Hi, I would like to introduce myself. My name is Bernd and I have been an active triathlete for 15 years now. With over 40 Aerotestdays in the last three months I have been one of the most active members of the #aerocommunity und would like to share my experience, set backs and successes I had during this period with the Aerotune services. The BLUF is, it was all worth it. In total my aerodynamic on the bike improved more than 20 min on the full Ironman distance, and all that just by simple adjustments on my bike, position of bottles, the right helmet and wheelset.
Cycling has always been my strongest discipline and the battle against time and wind is my passion. Probably as many other triathletes I have always been interested in aerodynamics. But I was never able to assess in an objective manner if the equipment I bought only looked fast or really was fast and cool. Often the improvements are in such small margins that it is hard to tell if it really was an improvement or not. How often has each one of us thought this wheel sounds fast, and the feeling during the ride gave you that impression. Sometimes if you are conviced of something you bought it is hard to admit, that it wasn’t the best deal to buy. Thanks to the aeroTEST this is now possible for everyone, and luckily for me I had to learn the hard way and accept that I was wrong in some of my decisions.
It was one and a half years ago when I first touched contact with Aerotune. There was a report on triathlon-szene.de over Aerotune and I was fascinated. At that point in time Aerotune was in the phase from transitioning from an idea of conducting an aerodynamic test in front of your house into reality. I have always wanted to conduct a test on a track or in a windtunnel, but the investment always kept me from turning this dream into reality. But having the opportunity to do this at home. I was highly interested.
The possibility which Aerotune offers is plain genius. I can conduct a test with very small investment of time and money. I am flexible to test when I have time and can optimize my entire potential. To be able to test until the optimum is reached is priceless. When conducting tests on a track or in a windtunnel you are limited in the number of setups since time is money there. I believe that you cannot reach the optimum in just one sessions, which is also true for the method Aerotune provides, therefore the 40 test days I mentioned at start.
The advantage for me is that I can test as often as I want or as often as necessary until the Optimum is reached and I am satisfied with the result. Some of my tests I just did on the flyby. If your training buddy has a new set of wheels? Take them, pack some equipment and go out and test together to see of the new investment was worth it or not. No problem with Aerotune. Then thanks to the aeroTEST it is possible to evaluate equipment in an objective manner and you’ll see if it only looks fast or if it really works. Especially since aerodynamic is always something individual, which I didn’t believe initially, but is the hard and honest truth. You have now the opportunity to decide for yourself if the improvements are worth the money. That is real value for money.
Before Aerotune existed I earned my first aero experiences through classical field tests, meaning that I went with constant power in one direction and then returned and measured the speed I achieved. This was good in that case that I received a feeling for how these sort of tests worked. I had already tested all my equipment by doing my tests and always did more testruns per setup to receive more accurate data by taking the mean value. It was easy to see large differences, in example between road helmets and aerohelmets, but as soon as the results were closer it was not possible to differentiate and take a valid assessment. This was when I realized that my field test was good to start but would quickly reach its limits. So it was cristal clear to use the aeroTEST by Aerotune.
Of course I was sceptical at first, especially if the platform would meet the standard it promised. Therefore I just wanted to test it and bought a one month subscription. Personally I thought that to be a good deal before buying a one year subsription. Aerotune also offers a free membership. However, I was quickly convinced at updated my membership to the one year plan.
Through my experience with my own fieldtests I already had an idea how to structure my testing and the preperations were done quickly. Initially I wanted to start with some suits and helmets and then take a look into my position. After a couple of years of triathlon there some diffierent equipment was in my collection at home and therefore didn’t have to borrow equipment from friends. To set my reference I decided to start with a standard normal bike bib and shirt and then move to better equipment.
My first challenge was to find a route which met the criteria of being as level and wind exposed as possible so I could conduct valid tests. Additionally the route was supposed to be near by so the timely and logistical part would remain minimal when conducting more tests. My choice came down to my old route which I used when I performed my initial tests, which also enabled me to compare my procedure with Aerotune’s aeroTEST.
At first my technical equipment consisted of a powermeter and my old Garmin device to record all the data. Unfortunately I only owned an older device which was not compatible with the aeroAPP- Therefore I had to manually upload the fit files to the aeroDATA after every test. After I conducted a few aeroTESTs and was convinced of the Aerotune services I invested into a newer Garmin device compatible with the aeroAPP.
In my next post I will share my experience with my test route and the aeroAPP.