@10Âș 0.200 cda(m2)
@10Âș 0.193 cda(m2)
Now a whole host of folks have suggested that it is not just high hands that give you lower drag numbers, but the benefit comes from what it affords you. Jim spoke about this in his post and you can see some of it in the two photos above. I have more reach without changing anything other than how I hold my bars, that extra reach lowers my shoulders, gives me a bit more shrug, and even my head looks like it is in a better position. So, it's not the hand position in and of itself that makes this position faster, but the changes it facilitates. I'm not sure if Brian's 85/15 correlates with only moving hands to ensure everything else remains the same or if the benefits noted above are being exploited to no benefit and a loss in some cases. Please excuse the horrible fitting kit in the next photo, but I had to use it as it helps illustrate my point.
In the second photo I have my right hand stacked on top of my left, which really makes my shrug much more comfortable. When using a more traditional hand hold, as in the first photo, it takes significant muscular effort on my part and distracts from almost everything else. Also, I should note that holding my head low has never been an issue and I don't think hand position helps me there. What I am referring to in shrugging is the pulling of my shoulders in towards each other (i.e. narrowing my shoulder width). Something else to note from the photos above is that my PAD Y and X do not tell the whole story without seeing me on the bike. My elbows hang off the back at a 15Âș downward angle giving me lower effective arm/shoulder/back position then the same stack if it were run with flat pads.
Time allowing, and I have my bike setup to swap quickly just for this reason, I plan to test high vs low hands in the tunnel in early 2019. Also, I think this is something the folks at STAC can show with their Virtual Tunnel, but we'll have to wait to see on that as well (next 2 weeks I hope). I will do my best to mimic my position, but stack will not change on the bike (though my shoulders are likely to be higher) and reach will be pretty close as well. However, I really feel that even if it is a lower drag number with hands/arm level (I don't think it will be) that in the real world the inability to keep my shoulders narrow will affect my real-world CdA(m2).
I'm in the high hands camp for all the reasons stated above and not simply because I think hands in front of my face is faster. Where do you stand on this positional question?
The numbers presented above were gathered at A2 wind tunnel @30mph. I used 10Âș as the numbers look better. ;)
ETA: Video of 15Âș arm angle vs ~0Âș