Swiss Side’s new pressure measurement rake doubles wind tunnel capability

Swiss Side has a new wind tunnel toy with lights and drag sensors to make your next bike (and possibly, car) faster.

by Ronan Mc Laughlin

photography by Swiss Side


Swiss aerodynamics expert and wheel manufacturer Swiss Side has given us a glimpse into its latest development in aerodynamic testing. In a post on its website, Swiss Side unveiled its new pressure measurement rake, which it claims is a game-changer in aero development and doubles its measurement capabilities in the wind tunnel.

We first saw Swiss Side testing real-world aero drag with pressure rakes more than two years ago. Now the company has slimed that rake down, detached it from the bike, and brought it into the wind tunnel.

We have all become more aware of the impact of aerodynamic drag over the past decade or so. The new pressure measurement rake enables Swiss Side, and those testing in its tunnel, to see a visual representation of aerodynamic drag clearly displayed with LED lights, and more importantly where the drag is coming from and with what intensity.

The rake uses 128 Kiel probes to measure the energy lost in the airflow behind an object, aka the aerodynamic drag. It displays this drag with 228 individually controlled LEDs which change colour depending on the measured drag. 

A completely new device developed in-house by Swiss Side, the rake moves across the airflow field behind the object/rider to assess the aero drag and its intensity across the measured area. With Swiss Side’s activities now reaching far beyond cycling and even into the automotive industry, the Swiss company of aero experts from around the world says the new device “provides a hugely valuable development tool for any application.” 

While most of us will never see the pressure measurement rake, or even get excited by the fact it exists, the rake could end up influencing the design of many bikes and cycling products. Almost weekly, we hear of Swiss Side’s involvement in designing some new product from a prominent cycling brand name – CanyonDT SwissStorck, and Simplon, to name but a few. The new pressure measurement rake indicates the level of expertise and development currently in Swiss Side, which these major cycling brands are harnessing to develop their latest and fastest offerings.

Furthermore, Swiss Side claims the data from the rake is helpful for correlation with CFD simulations to further improve that increasingly popular development and analysing process. That could mean faster bikes as well.

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