Velonews’ editor-in-chief John Bradley reports on one product at Eurobike that has caught everyone’s attention. Argon 18 has introduced a sensor-laden unit for triathlon bikes that could allow average triathletes to fine tune their aero positions.
For all the great stuff one sees at Eurobike, true “holy s—t!” products are rare. The new Argon 18 time trial bike is, we’ll say it, a holy shit product.
The plastic nose unit on the front of this bike houses a computer that pulls data from 22 sensors—a collection of strain gauges, accelerometers, proximity sensors, wind-speed sensors, proximity gauges, and a barometer. The resulting data provides real-time and post-ride analysis of aerodynamics and rider position. (The latter is even more accurate with optional body sensors.)
Craziest part: This will be a consumer product when it launches next year, available both integrated into Argon 18 bikes and as an aftermarket unit for any road or tri bike. There’s no name at the moment. The company is just calling it the Smart Bike internally but will launch with a new product name. Pricing isn’t set, either, but the goal is to have it priced comparably to current power meters.
Marc Graveline, the retired engineer and tech executive who developed the system, says final production versions will be much smaller. The prototype unit is oversized to allow engineers to easily swap out components. (Graveline retired young and is an avid triathlete, which led him to this project. Side note: he is also the one behind building a dream work environment for triathletes as part of Hybris’ EnduranceCrew concept.)
While data, including aerodynamic drag, can be displayed in real time on a Garmin head unit, post-ride data playback will include rider animations showing how shifts in position affect drag and power output.
Basically, if the system works as advertised, the data that people can currently get only in low-speed wind tunnels will now be available on every single ride. That’s worth geeking out about.
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