AERO TECHNOLOGY QUIZ

Q9:  

Wind tunnels are the best way to measure aero drag

a) True   b) False

False. 
Wind tunnels have severely limited accuracy and precision when measuring small bicycling related subjects.  Their precision is rarely better than 50 grams of drag with accuracy typically no better (and often low quality tunnels have numbers much worse than this).  Many bicycling objects measure at total of 50 to 100 grams of drag, numbers at the edge of experimental resolution. Contributing to this is the size of wind tunnels which are typically very large instruments requiring hundreds or thousands of horsepower of energy to move tons of air.  Aside from basic resolution issues, it is also vital that the experimental set-up carefully include all riding related variables and temperature, humidity and barometric pressure.  These variables dramatically effect conclusions drawn.  

Nimble has used no less than 8 different programs and methods  to improve on its measurement of aero performance, each of these at different levels of experimental resolution.  The most accurate equipment we know of is Nimble's low power large volume static air armature which measures with 1.5 grams precision and 2 grams accuracy.

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