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What's Faster? Baggy Shorts or Spandex? 11

Fashion and function face off in this wind tunnel test. The potential time to be saved by reconsidering your clothing choice could surprise you...

Credit: Specialized

bturman bturman 11/12/2014 3:10 PM

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I've also put multiple drill holes in the peak of my helmet. In fact, so many, that you can't actually see it, only feel it.

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Baggies are only baggy as they get longer. If you wear short shorts like me, that show 5 inches of skin between the top of my knee pad to the hem of the shorts, you don't get wind flap. The other technique I use is to wear my body armour on the outside of my TLD race jersey, thus reducing wind flap again. Easy when you know how.

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There is a lot of information missing from this video, but assuming his pace is 12.4mph (in the range of a typical CAT 1 mtb race speed - 20k in one hour) with baggies, then his pace is approximately 12.6mph with spandex.

A difference maker to most? A hr race would yield around 2min faster, which is often the more than the difference between the podium positions in XC races around here.

On a trail with buddies? I'd say whatever's clever man.

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Next they'll tell us drafting is better than riding full in the wind... and in the next breath try to sell us whatever it is they're selling.

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Well Lycra was born out of road racing and is a XC hold over. How much Wind is there in the woods???

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I think I can safely say that we will all be sleeping a little better at night knowing this

Maybe they should see if Michael Phelps swims faster in his jeans or in a skin suit too

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This is a great video, but like all things bike, there is shaving seconds for racing, and then there is riding with the buds, apply the right tool for the job.

WC DH riders have their shorts hemmed as tight as possible for that little bit of time savings.


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If people want to wear spandex, great for them, but I'm not out on the trail to race them, i'm out there to enjoy and have fun. So anyone wearing spandex wouldn't enjoy riding with me, because we ride to have fun, so spandex, no strava.

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