Air Density – Now On Strava via Klimat Weather
This is one of those stories where you don’t really have to read much beyond the self-explanatory title.
But you did, so here goes.
Klimat is a free Strava add-in which automatically adds various weather details to the description of your completed Strava workouts. If you are particularly interested in segment leaderboards then you will certainly have already realised that wind direction plays a fundamental role in determining your time.
I’m interested in that but I’m also perhaps more interested in lap times around my local park which just so happens to be the UK’s Richmond Park which is one of the most cycled places on Earth (literally it is, according to Strava). The effect of wind direction on a loop is less obvious than in a straight line. Other factors come into play like which section of the loop is in wind shadows caused by buildings, trees and the like. It’s pretty hard to model that and I certainly don’t have the time, inclination or skill to do it. Others have and, for your information, wind direction and loop direction don’t make that much difference to your Richmond Park loop times. The only times it does make a noticeable difference are when there is an Easterly or Westerly… basically, you want the wind behind you on the big long straight between Richmond Gate and Roehampton Gate.
That waffle leads me circuitously back to air density. My long-held suspicion is that air density makes a quite significant difference to my loop times and, obviously, the air density affects me pretty much equally throughout the entire 11k loop. Whilst a judicious selection of favourable wind directions and my ever-improving TT bike kit have kept my lap times respectable despite my declining fitness, I strongly suspect that some of my better times could easily have benefitted by 20 or 30 seconds from favourable air density.
Until now I didn’t really have easy access to that information tow work out if I’m on good form or just lucky with the weather.
I exchange the occasional email with Scott F the owner of Klimat and suggested to him that he should add air density. Bottom line: he just did, as the image above shows an example of my loops today. Apparently, air density is relatively easy to calculate and I’m surprised that the mainstream cycling platforms don’t have this information (or maybe I’ve missed it…obviously pro tools like BBS have it).
Air Density is now publically available for Klimaters. I have the paid-for account and you will also need one if you want the extra information after 90 workouts. I had to add a custom snippet in Klimat to tell the app what I wanted to add to my Strava descriptions (more info on that is here on your Klimat Weather Template)
On a related note, Scott also pointed out that most tools (but not all) only show air pressure at sea level and totally ignore your ride location…Klimat doesn’t.
Add Klimat to your Strava now. Even the free version is very nice to have.
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