Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:

 

Motorcycle right behind the racing cyclist can improve time in Giro prologue

04.05.2016

Eindhoven researchers calculate the aerodynamic benefits cyclists gain from motorcycles

Research at TU Eindhoven, KU Leuven and the University of Liege has shown how a motorcyclist riding right behind a racing cyclist can reduce the air resistance for the cyclist by almost nine percent. In a time trial, such as this Friday's forthcoming prologue in the Giro (Tour of Italy) in Apeldoorn, this could mean a decisive advantage. The researchers advise the UCI (International Cycling Union) to extend the minimum distance between motorcycle and cyclist, also from a safety perspective, to 20 or 30 meters.


This is an image of computer simulations with colors depicting different pressure levels. The motorcycle follower causes a reduction in the low pressure area behind the rider (red area), thereby reducing the aerodynamic drag.

Credit: Eindhoven University of Technology

In cycling races there are many motorcycles present, for instance for reporters and photographers, often riding very close to the riders. The discussion concerning the number of motorcycles in the race has once again been ignited by several incidents involving motorcycles, including the recent death of the 25 year-old Belgian cyclist Antoine Demoitié following a collision with a motorcycle in the Gent-Wevelgem race. Research by TU Eindhoven, KU Leuven and the University of Liege, supervised by TU/e professor and keen cycling fan Bert Blocken, reveals that motorcycles can also have a decisive role in the outcome of a race from an aerodynamic perspective.

Less air resistance

The researchers used computer simulations and wind tunnel measurements of scale models of a time trial rider and a motorcyclist to calculate that a motorcycle at a distance of 0.25 meter behind the cyclist can cut the air resistance by almost 9 percent. If there are three motorcycles, the reduction can be as much as 14 percent. Race pictures suggest that such short distances are certainly not uncommon in elite races.

Up to a minute gained

The researchers calculated the time that can be gained in a time trial for various distances between the cyclist and following motorcycle. Depending on how long a motorcycle rides behind the cyclist in a short time trial like the Giro prologue (9.8 kilometer), a few to several seconds can be gained. Time trials are often won by very narrow margins. In the longer time trials, the difference could be up to a minute.

Unprecedented research

Last year the TU/e researchers showed that a following car could give a rider a time advantage by driving close behind the rider. Now it appears that the aerodynamic benefit provided by a following motorcycle is even greater, mainly because motorcycles tend to ride much closer behind the cyclist. But now, for the first time, this 'following effect' of motorcycles and following vehicles has been investigated in detail. Evidence suggests that the effect is much greater than previously thought.

UCI must modify the rules

The researchers advise the UCI to modify the rules on motorcycles in cycling races not only from a safety perspective but also given the measured undesirable aerodynamic advantages that riders could gain. They are appealing for the regulatory ten meter distance to be increased to thirty meters and, moreover, to ensure there is compliance with this distance, something that almost never happens in reality. They join the riders in asking the UCI to take stricter action concerning in-race motorcycles.

Media Contact

Barry van der Meer
b.v.d.meer@tue.nl
31-040-247-4061

 @TUEindhoven

http://www.tue.nl/en 

Barry van der Meer | idw - Informationsdienst Wissenschaft

Further reports about: Motorcycle UCI air resistance computer simulations race wind tunnel

More articles from Physics and Astronomy:

nachricht Midwife and signpost for photons
11.12.2017 | Julius-Maximilians-Universität Würzburg

nachricht New research identifies how 3-D printed metals can be both strong and ductile
11.12.2017 | University of Birmingham

All articles from Physics and Astronomy >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

Die letzten 5 Focus-News des innovations-reports im Überblick:

Im Focus: Scientists channel graphene to understand filtration and ion transport into cells

Tiny pores at a cell's entryway act as miniature bouncers, letting in some electrically charged atoms--ions--but blocking others. Operating as exquisitely sensitive filters, these "ion channels" play a critical role in biological functions such as muscle contraction and the firing of brain cells.

To rapidly transport the right ions through the cell membrane, the tiny channels rely on a complex interplay between the ions and surrounding molecules,...

Im Focus: Towards data storage at the single molecule level

The miniaturization of the current technology of storage media is hindered by fundamental limits of quantum mechanics. A new approach consists in using so-called spin-crossover molecules as the smallest possible storage unit. Similar to normal hard drives, these special molecules can save information via their magnetic state. A research team from Kiel University has now managed to successfully place a new class of spin-crossover molecules onto a surface and to improve the molecule’s storage capacity. The storage density of conventional hard drives could therefore theoretically be increased by more than one hundred fold. The study has been published in the scientific journal Nano Letters.

Over the past few years, the building blocks of storage media have gotten ever smaller. But further miniaturization of the current technology is hindered by...

Im Focus: Successful Mechanical Testing of Nanowires

With innovative experiments, researchers at the Helmholtz-Zentrums Geesthacht and the Technical University Hamburg unravel why tiny metallic structures are extremely strong

Light-weight and simultaneously strong – porous metallic nanomaterials promise interesting applications as, for instance, for future aeroplanes with enhanced...

Im Focus: Virtual Reality for Bacteria

An interdisciplinary group of researchers interfaced individual bacteria with a computer to build a hybrid bio-digital circuit - Study published in Nature Communications

Scientists at the Institute of Science and Technology Austria (IST Austria) have managed to control the behavior of individual bacteria by connecting them to a...

Im Focus: A space-time sensor for light-matter interactions

Physicists in the Laboratory for Attosecond Physics (run jointly by LMU Munich and the Max Planck Institute for Quantum Optics) have developed an attosecond electron microscope that allows them to visualize the dispersion of light in time and space, and observe the motions of electrons in atoms.

The most basic of all physical interactions in nature is that between light and matter. This interaction takes place in attosecond times (i.e. billionths of a...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

Event News

See, understand and experience the work of the future

11.12.2017 | Event News

Innovative strategies to tackle parasitic worms

08.12.2017 | Event News

AKL’18: The opportunities and challenges of digitalization in the laser industry

07.12.2017 | Event News

 
Latest News

Midwife and signpost for photons

11.12.2017 | Physics and Astronomy

How do megacities impact coastal seas? Searching for evidence in Chinese marginal seas

11.12.2017 | Earth Sciences

PhoxTroT: Optical Interconnect Technologies Revolutionized Data Centers and HPC Systems

11.12.2017 | Information Technology

VideoLinks
B2B-VideoLinks
More VideoLinks >>>