Device on bike to measure wind?

Where I live, there are many open areas with a lot of wind. I always try to plan my route carefully using weather information (e.g., avoid head winds when possible).

I have found, however, that local weather information is not accurate. For instance, headwind is often shifted 10-15 degrees. For example, if the weather info reads north-west, it often feels like north/north-east.

Now, I looked around and it seems that wind is very erratic and there is a lot of local wind variation. Especially where I live, there are a lot of intermittend wind bursts.

Thus, I am wondering: are there devices that measure wind that you could take with you on your bike? I would be interested to plot measured wind strength alongside my ride information.

Yep - it’s called your speed and power data! :grinning: :grinning: - sorry - no I don’t know of any because I would imagine it would be skewed by your speed of movement as all normal wind gauges are stationary.

hmm, I live in a similar area, its flat and winds are usually from southwest and often strong and gusty. The head winds are my friend, and make it easy to simulate climbing.

Look at wunderground.com and see how many amateur weather stations are near your route. Not everyone with a weather station has a wind gauge. Some have wind gauges but not mounted in good location. Accuracy of amateur weather stations is also something you need to look at.

I don’t know of anything you could use on your bike. However, I use Windy (the app on my phone and the website). I live in a more hilly area but near a lot of canyons so it gets pretty breezy. That way I can make sure I go out into the headwind first so I get a quick ride home :slight_smile: . I’ve used the app and website for a while now and while it’s not perfect, it does a decent job of wind direction and you can zoom in and see which areas might be more windy than others.

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Epic Ride Weather is a cycling-specific app for detailed local weather info. Not sure how well it aligns with your specific needs but pretty cool…

Modern aircraft have flight management computers (FMCs) which compute the wind in flight by comparing the aircraft’s airspeed and heading, to its actual ground-speed and ground-track (in a nutshell… don’t want to get too technical). This value can be obtained and displayed on the Navigation Display (ND) or Primary Flight Display (PFD). In fact this data is often data-linked to weather services to help meteorologists with their forecasts:

You would need some sort of device (anemometer or sensitive dynamic pressure sensor) to measure the “relative wind” (speed, angle of attack to bike “track”), and those inputs would have to be fed into software. Or you could kick it old school like when student pilots are learning navigation and use a special slide rule type device to do it manually, but you really should be keeping both hands on the bars :wink: .

Not sure this exists for a cycling application.

I just look at flags, trees, grass, smoke, etc. and use my ears. :slightly_smiling_face:

Headwinds make you stronger, but yes, it is nice to have them at the outset and have a nice push on the way home.

I’ve thought about that, if you have a standard route and mostly ride in the same position (same tires, same pressure, etc) its possible to make an app that would estimate wind speed based on power and speed.

yes, intervals first to improve quality of workout!

Perhaps a Pitot tube mounted to your head tube would help in this calculation.

That’s exactly what I’m looking for – thanks!

Only now to make it smaller…

Velocomp makes devices measuring your wind resistance to calculate either your power output or aerodynamic drag. Not sure if they can also determine wind direction. (Also would probably be way to expensive, just for measuring wind)

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Wouldn’t wind measured on the bike just be the (vector) sum of speed and actual wind speed? You’d need to carry an anemometer.

It writes to your .fit file if you want as well. I love this field!

It does exist & copies the aeroplane stuff quite a lot. For example the velocomp ‘aeropod’ has a pitot tube to measure pressure forwards (actually 90 degrees to the handlebar) to get an air speed and it also connects to an Ant+ speed sensor to be able to subtract ground speed. I think the cheaper “powerpod” also do it.

The main limitation is that it’s very directional, so no good at cross winds. We all know cycling with a stiff crosswind is harder & this would miss that completely. You could have a 25mph crosswind and it would report 0 wind speed because it was the wrong vector. I’m guessing that planes always go significantly faster than the wind. Maybe helicopters?

Velocomp devices connect to Ant+ speed sensors so can subtract the ground speed, but without that it would be a combination.