Friday, February 10, 2006

Wind Tunnel Testing

January 31, 2006

I had the opportunity to meet up with John Cobb at the wind tunnel near Texas A&M at the end of January. What a great experience to be properly fit on my bike. I've felt for quite some time that my bike just

Me in Texas at the wind tunnel site

wasn't as comfortable as I think it should be and so going to Texas and having professionals fit me was highly valuable. I now have piece of mind knowing that it was done correctly.

After the initial fitting of seat height and saddle position as well as cleat adjustments, I was able to get into the wind tunnel for fine tuning of handle bars, stem and aerobars. Although there was light in the tunnel, it just wasn't enough to be able to get quality photos especially of the huge propeller that was behind
Just outside the wind tunnel

us sucking in the air and then blowing it at me from approximately 30 mph! When the propeller started, it had this deep guttural sound as if something from the depths was coming up to get me. It was a bit creepy to be honest!

Michelle, Patrice and I with ? I didnt' catch his name...oops.

Then about 3 seconds later the wind started to blow. My bike was tightened down on an apparatus similar to a trainer and I was able to pedal. In addition to testing a direct headwind, the platform that my bike was attached to was able to spin ever so slowly so that cross winds could be calculated as well. It's pretty cold in the tunnel and since I was only wearing a bathing suit and a short pair of cycling shorts I tried to pedal a bit quicker to keep warm. My eyes started to tear and my nose to run!

After the first time in the tunnel I guess my position wasn't quite right because in about less than 5 minutes John and Zane had put on a longer stem. (I had a feeling that I needed a longer stem as I have been feeling very "squaty-body" on the bike). I went in for the second time and it felt so much better. Again they gathered

Pre-testing a wheel and fork

data on items like body position, drag and I'm sure a bunch of other things. I'm waiting to receive copies of the data and will hope to have that soon to post.

I now have specific measurements for any bike that I need to set up for long course or IM events. I'm hoping to go back later on this year to get fit for road and short course (Olympic distance) events.

I stayed in Texas with my manager Charlie and his wife and was able to

John and Zane putting on my new stem

train a bit down there. I had a good time in the sun and even got tan; after the burn of course. My motivation has returned and I'm ready to get back into shape. Some of the pics below are extras from my stay in Texas.

Texas has great roads for cycling

Jen, Brian and me inside Lifetime Fitness where I did my swimming while I was in Texas

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