Wednesday, November 4, 2015

The Perfect Tuck

   Riding your road bike downhill is a thrilling experience. Once you are coasting faster than you can pedal, the only way to gain speed is to get more aerodynamic. Or draft someone. But we're talking about tucking so imagine you're alone.

   On a road bike, there are a few ways to tuck. The most simple, and safest, is to keep your hands on your hoods or drops and get your chest as low as possible.

Tuck #1

   This way you can keep pedaling if the opportunity arises, and you can steer and brake with confidence.

   What could be faster? Put your hands on the flat tops of your handlebars and tuck your arms under your chest! With your arms under you, your profile is greatly reduced and when combined with a low tuck will reduce even more drag.

Tuck #2

   This is a lot like Tuck #1, but you have less control over steering and you have no braking. This is best used when you can see a ways ahead and are familiar with the descent.

   Now, get that big ass of yours out of the wind. Dropping your body lower to the bike will mean an additional reduction in drag.

Tuck #3
    At the cost of control, you are getting as close to the bike as possible. This is not popular with large fellows or anyone worried about self image.

   Move your head forward! Is this the perfect tuck? I don't see how it's better than #4, but this guy is a pro, so he knows things I don't. Works best if you timing chip is in your helmet.

Tuck #4

   Lastly, the Superman tuck. A Peter Sagan feat only to be attempted by the most handsome riders. 

Tuck #

  Which tuck is right for you? Well, that depends on how much risk you're willing to take. For me, a nice safe #1 tuck is fine. 

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