Our Bioracer Virtual Wind Tunnel offers us the ability to fine tune your bike position to reduce wind resistance and improve performance. We measure your frontal area and calculate the hypothetical speed it takes to maintain this position. You'll then be coached by a bike fitter in differing positions to reduce frontal area, with real-time feedback on the speed, time and Wattage effects. Not only can we optimise your position on the bike to reduce cdA, we can also test various products (such as aerobars, helmets, etc) to identify the fastest equipment for you.
It's all about increasing your efficiency and speed, and saving energy, without harming your endurance. A tricky balance, but one that our bike fit specialists are uniquely well placed to achieve.
Bespoke Head Fitter Dan takes us through the process:
Hugo came us to around 6 months ago with the brief of replacing his previous aero road caliper brake bike with something more modern and disc brake equipped. He also wanted to have a road bike that could accept Tri-bars for racing Ironman distance (he's planning for the Amateur Triathlon World Champs in August 2020).
Firstly we assessed Hugo's position on the bike. The setup was based on his original fitting data, but it's vitally important to dial in saddle height, fore/aft adjustment, grip rotation, lever reach and other important small factors that together make a perfectly fitted bike.
right: Wired up ready to go. Assessing body angles and final position on the bike is a crucial part of the bike buying purchase here at Bespoke. The fit is not complete until the handover fitting is finalised!
We also took Hugo through the setup of his new SRAM Red AXS 12 speed wireless electronic groupset. Hugo opted for 'Sequential' as that gives him full shifting options including shifting off the front chain ring when riding in the aerobars on his Madone.
right: Syncing and setting up SRAM AXS shifting modes using SRAM's app. This is a vital step to learn about when collecting a new bike with electronic shifting.
As technology continues to advance, our personal handover service allows us to go into as much depth as you want, to ensure you get the most from your new bike.
Once the fit was dialled in and we were happy with the body angles and position - ensuring that Hugo could comfortably transition between hoods and aerobars, we used our Bioracer Virtual wind tunnel to quantify the benefits of the aerobars.
First, we obtained a reference position which was his normal road position (relaxed, riding on the hoods).
above: 'Normal' riding position, relaxed elbows and shoulders on the hoods.
Then we wanted to see how much the Madone Speed aerobars fitted to Hugo's bike saved him at his race pace of 40 km/h.
above: You'd have to train for a long time to gain 60 W! Optimising fit and aerodynamics is the easier way…
We get asked a lot about the benefits of aerobars on road bikes; Impressively Hugo achieved a 60 W saving at 40 km/h race pace, versus the reference position.
This is a particularly good saving as the bike fitting immediately prior to the aero test dialled in both normal road and this Tri position equally. So this confirmed Hugo has a 'go to' faster position using the aerobars.
above: To put 60 Watts into perspective, that's a saving of 26 mins over Ironman distance!
With top end speed quantified, next we wanted to see at which speeds Hugo should be thinking about using the aerobars, which has particularly relevance over hillier courses:
Dropping speeds to 23 km/h saw Hugo only 'lose' around 10 Watts riding on the aero bars, versus the reference position in the hoods. The easier climbing position of riding in the hoods would outweigh that 10 W saving, so when Hugo looks down and sees 23 km/h on the screen, he knows he can move to the hoods and won't be at a net aerodynamic loss.
Likewise I asked Hugo to work on training in the aerobars whilst climbing at speeds around 25-30 km; it's tough to maintain that position when climbing uphill, but Hugo could save around 20-25 W by doing so. With such a noticeable benefit there's real value in him spending time practicing and training his body to ride in that position when speeds are lower (e.g. when climbing or riding into a headwind).
That's just a taste of the gains to be had from an Aero Test at Bespoke. We have the technology to get real-time data to show real-world benefits, and most importantly our fitters have the expertise to translate this onto both you and your bike.
As you can see, it's certainly not a case of slamming you into the lowest position possible! We use our fit data to ensure that your position on the bike is effective across the full range of conditions you'll experience out on the road, and take into account your flexibility, strengths and weaknesses, and individual goals. It's very much an interactive process, with an emphasis on sustainable long-term gains.
We can offer an Aero Test to help you make the most of your existing bike, or - even better, as it opens your options still further - as part of the process of buying a new bike.
An Aero Test for an existing bike costs £150 for a 60 minute session - get in touch to book your appointment, or with any questions, we're here to help!