In my post today I’m going to emphasize on testing with and without the aeroAPP. If you missed the first part of my blog you can read it here (link).
Since I started testing with Aerotune without using the aeroAPP in the beginning and later switched to testing with it, I think I can give a pretty good justice on the pro’s and con’s of both methods. One of the big disadvantages of conducting a test without the aeroAPP is that it takes quite some time to evaluate all the results at the end of the day, even though Aerotune is constantly working on improving the user experience. After one test day I had to upload my test to Garmin Connect, which normally should have worked automatically, download the Fit Files from Garmin Connect and finally upload the files into Aerotune’s aeroDATA platform.
After a long test day this can take a while and of course I was always wanted to have the results immediately. For me it always felt like Christmas and opening Christmas presents when I finally completed uploading the files and entering the data and waited for the algorithm to show me which setup or which position was best.
While conducting an aeroTEST you already receive a quite good feeling of what has been performing good and what should come back with a fast result. I used to stare anxiously on my screen to see if my feeling was on the spot or if I would be surprised either in a positive or negative way. Unfortunately by doing these kind of tests there will be some beloved „aero gadgets“ which will not meet the standard you expected. I had to make the painful experienced that my so adored Trispoke Wheels just did not perform very aerodynamic with my frame and setup. It still hurts how much time I left on the course all these years.
If you read Aerotune’s manual test guide they write about the possibility to conduct the evaluation on the field by using a mobile internet device and a laptop, but this means on the other hand to pack some additional equipment and will cost you some more time out in the field.
This will be reduced to a minimum if you use the aroAPP. You’ll only have to input your data in the end. Of course, this childhood christmas present feeling gets lost but the price is a more efficient and faster way to test, since by using the aeroAPP you will have your result of each test run immediately afterwards on your Garmin device. Since it will also show you the mean result of each setup you are free to decide if you want to conduct another test (in the Advance Mode) or if you are happy with the result. This reduces the number of test runs greatly!
When conducting aerotesting on open roads there are always some external factors like wind which will effect your test results and might force you to do 2 or more additional runs per setup. Other factors can also result that there are some test which fall out of bounce. Without the aeroAPP testing is conducted „blindly“ and if you don’t immediately evaluate the results in the field you cannot react to the situation.
The aeroAPP completely guides you through the test and gives you immediate feedback if the test was valid and no additional tests have to be done. In the new version of the aeroAPP the user can choose between basic and advance mode. By using the advance mode you can decide how accurate you want to have the measurement accuracy. Without the aeroAPP you have to decide this beforehand and this could in the worst case result into doing to little.
So it could happen that the result is invalid or even that the entire test was for nothing, since it might not have any reliable result. If you use the aeroAPP this will not happen, since the aeroAPP will take the average of the tests within one setup and let you know if you need to conduct one more to validate the setup. As mentioned, this reduces the overall sum of test largely.
If you ask yourself how spikes within your setup can occur, one reason often is not using a speed sensor. If you do not use a speed sensor, your velocity will be recorded over your gps device. Even if you have a strong signal on your test route there is some variation in the gps recorded speed and this sometime can have an influence on the evaluation of two setups if the results are close together. My recommendation therefore is to follow Aerotune’s recommendation and use a speed sensor. By doing so my measurement accuracy was greatly improved.
In the beginning I had to fight with some large jumps within a setup even though I used a speed sensor. Sometimes I had setups where the tests where jumping so extremely far apart that I found it difficult to make a judgement at all. I had days where valid results of one day where completely turned around to the opposite. By alternating to a different test route I solved this problem. Apparently the previous test route was not as good as I thought. It was a road which had an alley of trees to both sides, which I thought would take care of to strong winds. However, this route had some traffic, mainly trucks, and being passed by these influenced my results more than I thought. After switching to a new route my results were more stable and reproducible.
Since a test route cannot meet all criteria perfectly the new route had the problem that it was more open to wind influences. This can result in stronger measurement errors which was a thorn in my side in the beginning. Therefore I searched for another alternative test route. This might not be so easy depending on where you live. I found a route which was just perfect, not traffic, bushes to both sides, straight and pretty much flat, however the rough surface area made testing difficult. Since I personally didn’t feel comfortable I stuck with the more wind open one.
When testing you always have to be fully concentrated, since you are travelling with roughly 40 km/h or more. Personal well being and individual health is paramount. For me this had an influence on the way I was able to hold my position and resulted in some occasions where I did not hold it constantly. This is of uttermost importance then at some point the error gets to large and the test looses is validity. The good part on this was, that I learned how to read my test results since this was mirrored in them.
In my last part I’ll give you an insight in the evaluation of my results.