Aerosensor ACS to act as a virtual wind tunnel

Aerosensor has released a complete new portable system to measure a rider's drag and to help aerodynamic optimisation

Clock11:08, Tuesday 3rd October 2023

© Aerosensor

Aerosensor ACS offers a touted accuracy of within 0.5%-1% compared to a wind tunnel depending on environment

Aerodynamics is a word that you cannot avoid in cycling. It is everywhere.

Long gone are the days of just riding on the drops and making sure your jersey was tight enough not to flap around too much. Now everything is aerodynamically optimised, from your handlebars to the socks you wear.

This is all great and undoubtedly makes you fractionally faster, and this pursuit for aerodynamic optimisation is where the team at Aerosensor aim to come in and offer real world testing equipment that is far more attainable than time in a wind tunnel.

Far bigger than equipment gains to aerodynamic performance is the position that riders adopt on the bike. If you can dial in a better position you can see clear savings of tens of watts, but to do this you need to have meaningful data. The ACS aims to provide accurate and comparable data to that of wind tunnel testing.

Read more: GCN Tech Clinic: Does aero really matter on slow endurance rides?

The difficult thing with self-led aerodynamic optimisation is that it has always come at a very high cost, with the need to book time in a wind tunnel or with a telemetry company that can operate at a velodrome. This puts aero optimisation out of reach for most of us, leaving only a few avenues to pursue - trial and error based on ropey data at best, or just working on optimising equipment as this is far easier.

Aerosensor has set out in an attempt to try and change this with the new ACS (Aerosensor Cycling System); this is a complete ecosystem of sensors that work together to provide data on a rider's drag. The system comprises an aerodynamic drag measurement device (aerosensor), body position sensor (aerobody), and wireless lap trigger (aerodrome).

The use of the Aerosensor is reported by the brand to have an accuracy margin of 0.5% if used in a velodrome and 1% if used on the road when compared to wind tunnel testing, which is regarded as the benchmark in this science. For riders considering the Aerosensor it is worth mentioning that for now at least, the sensors will only work with Garmin devices that can run Connect IQ apps.

In order for the system to work with the degree of accuracy that is claimed, a dual-sided power meter is needed, as is a magnet based speed sensor. The accuracy of the aerodata given is solely dependent on the accuracy of these sensors as they are what record the ‘effort’ to achieve a given speed.

Read more: Bike tech we should all use, but don’t

Aerosensor is headed up by founder and CEO Dr. Barney Garrood, who comes from 20 years of experience in Formula 1 aerodynamics and set out to combine his passion for cycling with his expertise in Formula 1 aerodynamic track measurement. A noteworthy investor and performance advisor of Aerosensor is track cycling legend Sir Chris Hoy.

The Aerosensor ACS is available now directly from the Aerosensor website as a complete package and as individual items.

Is an aerodynamic optimisation tool something that you think is worth the investment or are you simply not bothered by aerodynamics at all? Let us know in the comments below.

Related Content

Link to How does rim width affect gravel tyre performance?

How does rim width affect gravel tyre performance?

Si Richardson looks at Shimano’s GRX range of wheels to find out how their varying rim widths affect tyre performance

Link to FFWD sticking with hooked rims on its new RAW collection
The new wheels from FFWD use a completely new hub and carbon spokes to reduce weight

FFWD sticking with hooked rims on its new RAW collection

The brand will continue to use hooked rim profiles in its latest launch, citing greater compatibility with more tyres

Link to Panaracer introduces ‘fastest ever’ X1 GravelKing tyre and revamps existing range
The new GravelKing X1

Panaracer introduces ‘fastest ever’ X1 GravelKing tyre and revamps existing range

Full range has been redesigned with new compounds, beads and an adjusted sizing system

Link to Is the UCI’s 6.8kg bike weight limit unfair for smaller riders? GCN Tech Show
YouTube video xS28k9eNURE

Is the UCI’s 6.8kg bike weight limit unfair for smaller riders? GCN Tech Show

It's been around for over 20 years but Ollie Bridgewood and the returning Jon Cannings think it may be time to revise the 6.8kg weight rule

Subscribe to the GCN Newsletter

Get the latest, most entertaining and best informed news, reviews, challenges, insights, analysis, competitions and offers - straight to your inbox