ArmaUrto x WattShop - Wind Tunnel testing at Silverstone Sports Engineering Hub

ArmaUrto - the innovative range of impact protection and abrasion reduction products have teamed up with leading aerodynamists - Wattshop to test the effects of ArmaUrto products in a controlled wind tunnel environment.

WHY? Each pro-cycling season, crashes and accidents have ruined months of hard training and preparation. Pre-season training camps have been disrupted due to accidents; team tactics are thrown out the window as key members crash out and chances of claiming victory in important one-day and stage races lay in tatters due to impacts and road rash.

We are dedicated to developing and testing innovative products. Pushing our technical and creative skills to the limit. During the development of our new ARMA range we wanted to see if our products detract or even aide the aerodynamics of a rider.

Therefore we enlisted the help of Jamie Lowden and the team at Wattshop to put our elite products through their paces in the wind tunnel at the Silverstone Sports Engineering Hub.

   

The Test

Test date: 06.12.21

Test location: Wind Tunnel @ Silverstone Sports Engineering Hub

Designed and directed by Jamie Lowden of Wattshop, the ArmaUrto Impact Pro Aero Baselayer and ArmaUrto Hip Pads (usually present in the VIPAR Bib Shorts) were tested to determine if there was a positive or negative impact on a rider’s CdA.

The CdA of an object is the aerodynamic drag coefficient multiplied by the frontal area. A lower number implies less power is required to move through the air for the same speed

The Test

The items to be tested for impact on CdA included:

Item 1. ArmaUrto shoulder pads

Item 2. ArmaUrto hip pads

Item 3. ArmaUrto base layer (elbow and shoulder pads integrated into a ¾ -arm length base layer)

Items 1 and 2 were tested on a static mannequin beneath a Nalini skinsuit. Item 3 was tested on a pedalling rider beneath a Ribble-Weldite Pro Cycling long sleeved jersey manufactured by HUUB. Results were compared to baseline in all cases (either mannequin/rider with no ArmaUrto padding):

Test 1: Mannequin with Nalini skinsuit - Mannequin baseline

Test 2: Mannequin with Nalini skinsuit & ArmaUrto shoulder pads

Test 3: Mannequin with Nalini skinsuit & ArmaUrto hip pads

Test 4: Mannequin with Nalini skinsuit & ArmaUrto shoulder & hip pads

Test 5: Mannequin with Nalini skinsuit (repeat Test 1 – to confirm no mannequin movement during test)

Test 6: Pedalling rider with long sleeve HUUB jersey - Rider baseline

Test 7: Pedalling rider with long sleeve HUUB jersey & ArmaUrto base layer (including shoulder and elbow pads)

Each test was conducted at five different yaw values (-10o, -5o, 0o, 5o, 10o) to investigate the effect of crosswinds. Figure 1 shows the position of the mannequin from above at the five different yaw positions.

The Results

The results The aerodynamic impact of the ArmaUrto pads and base layer were minimal and depend on the location of the pads. When tested on a mannequin the ArmaUrto pads can either increase or decrease CdA depending on position and air speed. The observed range of impact on CdA for the mannequin was -1.4% to +1.0% (-0.0037m2 to +0.0029m2).

When tested on a mannequin the shoulder pads generally resulted in a faster performance with a saving of 17 seconds when riding for an hour at 50kph. This is likely dependent on the positioning of the mannequin and pads and should not be taken to mean these pads are an aerodynamic aid.

The hip pads resulted in a slower performance at all air speeds tested. When riding for an hour at 30kph the hip pads were 12 seconds slower than baseline.

The performance when the shoulder and hip pads were worn together was dependent on air speed. At 30kph this setup was 11 seconds slower over one hour. At 50kph this setup was 5 seconds faster over one hour.

When tested on a rider, the ArmaUrto base layer was 9 seconds slower when riding for an hour at 40kph. The impact on CdA from the baselayer depended on the air speed and was +0.3% to +0.73% ( +0.0011m2 to +0.0026m2).

The full Wattshop report can be downloaded here - https://www.dropbox.com/s/aiyhqc8iqhs6sff/WattShop%20x%20Armaurto%20Windtunnel%20test%20report.pdf?dl=0 

Conclusions

Following the detailed testing by the Wattshop team, it’s clear that in certain situations, the presence of ArmaUrto improves the aerodynamic capabilities of the rider. In other situations, the presence of ArmaUrto slightly reduces the aerodynamic capabilities. The results indicate that the positive (or negative) impact is generally minimal.

However, the huge benefits of wearing ArmaUrto remain. Whether it’s during training rides or during a race – the ArmaUrto range protects the rider from injury caused by impact and/or loss of skin. Without ArmaUrto months of training and preparations can be ruined by a crash. With ArmaUrto, the rider has a fighting chance of jumping back on the bike and continuing the race.

Assets

Impact Pro AERO Base layer - https://armaurto.com/collections/base-layers/products/impact-pro-aero-base-layer