Last Thursday, Kay Dobat has visited us at Aerotune. Kay is a well-known bikefitter and a successful long-distance cyclist from Northern Germany. He shares his experience and knowledge not only during his bike fittings, but also in his recently published book “Praxishandbuch Bikefitting” (in German).
After our CEO Sebastian and Kay exchanged some theoretical knowledge about cycling aerodynamics and the aeroTEST, the two of them went on doing the practical test. After carrying out various verification tests in the last 6 months, we were now looking forward to the views and the measurement results of an aerodynamic professional. The aim was to further validate and optimize the aeroTEST so that bikefitter like Kay and coaches can apply the test method to their athletes.
A total of 6 tests were carried out and evaluated immediately. The results were exceptionally good despite the very strong wind. For Kay and us at Aerotune, the measurement accuracy is particularly important. For that reason, Kay used the same setup and the same seat position in each test. We then determined the standard deviation from the measured cda values of Kay, which describes the measurement error of a single measurement.
The value is 0.003 m² or 3.5 watts at a speed of 45 km/h or about 1:45 min for a distance of 180 km with an approximately race time of 5 h. With these very good results, we were able to convince Kay of our aeroTEST. The test is valid and reproducible and Kay can now use it to further optimize his athletes. Kay also achieved a new cda best value, which makes it clear that he has been working on optimizing his aerodynamics for a long time.
Let us just quickly recall some information about the cda value. This value (parameter) essentially describes the aerodynamics of the cyclist. The unit is expressed in m² and the smaller the value, the faster the cyclist at the same power. For example, if Kay were to reduce his effective frontal area (cda) by 0.003 m², then he could ride 1:45 min faster on a 180 km journey or he would need 3.5 watts less to ride at a speed of 45 km / h . For someone like Kay, it is not easy to improve the aerodynamics significantly. With all our other athletes, we have been able to reach an average of 12 minutes of time improvement and in some cases even 30 minutes on a 180 km track. That sounds like a lot and it is. For such an improvement, an athlete would have to train more intensively or more extensively than in the previous year.
From our point of view, aerodynamics should therefore not be neglected. So much “performance growth” in just one day can and should not be ignored. Aerodynamics is far too complex that it can be taken for granted that a specific product or seating position makes one faster. The aeroTEST is a valid way to check which materials or seating positions really make one better. The costs for the aeroTEST are thereby considerably lower than, for example, the wrong investment in a wheel set, which makes one slower.
Kay, thank you for your visit. We congratulate you on your aerodynamic top value. We look forward to a good cooperation with you.