The challenge lies in the details – or how am I supposed to interpret the result of the test and how do I use it for myself? This will be the final subject of my post and I truly hope I was able to give you a deeper insight in the Aerotune method from a user perspective. If you want to have a look at the first two post you can find them here (part1) and here (part2).
In my second post I wrote about the advantages of using the aeroAPP, however even though it makes testing a whole lot easier it still can’t replace evaluating the results. With this I don’t mean the plain numbers but more what do they say and here the values of the single run and the sum of all runs in one setup. I think it is important to be very self critical and it can make a lot of sense to have a closer look at the one or other setup and take the entire situation in to account. So if you have some spikes in there, you can recall the situation and maybe delete the out of the equation. I think your individual feeling is very important and how the testrun went from start to end. Being in doubt might make you repeat the entire series on another day to verify the result you received. But it is also important that not every test is the same on every day because the environment varies a little bit. However, it is important to stay calm here, as long as the trend is the same and the absolute deviations between the same setups stays the same, everything is fine.
Let me give you an example of what I just described. I had the same race suit in two different sizes and received a test result which was completely the opposite of what I expected. The size which fit me better, more comfortable, turned out to be slower than the other one. I was sceptical so I repeated the test expecting the same result. This time it was the opposite and the more comfortable one was faster. I did a third test of these two suits and the second result was confirmed. Therefore I was able to evaluate the more comfortable suit being faster as valid.
Aerotests in general don’t necessary deliver an absolute cda-value, but more of a tendency and this is what I wanted to explain with the previous paragraph. If your tendency which you expect is validated by one or more tests than you can move on to the next step, testing some other material or position. Since everything is individual, this can sometime lead you to a setup since sometime you can be mislead by your judgement and go into the wrong direction. This improves with more experience and should also be seen as a learning process to understand aerodynamics. At least it was like that for me.
Reproducable results on different testdays has proven for me that Aerotune’s method has the level of validity necessary to improve and optimize your position. However, this was also a long learning process and I my current optimal position wasn’t found immediately and not with just one test. Getting involved in this and investing the time will lead you to a great aero position with a low cda-value in the end. That’s how I found my current cda of 0.205, roughly 40 test days with 4-5 Setups on average. With this I am not just in one of the Top values within the #aeroCOMMUNITY. I started with 0.26 and the difference makes up on a race distance of 180km on courses like Ironman Frankfurt, Hamburg or Challenge Roth of 20-25 min within my physical abilities. To achieve this with training alone I would have had to invest a lot more time than I would have had available.
Of course, this was not for free and I worked hard to achieve this, since the milage can add up to 50-60km on a single test day, and except warm up and cool down most of it at race pace. Does this necessary mean you have to give a training day away. I think not, since this aerotesting session is also a high quality training sessions. You just have to let your might set go and fall into it.
It is close to impossible to achieve these kind of improvements in only four weeks with training alone. That’s why I don’t see these aerotest days as a burden, but more an investment with a great turnover. Especially if you go into a race with a time you want to achieve, for example riding an ironman bike course in less than five hours. With poor aerodynamics this will most likely be something impossible to achieve or you would have to reach training spheres which are unrealistic for an amateur or age grouper. Thanks to Aerotune you don’t have to go there since now you have another tool with which you can optimize your skills and come closer to achieving your goal. In my example I achieved aero values which normally are reserved for pro’s and which I personally would have never believed to be possible when I initially signed up to the Aerotune services.
And even I am not completely optimized and inspired by other members in the #aeroCOMMUNITY which show there is still so much out there to test I strongly believe that I can get my value below .20.
I hope you enjoyed reading about my experiences and I am looking forward on seeing you in the #aeroCOMMUNITY. Register yourself on aeroDATA and follow me and my progress.