The data captured by the ANT+ wireless sensors told the interested viewer how much effort the rider was putting in as they watched them compete on TV. For example, SRM’s ANT+ power meter simultaneously measures power and cadence (pedal rotation), which are indicators of how much work the rider is doing. During an attempt to break away from the peloton (the main pack of riders) or while climbing a mountain, rider power outputs will rise significantly.
Cadence can also indicate whether a cyclist is coasting in the peloton. When cruising the cadence is typically between 85 to 105 rpm, but when "hitching a ride" in the group (where the wind resistance is lowered because of the shielding afforded by other riders) the cadence can drop to 20 to 50 rpm, or even zero. Finally, a heart rate belt transmits beats per minute information: During a typical stage the competitors will burn 5,000 to 8,000 kcals and their heart rates will regularly reach 180-plus bpm. On a flat stage, the average speed over the typical 160 to 210 km distance can be as high as 45 km/hr.
The Tour de France riders' smartphones used new firmware to enable the ANT+ functionality that has not yet been released to consumers, but the handsets were otherwise identical to HTC Legend phones on the market today.
Renowned for exceptional pairing and the elimination of interference issues, ANT+ is a proven wireless connectivity solution and demonstrated its practicality during the rigors of the Tour de France setting.
ANT’s intention from day one has been to deliver a product that just works. Cycling is a phenomenal example of an industry where top players come together to find the very best end-to-end solutions. The Tour took this to a whole new level.
About the Author
Rod Morris is Director – ANT wireless. Rod can be contacted on firstname.lastname@example.org. For more on ANT go to www.thisisant.com.
Editor's Note: This item was first published in Nordic Semiconductor's ULP Wireless Quarter, Autumn 2010. For more information please go to www.nordicsemi.com.