aerodynamic, in some cases more aero than not having one, and always better then behind the seat.

The pros also know (very closely) how much nutrition they need so its more exact for them to carry what they plan to use with them.

Also to grab bottles you they you have to slow down, about 20mph is as fast as you can go and semi-safely grab a bottle from a volunteer. Even at that speed I almost knocked one down at a race. The time for the pros to slow down and grab a bottle and speed back up, could cost them 30 seconds, thats not much for most age groupers but could cost them a paycheck.
2013-08-24 11:57 AM
in reply to: mike761


13

Subject: RE: Water bottles - weight/aero weenies
"and always faster than a bottle behind the seat"

I don't think that this is true. A single bottle tucked in tight is a very aero option.

Cheers,

Don
2013-08-24 5:21 PM
in reply to: Piche

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Subject: RE: Water bottles - weight/aero weenies

Originally posted by Piche "and always faster than a bottle behind the seat" I don't think that this is true. A single bottle tucked in tight is a very aero option. Cheers, Don

Calling on the vast knowledge of the BT community here - anyone have links (or suggested googling terms) for a solid study?  There must be some, but googling leads to a TON of dreck...

The above quotes are chilling to me, as I have a BTA bottle and TWO behind my ample backside.  I shudder to think of the seconds - maybe even TENS of seconds - I might have lost at Timberman with this setup.  Seriously, though, I'm wondering about which is truly more aero, as a downtube holder is a bit easier to monkey with than the two behind my hinder (I have gotten OK with doing so without coming out of aero, but even so I suspect I create marginally more drag reaching behind me than down).

And I know that the real answer is to work on the engine...  Tongue out

Thanks!

Matt

2013-08-24 6:58 PM
in reply to: mcmanusclan5

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Subject: RE: Water bottles - weight/aero weenies
Originally posted by mcmanusclan5

Originally posted by Piche "and always faster than a bottle behind the seat" I don't think that this is true. A single bottle tucked in tight is a very aero option. Cheers, Don

Calling on the vast knowledge of the BT community here - anyone have links (or suggested googling terms) for a solid study?  There must be some, but googling leads to a TON of dreck...

The above quotes are chilling to me, as I have a BTA bottle and TWO behind my ample backside.  I shudder to think of the seconds - maybe even TENS of seconds - I might have lost at Timberman with this setup.  Seriously, though, I'm wondering about which is truly more aero, as a downtube holder is a bit easier to monkey with than the two behind my hinder (I have gotten OK with doing so without coming out of aero, but even so I suspect I create marginally more drag reaching behind me than down).

And I know that the real answer is to work on the engine...  Tongue out

Thanks!

Matt

http://www.cervelo.com/en/engineering/ask-the-engineers/hydration-and-aerodynamics.html

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