Question: While grinding downhill into a nasty headwind recently, I had plenty of time to ponder the following question: What headwind velocity would compensate for the downhill advantage, making it feel like I was pedaling in calm conditions? If going uphill on various grades, what tailwind speed would compensate for the vertical gain? — Dusty C.
Coach Fred Matheny Replies: Interesting questions, Dusty. I’ve never seen such calculations.
I’d guess it depends in part on rider weight and aerodynamic drag. You might check AnalyticCycling.com. This interesting website has calculators for many drag and speed-related cycling questions.
But regardless of the formulas someone might devise, I doubt that the figures would hold for actual riding.
Out there on the road, unlike in the abstract world of equations,wind isn’t steady but comes in gusts and roads don’t slope at a steady grade for very long.