It’s 8am on Sunday 2nd September – Father’s Day, and I am out doing some aerodynamic testing with one of Argonaut’s coached riders. Looking back through my data its been 15 months since I conducted one of these sessions but everything ran super smoothly and we got some great data and real time improvements for the rider.
The reason for ‘aero’ testing is pretty straight forward, to find out whether a rider’s position is fast and whether it can be improved. For the uninitiated there are 4 ways that you can undertake aerodynamic testing with a rider: visit a wind tunnel (~$1000 per hour), do regression testing on a flat straight stretch of road with no wind, laps of a velodrome at controlled power outputs and the final way is known as the ‘Chung’ method, which uses a combination of power data and virtual elevation modelling to determine a rider’s aerodynamic coefficient (known as CDA).
Today’s session started with a baseline run to establish the rider’s current CDA and then we looked a several changes to the setup and position. All up we completed 4 runs, with each run providing improvements, the second run enabled the rider to produce more power with minimal loss of aerodynamics, while the third and fourth runs improved the aerodynamics while maintaining the same power output. All up it was a great session that, with some minor (but important) changes to the riders setup and position resulted in around an extra .5km/h in speed, which equates to around 44 second improvement for a 40km time trial (with original speed of 40km/h). Not bad for 1.5hrs worth of work and a nice father’s day gift!