Test Protocol

Test Protocol

The Drag2Zero wind tunnel facility operates out of the Mercedes AMG Petronas Formula One scale wind tunnel. This is one of the few open jet wind tunnels available for use by cyclists.

We want to make the most of the time you have with us and our experience of wind tunnel testing over the last 7 years has enabled us to determine how best to do that. Simon Smart has worked with over 250 cyclists – some of them going onto become world and national champions so he has a fair amount of experience in knowing how to make someone go faster! In coming to us you are accessing Simon’s broad knowledge of what works for the varying body shapes that we see, along with his knowledge of the equipment that is available and what is likely to work for you. His aim is to find the most efficient power:drag ratio – providing the best compromise between power, comfort and drag.

A minimum 2 hour test is required (for those returning for a second session less time may be necessary). During this time it will be possible to cover all aspects of a rider’s position. It is possible to book additional time but for most people a 2 hour session is optimal with further adjustments being looked at in a second visit.

With all of the product development work that Simon is involved in, the number of test days available to cyclists is limited, so you are advised to plan well ahead if you would like to visit us.

Test protocol

Test brief:

Simon will discuss with you what you want to achieve during the test, looking at your history, your recent results and anything else that is relevant.

Test 1:

Evaluate rider’s current position. This establishes the baseline drag level which can be related to known performances, then based on our experience and rider preference we will devise a test protocol for you.

Test 2:

Under Simon’s guidance, the rider will try out various positions on his/her bike, while pedalling on the advice of the aerodynamicist.

  • A technician is on hand to make all changes necessary to your bike.
  • Side and forward view video cameras are used throughout the test to track changes in position. These cameras are synchronized with the Drag2Zero bespoke data analysis software which logs all the tunnel sensors and computes the results.
  • Communication with the rider is via a projector in the wind tunnel.
  • It is possible to try out different helmets, bars and wheels during this time (although this will result in less time being spent on rider position, usually clients will choose to test wheels at a second test or rely on the knowledge that we have built up in house on what is fast).
  • Simon reports the results to the rider throughout the test, and modifies the program appropriately.
  • Snap shots of each run from the video system and high resolution images are then supplied on a USB shortly after the test along with a results spreadsheet from the session.