There are those that believe cycling – and many other sports – seem to come down to a numbers game more than anything else these days. A couple extra grams of weight on those pedal clips? Add two-tenths of a second over 50km. Shave your legs? Shave three-hundredths of a second (unless you’re very hairy, in which case make it four). Piece by piece, these numbers seem like they add up. Body weight, wheels, spokes, aerodynamic drag, acceleration rates, friction coefficients… the amount of micro-optimization that can go into cycling is staggering.
And it’s not just cycling. Just the other day I read about a World Cup Alpine skier who was being investigated because people thought her underwear (Seriously people? Her underwear?) was too efficient at blocking wind from penetrating the fabric.