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Aero sensors for dummies thread
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There seems to be a fair amount of interest in devices like the Notio, AeroPod, CdACrr.... A few weeks back I ordered a Notio and I also have an AeroPod floating around in the basement. For both devices, my challenge has been figuring out how to use them properly. There seems to be this belief that any goofball can pick one of these up, watch a couple YouTube videos and be on their way to effective aero testing in an afternoon. What is really amazing is how little instruction is provided with these devices.

I have ridden with my Notio about 10 rimes so far. I have learned a lot. I can see the potential. Nevertheless, I am still struggling to come up with really actionable results. I put most of this down to not having a decent testing protocol and also not really understanding how the device works and what the various outputs mean.

The beauty of this forum is that there are so many knowledgeable people who are willing to help chuckleheads like myself. If others who are interested in seeing what these devices can do, I will try to post what I learn as I work through the process.
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Re: Aero sensors for dummies thread [grumpier.mike] [ In reply to ]
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I'm with you. I've waffled back and forth over getting one... but I'm not convinced I'm smart enough to get any better resolution than just using Aerolab.

My Blog - http://leegoocrap.blogspot.com
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Re: Aero sensors for dummies thread [grumpier.mike] [ In reply to ]
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Following, very interested.

Dimond Bikes
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Re: Aero sensors for dummies thread [grumpier.mike] [ In reply to ]
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grumpier.mike wrote:
For both devices, my challenge has been figuring out how to use them properly. There seems to be this belief that any goofball can pick one of these up, watch a couple YouTube videos and be on their way to effective aero testing in an afternoon. What is really amazing is how little instruction is provided with these devices.

Instructions wouldn't help...

Aeropod and Notio are JRA sensors. Neither has software designed to use a test protocol, which is what you need for testing. I don't know if the airspeed data can be used in Aerolab; I think the Notio has that feature. But you have to trust the calibration that you've performed before testing... and more importantly the recommended mounting location simply won't work. Dang, I can't even find a photo of the sensor James Webb (Red is Faster) was developing, but it stuck way out in front of and above the front wheel. If you are measuring airspeed you need to insure that position A doesn't have a different calibration than B. Else you need to wait for windless conditions where you won't need an airspeed measurement at all.

CdACrr has the software, and it runs in real time on your phone while testing. IMO out-back testing is the best method to use, but it lacks a dedicated mode for that. I used the fixed lap length mode, which wasn't great for this. But that along with the anemometer is best thing out there for testing that I know of.
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Re: Aero sensors for dummies thread [grumpier.mike] [ In reply to ]
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Also following, @grumpier.mike are you able to expand on your experiences with the Notio please?

I'm interested as to what extent the CdA values calculated by the software can be trusted. I had a chance to have a play around with an Aeropod but the CdA values genereated seemed very random vs if I imported airspeed and did a virtual elevation calculation when the data quality seemed pretty good. Doing this was however very cumbersome and tbh I do enough data processing at work that I don't want to do more in my spare time. If you ride a few laps with the Notio, how well do the CdA values generated correspond to what you get using the notio airspeed as an additional data source for a virtual elevation calculation?

I am tempted to buy one, but from your hints you can't simply do the calibration ride and then in a few laps of a suitable venue in position A and position B and make a worthwhile comparison?
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Re: Aero sensors for dummies thread [grumpier.mike] [ In reply to ]
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I picked up an AeroPod, have used it a few times, but it's not particularly user-friendly in my opinion.

The only feedback from the unit is a small LED light. One problem is that most users will mount the unit underneath their base bar, so that means you can't see the light while riding. You also have to memorize the calibration protocol that you have to run before each session. As part of the calibration process, the AeroPod takes over the Power field on your Garmin and ramps from 0W to 50W, then the light changes color or you press a button (memory is fuzzy here - haven't used my AeroPod in over a year) but of course you can't see the light underneath your base bar, then you ride back the other way and at some point after the watts go from 50W to 100W, your power field returns to normal and at some point after that (it's not really clear when), the CdA field returns what is supposed to be good data.

I have no idea whether or not the data returned by the unit is good or not after this calibration process - maybe it is - but the process is clunky (I had to carry a printed copy of the instructions with me). What I think the unit really needs is an app that clearly tells the user what to do at each step. Of course even better would be a "set it and forget it" device where you mount the aero sensor and it simply provides CdA in a field on your head unit. Maybe this will never be possible, and calibration before each session will always be required, but if that is the case, then that process should be made as straightforward and user-friendly as possible.

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Re: Aero sensors for dummies thread [refthimos] [ In reply to ]
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refthimos wrote:
Maybe this will never be possible, and calibration before each session will always be required, but if that is the case, then that process should be made as straightforward and user-friendly as possible.


I used my out-back runs for the calibration (CdACrr app and the anemometer); this is the best way to do it. The other devices use out-back runs to calibrate, but they don't use your test runs. It doesn't do this quite automatically, but Pierre was nice enough to include a distance-averaged wind field, so it's a simple adjustment after the fact. And like I said earlier you can't mount the sensor where they tell you to; not for testing.

Ya'll really need to sweet talk Pierre into beefing up his app a bit. *That* is a discussion that would be worthwhile. With a good out-back mode, auto calibration, and... maybe a better BT wind sensor?... that would be a very good system. It's currently the best thing available and nearly free.
Last edited by: rruff: Aug 23, 20 9:09
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Re: Aero sensors for dummies thread [grumpier.mike] [ In reply to ]
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grumpier.mike wrote:
There seems to be this belief that any goofball can pick one of these up, watch a couple YouTube videos and be on their way to effective aero testing in an afternoon. What is really amazing is how little instruction is provided with these devices.

I have ridden with my Notio about 10 rimes so far. I have learned a lot. I can see the potential. Nevertheless, I am still struggling to come up with really actionable results. I put most of this down to not having a decent testing protocol and also not really understanding how the device works and what the various outputs mean.

Different people learn in different ways. What's a way that you learn best? A book, a lecture, a video, figuring stuff out by yourself, hiring a coach or tutor? Those choices depend on how much effort you want to put in, how much time (and money) you have, and how motivated you are to find a reasonable answer.


Quote:
The beauty of this forum is that there are so many knowledgeable people who are willing to help chuckleheads like myself. If others who are interested in seeing what these devices can do, I will try to post what I learn as I work through the process.

Please do. That'll be interesting.
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Re: Aero sensors for dummies thread [rruff] [ In reply to ]
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rruff wrote:

The other devices use out-back runs to calibrate, but they don't use your test runs.

This is not correct.
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Re: Aero sensors for dummies thread [rruff] [ In reply to ]
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rruff wrote:
Neither has software designed to use a test protocol, which is what you need for testing

If this is true, then Aerolab does not have software designed to use a test protocol, which is not correct.
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Re: Aero sensors for dummies thread [mitochondria] [ In reply to ]
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mitochondria wrote:
Also following, @grumpier.mike are you able to expand on your experiences with the Notio please?

I'm interested as to what extent the CdA values calculated by the software can be trusted. I had a chance to have a play around with an Aeropod but the CdA values genereated seemed very random vs if I imported airspeed and did a virtual elevation calculation when the data quality seemed pretty good. Doing this was however very cumbersome and tbh I do enough data processing at work that I don't want to do more in my spare time. If you ride a few laps with the Notio, how well do the CdA values generated correspond to what you get using the notio airspeed as an additional data source for a virtual elevation calculation?

I am tempted to buy one, but from your hints you can't simply do the calibration ride and then in a few laps of a suitable venue in position A and position B and make a worthwhile comparison?

I think Robert Chung's Tolstoy riff about all failed experiments being unique in their reason for failure is appropriate. My first attempt was to quickly mount the Notio and go for a ride. Haphazard installation just won't cut it. The first key step is to get the device level. I just quickly used an angle meter on my phone and on the first ride my estimated CdA would climb towards 1.0 anytime I was on a sustained climb. After thinking about the estimated CdA values I was seeing, I pulled out my calculator and looked at how degrees relate to percent slope. If you are off by 1 degree in leveling the device, the device is going to think you are riding up a nearly 2% slope (false flat). Off by by 2 degrees and it is nearly 4% (really climbing). Getting the device really level is going to be tricky. I am not so sure my basement floor is really flat and that doesn't account for different front-back tire compression. The device might be doing a slope calibration when you do the baseline aero test, but a) I don't know because what all is going on because it is not explained b) a quick software angle calibration where you hold the bike in a fixed location for 20 second and then turn the bike 180 degrees (averaging the measured slope to figure out the "true" zero) would be my first recommendation for an update. c) I am guessing each additional thing that you try and calibrate during a calibration ride magnifies the possible error in each parameter.

I said I could see the promise in the Notio. Just to give you an idea of how repeatable the device can be, I have the average CdA estimates for a 7.7 mile repeated out and back test close to my house. The estimates were 0.306, 0.305, 0.308 and 0.306. These were on three separate days on my road bike with hands on the hoods and I installed the Notio before the first run and didn't touch anything. Winds were also from different directions and way too strong to do any testing in Aerolab (without wind correction). A sample of size 4 is pretty worthless and these might be very close just by dumb luck, but you can kind of see how the potential to tease out modest differences (~0.005 maybe less) is there.
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Re: Aero sensors for dummies thread [grumpier.mike] [ In reply to ]
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grumpier.mike wrote:
The first key step is to get the device level. I just quickly used an angle meter on my phone and on the first ride my estimated CdA would climb towards 1.0 anytime I was on a sustained climb. After thinking about the estimated CdA values I was seeing, I pulled out my calculator and looked at how degrees relate to percent slope. If you are off by 1 degree in leveling the device, the device is going to think you are riding up a nearly 2% slope (false flat). Off by by 2 degrees and it is nearly 4% (really climbing). Getting the device really level is going to be tricky.

Confirm with Notio support because things may have changed but it use to adjust/auto calibrate if not perfectly level.
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Re: Aero sensors for dummies thread [RChung] [ In reply to ]
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RChung wrote:

Different people learn in different ways. What's a way that you learn best? A book, a lecture, a video, figuring stuff out by yourself, hiring a coach or tutor? Those choices depend on how much effort you want to put in, how much time (and money) you have, and how motivated you are to find a reasonable answer.

I am kind of old school. I am one of those people who liked the proofs in math class. I like to understand what is going on so I know what I am looking at when something doesn't make sense (to me at least).

Obviously the Notio provides wind speed to use as an adjustment to the VE equations, but there is also an accelerometer, inclinometer and who knows what else in there. There might be some trade secrets going on inside but it would be helpful to understand what additional types of data could be recorded for post-processing in something like Aerolab.
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Re: Aero sensors for dummies thread [marcag] [ In reply to ]
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marcag wrote:
rruff wrote:


The other devices use out-back runs to calibrate, but they don't use your test runs.


This is not correct.

What *is* correct, then?
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Re: Aero sensors for dummies thread [rruff] [ In reply to ]
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rruff wrote:
marcag wrote:
rruff wrote:


The other devices use out-back runs to calibrate, but they don't use your test runs.


This is not correct.


What *is* correct, then?

You can use your test runs to calibrate. They do not need to be separate calibration and test runs
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Re: Aero sensors for dummies thread [marcag] [ In reply to ]
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That isn't true of the Aeropod.

Now that you mention it I think Martin did say something about Notio updating the calibration. But if you use your runs for calibration (with any device), you really need to be on an out-back traffic free course.
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Re: Aero sensors for dummies thread [rruff] [ In reply to ]
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rruff wrote:
That isn't true of the Aeropod.

Now that you mention it I think Martin did say something about Notio updating the calibration. But if you use your runs for calibration (with any device), you really need to be on an out-back traffic free course.


It was done in 2018. Not by the sharpest tool in the shed but it worked. There are better ways to do it, but that's what upgrades/updates are for I guess :-)
Last edited by: marcag: Aug 23, 20 14:09
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Re: Aero sensors for dummies thread [ In reply to ]
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As someone that uses the Notio every time I ride my TT bike outside, asking for someone to tell you how to use it is pretty analogous to asking someone to "make you fast." To use it effectively requires a pretty significant investment in time and discipline. Is it perfect? no. Is it user friendly? Yes, but not initially.

GC notio makes it reasonably straightforward. I wish I could isolate the ANT channels and set up math channels in WKO5, but I haven't taken the time to do so.

Can I tell you the difference between two helmets? Yep. Skinsuits? Yep. Hand positions? Nope. Is it good enough to do so? Probably, I just haven't figured it out yet.
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Re: Aero sensors for dummies thread [grumpier.mike] [ In reply to ]
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https://giblitech.com/#our-sensor

Add this to the mix. I’m waiting for my early adapter package as well speak. I believe COVID-19 has delayed their ‘final’ wind tunnel testing session before they are shipped out. Fingers crossed it arrives before the end of the local TT season finishes the second week in September.
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Re: Aero sensors for dummies thread [rruff] [ In reply to ]
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rruff wrote:
grumpier.mike wrote:
Dang, I can't even find a photo of the sensor James Webb (Red is Faster) was developing, but it stuck way out in front of and above the front wheel.

Have you seen the SwissSide “boom” that puts their sensor out in front of the bike?
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Re: Aero sensors for dummies thread [Ohio_Roadie] [ In reply to ]
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Ya, don't think they are selling them though.
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Re: Aero sensors for dummies thread [Morelock] [ In reply to ]
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Morelock wrote:
I'm with you. I've waffled back and forth over getting one... but I'm not convinced I'm smart enough to get any better resolution than just using Aerolab.

I live about 60 miles from some of the best wind turbine real estate in the country (Wyoming) and not very close to an indoor velodrome. I have gotten a couple of good runs in with Aerolab on quiet mornings, but it is really hit or miss and I haven't been able to string together more than 1 or 2 runs before the wind, or traffic, starts to pick up.
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Re: Aero sensors for dummies thread [RKW] [ In reply to ]
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RKW wrote:
As someone that uses the Notio every time I ride my TT bike outside, asking for someone to tell you how to use it is pretty analogous to asking someone to "make you fast." To use it effectively requires a pretty significant investment in time and discipline. Is it perfect? no. Is it user friendly? Yes, but not initially.

GC notio makes it reasonably straightforward. I wish I could isolate the ANT channels and set up math channels in WKO5, but I haven't taken the time to do so.

Can I tell you the difference between two helmets? Yep. Skinsuits? Yep. Hand positions? Nope. Is it good enough to do so? Probably, I just haven't figured it out yet.

I would be interested in hearing about your test protocol. Could you explain what you are doing for each test, what your course looks like and maybe give some idea of the number of repeats?
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Re: Aero sensors for dummies thread [rruff] [ In reply to ]
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rruff wrote:
refthimos wrote:
Maybe this will never be possible, and calibration before each session will always be required, but if that is the case, then that process should be made as straightforward and user-friendly as possible.


I used my out-back runs for the calibration (CdACrr app and the anemometer); this is the best way to do it. The other devices use out-back runs to calibrate, but they don't use your test runs. It doesn't do this quite automatically, but Pierre was nice enough to include a distance-averaged wind field, so it's a simple adjustment after the fact. And like I said earlier you can't mount the sensor where they tell you to; not for testing.

Ya'll really need to sweet talk Pierre into beefing up his app a bit. *That* is a discussion that would be worthwhile. With a good out-back mode, auto calibration, and... maybe a better BT wind sensor?... that would be a very good system. It's currently the best thing available and nearly free.
Yeah, sweet talk to me :-) With the difference of Notio&Aeropod, CdaCrr is a hobby project, and the main user of this DIY aero system is me, so I add features only if there are real interest for my needs. Cause a lot of people download and try the app but gave up quickly, I don't know the exact reasons (poor doc, possible issues, not enough advices) despite of the support I can bring to them. You are Ron, one of the rare exception. And you will glad to know that I am working on a out-back mode which could help. About a better wind sensor, I would say: point me to a cheap wind sensor and also data proving it is significantly better than the WeatherMeter in 0-10km/h wind range. Then I would try to sync it with the CdaCrr app.



Bike CdaCrr app | Blog | Twitter
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Re: Aero sensors for dummies thread [bugno] [ In reply to ]
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bugno wrote:
With the difference of Notio&Aeropod, CdaCrr is a hobby project, and the main user of this DIY aero system is me, so I add features only if there are real interest for my needs.



If they gave Oscars for devices, your would win the best value category for sure !

Not to you specifically, you know all this, but IMO, if you follow a strict protocol in specific conditions (route and weather) you can get very accurate numbers with nothing but a powermeter and speed sensor

To get good numbers, with just a powermeter you require some form of out and back, or loops. Ideally no braking, but some braking can be edited out. Weather requires low, constant wind or no wind. No traffic is preferable. Sometimes “things”, like passing cars, wind gusts and others can give results that need to be removed at analysis. It’s not hard but it’s not click and go.

I believe it's the sum of these "conditions" that make it difficult for many many users.

I believe your app makes things much easier.

With Aerolab and the Chung method when all the data is good, things are wonderful. When some of the data is bad, one can recognize the bad data, but it requires skill.

IMO aerometers can do a few things

1)They can assist in making it simply “ride and get a number”. How "strict" a protocol is depends on how advanced the technology is.
2)They can help pin point bad data such as wind gusts
3)They can provide good data when otherwise bad data would be there
4)They can collect other data that makes analysis easier (air density, temperature….)
5)They can eliminate or greatly reduce the requirements on a venue. Out and back not required
6)They can provide a snapshot of CDA at any point in the ride
7)Combined with other sensors they can help determine the cause of drag.

The value of an aerometer, IMO, depends how far it gets through list.

If a device does it all, How much is it worth ?
If a device simply collects a little more data, is it worth $1000 ?
If a device makes it “press a button”, how much is that worth ?
If a device just picks up wind, but is not accurate, at least I knew there was wind. How much is that worth ?

If a device imposes a whole set of conditions for getting results, is it any better than Chung testing for free ?


My hope if we get to 5, 6 and 7. I know it can be done. That's where I put my money (Literally).
Last edited by: marcag: Aug 24, 20 4:20
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