BIORACER PROVIDES AERODYNAMIC CLOTHING FOR MORE THAN 100 RIDERS THIS SUMMER
BIORACER PROVIDES AERODYNAMIC CLOTHING FOR MORE THAN 100 RIDERS THIS SUMMER.
AFTER LONDON 2012, THE BIORACER SPEEDMASTER SUIT BECAME THE REFERENCE IN THE WORLD OF TIME TRIAL AND TRACK RACING AERO SUITS. UTILISING THE NOW FAMOUS AIRSTRIPE FABRIC WAS A REAL STATEMENT OF AERODYNAMICS IN CYCLING. THE SPEED GAIN BY WEARING THAT SUIT WAS SO SIGNIFICANT THAT IT COULD DECIDE WHO WOULD WIN A GRAND TOUR (GIRO, TOUR, VUELTA). BIORACER PRODUCES SPEEDMASTER SUITS FOR A NUMBER OF PRO TOUR TEAMS, UNDER LICENSE.
The design and fabrics of the suit can save the riders up to 60 seconds on a 40km time trial. If you can save so much time on 40km, then the gain on an 180km time trial in an Ironman is extreme. This has driven the introduction of Tri suits with aerodynamic sleeves.
In road racing, where the time differences are sometimes so small, an efficient aerodynamic road race suit will give you an advantage.
For now, Bioracer wanted to push the limits even further by making the suit and the rider even faster. We worked together with many federations to benchmark our Speedmaster suit against other models. The Bioracer Speedmaster suit was consistently the fastest. This result drove us to develop a suit that was faster than our previous suit. It became the Speedmaster 2.0 generation of suits.
We have revised the patterns around the shoulder, so that the fabric of the upper arm now runs directly to the back. That way there is no stitching line and better airflow. We added a special tailor-made collar to our 2.0 suits. This collar closes the area around the neck fully. This is a critical drag reduction gain.
Ironically, for the challenging TT course, Bioracer went testing for a fabric that was optimal at the lower projected average speeds. This new “Airmesh” fabric gave a major time gain, especially for the female racers. This was confirmed while doing wind tunnel and track testing with Ann-Sophie Duyck. Tony Martin also selected this fabric for his suits. He also tested on track and in the wind tunnel. It’s a very efficient fabric especially at lower speeds (30-45km/hr), and because of the texture it also gives the rider lots of extra cooling. Optimising the fabrics and patterns of the suits based on the projected average speeds is unique to Bioracer Speedmasters.
The Bioracer Smooth Uni pad is already the trusted pad in may pro riders bibshorts. The primary feedback was that the riders loved the thickness and support. Seeking to improve the traditional foam, Bioracer went looking for a different kind of support layer. We accomplished that with the new “Vapor” 3D mesh. The vapor pads have an open cell textured foam, that gives the rider additional support and comfort for the same nominal thickness. It also does not absorb liquids, and therefore stays light and comfortable as well.
We made some radical changes in the suits in our search for extra cooling, which is critical in the heat of countries in the Southern Hemisphere. We inserted the pads in the suits and cut the redundant fabric away. By having the new Vapor pad as the outer surface, the rider gets extra passive cooling of the pad. The open texture of the Vapor foam gives the rider extra grip and stability on the saddle, and hence the bike. That way the rider can put more power on the pedals and will go faster. It’s already going to be used by lots of our TT and Track riders.
A recognized issue that every racer knows about is pinning down a number on your suit. It damages the fabric and if not neatly done can have a big negative impact on the riders’ drag. In collaboration with No Pinz, we introduced an aerodynamic number holder stitched on the suit at the last World Championships time trial in Richmond.
In the drive to break the hour record last year, we began developing the first aerodynamic socks. Due to the regulations, the use of overshoes is not allowed on the track. With wind tunnel tested fabrics and combinations, we made a first generation of aero socks. They were very successful and were used in three successful record runs. They remain current equipment for the new ladies’ record too.
For this year we have developed a second generation of aero socks using different lengths and fabrics. This way we could optimize the aerodynamic effect of every rider. The Bioracer aero socks save the rider up to 6-8 watts.
If you are developing aerodynamic sport clothing as a manufacturer, you need to have this validated in a wind tunnel and checked by riders during track testing. Bioracer was the first to make a 3D model of a rider (5 years ago) to test clothing in a wind tunnel. It is the only way of have consistent results.
In our development for this year's new line of aero gear, we did wind tunnel testing together with FES at the Institute of Experimental Aerodynamics at the University of Dresden, Germany. Since 2012, Bioracer and some other companies (Bike Valley) started working together to build the first cycle specific wind tunnel in Belgium. This year the wind tunnel was opened, and we did final validation testing together with the Belgian Cycling Federation.
In conjunction with wind tunnel testing, it is important to validate results with track testing. It is a more realistic environment for the rider. The results are directly comparable with the discipline that he participates in. We encourage all our customers to test the aerodynamic effect of clothing for themselves.
Utilizing a power meter you can test aerodynamics. Ride on the same day and road with 2 different suits at the same speed (for example 40km/hr). Then you will see that you have to push less watts if you have Bioracer Speedwear clothing on.
Despite having the fastest suit in the world, if your bike position is not aerodynamic then it’s impossible to win. This drove Bioracer Motion developed a system that works as a virtual wind tunnel. The software uses a webcam to measure the frontal surface area of a rider. Due to maximizing the airflow around the rider with our suits in the wind tunnel, the biggest gain is then in reducing your frontal surface area.
This is now easy to test and improve with the Bioracer Aero system. It gives real time data and feedback to the rider. You can see how many watts you can gain at any given speed. For example, the difference between keeping your head up or tucked is around 30 watts, that’s more than the aerodynamic difference between a cheap bike and an expensive aero bike. Prior to doing any wind tunnel or track testing, we first analysed our riders using this system.
Once the position of the rider has been honed we can maximize the aerodynamic gain in the wind tunnel by making a few suits with different fabric combinations. This way we can see what combination work best for the expected speed zone. Bioracer is unique in this method of matching fabrics and patterns to suit the targeted average speeds. This results in a number of highly specific suits for differing disciplines, as well as anticipated average speeds in events and courses.
All the innovations and improvements by Bioracer Speedwear are developed with the aim of making the rider more efficient, comfortable and faster. Our Speedmaster suits are made and developed in Belgium, the heartland of cycling. Watch the next few days broadcasts for more info and photo’s from all our testing and developing that we have done.