Tackling headwind

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Tackling headwind

Postby sandman » Mon Aug 24, 2009 10:40 pm

Hi ALL

I'm interested to understand how people cope with headwind since I seem to be enjoying it every day in the Alice....As mine is only a 30km trip and about 15km into solid headwind, the legs seem to be fresh enough to mash into the headwind, getting as aero as I can on the bars (hands on the hoods) and bending the elbows. Equally I don't try and fight the wind, just work with it and get the right tempo, I seem to notice that every now and then the wind will gust from a different direction and offer a very short period of reprieve which seems to keep me in the right headspace.

Reason I'm interested, I've ridden with some pretty solid riders in the past, some handle it fine and others start whining and drop right back, even though I think they are more than capable to tackle the headwind. Maybe its just their mental attitude to it, not sure ? Possibly the same issue as to when they see a big hill, some smile and look for the way up, some look for the long way around....

Maybe I should get one of these (bike not legs) to tackle the headwind, hitting a sidewind would be a real bitch :-)

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by BNA » Mon Aug 24, 2009 11:06 pm

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Re: Tackling headwind

Postby Wayfarer » Mon Aug 24, 2009 11:06 pm

I think its to do with power output mate. maybe you've noticed that its the same guys who fall behind in headwins that have problems with hills. I recon you should change your technique a bit though; hands in the drops is more aero, as your back is flat. Maybe even buy some aerobars to strap on the front, so you can ride how Cadel is in that picture :)

one of them bikes though (time trial bikes) costs a truckload though. the lenticular back wheel's good for aero, but if the front was the same..
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Re: Tackling headwind

Postby sogood » Tue Aug 25, 2009 12:17 am

The hardest part of riding in a headwind for me is the repeated accelerations and decelerations due to wind gusts ie. Uneven resistance. It has a special ability to kill my muscles. Maybe a greater momentum can reduce the effect ie. Heavier rider.
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Re: Tackling headwind

Postby mikesbytes » Tue Aug 25, 2009 6:09 am

If I remember correctly you were pretty good at riding in the wind last year, I suspect you would of only got better.

If you look at that picture you can see that the torso is pretty much horizontal, as this reduces the wind resistance considerably. after that its a matter of tucking the arms in and making sure that the legs are not sticking out into the wind. One thing I am not good at is keeping my head up
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Re: Tackling headwind

Postby Grant W » Tue Aug 25, 2009 8:15 am

Head winds and hills, two things that most cyclist hate.

I used to hate the Head winds frustrated the hell out of me when you ride on the roads you know you cruise at 35k/hr and the wind knocks it to 25k/hr.

The only problem is you naturally tend to bust your ass to up the speed and bonk.

Just ride them as much as possible, like you would to improve you hill climbing, remember on a race day every one has to ride in the same conditions and if your one of the riders who moans and laks confidence in these conditions it will show in your riding. Knowing your confident will give you the mental edge and the constant practice will strengthen and condition you.

Practice, dont let it frustrate you thoe or you'll just hate it.
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Re: Tackling headwind

Postby RobRollin » Tue Aug 25, 2009 8:30 am

A lot fo riders dont ride in headwinds. In Taasie lately we have been getting strong winds, much like other parts of Aus. I've been riding when it's been windy and noticed my speed has gradually increased, losing weight, aero, stronger, determined, all these things have made a difference.

You will se what's written above, some riders will gas into the wind and bonk. Or you can find the right temp and stick to it, maintaining an avg speed.

I put the hands on the hoods, drop the elbows until they are horizontal and spin. Even if I have to change gears I try and keep the same cadence and speed.
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Re: Tackling headwind

Postby sogood » Tue Aug 25, 2009 9:12 am

RobRollin wrote:A lot fo riders dont ride in headwinds.

Apart from the extra pain, the other significant reason is the risks involved with riding in strong winds.
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Re: Tackling headwind

Postby RobRollin » Tue Aug 25, 2009 9:25 am

Spelling Police!! :D
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Re: Tackling headwind

Postby lemmiwinks » Tue Aug 25, 2009 9:31 am

sandman wrote:Reason I'm interested, I've ridden with some pretty solid riders in the past, some handle it fine and others start whining and drop right back, even though I think they are more than capable to tackle the headwind. Maybe its just their mental attitude to it, not sure ?


I reckon so. I think the thing with a headwind is that you never know when or if it's going to let up but with a hill you know you'll be climbing for a fixed period (usually at a steady effort) then it's over.
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Re: Tackling headwind

Postby colafreak » Tue Aug 25, 2009 10:07 am

I believe one of the main reasons some find the wind harder than others relates to the type of rider they are.

The fundamental difference between riding in a headwind is that for the same power output, you're travelling at a different speed.

The main difference as far as the forces your body experiences is that your "flywheel" is spinning slower in a headwind. This means the dead spots at the top and bottom of the stroke are more pronounced.

Neurolomuscularly, I believe this has the effect of changing the profile of force output required throughout the pedal rotation.

Would be happy to hear Alex's thoughts on the above, I have always equated it to riding on a trainer with a light flywheel (a subject which Alex has written about).


And people also tend to underestimate the effect a headwind has on them and will overestimate the speed they should be maintaining.
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Re: Tackling headwind

Postby sandman » Tue Aug 25, 2009 12:23 pm

Feedback here is pretty interesting. Ride out this morning, 1/2 was into strong gusty winds....it wasnt windy when I came to Alice for my "Preview Trip" to decide if I wanted to live here ;-). Today I took on a semi-tt position, grabbed the bars on either side of the stem and as others have posted, got the back more horizintal and picked a good gear to get the cadence right...it actually felt good.

I really dont mind the wind, as others have said if your out racing, everyone is feeling it so I dont feel overly "special" :-)

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Re: Tackling headwind

Postby USM TOM » Tue Aug 25, 2009 2:26 pm

sogood wrote:
RobRollin wrote:A lot fo riders dont ride in headwinds.

Apart from the extra pain, the other significant reason is the risks involved with riding in strong winds.



yeah i dont ride when its heaps windy for safety reasons (mostly due to crosswinds and me being uber light)

if you hate headwinds just suck some one's wheel :) as its pretty hard for someone to break away in a headwind
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Re: Tackling headwind

Postby sogood » Tue Aug 25, 2009 2:42 pm

USM TOM wrote:if you hate headwinds just suck some one's wheel :) as its pretty hard for someone to break away in a headwind

Actually, despite Sandman's modesty on riding in the wind, he is super strong under those conditions. During last year's Gong ride return, I clearly remember he was the only rider left standing in our bunch riding north along Grand Parade, up against a super nasty headwind. Even Mike had to roll back for a bit of shelter. I had Sandman's wheel and have never sucked harder and closer than that time. Keep it up Pete!
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Re: Tackling headwind

Postby USM TOM » Tue Aug 25, 2009 3:26 pm

sogood wrote:
USM TOM wrote:if you hate headwinds just suck some one's wheel :) as its pretty hard for someone to break away in a headwind

Actually, despite Sandman's modesty on riding in the wind, he is super strong under those conditions. During last year's Gong ride return, I clearly remember he was the only rider left standing in our bunch riding north along Grand Parade, up against a super nasty headwind. Even Mike had to roll back for a bit of shelter. I had Sandman's wheel and have never sucked harder and closer than that time. Keep it up Pete!



he must just be a fair bit stronger rider in general then

i always find the benifit of drafting is increased in a headwind but you have to find just the right spot to sit if the wind is even slightly cross
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Re: Tackling headwind

Postby Chuck » Tue Aug 25, 2009 3:57 pm

sogood wrote:I had Sandman's eel and have never sucked harder and closer than that time. Keep it up Pete!


:shock: :shock: :shock: :shock:
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Re: Tackling headwind

Postby Alex Simmons/RST » Tue Aug 25, 2009 6:27 pm

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Gusts are tricky and tend to disrupt your rhythm.
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Re: Tackling headwind

Postby snedden9485 » Tue Aug 25, 2009 8:37 pm

I find to keep a decent cadence going and get aero. I can have hands on the hoods and tuck elbows right in and lower headm or if im really going for it, get into a tri sort of position by putting me forearms onto the bars and getting low. Very fast, but takes time to master.
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Re: Tackling headwind

Postby mikesbytes » Wed Aug 26, 2009 5:48 am

How fast is Meters per second in KPH?
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Re: Tackling headwind

Postby Grant W » Wed Aug 26, 2009 7:51 am

Chuck wrote:
sogood wrote:I had Sandman's eel and have never sucked harder and closer than that time. Keep it up Pete!


:shock: :shock: :shock: :shock:



:lol: :lol: :lol: :mrgreen:
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Re: Tackling headwind

Postby sogood » Wed Aug 26, 2009 7:53 am

Chuck wrote:
sogood wrote:I had Sandman's eel and have never sucked harder and closer than that time. Keep it up Pete!

:shock: :shock: :shock: :shock:

Chuck, you are very naughty boy! :twisted:
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Re: Tackling headwind

Postby Alex Simmons/RST » Wed Aug 26, 2009 9:27 am

mikesbytes wrote:How fast is Meters per second in KPH?

1 m/s = 3.6 km/h

Wind speeds quoted by weather stations are typically higher than that we experience at ground/rider level.
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Re: Tackling headwind

Postby sandman » Wed Aug 26, 2009 9:58 am

sogood wrote:
USM TOM wrote:if you hate headwinds just suck some one's wheel :) as its pretty hard for someone to break away in a headwind

Actually, despite Sandman's modesty on riding in the wind, he is super strong under those conditions. During last year's Gong ride return, I clearly remember he was the only rider left standing in our bunch riding north along Grand Parade, up against a super nasty headwind. Even Mike had to roll back for a bit of shelter. I had Sandman's wheel and have never sucked harder and closer than that time. Keep it up Pete!


Sogood <double blush>...was all about getting the team home...we all did our bit, was a long day :-) and now Mike is planning the uBER Gong ride, that sounds like a tough ride but fantastic :-) wish I was there :cry:

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Re: Tackling headwind

Postby sandman » Wed Aug 26, 2009 10:04 am

USM TOM wrote:if you hate headwinds just suck some one's wheel :) as its pretty hard for someone to break away in a headwind


I think into the headwind is a good place to test the bunch...I remember in Tennant Creek we tried to break away a few times and each time we just weren't "snappy enough" to get that 3-4 bike lengths infront before they got onto our wheels.. In the Critt race, I found the attacks into the headwind is what got me away...its sure hurts, physically and mentally but remember, they are flesh too :-) just some have bigger "fleshpistons" to apply more hurt.... :D :D :D

I've watched Eddie Salas, Peter Milostic and Ben at Panthers ride off the front of the bunch in A grade into a headwind..

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Re: Tackling headwind

Postby Chuck » Wed Aug 26, 2009 1:45 pm

sogood wrote:Chuck, you are very naughty boy! :twisted:


So I'm not the messiah then :?: :lol: :lol:
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Re: Tackling headwind

Postby sandman » Wed Aug 26, 2009 3:18 pm

Chuck wrote:
sogood wrote:Chuck, you are very naughty boy! :twisted:


So I'm not the messiah then :?: :lol: :lol:


Jehovah !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
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