What Every Racer Should Know About Number Pinning
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What Every Racer Should Know About Number Pinning

October 8, 2019

Pinning on your race numbers seems pretty straightforward but you could be losing valuable time out on the course. Here are
some things to keep in mind for your next race. There are two main reasons you want to make sure that your number is pinned correctly. Number one: the
officials need to see the numbers so you get scored correctly. But number two: you
need to make sure that you aren’t losing valuable time with aerodynamic drag. When a lot of people pin their race number to their jersey they do so allowing a
lot of room for slack between that race number and their jersey. It ends up making it like a parachute, catching wind and only making you slower out on the course. The first thing you’ll want to do when it comes to pinning your race number is
contact the race organizer and find out where you need to pin the number on your
jersey. That could differ for different races with most pro races being on your
back of the pockets, or as most local events in USA Cycling tend to have them
on the side of your jersey down your ribs. If you’re doing something like a
time trial you can put it out of the wind in many cases on the small of your
back completely hidden. Most people that are new to road racing see the four
holes in the corner of your number and assume that all you need to do is just
put the pin through that hole and close it up, but that actually causes a flapping number making you even slower. What you should do is take that pin and put it through the number in the jersey then
back through the number of new jersey close to that hole but not using that
hole as an anchoring point for your number. Another tip for easy pinning of your
number is to wrinkle the number so that it will lay flatter on your body. For most races you’re going to want a minimum of seven pins per number. That’s three on the leading edge, two along the side, and two at the lower corners. Our recommended strategy is to bring a pillow with you to the race and stretch your jersey over
the pillow so that it emulates how the jersey will stretch over your body. If
you don’t have a pillow with you you can just stretch the jersey over your knees
but make sure you’re keeping in mind once again how that jersey is going to
stretch over your body. If you’re doing a time trial we strongly recommend using a
spray adhesive. This will make sure that your number stays put when it matters
most. We recommend using 3m super 77 adhesive. When using the adhesive make sure that you spray in the center and towards the
edges to make sure that you don’t get any parts of the number peeling up once it’s
installed. After you spray the adhesive on let it sit for about 15 seconds so
that way it tacks up and the adhesive bonds to the number, then stick it onto
your jersey. If you have somebody at the race, they can help pin your number for
you. Mimic the position you’ll be holding during the race. Even though you’ve used
adhesive it’s still a good idea to pin down those corners at the number. It can
peel up mid-race and lose valuable time. It’s a good idea to always carry pins
with you to every race to reduce anxiety on race day, but at the very least make
sure you grab extra pins when you’re in race registration. Using these tips at
your next race will ensure you’re not losing any watts to a poorly pin number.

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