20 Oct Field Aerodynamic Testing
You may have noticed from our social media that we have been utilising our new home at Race Rapid Mallory to ascertain aerodynamic data on athletes’ position and kit throughout the summer.
We have been using the Notio Aerometer for this and have been working closely with the company to ensure we are confident in the data produced as well as consulting those who already have experience using the product.
We’ve already learned a lot from the sessions we’ve delivered and have developed a good understanding of how best to use the track to produce consistent data of which we can be confident in the decisions we are making.
We have previously found decisions on equipment are usually driven by what the fastest athletes are using or how the position looks, which certainly isn’t a bad move, however, we have found a lot of variation between athletes and with athletes’ positions with the most popular helmets or small adjustments in position. For this reason, we are encouraging athletes to invest in objective data to make an informed decision on what is fastest for them.
You can, of course, derive objective data from the wind tunnel, which is certainly still the gold standard and a lot faster to make decisions, however, field testing has the advantage of keeping the cost down and testing in a real-world environment.
We have produced the best data in dry conditions with low to moderate wind speeds. We have also found the best results when athletes are very comfortable in holding position with minimal movements. Under these circumstances, we usually see a range of 0.001-0.003 on CdA lap averages.
We like to think of the session as a decision tree, where we are producing data to help answer a certain question. One broader decision may be long tail or short tail helmets likely to be faster for this athlete in the current position. After that, which specific helmets may be the question to answer.
Now the weather is turning cooler, we are turning our attention to the indoor facilities to produce some field physiological data to help athletes with their winter training programming, however, we will be opening bookings on the track for testing from April 2022 when the temperature increases. Coached athletes received 50% off the testing services. Please email email@example.com if you want to register your interest for when the service goes live.
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