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
Junior Tech Writer
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.
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 ACS requires a dual sided power meter and a magnet based speed sensor to give meaningful and accurate data
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.
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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.
Junior Tech Writer
Alex writes for the GCN editorial tech with a passion for all things bike tech.