Flanders Bike Valley is to start offering wind-tunnel sessions to all-comers. The project's bike-specific wind tunnel can be rented for €2000 for testing three bikes. There are also specific sessions for testing helmets and wheelsets.
"Bike Valley will offer an affordable program for manufacturers to test bikes, wheels and helmets in a standardized manner," says Bike Valley's Niels Heuvelman. "All bike brands worldwide are being invited to participate."
He added: "To get a representative number of the products on the market, the investment for the brands in terms of timing, staff and money has been minimized which lowers the threshold for participation."
The Bike Valley's facility is a low-speed wind tunnel which is better for cycling use than "those built for aeronautics, aviation, motorsports, or other scientific research," said Heuvelman.
- Open circuit wind tunnel (~35.5m in length)
- Maximum wind speed 30m/s (108km/h)
- Test section 2.5m x 2.5m x 6.5m (two cyclists in succession can be tested)
- Wind tunnel design allows for high level of laminar flow, which leads to very accurate and repeatable results
- Test platform easily accessible for subjects as well as analysts
- Possibility to shield test platform for confidentiality reasons
- Balance measuring system to determine weight and drag forces up to 0,1N
- 3D machined dummy of cyclists can be made for sustained or laser measurements
- Advanced testing options:Particle Image Velocimetry (PIV) system to visualize velocity and direction of the air.
The bike sessions will be staged between 11–15th December. Wheels can be tested 28th January – 2nd February 2018, with helmets 5–9th March.
All participants will get all the aerodynamic data on the products that have participated in the tests. All participants will also be informed which other brands and products participated. Participants will not get the brand or product names together with the data of the other participating products. This to ensure that the data are only used for technical reasons and copying each other’s products is not stimulated, said Heuvelman.
The cost of participation will be €2000.- (ex. VAT) for three bikes. Additional bike are charged at €500 each.
Bike Valley was established in 2013 as an open innovation centre, with the founding company's being Bio Racer, Lazer Sport, Ridley Race Productions, and Voxdale, a specialist in aerodynamics.