Power vs aerodynamics: what is the best balance and how can I achieve it?

Watts and aerodynamics are two cornerstones of our cycling performance - but favoring only one will see you going slower than a more balanced approach. Here’s our guide to better optimising your speed

Image shows a rider balancing aerodynamics and power output
(Image credit: Future)

We all know that power output is significant when it comes to performance: if all else is held equal, then putting out more power will see you going faster. The amount of power that can be sustained for any given duration is one of the starkest differences between professional cyclists and keen amateur riders - and it’s something we have even more exposure to today thanks to live power data feeds during races.

Over the past two decades, we’re also become a lot more exposed to the importance of aerodynamics within cycling. This learning continues as bike brands compete to produce ever more aerodynamic designs and as the pros contort themselves to adopt the most aerodynamically optimised positions - which the UCI will occasionally promptly ban. 

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