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stenard




Joined: 04 Sep 2013
Posts: 1812

PostPosted: Thu May 03, 2018 9:28 am    Post subject: Boardman wind tunnel Reply with quote

Not gear as such, but best place for it.

I knew this was in the works, but Rooster's comment on his podcast made me aware it's finally opened. I had actually signed up to their mailing list but don't recall seeing anything.

195 for 30mins of tunnel time, just to get a feel for where you are at aero wise currently, does seem surprisingly low value. More thorough sessions aren't extortionate either. When you compare to the fees for drag2zero tunnel time, and wattshop's velodrome approach, you can get a couple of hours for 500 with boardman, versus 800 and 750 respectively for the other two (at the cheapest possible locations / rates). Now I'm not sure I can remotely justify those kind of costs for detailed tunnel testing for my level of performance, but a bit like power meters, the costs are coming down.

The centre is literally 5 minutes from my mums house. I grew up in Evesham. Might be something to consider at the taster rate the next time I head back there, if only to satisfy my intellectual curiosity...

https://www.boardmanbikes.com/gb_en/boardman-performance-centre-homepage/aero-packages/aero-foundation/
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PhilleusPhogg




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PostPosted: Thu May 03, 2018 11:23 am    Post subject: Re: Boardman wind tunnel Reply with quote

stenard wrote:


195 for 30mins of tunnel time, just to get a feel for where you are at aero wise currently, does seem surprisingly low value. More thorough sessions aren't extortionate either. When you compare to the fees for drag2zero tunnel time, and wattshop's velodrome approach, you can get a couple of hours for 500 with boardman, versus 800 and 750 respectively for the other two (at the cheapest possible locations / rates). Now I'm not sure I can remotely justify those kind of costs for detailed tunnel testing for my level of performance, but a bit like power meters, the costs are coming down..

https://www.boardmanbikes.com/gb_en/boardman-performance-centre-homepage/aero-packages/aero-foundation/


per Watt, for average triathlete I reckon a session with Wattshop at an indoor velodrome might be better value than say the equivalent amount spent on a disc wheel?
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awildt




Joined: 08 Apr 2011
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PostPosted: Thu May 03, 2018 12:14 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

As with any data it's what you do with it that counts. What if the wind tunnel says you need a more aero position but you don't do yoga every day of the week, the computer doesn't know you've had 3 back ops so you're even less flexible and you've spent all your money on the test. Have you gained anything??

You're better off spending 200 on a decent bike fit or fit reassessment if you've had one already, talking to a real person for a couple of hours and seeing the video of your cycling than sitting in a wind tunnel. They do bike fits there too.

Unless of course you have that kind of disposable income then you can do what you like.

I agree that we've kind of reached peak gadget for cycling and now we need to look at the ergonomics of it but it's always worth questioning what value you will get out of it.

That's just the cynical engineer in me. Wink
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jibberjim




Joined: 15 Aug 2008
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PostPosted: Thu May 03, 2018 12:22 pm    Post subject: Re: Boardman wind tunnel Reply with quote

PhilleusPhogg wrote:
per Watt, for average triathlete I reckon a session with Wattshop at an indoor velodrome might be better value than say the equivalent amount spent on a disc wheel?


The amount of things you can test in a session are few, so you need to have a very good idea of what you want to test before you go in, and there's no point doing it to test things which will have such a large impact that can be trivially obtained by much cheaper techniques.

Wind tunnel or alphamantis or similar techniques, are only worth it once you're looking for differences that you cannot detect with just outdoor testing.
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stenard




Joined: 04 Sep 2013
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PostPosted: Thu May 03, 2018 1:06 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

awildt wrote:
As with any data it's what you do with it that counts. What if the wind tunnel says you need a more aero position but you don't do yoga every day of the week, the computer doesn't know you've had 3 back ops so you're even less flexible and you've spent all your money on the test. Have you gained anything??

You're better off spending 200 on a decent bike fit or fit reassessment if you've had one already, talking to a real person for a couple of hours and seeing the video of your cycling than sitting in a wind tunnel. They do bike fits there too.

Unless of course you have that kind of disposable income then you can do what you like.

I agree that we've kind of reached peak gadget for cycling and now we need to look at the ergonomics of it but it's always worth questioning what value you will get out of it.

That's just the cynical engineer in me. Wink

I'd be thinking more along the lines of getting an accurate cda figure for the purposes of best bike split, etc. As Jim says, it becomes expensive very quickly if you want to test every permutation of position, equipment, etc.

In terms of have you gained anything, I would say yes. Moreso than a one-off VO2max assessment at any rate. The latter is a result of training, and variable. The former, all other things being equal, is a fixed known (before you get into the realms of trying to improve it). And therefore can be used as I describe above.

The trainerroad podcast where they did velodrome aero testing was actually quite interesting. Things like the savings that can be made just by stacking the hands, or turtling the neck. For some people, having a measured performance improvement of those things could give them the incentive to work on holding such positions for longer in training. Sometimes quantifying something can provide additional motivation to make a change you already know is likely worthwhile.

My main point though was that the barrier to entry into the world of proper aero testing has suddenly become a lot lower. That can only be a good thing in the long run for anyone who might have had aero testing on their radar.
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stenard




Joined: 04 Sep 2013
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PostPosted: Thu May 03, 2018 1:15 pm    Post subject: Re: Boardman wind tunnel Reply with quote

jibberjim wrote:
Wind tunnel or alphamantis or similar techniques, are only worth it once you're looking for differences that you cannot detect with just outdoor testing.

That does presume a level of expertise and knowledge. For some people, being able to do such analysis accurately is probably beyond them. e.g. accounting for/ignoring all the other real world variables and being able to infer the underlying cda changes.

I personally wouldn't be able to do that, mainly as I haven't tried.

With a tunnel, you get a simple cda number(s), and you know lower is better. Some people will be prepared to pay for that simplicity, and the fact you can get the result in 30mins without having to do numerous loops around a known course and then doing a lot of analysis.

Ultimately it comes down to an individuals appetite for what equates to value for money. As an extreme example, I wouldn't consider 5 to change an inner tube, or 10 to fit a cassette, value for money, as I can do those things myself in a few minutes. But for quite a lot of people, they have no interest in spending any time in learning how to undertake simple maintenance, and are happy to pay someone to do it for them.
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Chrace




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PostPosted: Thu May 03, 2018 1:40 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

awildt wrote:
I agree that we've kind of reached peak gadget for cycling...

Yeah, right. Next...!

Smile
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iwaters




Joined: 06 Sep 2016
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PostPosted: Fri May 04, 2018 11:17 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

stenard wrote:

My main point though was that the barrier to entry into the world of proper aero testing has suddenly become a lot lower. That can only be a good thing in the long run for anyone who might have had aero testing on their radar.


Hadn't heard it opened. It sounds good. I think if you are focused on one thing its good. For example choosing a helmet. One helmet might test fast on one person and not on the other so good for picking the correct one. Turning up and slapping some deep section carbon wheels and getting a lower CDA is a waste of money. Good for testing position tweaks - if lowering the front end makes a big difference then worth spending the off season working on flexibility and being able to hold the lower position etc.

I am geek and I love data and aerodynamics. Don't think I will be using the wind tunnel anytime soon but good to know there is a reasonably priced option.
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jibberjim




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PostPosted: Fri May 04, 2018 11:21 am    Post subject: Re: Boardman wind tunnel Reply with quote

stenard wrote:
Ultimately it comes down to an individuals appetite for what equates to value for money. As an extreme example, I wouldn't consider 5 to change an inner tube, or 10 to fit a cassette, value for money, as I can do those things myself in a few minutes. But for quite a lot of people, they have no interest in spending any time in learning how to undertake simple maintenance, and are happy to pay someone to do it for them.


Yes it may well be worth buying that input, but that doesn't mean you go to the tunnel for it, whoever is actually doing the gross or otherwise analysis doesn't need the tunnel. So yes, pay someone to give you the gross aero advice, but if they say you need to also pay for a wind tunnel at the same time they're probably scamming you for a kick back on the tunnel.

The helmet buying example still applies, 'cos the helmet will depend on the position, so it won't help you in choosing which to buy unless you already have a position, and indeed subtle changes of position may then also require changes of helmet.
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stenard




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PostPosted: Fri May 04, 2018 11:48 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

But there is also the aspect of doing the testing. I wouldnt have a clue where to go to get a reasonable test site that allows for accurate repetitions of the same short loop maintaining my aero position. If I did know of somewhere, it would inevitably be a fair way outside of where I live in London.

Therefore, simply acquiring the data could take quite a bit of my time. Versus a trip to my mums that I might be making anyway, and a fixed one hour at a site 5mins away, with no concern about adverse or abnormal weather, etc.

I'm not saying you are wrong that it can be done without a tunnel, but I'm just evidencing it also potentially offers an element of convenience that also has a value for some.

But to reiterate, I doubt I'll be justifying going any time soon.
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awildt




Joined: 08 Apr 2011
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PostPosted: Fri May 04, 2018 12:29 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

stenard wrote:
But there is also the aspect of doing the testing. I wouldnt have a clue where to go to get a reasonable test site that allows for accurate repetitions of the same short loop maintaining my aero position. If I did know of somewhere, it would inevitably be a fair way outside of where I live in London.

Therefore, simply acquiring the data could take quite a bit of my time. Versus a trip to my mums that I might be making anyway, and a fixed one hour at a site 5mins away, with no concern about adverse or abnormal weather, etc.

I'm not saying you are wrong that it can be done without a tunnel, but I'm just evidencing it also potentially offers an element of convenience that also has a value for some.

But to reiterate, I doubt I'll be justifying going any time soon.


If you're in London would this not fit the bill?
http://cyclefit.co.uk/fitting/triathlon-tt-fitting

Ok, so it's not quite as cool as actually being in a wind tunnel but it gives you the time to make those minor adjustments and see the changes. Also you get 4 hours talking to people about the data.

I know it's going off on a bit of a tangent and the OP was about the novelty of actually being in a wind tunnel but once you start digging you begin to realise the resources that are around (not necessarily with such a good PR machine as Boardman).
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hammerer
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PostPosted: Thu May 10, 2018 2:45 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

London = Herne Hill Velodrome, or Welwyn then a bit further out Palmer Park in Reading or Preston Park in Brighton. All perfect for tesing
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TriSam




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PostPosted: Thu May 10, 2018 3:15 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

When are the available sessions for testing at Herne Hill? I enquired but the only availability was as part of a mixed session with one of the following clubs:

Crystal Palace Triathletes / Dulwich Paragon / Brixton Cycles / Velo Club de Londres

Results on a busy track with other riders will be far more skewed than those you could obtain on a road
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