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Gloves and Shoe covers
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TOPIC: Gloves and Shoe covers

Gloves and Shoe covers 8 years, 1 month ago #25528

  • sjudice
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There are a bunch of 'aero gloves' and shoe covers on the net. The two that come to mind which have some availability are the PI/slipstream and Nike swift. Anyone know if they really make you more aero; and more importantly, how to wear them to make you more aero if they do? Better yet, if they do work, are there any lessons that can be taken away to differentiate what improves drag (read this as decreases drag) vs. what does nothing or increases drag? This seems to be an area which would be a cheap way to get a couple seconds if it actually does something...especially in long distance tri, where putting them on would not take away all the time gained.

Stephen J

Re: Gloves and Shoe covers 8 years, 1 month ago #25529

  • Neal
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Hello sjudice and All,

For me I am using skateboard self stick platform non skid 'sandpaper' on my bars (About $5 for a very large sheet 4 ft x 1 ft) where my hands usually contact the bars.

The sandpaper has less frontal area than bar tape and has better friction for holding the bars.

Also it may energize the boundry layer for less drag. Gloves are very comfortable and always in the right place - on your hands.

Gloves are useful if you have a collision.

The downside is that you need gloves to hold the sandpaper and it wears the gloves out in one long ride if you move your hands frequently.

The solution is to rub a thin coating of shoe goo on the glove contact area as needed.

Wind tunnel reports I have seen state the no gloves are more aero than gloves but there are others here more qualified than me to make those judgements.

Shoe covers are better than nothing but if you look at your bike from the bottom - lay on the floor and look up at it - or use a mirror - you will see that the pedals and other items viewed from below are very 'draggy' since out of sight, out of mind.

I like modifing the shoe itself to streamline the pedal by retracting the pedal into the shoe.

Cheers,

Neal

Re: Gloves and Shoe covers 8 years, 1 month ago #25530

  • kraig
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Well, I've never explicitly tested these things (though, I've tested probably 100+ people repeating the same test configuration), so take my comments in that context.

I doubt that gloves improve things, unless, of course, you have really hairy "hobbit" knuckles. ) If that is the case, you might have cheaper options at improving your aerodynamics.

Shoe covers - could make things better or worse. Tighter/smaller would be the direction I'd go...the Nike stuff I have personal experience with looks pretty solid:

http://www.usacycling.org/gallery/album ... .sized.jpg

but I don't know how available these covers are.
-kraig

Re: Gloves and Shoe covers 8 years, 1 month ago #25531

  • kraig
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Neal wrote:
I like modifing the shoe itself to streamline the pedal by retracting the pedal into the shoe.


This, I have explicitly seen tested in a wind tunnel - it was a commercially available modification (or maybe it was an actual product). I don't explicitly remember the results...which (for me) means that the results were probably not noteworthy. I could be wrong, though.

Sounds interesting to test again, though!
-kraig

Re: Gloves and Shoe covers 8 years, 1 month ago #25532

  • toddmanley
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I picked up a set of the 2010 PI Barrier Lite shoe covers. I borrowed the 2009 version from a teammate and really liked them. However, PI did a design change with the 2010 version. They removed the zipper and made them a slip-on.

Now for somebody like me that has slender ankles/calves, this turned out to be a problem when my covers showed up. They were loose and very non-aero at the top of the cover. I tried to find the right 2009 model size online, but no luck. I finally went to my local alteration lady and she did an amazing job in putting zippers in the back and tightening these up nice and snug. Call me crazy, but now I'm really excited to use them.

Re: Gloves and Shoe covers 8 years, 1 month ago #25533

  • Dalai
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Disappointing that they have change the Pearl Izumi Wind covers and removed the rear zip! I purchased and started using these shoe covers after being recommended them by a rider who had tested them in the Wind tunnel and found them beneficial. I'm now going to have to search for the earlier version as a spare set for when my current pair wears out...

I too wore them in my wind tunnel session last year but didn't do a comparison test with standard lycra covers or without covers so haven't got results to confirm. Given they are windproof logic would suggest they are better than the lycra covers which don't stop the wind at all.
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