Body Rocket’s real-time drag force technology is making aerodynamics accessible every time you ride
Along with speed and power, drag is the missing metric needed to maximize cycling performance. So imagine the benefits of seeing how aerodynamically efficient you are as well as feedback about subtle changes in your body position and weight distribution – all in real-time.
Time in a wind-tunnel can provide cyclists with a winning advantage by validating changes to position or kit, but the cost involved means this is reserved for the best-funded pro teams and is beyond the reach of the everyday rider.
Now Body Rocket is getting ready to offer the same level of insight, and more, via your bicycle’s computer.
Every time you ride your bike, it’s you against the elements. Aerodynamic drag is the single biggest brake on your cycling speed, with your body accounting for 80% of the total drag generated.
It’s why minor (though expensive) improvements to your bike or kit will always struggle to match the effectiveness of changes to your position and clothing. It’s something elite athletes have known for decades, but until now, no one has had access to this data in real-time.
UK-based startup Body Rocket now aims to provide insight for any cyclist who is serious about performance by creating the world’s first direct force drag measurement system.
Based on the technology employed in wind-tunnels, the system works via sensors positioned on the bike’s seatpost, handlebars and pedals.
The system isolates the rider from the bike, allowing it to accurately measure the aerodynamic drag being created by the rider as they pedal – as opposed to other systems on the market that are based on estimations.
Working in real outdoor conditions, Body Rocket’s technology provides insights into how modifications to a rider’s position or changes in kit affect the drag force generated.
Additionally, having constant feedback on your CdA (coefficient drag) results in a much higher probability of maintaining the ideal aerodynamic position, resulting in unmatched potential to boost performance.
Insight across all conditions
The Body Rocket concept was created by Eric DeGolier, an engineer and tandem pilot who rode alongside Matt King at the Paralympic Games.
‘I thought being at the US Olympic training center, I would finally have access to aerodynamic measurement,’ DeGolier says. ‘But there was nothing there for any of us. At that time, only the very top professionals had that kind of assistance.’
Since competing, DeGolier has worked at innovative firms in the industry including Trek Bicycles, PowerTap, and CycleOps. Over the same period, the broader cycling industry has also embraced the importance of improved aerodynamics for bikes and accessories.
‘I truly believe what we are doing by bringing aerodynamic data to the fore will have the same impact as when power meters entered the cycling market. This is a transformational shift for the cycling industry,’ claims DeGolier.
At this point however, despite being the most critical component in creating drag, the possibilities of optimizing the rider remain largely unexamined.
Body Rocket aims to correct this. The system DeGolier and his team of specialists designed now offers insights beyond even those found in a wind-tunnel.
To accomplish this, Body Rocket’s trio of units gather myriad data streams to continuously evaluate force, air pressure, wind speed, acceleration, inclination, and weight.
Impressively, the sensors also collect data about a rider’s subtle body movements on the bike, detecting if a rider has shifted forward on the handlebars, backwards on the saddle, or if their weight is unevenly distributed on the bike.
Once all inputs are brought together, the final result is not just an easily understood number showing your drag coefficient displayed in real-time via a compatible bike computer.
It’s also a detailed post-ride analysis showing every nuance of body position that can help a rider to optimize their position and overall cycling performance.
‘What Body Rocket is creating is revolutionary,’ says six-time national time-trial champion and former Hour record holder Alex Dowsett, an early investor and advisor to Body Rocket. ‘It has the capacity to transform cycling performance at both amateur and elite level.’
True proven data
Unlike the static environment of a wind-tunnel, Body Rocket users receive immediate feedback on any adjustments to their position, and can see how consistently they maintained their position across varied terrain.
This new metric is also helpful in objectively evaluating kit choices, including changes to clothing, helmets, shoes, or other wearable accessories.
Drag is a tricky quality to pin down. Other firms and devices have attempted to put a number on it, however they have all relied heavily on estimates when making their calculations. By comparison, Body Rocket is the first system to measure drag force directly.
Resulting in a far higher degree of accuracy, its technology has been validated in a wind-tunnel, proving itself within 2.5% of the current industry standard. However, Body Rocket expects to further improve on this figure before its product launch.
ready to launch
Body Rocket promises to be the next step-change in cycling performance, and is already successfully working with world-class athletes to help bring athlete aerodynamics to the masses.
The business is currently crowdfunding ahead of its launch in early 2023, and is seeking investment from cycling enthusiasts and early adopters of new technology eager to get ahead of the pack and be part of this revolution.
• For more information on how you can own a piece of the future of cycling performance, visit bodyrocket.cc or get involved directly at Crowdcube.