Recently, I visited Newport velodrome to have aerodynamic testing with Aero-Coach, a company offering aero-testing for cyclists.
I visited the Drag 2 Zero wind tunnel in 2011. When I came out of the tunnel, I was noticeably faster. Previously my position was not very optimised, so it was relatively easy to go faster. Five years later and the science of aerodynamics in cycling has progressed quite a lot. It is noticeable by the way times are falling. Times which used to be good enough to win an open, may now only be good enough for the top 5, even top 10. You hear on the grape vine of people doing 280 watts for a 19 minute ten mile time trial and things like that. I often felt last year I was losing out to people who had a better optimised position. Last year, I was stuck waiting for a new skin suit and didn’t help myself by doing National 100 with round bottles on the seat tube and another on the down tube.
Anyway, this year, I felt it was time to book a session with Aero Coach and see if I could catch up some lost time. It’s a pretty smart set up, you use a power tap discwheel and just ride around the track and they measure CdA from knowing speed and power. I don’t know exactly how it works, I was happy just to ride around the black line and leave calculations to others. I have toyed with trying to become an expert on self-calculated cdA, but I don’t have time / am reluctant to invest in the knowledge, and don’t trust myself to get it right given so many variables affecting data. In the field of marginal gains, you need to be pretty switched on. Continue Reading →