3DBODY.TECH 2020 - Paper 20.24

T. Peeters et al., "An Indoor Training Bike to Provide Real-Time Feedback on the Aerodynamic Cycling Position Using Frontal Area Calculations", Proc. of 3DBODY.TECH 2020 - 11th Int. Conf. and Exh. on 3D Body Scanning and Processing Technologies, Online/Virtual, 17-18 Nov. 2020, #24, https://doi.org/10.15221/20.24.


An Indoor Training Bike to Provide Real-Time Feedback on the Aerodynamic Cycling Position Using Frontal Area Calculations


Thomas PEETERS 1, Raman GARIMELLA 1,2, Stijn VERWULGEN 1

1 Department Product Development, Faculty of Design Sciences, University of Antwerp, Belgium;
2 Voxdale, Belgium


An incorrect position or movement or slight alteration in position during cycling can induce an increase of aerodynamic resistance, which has an immense influence on the performance. However, when defining an optimal aerodynamic position as in wind tunnel experiments, there is no control over the maintaining of this position during training or races. Furthermore, during well-defined training methods on indoor smart trainers, the aerodynamic effect has not been taken into account in determining the imposed resistance.
Therefore, an indoor training bike was developed to continuously calculate the projected frontal area of the cyclist and the bike as an indicator of aerodynamic drag to estimate the wind resistance the cyclist experience in that position. The power a cyclist in that pose must push is calculated and automatically loaded to a smart trainer. Additionally, real-time feedback on the most efficient and aerodynamic position is provided. Therefore, vibrotactile instructions are provided when cyclists exceed a certain calibrated projected frontal area value, corresponding to the most aerodynamic position.
In this study, an intervention with only changing resistance based on the aerodynamics was compared with interventions with additionally vibrotactile feedback. The addition of vibrotactile signals provides significantly higher accuracy in recapturing the most optimal aerodynamic position (p < 0.001) including both competitive cyclists and amateur cyclists, as well as experiments with a time trial bike and a road bike. The results in this study show that the system with variation of resistance depending on the aerodynamic position, in combination with vibrotactile feedback for alerting cyclists when deviating from their optimal aerodynamic position can be an interesting tool to use during training sessions on a smart trainer.


aerodynamics, frontal area, cycling, vibrotactile feedback


Full paper: 2024peeters.pdf
Proceedings: 3DBODY.TECH 2020, 17-18 Nov. 2020, Online/Virtual
Paper id#: 24
DOI: 10.15221/20.24
Presentation video: 2024peeters.mp4

Copyright notice

© Hometrica Consulting - Dr. Nicola D'Apuzzo, Switzerland, www.hometrica.ch.
Reproduction of the proceedings or any parts thereof (excluding short quotations for the use in the preparation of reviews and technical and scientific papers) may be made only after obtaining the specific approval of the publisher. The papers appearing in the proceedings reflect the author's opinions. Their inclusion in these publications does not necessary constitute endorsement by the editor or by the publisher. Authors retain all rights to individual papers.

Note: click the + on the top left of the page to open/close the menu.