Wind Tunnel Test Results

In my previous blog post I described my experience at the Texas A&M wind tunnel with John Cobb. Drum roll please… The results are in. Nathan Lesniewski, who was working with John Cobb for my testing session, sent me two files via email today:

Nico’s Report (MS Excel)

Nico’s Raw Data (PDF)

In the Excel Report there are three lines in the top section under “Comparison”. The “3T” line is my original position and my original equipment. (Pretty good…) The “Base Look” is my original position but with the Look Ergo stem and the ugly duckling bars. (Significantly worse) The “Final Look” is my new position, but with the Look Ergo stem and the ugly duckling bars. So by comparing the “Base Look” with the “Final Look” it appears that I could save 250 to 300 grams of drag by going with the new position and new helmet.

So the questions are:

  1. If I could get my 3T Ventus bars in the same position as the ugly duckling bars, would I save the 250-300 grams of drag from my baseline 3T numbers?
  2. Will I lose power by riding in this new position, hence negating the aero benefits?
  3. How much time does 300 grams of drag, at 30 MPH equal in terms of time saved over 40k? (I produce about 350 watts at sea level for 40k)

As for #2 above, I plan to do some riding with my PowerTap and see if I can produce good power in that position. My instincts say I can, as it felt pretty comfortable, and I’m flexible. But if I can’t, then raising my bars might be the way to go. A good amount of the drag reduction was due to the helmet and the narrowing of my arms, so I could decide to go with the higher position and narrower arms. I don’t feel like the narrower arm position would affect my power or breathing as I’ve raced like that before.

Any other feedback would be welcomed.