Wednesday, April 16, 2008

iAero - Reference Manual online.

The reference manual for the iAero has been put online here.

The iAero is a new version of the iBike Pro that addresses some of the problems with the original hardware design (most of which have been overcome with latest firmware revisions and the new ibike 2 software.) But the new model promises even better accuracy and damping control in rough pavement.

Anyone interested should read the manual. It looks like this is exactly what everyone on the ibike mailing list (now have been asking for.

I'll describe three different new features that have me excited.

First is SnapShot CdA(TM). As long as you have an iAero and cadence/speed sensors the iAero can easily tell when you are producing zero watts (cadence is zero and the bike is still moving.) At that point it can determine what the differences between your current CdA and your baseline CdA (as computed in coast downs, 4 mile ride, saved in profile etc.) and can then display that number. Just find a long hill (2-3% works well, you don't really want to get going too fast) that you can get up to appropriate speed on and then coast for > 10 seconds. Now you can adopt various positions and see what the difference in CdA is just by doing repeated tests.

While not quite as good as wind tunnel testing (we presume) it's a lot less expensive and more convienent. Note that you don't really need a hill. A long straight road that you can get up to speed on and coast for 10 seconds will also work.

Second is Time Advantage(TM). Assuming you already have a power meter (e.g. Ergomo, PowerTap, SRM, Polar) and can use it for the same rides, then you can use the ibike 2 software to incorporate that power data into the iAero ride file for comparison. Differences between the two are assumed to be due to CdA changes. This can then be used to show how much time you have either lost or gained over a ride compared to what you should have done if you stayed in the same position as your coast down rides.

Coupled with SnapShot CdA, you can now determine what changes you would like to try on a long TT (farther forward, more relaxed, etc) and see overall the impact in your finish time when you analyze the data.

Finally we have Continous CdA(TM). This requires that you have an Ant+Sport(TM) enabled power meter. E.g. Quarq Cinqo or (soon?) SRM Wireless. This is paired with the iAero and when this data is available the iAero can show CdA in real-time. Make a position change and see the change in CdA.

Also see the cumulative effect with the realtime TimeAdvantage readout. Based on your predicted time based on your baseline CdA, how far or behind are you. In real-time. As you are doing your TT!!

So. First during training, learn how to get CdA low. Change equipment, move things around, do lots of testing. Find the sweet spot for hardware and position. Then, during the race, keep yourself in that sweet spot. Even when you start to get tired (for me that's 5 minutes into the TT) it will tell you when you are moving out of it.

Possibly not as good as having your coach following you in a car 100 feet away, yelling "Allez, allez" continously over your team radio. But again a (lot!) less money and most organizers don't allow coaches in cars on their course anyway. At least at my level :-)

Now if only I could get them to sell me one NOW. I want it NOW. I have important TT's in two weeks. Can't they UNDERSTAND I NEED IT NOW...


Mark said...

hi: I am trying to learn about the training with power side of things and still finding some of the acronyms you used confusing. Do you have a glossary entry/link somewhere for noobs? thanks Mark.

Stuart Lynne said...

Start here

Ryan said...

iBike this, Quart that...

You know you're just fooling around! I've seen your basement, it's big enough, when do you and Swanson start building the wind tunnel?

Stuart Lynne said...

I can see I have a security leak somewhere in my organization... I'll be over later with the bamboo shoots to elicit some positive response to my questions.