The BikeRadar Meets podcast | In search of free speed at the Boardman wind tunnel

We headed to Boardman's bespoke wind tunnel for the latest BikeRadar Meets podcast to try and find some free speed

A low stretched out position proved aerodynamic, if not super comfortable

The faster you go, the more important aerodynamics are.

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It’s easy to get sucked into spending thousands on new bike components that will get you to your destination marginally faster: new wheels, new frames and aero-crafted handlebars. However, we wanted to find out the best ways to go quicker on the bike without spending a fortune.

With this in mind, BikeRadar‘s technical editor Tom Marvin visited the Boardman Performance Centre near Birmingham for the latest episode of the BikeRadar Meets podcast.

There, Boardman has built a bike-specific wind tunnel – one of very few built specifically for the slower speeds of a bicycle, with equipment sensitive enough to give accurate data.

Up on the tops is comfortable, but is it aero?
Up on the tops is comfortable, but is it aero?
Russell Burton / Immediate Media

With a wind tunnel and senior scientists at his disposal, Tom spent a morning changing his riding kit, adding helmet covers and tweaking his position on the bike to shave time off a hypothetical 100-mile sportive. He even shaved his legs for the cause.

To help analyse the data, Tom chatted to Barney Wainwright, head of science at the wind tunnel, as well as Lee Eddens, the lead physiologist at the centre, to get a better insight into aerodynamics and performance.

The Boardman Performance Centre is open to members of the public, so, if you were considering dropping a four-figure sum on some new wheels to go that little bit faster, why not consider spending a few hundred on a wind tunnel session instead?

Wind tunnel analysis
Analysing our data with Barney Wainwright, the Boardman Performance Centre’s head of science.
James Ryan / Boardman

How to listen to The BikeRadar Podcast

The BikeRadar Podcast goes out every Monday, with panel-based discussions, interviews and tech features covering both road and mountain bikes.

You can subscribe via the links to iTunes and Spotify below, or keep an eye on our podcasts page for the latest episode

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