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Bioracer Motion: balancing wind and watts for your ideal position

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We conducted a test looking at the performance of a long sleeve speedsuit versus a short sleeve suit

We conducted a test looking at the performance of a long sleeve speedsuit versus a short sleeve suit (Image credit: Josh Evans/Immediate Media)
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Each of the active markers measures specific movements around the body

Each of the active markers measures specific movements around the body (Image credit: Josh Evans/Immediate Media)
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This test data shows the differences between a short sleeve standard suit versus a long sleeve 'speedsuit'

This test data shows the differences between a short sleeve standard suit versus a long sleeve 'speedsuit' (Image credit: Josh Evans/Immediate Media)
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One of Bioracer's early bike fitting tools

One of Bioracer's early bike fitting tools (Image credit: Josh Evans/Immediate Media)
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A Styku scanner provides a complete 3D model of the cyclist

A Styku scanner provides a complete 3D model of the cyclist (Image credit: Josh Evans/Immediate Media)
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Three cameras either side of the rider record images at 120 frames per second

Three cameras either side of the rider record images at 120 frames per second (Image credit: Josh Evans/Immediate Media)
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A bike on the trainer is flanked by the two banks of cameras

A bike on the trainer is flanked by the two banks of cameras (Image credit: Josh Evans/Immediate Media)
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After the session, a stability report is provided to the rider — here is Jasper Stuyven's of Trek-Segafredo

After the session, a stability report is provided to the rider — here is Jasper Stuyven's of Trek-Segafredo (Image credit: Josh Evans/Immediate Media)
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This head-on silouhette offers real time watt savings in various positions

This head-on silouhette offers real time watt savings in various positions (Image credit: Josh Evans/Immediate Media)
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The computer program calculates differing body positions and power outputs, offering the best combination for speed

The computer program calculates differing body positions and power outputs, offering the best combination for speed (Image credit: Josh Evans/Immediate Media)
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Here you can see how by coming out of an aero position can add significant time to a time trial

Here you can see how by coming out of an aero position can add significant time to a time trial (Image credit: Josh Evans/Immediate Media)
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Ten wireless active markers are put on various joints on both sides of the body to monitor movement

Ten wireless active markers are put on various joints on both sides of the body to monitor movement (Image credit: Josh Evans/Immediate Media)
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A rake device is used to calibrate the cameras ahead of each session

A rake device is used to calibrate the cameras ahead of each session (Image credit: Josh Evans/Immediate Media)
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This static device is also used ahead of each session to calibrate the cameras

This static device is also used ahead of each session to calibrate the cameras (Image credit: Josh Evans/Immediate Media)
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A projector shows the rider's silouhette on the floor so they can alter their position while using the tunnel

A projector shows the rider's silouhette on the floor so they can alter their position while using the tunnel (Image credit: Josh Evans/Immediate Media)
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The long sleeve suit was put on a fibreglass model of Tony Martin wearing a Lazer helmet and aboard a Ridley time trial machine

The long sleeve suit was put on a fibreglass model of Tony Martin wearing a Lazer helmet and aboard a Ridley time trial machine (Image credit: Josh Evans/Immediate Media)
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A Ridley Dean TT bike was in position at the Flanders Bike Valley wind tunnel

A Ridley Dean TT bike was in position at the Flanders Bike Valley wind tunnel (Image credit: Josh Evans/Immediate Media)
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These four fans pull the air through the wind tunnel

These four fans pull the air through the wind tunnel (Image credit: Josh Evans/Immediate Media)
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The structure of the wind tunnel fills the entire warehouse

The structure of the wind tunnel fills the entire warehouse (Image credit: Josh Evans/Immediate Media)
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The intake of the wind tunnel features a honeycomb-like mesh

The intake of the wind tunnel features a honeycomb-like mesh (Image credit: Josh Evans/Immediate Media)
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A look at the underside of the structure

A look at the underside of the structure (Image credit: Josh Evans/Immediate Media)
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Harm Ubbens, the wind tunnel's project manager demonstrates the size of the fans

Harm Ubbens, the wind tunnel's project manager demonstrates the size of the fans (Image credit: Josh Evans/Immediate Media)
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The fibreglass model is based on the physique of Tony Martin

The fibreglass model is based on the physique of Tony Martin (Image credit: Josh Evans/Immediate Media)
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Riders can bring their own time trial setups and use the turbo trainer for real-time analysis

Riders can bring their own time trial setups and use the turbo trainer for real-time analysis (Image credit: Josh Evans/Immediate Media)
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A program controls the wind speed, while cameras monitor the rider's position

A program controls the wind speed, while cameras monitor the rider's position (Image credit: Josh Evans/Immediate Media)
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Live data includes fan performance, wind speed and real time drag

Live data includes fan performance, wind speed and real time drag (Image credit: Josh Evans/Immediate Media)

This article first appeared on BikeRadar.

Many cyclists are familiar with Bioracer Speedwear clothing, as used by some professional riders, but the Belgian company has another wing of the business that uses motion capture and aerodynamic analysis for bike fits on pros and amateurs alike.

Bioracer Motion was created as a result of more than 10,000 individual bike fits and 30 years of bike fitting experience from company founder and CEO Raymond Vanstraelen. Despite his decades of experience, Vanstraelen was frustrated with his inability to back-up the bike fittings with objective data.

So, Vanstraelen decided to take the fittings to the next level, enlisting an experienced cycling doctor, a professional cycling coach, a former professional and a software engineer specialising in motion capture.

What Bioracer developed was a performance-focused bike fitting and aerodynamic analysis service that uses a wind tunnel, dynamic pedalling analysis and power measurement, among other things.

Stability and symmetry

As a starting point, Bioracer Motion gives you the report you would expect from a comprehensive bike fit, including seat height, saddle setback, reach, stack and more. But then like Retül or Shimano’s Bikefitting.com, Bioracer Motion uses wireless markers placed on each side of the body to record movement in the feet, ankles, legs, hips, shoulders, elbows and wrists.

These markers then record a cyclist's movements and overall position through cameras while pedaling.

Side-on and head-on data is recorded, including left-right deviation of the knees or ankles. This can be used to make tweaks to the bike fit, including cleat alignment, arch support in the foot or even chamois padding thickness.

Focusing in on the various aspects of the body (pedal stroke, hip movement etc.) can then be taken into account to advise any adjustments for the bike fit to improve comfort, efficiency and power transfer.

Getting aero in the Flanders wind tunnel and at home

Getting comfortable and efficient are two goals of any good bike fit, but Bioracer Motion also focuses on aerodynamic improvement.

Located three kilometres away from Bioracer's HQ, the Flanders Bike Valley is a collaborative project between Bioracer, Ridley, Lazer, the European Union and others. The Flanders Bike Valley has a cycling-centric wind tunnel for use by these stakeholders as well as pro teams and amateurs who can rent it.

The 35m facility can create wind speeds of up to 108kph and measure sensitivity changes of one watt at 36kph.

In the Flanders tunnel, Bioracer clients get live feedback on aero positioning that's projected onto the floor in front of the bike. This way, riders can see how both power output and aerodynamic drag rise or fall with changes to their position.

Striking the balance between aerodynamics and power output is the goal. As an extreme example, crouching on the top tube greatly reduces frontal area and thus wind resistance, but makes it impossible to pedal. But sitting bolt upright for maximum power output isn’t the fastest position either, as wind drag is so high.

After attending a course examining the fundamentals of aerodynamics within cycling at the company's headquarters, riders can create virtual wind tunnels of a sort in their homes using a webcam for live feedback of their body position on a trainer.

Frontal surface area or drag (CdA) is measured by the camera via an outline around your projected image on the screen. Any body position changes will then change the speed, watts and CdA parameters on screen in real time, resulting in a tool that can be used to find optimal aerodynamic positioning and subsequently train in the defined position.

The package suits time triallists specifically, but the software is just as effective for those riding on a road bike too.

Bioracer Motion's virtual wind tunnel introduction can be done at various stores around the world or the company HQ in Belgium, while the software and hardware package installed for home use includes webcam, tripod, green screen and software and costs €2,295 excluding VAT. You will have to provide your own trainer and power meter.

Long sleeves are fast

Bioracer is using the Flanders Bike Valley wind tunnel to improve its clothing, as well.

Bioracer’s current long-sleeved speed suit, for example, saves a claimed 23 watts over an older, short-sleeved suit when tested at 50.6kph.

Over a over 20km time trial, the new long-sleeved speed suit could save a claimed 26 seconds.

Several WorldTour teams have already used the facilities to dial in riders’ positions and equipment.

Bioracer Motion bike fitting product pricing starts at €200 for a half-day session and you can see the full selection of products and pricing at bioracermotion.com.