EuroBike 2012

Aerodynamic helmet

Apart from being beautifull, this S-Works + McLaren TT helmet is one of the most aerodynamic helmets on the market today.

The aerodynamic time trial/triathlon helmet has a patented gill (which should work since that technique is used in aviation and car racing for years). The S-Works + McLaren helmet will be ridden by Omega Pharma-Quick. Tony Martin and his teammate Levi Leipheimer used the helmet at the Tour de France prologue.


Rotor Power Meter(s)

At EuroBike 2012 Rotor had some prototypes of their latest product: ROTOR POWER. A Rotor employee told us that they will start selling their power pedals from January 2013 onwards. The retail price will be around 1600,- euros (including cranks, excluding chainrings). Rotor worked (or bought??) together with the Italian MEP who created the AIP measurement system.

The POWER has two independent power meters – one left, one right. Every crank has it’s own ANT-chip (so 1 Rotor Power has two ANT+ chips and batteries).

Rotor claims that they can meassure symmetrical crank deformation. This would mean that we’ll receive very interesting information about when a cyclist puts pressure on the crank. Rotor wants to expand the ANT+ protocol for their new functionality. If they succeed, this means that some head units (such as the Garmin 500/ 800) need a different software version to deal with the new data.

It will be interesting to run some tests with the new Rotor Powermeter. So far, the left-right difference from power meters such as Quark and Power2Max was not very accurate, because pushing your right pedal gave the same output as pulling you left pedal. In other words, the left-right difference only makes sense if you don’t use toeclip-shoes.

Final thought, a lot more research and tests need to be done, to figure out whether improvements can be made with this extra information. Also, what’s the profit when pressure is applied symetrically? Nevertheless, this crank will help to establish the effect of Q-rings on the power output.


Saddle & foot pressure

An interesting developement is meassuring the saddle and the shoe-sole pressure. It’s still early days and some technical improvements need to be made to make the data really usefull. The company Gebiomized developed ergonomic cycling products. In cooperation with Münster University they developed their customized gebioMized saddle.

To make their technology useful, it should work wirelessly. It’s good that you can measure the pressure on a spinning bike, but that’s not the same as on a real roadbike during a race or training. Moreover, you need a lot more pressure sensors to make the data accurate enough.

It will be interesting for instance to see what happens with the foot-pressure if the new 3-AX padels are used.


Shimano bike-fitting

At one of the biggest booths at EuroBike, Shimano gave an idea of the direction they are heading. They bought the company BikeFitting and in a joint-effort they’ve built a spinning bike that can not only meassure left-right power, but also torque and the direction of pressure. The frame geometry of the spinning bike is adjustable so it can be adjusted the physique of the athlete.

The spinning bike at EuroBike is probably a prototype and it will be interesting to see to whom they are going to market their product. It seems like a really usefull tool for sports physicians, but it’s a rather complicated product for the average bicycle repair shop.