Cycling Wind Tunnel

Welcome to our Cycling Wind Tunnel. We are Silverstone Sports Engineering Hub (SSEH) located at Silverstone Park.

SSEH was launched in 2019 and is a research and development facility for use by sports professionals, teams, coaches and companies wishes to test and develop bikes and associated cycling components.

The Hub was created by Aerodynamic and Computational Fluid Dynamics experts TotalSim Ltd. Through their extensive experience working with Team GB and other elite athletes, they discovered a need for affordable, bespoke sports engineering tools.

Would you like to know more about our tunnel? If you’d like to arrange a meeting to discuss your requirements do not hesitate to contact us on 01327 222830. We’d be happy to answer your questions.

If you’d like to find out more about the launch of SSEH see our news page- http://silverstonesportshub.co.uk/2019/09/19/sseh-officially-open/

Athlete in the cycling wind tunnel at Silverstone Sports Engineering Hub.
Athlete in the SSEH cycling wind tunnel.

Hows does a Cycling Wind Tunnel work?

Tunnel Aperture and Screens – Air is drawn into the tunnel and passes through honeycomb screens followed by fine wire mesh. Aerodynamic testing only works if the flow that arrives at the rider is “clean” with minimal turbulence. Therefore these screens smooth the air flow and reduce turbulence.

Contraction – As the wind tunnel narrows, it accelerates the airflow to the desired test speed and helps to further control turbulence. The walls in this section must be very smooth and curved shape is designed to provide an even air flow approaching the cyclist.

Test Section – In the test section, the airflow meets the athlete. The open-jet configuration allows the air to spread around the cyclist, replicating on-road conditions. Live data is projected on the floor in front of the athlete during testing, including real-time position monitoring.

Live data projection in the Cycling Wind Tunnel

The Ergo – The bike is attached to the ergometer (the ergo) in the centre of the flow. Although, it may look like a regular section of floor, the ergo is responsible for all force measurements during a test section. The ergo can be rotated “yawed”to reproduce crosswinds.

The collector – which is situated behind the rider, is shaped to capture the flow from the test section and guide it towards the fan. This ensures the fan works as efficiently as possible. The fan, measuring 2.5m diameter recirculates air around the building.

The Diffuser – the final part of the cycling wind tunnel is the diffuser. The gradual increase in width of the diffuser slows the airflow down before it circulates around the outside of the tunnel and eventually back to the aperture and screens, to reduce power requirements.