Wattshop has launched the Minimoi, a lower priced (but not exactly cheap) version of its Anemoi ultra-aero cockpit system - as ridden by the brand's founder Dan Bigham when he broke the British individual pursuit record (opens in new tab).
According to Wattshop: “Born out of the extensive development of our Anemoi aero extension system, the Minimoi is designed to work with the industry standard 22.2mm pole clamps, bringing Anemoi aerodynamics to the vast majority of cockpits.”
Aerodynamic gains (opens in new tab) can be realised from reducing boundary layer separation between the arm and the pole - and the Anemoi system does that by fairing the forearm with carbon - but it is riddled with non-standard tube diameters meaning a large proportion of the original cockpit needs to be replaced - at a total cost of £1,070.
The new Minimoi extensions come in at £390, which is not cheap but around a third of the price of the Anemoi system - though that's without armrests.
But the primary advantage of the Minimoi extensions is that they can be popped into any cockpit with minimal faff since they have standard tube diameters. Regular computer mounts are also compatible.
The Minimois have a 100mm clamping zone and can be cut to length, so are also very adjustable.
On the ergonomic, forearm-supporting portion of the bar, Wattshop says: “A 40mm cross section along the main profile of the extensions provides both forearm support right up to the wrist kink and a clean transition of airflow from the extension to your forearm, reducing boundary layer separation, turbulence and, ultimately, aerodynamic drag”.
The extensions weigh a claimed 208g for the pair, though if you’re cutting them down then obviously that will obviously be reduced slightly.
As you would expect, Wattshop has accompanied the product launch with a plethora of aerodynamic data from wind tunnel testing. They tested them against a "comparable round profile extension set up". Personally, I’d like to see data comparing them with some of the more ergonomic options available on the market from Drag2Zero (opens in new tab)and AeroCoach (opens in new tab).
Compared to round extensions the Minimoi poles will save you "1.6 watts at 40kph, 3.2 watts at 50kph and 5.6 watts at 60kph." It’s probably fair to say that there are other, more cost-efficient aero gains to be made when looking at it from a pounds per watt perspective. At 50kph, the Minimoi extensions will save you 0.234s/km when averaged across all yaw angles these were tested at. If you’re very very fast, that’s around nine seconds over a 25-mile time trial.
Wattshop has joined a relatively crowded market of ‘cheaper’ extensions that have some aspect of ergonomics like the Minimoi extensions.
You can pre-order the Minimoi extension poles from Wattshop’s website (opens in new tab) with the first sets to be dispatched on the week of the July 25.
It will be interesting to see how many of these extensions are seen at time trials around the UK over the back half of the summer compared to the already popular Anemoi system.
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