Today we would like to show by using the example of one of our own projects how you can optimize your bike cockpit with some creativity, a small investment in parts, our aeroTEST and adding roughly one month of work. In our example we took the handlebars and extensions of the Trek Speedconcept of our aeroBOSS Sebastian. With his adaptations he was able to save 1,1 aeroPOINTS, or if taking in energy 13 Watts at 45 km/h.
Why are we taking one month as the timeframe? Because it will make the calculation at the end a little easier and additionally the way we designed the project to fit into a normal daily life schedule of every individual.
This was our gameplan:
- Establish the baseline
- Change the extensions
- Optimize the extensions
- Optimizing the Garmin Edge mount
- Optimizing the surface of the handlebars
- Optimizing the brakes
1. By using our aeroTEST Sebastian established a baseline for this project. Just to mention upfront that the handlebars wear minimally wrapped with handlebartape.
2. To get his arms more in front of his head Sebastian searched for good extensions enabling this and found the Zipp Vuka Aluminum Extensions. You can get these in 52mm, 70mm and 110mm rise. Due to our experience of more than 4000 aeroTESTS when the project arose, Sebastian immediately decided to takje the 110mm version. Changes these was relatively uncomplicated and fast (due to electronic shifting).
3. In step 3 he worked on finding the optimal position of the extensions. Sebastian again used our aeroTEST to measure the effects of different positioning. Interesting was the fact that by doing this he found that the optimal position for him was not the initially thought position of overlapping the bars.
4. The next step was a little more time consuming than expected. The standard Garmin mounts were semi-optimal for the new positions. So Sebastian tested different options using rubberbands, cardboard and straps, etc. until he found Sugru, a mouldable glue with which he designed an individual mount for his handlebars. For all of this he needed three aeroTESTS to receive the final version.
5. By using Sugru and the easy and effective handling he came to the idea of optimizing the entire handlebars at the overlapping positions with Sugru. You can see the result via the link to the testsuite (for premium users) at the end of this post.
6. The last step was Sebastians idea to achieve even a greater improvement by minimizing his brakes. We are adding this point to be fair and to give you some transparency, that in the world of aerodynamics not everything is the way you might think it is and that you sometimes have to go one or two steps back to get the optimal result. Sebastian used a lot of effort and time to rebuilt and reprogram his Di2 brake. By verifying his result with our aeroTEST he found that his idea mitigated all the benefit he worked for with the extensions. In total this cost him roughly 20 hours of work which we will not incorporate in the calculation below.
Let’s add this all together:
Savings: 1.1 aeroPOINTs
Time invested: 7 aeroTESTS of app. 40 min, Work 90 min, Sugru glue works 4 hours: In total 10 hours 10 minutes
Costs: aeroDATA monthly Subscription 49 Euros, Zipp Vuka 49 Euros, 7 packs of Sugru mouldable glue each 8,99 Euros: In total 150,93 Euros.
We wish all athletes in Kona good luck and stay aero!