Abstract

The aerodynamic drag force has a relevant effect on cycling performance since it is one of the major resistive forces acting on the bicycle. For this reason, this paper presents the development of an experimental methodology to estimate the aerodynamic parameters of a bicycle-cyclist set. The methodology combines outdoor measurements to estimate the drag area with indoor measurements to measure the projected frontal area.

The methodology was implemented to quantify the effect of posture in the aerodynamic parameters of a group of cyclists. The tests were performed to characterize the drag parameters associated with three postures defined by the position of the grip on the handlebar: tops, hoods, and drops.

Significant differences in the aerodynamic parameters were found for the postures studied through the proposed methodology. The posture variation led to reductions of up to 11.8% in the drag area of the cyclists when passing from tops to drops posture. The results obtained are in agreement with the literature indicating that the implementation of the methodology is feasible for the estimation of the aerodynamic parameters in cycling.

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