When speed is the desired result, then just measuring power isn’t enough. Air resistance is by far the most important type of resistance that needs to be conquered, especially on flat stretches. In order to beat wind resistance, there are two paths that lead to Rome: increasing the amount of power or reducing the air resistance. The air resistance a cyclist has to conquer is depending on the frontal surface and the way air flow interacts with the shape of an object, the so-called drag coefficient.
Robic offers two kind of aero services:
- Aerotesting in which we actually measure both drag and frontal surface on the track.
- Measurements of frontal surface in which you get realtime feedback of your frontal surface while cycling on a training and maintaining different postures.
While cycling on a trainer you will get realtime feedback about power and frontal surface. You will see the loss of speed or reduction of power by adopting different postures. This information can be used to make a considered choice between comfort or speed. This is not only usefull for your position on a time trial bike, but also very interesting to see differences in posture on a road bike.
With an aerofitting we will give you a full hour of testing different positions and advice. An aerofitting can be booked seperately as well as part of a complete bikefitting
The total time needed for an aerofitting is 1 hour.
Modern measurement equipment makes it possible to conduct wind tunnel tests on the Velodrome. Robic is the first company in Europe that can use this technology to determine the aerodynamics of the bicycle and cyclist. Our tests provide the same data as wind tunnel tests, but for a fraction of the cost and without the six-month waiting list. Plus, the test subject actually has to cycle under real-world conditions, which allows for the physiological measurement of changing positions. With real-world, we mean that the aerodynamics of a cyclist is different while cycling than while sitting motionless in a wind tunnel. In practice, the cyclist will swing back and forth (unless your name is Tony Martin), which has an important effect on aerodynamics. Or as David Morse from Zipp Wheels describes it:“There’s a lot of dynamic interactions that are going on between the rider and the bike that you just can’t really account for in CFD or the wind tunnel.”
Aerodynamics measurements are not only interesting for time trials or triathletes; even everyday cyclists can benefit from them. By quantifying various positions and materials, riders can justify choices without basing them on their gut feelings. For example, the choice of a helmet shouldn’t be made based only on the manufacturer’s statistics, because each individual will have a different transition from torso to helmet. And the right helmet can make the difference of 10 watts, which on a 40-km time trial can result in a difference of more than one minute. Moreover, narrower handlebars or a deeper position doesn’t always provide better aerodynamics.
During a two-hour measurement session, it is possible to measure 3 to 5 position changes per hour. Experience riding on a track is absolutely unnecessary.
Adjustments to position and materials can sometimes provide up to 30 watts of extra power. That power difference is approximately equal to the progress made after a year of focused and specific training.
What do you need?
- Bring along a friend, coach or mechanic.Changing material costs time, and since the biggest expense is the rental of the track, we aim to keep the time necessary for changes to a minimum. Naturally, we are here to help as well, but an extra hand is always welcome.
- Think about what you would like to test in advance or in consultation with us. During a telephone consultation, we will draw up a testing schedule.
- Should you remove the cables from your bicyle? If we plan on making any changes to the ‘cockpit’, such as aerobars and handlebars, then the cables could get in the way. Since we will be testing on the Velodrome, brakes are unnecessary and removing the cables could save quite a bit of time.
- Specific tools. Some parts can only be removed using special tools. The difference in crank tools is especially big. Bring along these tools, just in case.
- Come in good condition. Although we don’t have to ride at racing speed, riding 10-15 rounds per measurement can be fairly exhausting.
- You need not have a power meter installed on your bicycle. We have them available for you. But if you do have one installed on your bike, make sure that it is properly calibrated and in good working order. The same applies to speed and/or cadence sensors.
- The most important things to bring are: all clothing, helmets, bidons, wheels and handlebars that you would like to test.
Book a test
- Solo test. One person testing on the Velodrome for 2 hours. Test 3 to 5 changes per hour.
- Duo test. Testing one rider while another works on his/her bicycle. Test 2-4 changes per hour during a two-hour session.