Aero gains are the speed and performance improvements resulting from reducing the aerodynamic drag of a cyclist and their bike. The term aero gains comes from combining the words aero and gains.
Aero gains can be achieved by:
- Adopting a more aerodynamic riding position that lowers the body and reduces the frontal area.
- Wearing more aerodynamic clothing and accessories such as skinsuits, helmets, gloves, and shoes that reduce air resistance and turbulence.
- Using more aerodynamic equipment and components such as aero bikes, wheels, tires, handlebars, and bottle cages minimizes the drag and improves stability.
- Optimizing the tire pressure, chain lubrication, and bearing friction lowers the rolling resistance and mechanical losses.
Aero gains are measured by the amount of power or time saved at a given speed or distance.
For example, switching from a standard road bike to an aero bike can save around 20 watts or 1 minute over a 40 km time trial. Aero gains are important for cyclists who want to go faster on flat or rolling terrain, such as time trialists, triathletes, sprinters, and breakaway specialists.
Alex Lee is the founder and editor-at-large of Mr. Mamil. Coming from a professional engineering background, he breaks down technical cycling nuances into an easy-to-understand and digestible format here.
He has been riding road bikes actively for the past 12 years and started racing competitively in the senior category during the summer recently.