Feature: Bioracer Aero Virtual Wind Tunnel

Former professional and a World Cup winner, Russell Hampton tests the Bioracer Aero Virtual Wind Tunnel

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Feature: Bioracer Aero Virtual Wind Tunnel

Recently, Onimpex Bioracer invited me to Derby to see a new virtual wind tunel called Bioracer Aero.

There, Ken, Chris and former professional Russell Hampton put the system through its paces with a young lady Xan and her bike.

The system is a custom background with a camera connected to a computer and the software that provides real time feedback on how a change in position affects the frontal area, ie, how aero, a rider is in a specific poiition. The system was able to record a video as well to provide the rider with valuable feedback they can use over and over after the work is done with Bioracer Aero.

By measuring your frontal surface, whilst training on a roller system or turbo, the amount of watts that you have to pedal to maintain a certain (hypothetical) speed in that specific position is calculated. You will get real time information on these parameters (frontal surface and power), as these parameters are adjusted instantly, when you change your position on the bike.

As one professional who used the system recently said in an interview with VeloUK, it was a great value for money test to do rather than going into a ‘normal’ wind tunel to not only find the most optimal aerodynamic position on the bike, but also to train in that specific position.

One of the country’s leading road riders, Russell Hampton, third in the British Road Race championship in 2012 and winner of races from World Cups on the track to Premier Calendar events, was impressed by the system and took it away to test.

Russell, now a coach with Marginal Gains Cycling, writes “with the recent Milian San Remo being decided by less than half a wheel after 300km, the pursuit of performance gains is bigger than ever. With body mass making nearly 80% of aerodynamic drag, the biggest gain you can make is reduce your drag via your position. This has been done via wind tunnels in recent years which is a very expensive process especially for the amateur cyclist”.

“The new Bioracer Aero package can help you or your coach adjust your frontal area on the bike to reduce your drag (cdA) with real time feedback via watts gained or lost via a camera, wahoo kickr & a lovely green screen like in the movies. This can be done at various speeds to make the results even more precise so whether your trying to get under 20 minutes for 10 mile TT or trying complete the Ride London 100 in under 6 hours you can make improvement on your aerodynamic drag and thus making you faster for less effort”.

Russell and Chris watching the data change as the rider changes position on the bike

“As a coaching tool, this is a great piece of kit to improve performance. The problem with sending riders to a wind tunnel is they don’t know how the position will be out in the real world and they may find out they lose power from a more extreme position after they have made a significant investment and end up back at square 1.”

“With the Bioracer Aero package, because its real time, coaches can set a series of power base tests on the Wahoo Kickr to find out if there has been a drop in power with a refined position there and then and adjust if needed. This twined with the custom Bioracer Speedmaster TT or Bioracer Mesh Road Race Suit would give you the fastest package out there for the fraction of the cost”.

The system consists of a webcam and a tripod, to position the webcam in front of the cyclist. Moreover the green key, a large green banner that has to be place behind the cyclist to make the background smooth and uniform, is also included, as well as a tripod system to install the green key.

The software allows you to easily setup the background and crop out any unwanted areas. You will get live feedback on your aerodynamic posture and find the postion that works best for you. You can create a report of that analysis for later use.

To find out more, contact Onimpex/Bioracer UK



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