Our partnership with Alphamantis and Retül: why it matters
Last week, Alphamantis and Retül announced our industry-first, tri-fold partnership. Through this collaboration, riders will be able to better understand the importance of bike fit (Retül), aerodynamic principles (Alphamantis), and their relationship to power (us). The relationship between these three key race and training components will be covered under a new course in Retül University's bike fit series for professional bike fitters: Positioned for Speed.
This partnership is unlike any other we've had. So we decided to sit down with PowerTap Product Manager, Justin Henkel, to learn more about this collaboration.
Q: What does this partnership mean for PowerTap and PowerTap riders?
There is little argument to the benefits of using a power meter for training purposes. This partnership helps take the application of power meters a step further, as owners of power meters start seeing that training analysis and prescription are just the tip of the iceberg.
Essentially, we are finding new ways to use the data that power meters provide—and aerodynamics is a really big one—especially since the largest force a cyclist has to overcome is aerodynamic drag.
Q: What is the relationship between aerodynamics, power, fit, and performance?
Fit is critical to aerodynamics and thus performance. A bad position on the bike can trump any benefit an athlete might get from equipment. Looking at cycling from a performance perspective: fit, power and aerodynamics are heavily dependent on one another. The bottom line is speed, and the goal is always to go faster.
Q: So how does one actually get faster?
I'm going to over-simplify it, but the basic components of going faster are:
- Maximizing an athlete's engine, i.e. increasing their ability to generate power.
- Reducing the environmental impacts to speed, of which aerodynamic drag is the largest.
Q: How do Alphamantis, Retül, and PowerTap specifically work together to create a faster ride?
Achieving the optimal fit is striking a balance between bio-mechanics and aerodynamics. This is easier said than done, which is why it is so important to seek out a professional—like a certified fitter from the Retül network. During the fit process, eye-balling and experience can go a long way to achieving a relatively good aero position—but not all ‘aero' looking positions are aero.
This is where the Alphamantis system comes in. Using a PowerTap to quantify a rider's output, along with their advanced timing system, and a lot of secret sauce they are able to calculate CdA (aerodynamic drag) to 3 decimal places. This accuracy is impressive, to say the least.
Again, this is grossly over-simplified, but fit and aerodynamics are directly related and power is used in the optimization of both.
Q: How did this partnership come about?
On a day to day basis, we focus on all things power. Whether it is how power meters are being used to make people faster, or the power meter itself. We have a vast interest and knowledge of power meter technology, including calculating drag.
When Alphamantis contacted us to discuss their product and expressed an interest in using PowerTap for testing due to our expertise, it piqued our interest. Knowing who they are and some of the things they've done in cycling already, we jumped at the chance to be a part of what they are doing. A few weeks later we were asked to help with the Positioned for Speed course put on by Retül and Alphamantis. Seeing the synergies at Positioned for Speed event made a partnership the next logical step.
Stay tuned for more on this industry-leading partnership. And if you're a bike fitter interested in learning more about the Positioned for Speed course or registering, visit their website.
Whether their customers are training or racing, PowerTap has everything cyclists need to measure power accurately.
Retül provides bike fit tools, technology and training to guide qualified bike fitters in making objective and comprehensive bike fit decisions.
Alphamantis improves performance with cutting-edge technology that tests aerodynamics in real time, while riding.