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Analysis of a normal and aero helmet on an elite cyclist in the dropped position

1 Department of Sports Sciences, Higher Institute of Educational Sciences of the Douro, Penafiel, Portugal
2 Department of Sports Sciences, Polytechnic Institute of Bragança, Bragança, Portugal
3 Department of Sports Sciences, University of Beira Interior, Covilhã, Portugal
4 Research Center in Sports, Health and Human Development, Covilhã, Portugal

Topical Section: Biomechanics

Cyclists use to wear different helmets and adopt different body positions on the bicycle to minimize resistance. The aim of this study was to compare a standard helmet with the new aero road helmets in a bicycle-cyclist system by CFD on the dropped position. An elite level road cyclist volunteered to this research. The cyclist was scanned on his racing bicycle on the dropped position wearing competition gear and a standard helmet and an aero road helmet. A three-dimensional domain around the cyclist with 7 m of length, 2.5 m of width and 2.5 m of height and meshed with more than 43 million of prismatic and tetrahedral elements. The numerical simulations were conducted at 11.11 m/s. The numerical simulations outputs were viscous, pressure and total drag and coefficient of drag. The standard helmet presented a viscous drag of 10.52 N, a pressure drag of 16.51 N and a total drag of 21.98 N. The aero road helmet presented a pressure drag of 7.40 N, a viscous drag of 12.56 N and a total drag of 19.96 N. Moreover, the aero road helmet presented a lower viscous, pressure and total drag coefficient in comparison to the standard helmet. It is possible to conclude that an aero road helmet imposes less drag in comparison to a standard helmet.
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Keywords cycling; helmets; drag; dropped position

Citation: Pedro Forte, Daniel A Marinho, Tiago M Barbosa, Jorge E Morais. Analysis of a normal and aero helmet on an elite cyclist in the dropped position. AIMS Biophysics, 2020, 7(1): 54-64. doi: 10.3934/biophy.2020005

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