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Searching for aerodynamic tweaks in the wind tunnel
Posted on 12/27/2010 8:09:29 AM


Last week the team woke up early in the morning so we could make our appointment and be at the wind tunnel for 8 o'clock. It is a building with the A2 wind tunnel mark on it, located in the middle of nowhere near Mooresville, NC.

Inside the building there were many pictures and jerseys of the riders that have also done testing there, plus there was a big operations room where all the data is stored in a super computer. There was also an assortment of the most popular wheels and handlebars to try.

I was really interested in the results of this type of testing and I am grateful that Team Type 1 gave me this opportunity. I can say that I felt good with my previous position, but if there were some adjustments I could make in order to be more aerodynamic, I would be ready to make the change!

After waiting for a while it was my turn to head inside the tunnel, and there my time trial bike was placed on a roller with resistance. The first thing I had to do was to remain still so they could take a photo of me on the bike. In fact, there are three cameras following the situation, one in front, one to the side and one up on the roof.

Then my test continued and it was time to begin pedalling.  I brought the RPMs higher, and I could feel the wind coming from the front; the air is moved by five big turbines that suck the air from behind the tunnel.

After this first test, the engineer who works there moved my bike 5 degrees to the right and I tried it in this new position.   That gave them enough data to start making modifications to my position.  My elbow needed to be brought underneath my shoulder a bit more, and my head must be down further.

The challenge will be: Can I stand on a long time trial in this position? I hope so, because the real gain is 25 watts. That is really a big amount, and sometimes you will need to take advantage all of the watts you can produce with your pedals!  I certainly wish I had done this type of test before, and I am always surprised how the new technologies can help the new generations of cyclists.

Thanks for reading!
Rubens


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