Velosense: A Friend to the Field Trialist

STAC was at Interbike, and Argon 18’s Notio was noted. The ability for a rider to tune his bike and his position in situ is considered by some a Holy Aero Grail.

Here’s Velosense, with a sensor you mount to your bike and that gives you – they claim – greater accuracy across a greater angular range. Which, they say, is critical, because (reminiscent of Hambini) the Velosense folks claim that we see greater yaws than we (and the industry in general) think we do (if I understand their claims correctly and – fair warning – I may not.)

If you ask them, “Are you measuring using pitot tubes,” the answer is (feet shuffling, grousing about) “Yes,” but with an asterisk. The trick is in the shape of the device. It’s a tunnel. A little tiny wind tunnel. And if you get that shape wrong, that fudges everything. It’s pitot tubes, accelerometers, and a highly highly accurate barometer that generates altitude (you hold this gizmo in your hand, raise and lower it, the changes in elevation immediately record in inches. But the sex appeal is in the shape of that little tunnel.

This isn’t a product you can buy yet. It’s a concept. Well, no, it’s more than a concept. It is a product, just, not ready for manufacture. It’s ready for purchase – is my guess – but not by you or me. By Intel or Garmin.

There is more than simply data acquisition and display – there’s some nifty presentation, such as a hollow diamond that demos a baseline, and a solid diamond that shows you where you are (are you holding your form? Have you found a paradigm in your position that grants you progress over how you’ve been riding?). Plus, there are after-the-ride metrics generated, such as a graphic recounting of the yaws faced (updated every 2sec, as I recall?). It’s a field trialist's dream.

Here’s the Velosense video that shows you a little of what’s going on here:

I am beyond certain I’ve got some of this wrong, or that I’ve left things out. I’ll invite the Velosense folks to talk about the product here but more fully on Reader Forum Thread. These folks are from the UK, like Hambini, but they don’t know him (haven’t heard of him). I look forward to seeing how John Buckley and his PhD partners interact with Damon Rinard, Hambini and/or whomever else wants to jump in. I’m usually pretty good at sniffing out hyperbolic claims, even if I don’t fully understand the science. I feel pretty good about these guys and their tech.