Go Back  Bike Forums > Bike Forums > General Cycling Discussion
Reload this Page >

Real-Time On-Bike Headwind Indicator

Notices
General Cycling Discussion Have a cycling related question or comment that doesn't fit in one of the other specialty forums? Drop on in and post in here! When possible, please select the forum above that most fits your post!

Real-Time On-Bike Headwind Indicator

Old 08-25-22, 12:24 PM
  #1  
tessellahedron
Junior Member
Thread Starter
 
Join Date: Jun 2022
Posts: 115
Mentioned: 1 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 77 Post(s)
Liked 5 Times in 5 Posts
Real-Time On-Bike Headwind Indicator

I live in an area with high winds and very unreliable forecasts. I can't stand going out on a ride with supposedly 6mph winds and finding the wind so strong that it ruins the ride. I thought maybe it would help to have a real time indicator of wind on the bike.

unfortunately it doesn't work. The screen on the anemometer can't be read while sitting on the bike outdoors unless it's in direct sun. The phone display, in addition to covering my smartphone bike computer app, is too small to read without crouching and squinting.

the anemometer doesn't indicate wind direction so I'd have to sort that out in my head based on my speed and the reading. I haven't tested it enough to know how much hassle that would be.

I'm probably returning all this stuff.

the CdaCrr app with weathermeter anemometer looks really good but it's not what I'm looking for, I want a bike computer with bluetooth anemometer compatibility. CdaCrr looks looks like it's intended for recording runs and analyzing later.

And as awesome as I'm sure the $300+ power meters are, I can't justify spending that much and I'm not sure they display real time wind anyway.

so then I thought about making my own, maybe a weighted vane design.

has anyone else dealt with this problem? Any suggestions? I estimate that in the past year the wind has ruined more than half the days for biking. The anemometer won't change that but it could help psychologically and make it more tolerable, until the day I can move.
tessellahedron is offline  
Old 08-25-22, 12:30 PM
  #2  
tessellahedron
Junior Member
Thread Starter
 
Join Date: Jun 2022
Posts: 115
Mentioned: 1 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 77 Post(s)
Liked 5 Times in 5 Posts

Weighted vane. Need to redesign for appropriate range and readability.
tessellahedron is offline  
Old 08-25-22, 12:35 PM
  #3  
Bald Paul
Senior Member
 
Bald Paul's Avatar
 
Join Date: Sep 2017
Location: Upstate SC
Posts: 1,080
Mentioned: 3 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 511 Post(s)
Liked 1,006 Times in 464 Posts
If it seems too windy to ride when you start out, then don't ride.
An anemometer really isn't going to help you much if you're out riding, and suddenly the wind picks up. You'll know when that happens without the instrument. Power meters measure watts you are pushing through the crankset, not wind, although your watts will be higher into a headwind vs. flats for the same road speed.
I'm not aware of any bike computers that are compatible with an anemometer. BTW, where do you live where's it so windy it ruins half your biking days?
Bald Paul is offline  
Likes For Bald Paul:
Old 08-25-22, 12:42 PM
  #4  
tessellahedron
Junior Member
Thread Starter
 
Join Date: Jun 2022
Posts: 115
Mentioned: 1 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 77 Post(s)
Liked 5 Times in 5 Posts
Originally Posted by Bald Paul View Post
If it seems too windy to ride when you start out, then don't ride.
An anemometer really isn't going to help you much if you're out riding, and suddenly the wind picks up. You'll know when that happens without the instrument. Power meters measure watts you are pushing through the crankset, not wind, although your watts will be higher into a headwind vs. flats for the same road speed.
I'm not aware of any bike computers that are compatible with an anemometer. BTW, where do you live where's it so windy it ruins half your biking days?
it's usually not too bad at my apartment but then anywhere from 1/4 mile to 8 miles away it can kick in hard. The forecasts are all I have, and they're valid for wind direction only.

I'm 1.1 miles south and about 5 or 6 miles west of the NE corner of Colorado.
tessellahedron is offline  
Old 08-25-22, 12:45 PM
  #5  
mschwett 
please no more flats
 
Join Date: May 2021
Location: San Francisco
Posts: 1,025

Bikes: aethos, creo, vanmoof, public ...

Mentioned: 1 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 562 Post(s)
Liked 648 Times in 360 Posts
no idea where you live, but it's windy AF here most afternoons, with 30+ gusts crossing the bay and in exposed areas near the water. it's fairly predictable though, so i use the sailflow site, which has the most measuring stations i've seen publicly available, and includes charts over time for average, gust, and direction.

the charts over time can help you spot patterns. as cool as the idea of a weather station on your bike is, do you live somewhere where you really don't know before you set out if it's going to be windy? and if you hit a fierce headwind, you would know - and just turn around or deal, no?


mschwett is offline  
Likes For mschwett:
Old 08-25-22, 12:45 PM
  #6  
caloso
Senior Member
 
caloso's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2002
Location: Sacramento, California, USA
Posts: 40,809

Bikes: Specialized Tarmac, Canyon Exceed, Specialized Transition, Ellsworth Roots, Ridley Excalibur

Mentioned: 68 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 2929 Post(s)
Liked 3,012 Times in 1,379 Posts
A powermeter won't tell you anything about the wind, just the power you're putting into the bike. This is actually a benefit in a way. If you're doing power-based training, it doesn't matter how fast you go, just how much effort you give for the defined time interval. So on windy days, I'll do my work intervals into the wind. Psychologically it feels better to be pushing into the wind, and because you go slower (and therefore a shorter distance for a given time) it shortens the amount of road you need to complete the interval. It's changed my attitude towards windy days--now instead of ruining a ride, it feels like a good day to work.
caloso is offline  
Likes For caloso:
Old 08-25-22, 12:47 PM
  #7  
Pinelander
Roadie
 
Pinelander's Avatar
 
Join Date: Aug 2010
Location: Southern NJ
Posts: 67
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 23 Post(s)
Liked 50 Times in 27 Posts
I have the same problems in the open farmland where I ride. Accuweather says 4 MPH and I swear I hit long stretches of 15 MPH headwinds. Humidity seems to add a few more degrees of difficulty. The real problem is that no matter what direction I go in, I always seem to be going into the wind!
Pinelander is offline  
Likes For Pinelander:
Old 08-25-22, 12:49 PM
  #8  
mschwett 
please no more flats
 
Join Date: May 2021
Location: San Francisco
Posts: 1,025

Bikes: aethos, creo, vanmoof, public ...

Mentioned: 1 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 562 Post(s)
Liked 648 Times in 360 Posts
Originally Posted by tessellahedron View Post
it's usually not too bad at my apartment but then anywhere from 1/4 mile to 8 miles away it can kick in hard. The forecasts are all I have, and they're valid for wind direction only.

I'm 1.1 miles south and about 5 or 6 miles west of the NE corner of Colorado.
sailflow might help you. there are a few stations nearby.

mschwett is offline  
Likes For mschwett:
Old 08-25-22, 12:55 PM
  #9  
tessellahedron
Junior Member
Thread Starter
 
Join Date: Jun 2022
Posts: 115
Mentioned: 1 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 77 Post(s)
Liked 5 Times in 5 Posts
Holy cow that sailflow site may just solve my problem.

unless it's crank based I think your power meter has to have a wind reading. Maybe not user accessible.

Kinda like your power training, my plan was to get a wind reading and then when I'm biking just think of the wind as invisible hills and valleys, and when it gets ****** just tell myself I'm climbing higher than the Rockies (only like 14.5k'). Either shorten the ride or just know I did a lot more effort.
tessellahedron is offline  
Old 08-25-22, 12:58 PM
  #10  
tessellahedron
Junior Member
Thread Starter
 
Join Date: Jun 2022
Posts: 115
Mentioned: 1 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 77 Post(s)
Liked 5 Times in 5 Posts
There's a station north of Ovid on road 29 and I wanted the data from it but didn't know where to look. Unfortunately it's not on sailflow either.

maybe it's private? It's all farms around here.
tessellahedron is offline  
Old 08-25-22, 01:01 PM
  #11  
msu2001la
Senior Member
 
msu2001la's Avatar
 
Join Date: Mar 2006
Location: Midwest
Posts: 2,169
Mentioned: 2 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 1032 Post(s)
Liked 1,020 Times in 592 Posts
I find apps like Windy and Sailflow to work pretty well at forecasting wind speed and direction. I also have a general weather radar app that includes a wind direction layer on it that is usually pretty accurate.
I use these when heading out on a ride to decide which direction I want to go. I like to start into the wind so I get a tailwind on the way home, whenever possible. My rides start in the city so often the wind is doing something different once I get out away from trees/buildings so I can't always rely on the "look outside and see which way the wind is blowing" technique.

I'm not sure a handheld windspeed indicator is going to provide much valuable info once you're out on the bike. At that point, you've already made the decision to ride and selected a direction. If a headwind or crosswind is too stiff, you just turn around. I'm not sure why you'd need to see data to confirm that decision.
msu2001la is offline  
Likes For msu2001la:
Old 08-25-22, 01:08 PM
  #12  
mschwett 
please no more flats
 
Join Date: May 2021
Location: San Francisco
Posts: 1,025

Bikes: aethos, creo, vanmoof, public ...

Mentioned: 1 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 562 Post(s)
Liked 648 Times in 360 Posts
Originally Posted by tessellahedron View Post
Holy cow that sailflow site may just solve my problem.

unless it's crank based I think your power meter has to have a wind reading. Maybe not user accessible.

Kinda like your power training, my plan was to get a wind reading and then when I'm biking just think of the wind as invisible hills and valleys, and when it gets ****** just tell myself I'm climbing higher than the Rockies (only like 14.5k'). Either shorten the ride or just know I did a lot more effort.
power meters measure the force applied at the pedal, crank arm, or crank spindle. that combined with the rotational speed of the crank is power. they do not measure anything else at all - not even speed. certainly not direction or wind!
mschwett is offline  
Likes For mschwett:
Old 08-25-22, 01:09 PM
  #13  
tessellahedron
Junior Member
Thread Starter
 
Join Date: Jun 2022
Posts: 115
Mentioned: 1 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 77 Post(s)
Liked 5 Times in 5 Posts
Originally Posted by msu2001la View Post
I find apps like Windy and Sailflow to work pretty well at forecasting wind speed and direction. I also have a general weather radar app that includes a wind direction layer on it that is usually pretty accurate.
I use these when heading out on a ride to decide which direction I want to go. I like to start into the wind so I get a tailwind on the way home, whenever possible. My rides start in the city so often the wind is doing something different once I get out away from trees/buildings so I can't always rely on the "look outside and see which way the wind is blowing" technique.

I'm not sure a handheld windspeed indicator is going to provide much valuable info once you're out on the bike. At that point, you've already made the decision to ride and selected a direction. If a headwind or crosswind is too stiff, you just turn around. I'm not sure why you'd need to see data to confirm that decision.
mostly to have a quantitative indicator. Otherwise I just wonder if I'm more tired than usual or just feeling lazy.
tessellahedron is offline  
Old 08-25-22, 01:10 PM
  #14  
tessellahedron
Junior Member
Thread Starter
 
Join Date: Jun 2022
Posts: 115
Mentioned: 1 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 77 Post(s)
Liked 5 Times in 5 Posts
Originally Posted by mschwett View Post
power meters measure the force applied at the pedal, crank arm, or crank spindle. that combined with the rotational speed of the crank is power. they do not measure anything else at all - not even speed. certainly not direction or wind!
in the 80s... from what I read anyway.

now they use gps, accelerometers, a pitot tube, temperature sensor, barometer, e.t.c.
tessellahedron is offline  
Old 08-25-22, 01:17 PM
  #15  
asgelle
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Apr 2006
Location: Albuquerque, NM
Posts: 4,382
Mentioned: 11 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 921 Post(s)
Liked 361 Times in 220 Posts
Originally Posted by tessellahedron View Post
in the 80s... from what I read anyway.

now they use gps, accelerometers, a pitot tube, temperature sensor, barometer, e.t.c.
We are now at the tipping point for performance art.
asgelle is offline  
Likes For asgelle:
Old 08-25-22, 01:17 PM
  #16  
WhyFi
Senior Member
 
WhyFi's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2010
Location: TC, MN
Posts: 39,220

Bikes: R3 Disc, Haanjo

Mentioned: 353 Post(s)
Tagged: 1 Thread(s)
Quoted: 20502 Post(s)
Liked 9,216 Times in 4,566 Posts
Originally Posted by tessellahedron View Post
unless it's crank based I think your power meter has to have a wind reading. Maybe not user accessible.
Direct force power meters, which are the vast majority in use, use strain gauges - no wind wizardry needed. There's are some meters, like the PowerPod, that infer power by way of incorporating air speed, bike speed, acceleration, slope, etc. I would assume that you'd be able to easily tease out wind speed with one of those devices, but I don't know - meaning I've never looked for it - if that's a data field that head unit manufacturers have embraced/made available.
WhyFi is offline  
Old 08-25-22, 01:18 PM
  #17  
caloso
Senior Member
 
caloso's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2002
Location: Sacramento, California, USA
Posts: 40,809

Bikes: Specialized Tarmac, Canyon Exceed, Specialized Transition, Ellsworth Roots, Ridley Excalibur

Mentioned: 68 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 2929 Post(s)
Liked 3,012 Times in 1,379 Posts
Originally Posted by tessellahedron View Post
in the 80s... from what I read anyway.

now they use gps, accelerometers, a pitot tube, temperature sensor, barometer, e.t.c.
In the 20's, from looking at the Quarq and Stages PMs on my bikes. I've never seen a bike power meter with a pitot tube or barometer.
caloso is offline  
Old 08-25-22, 01:19 PM
  #18  
WhyFi
Senior Member
 
WhyFi's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2010
Location: TC, MN
Posts: 39,220

Bikes: R3 Disc, Haanjo

Mentioned: 353 Post(s)
Tagged: 1 Thread(s)
Quoted: 20502 Post(s)
Liked 9,216 Times in 4,566 Posts
Originally Posted by tessellahedron View Post
Kinda like your power training, my plan was to get a wind reading and then when I'm biking just think of the wind as invisible hills and valleys, and when it gets ****** just tell myself I'm climbing higher than the Rockies (only like 14.5k'). Either shorten the ride or just know I did a lot more effort.
Crazy idea: instead of using wind as a half-ass proxy for effort, why not get a power meter to directly measure effort?
WhyFi is offline  
Likes For WhyFi:
Old 08-25-22, 01:21 PM
  #19  
icemilkcoffee 
Senior Member
 
icemilkcoffee's Avatar
 
Join Date: Aug 2009
Posts: 1,548
Mentioned: 8 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 896 Post(s)
Liked 798 Times in 481 Posts
A pitot tube is what you need. This is commonly used on boats as speed sensors.
icemilkcoffee is offline  
Old 08-25-22, 01:22 PM
  #20  
mschwett 
please no more flats
 
Join Date: May 2021
Location: San Francisco
Posts: 1,025

Bikes: aethos, creo, vanmoof, public ...

Mentioned: 1 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 562 Post(s)
Liked 648 Times in 360 Posts
Originally Posted by tessellahedron View Post
in the 80s... from what I read anyway.

now they use gps, accelerometers, a pitot tube, temperature sensor, barometer, e.t.c.
in the 80s? what?

no, the vast majority of power meters do NOT use gps, pitot tubes, etc. they must have internal accelerometers (or similar) in order to deduce speed of rotation, which they report as cadence, but all other sensors (like temperature) are for calibrating the strain gauges and nothing more.
mschwett is offline  
Old 08-25-22, 01:24 PM
  #21  
asgelle
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Apr 2006
Location: Albuquerque, NM
Posts: 4,382
Mentioned: 11 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 921 Post(s)
Liked 361 Times in 220 Posts
Originally Posted by mschwett View Post
... but all other sensors (like temperature) are for calibrating the strain gauges and nothing more.
Which power meters have temperature sensors at the strain gauges (rather than in the head unit)?
asgelle is offline  
Old 08-25-22, 01:26 PM
  #22  
tessellahedron
Junior Member
Thread Starter
 
Join Date: Jun 2022
Posts: 115
Mentioned: 1 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 77 Post(s)
Liked 5 Times in 5 Posts
Originally Posted by WhyFi View Post
Direct force power meters, which are the vast majority in use, use strain gauges - no wind wizardry needed. There's are some meters, like the PowerPod, that infer power by way of incorporating air speed, bike speed, acceleration, slope, etc. I would assume that you'd be able to easily tease out wind speed with one of those devices, but I don't know - meaning I've never looked for it - if that's a data field that head unit manufacturers have embraced/made available.
exactly my point. For $299 (up to $600) the consumer should have access to everything, but that doesn't mean they do. I don't have $299 for it anyway. Power pods has a competitor in the same price range but I forgot their name.

Imagine flat highway as far as you can see, you're pedaling hard but barely moving. No speedometer, no wind meter, and you'd be kind of like AARGH WTF right? I thought this was a fairly normal reaction, and the logical next thought is, "how fast is this accursed wind anyway?" "What would be my equivalent ride distance with no wind?" "At what wind level do I give up?"
tessellahedron is offline  
Old 08-25-22, 01:28 PM
  #23  
BlazingPedals
Senior Member
 
BlazingPedals's Avatar
 
Join Date: Dec 2004
Location: Middle of da Mitten
Posts: 12,262

Bikes: Trek 7500, RANS V-Rex, Optima Baron, Velokraft NoCom, M-5 Carbon Highracer, Catrike Speed

Mentioned: 14 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 1424 Post(s)
Liked 632 Times in 394 Posts
Meh. If you're riding at, say, 200 watts, a headwind will slow you down and a tailwind will speed you up. But it's still 200 watts.
BlazingPedals is offline  
Likes For BlazingPedals:
Old 08-25-22, 01:29 PM
  #24  
tessellahedron
Junior Member
Thread Starter
 
Join Date: Jun 2022
Posts: 115
Mentioned: 1 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 77 Post(s)
Liked 5 Times in 5 Posts
Originally Posted by mschwett View Post
in the 80s? what?

no, the vast majority of power meters do NOT use gps, pitot tubes, etc. they must have internal accelerometers (or similar) in order to deduce speed of rotation, which they report as cadence, but all other sensors (like temperature) are for calibrating the strain gauges and nothing more.
you're taking about a different type of power meter. I only researched handlebar mounted devices because the others clearly wouldn't have a wind reading. The only crank based one I saw was a really old picture.
tessellahedron is offline  
Old 08-25-22, 01:32 PM
  #25  
mschwett 
please no more flats
 
Join Date: May 2021
Location: San Francisco
Posts: 1,025

Bikes: aethos, creo, vanmoof, public ...

Mentioned: 1 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 562 Post(s)
Liked 648 Times in 360 Posts
Originally Posted by asgelle View Post
Which power meters have temperature sensors at the strain gauges (rather than in the head unit)?
i don't personally have one, but for example quarq touts their real-time calibration, able to adapt to temperature changes during a ride.

from the DCR review:

With a Quarq DZero unit the company does their 10K temperature compensation for each unit that leaves the factory, which means they record how the unit responds to a massive temperature range, ensuring higher levels of accuracy at any cycleable temperature level.
and other internet chatter about how different units respond to temperature changes:

With regards to temperature compensation, German road bike mag TOUR has a powermeter test in its current issue. Lab and field tests which included temperature sensitivity tests (lab). They always take an engineering approach to testing.

They concluded that the Dzero temp compensation does not really handle larger temperature changes very well. The competition seems to do this better (Infocrank, 2Inpower, SRM, P2M NG). Now I’m a little bit concerned about my Dzero’s accuracy.
if you think about how a strain gauge works, reasonable to think it would need to know the temperature to correlate the response of the material to power, right?
mschwett is offline  

Thread Tools
Search this Thread

Contact Us - Archive - Advertising - Cookie Policy - Privacy Statement - Terms of Service - Do Not Sell My Personal Information -

Copyright © 2022 MH Sub I, LLC dba Internet Brands. All rights reserved. Use of this site indicates your consent to the Terms of Use.