Turbine gets up Chris Froome’s nose

Interesting Engineering

Athletes are forever on the lookout for tech that can give them an advantage over competitors and cyclists are just one of the sports people where even the smallest of advantages can make a huge difference. We have seen cyclists wearing strips on their noses and these help them with breathing as they help to open up the airways. However, Team Sky and Chris Froome have gone a step further for the Tour de France by wearing a stent that has been specially designed by the name of the Turbine.


[Image Source: Turbine]

Rhinomed are the creators of the Turbine and they say that the tech allows around 38% more air through the nose of the wearer. The kit also gets the athlete thinking about their breathing and it doubles up as a bio-feedback stimulus.


[Image Source: Turbine]

The Turbine differs from the typical nose strips as it sits inside the nostrils and it is said to be more comfortable for wearing. The design of it was tested out on Chris Froome and his feedback when wearing it at the Vuelta a Espana. The athlete did suffer some issues with the original design of the Turbine and complained about it putting pressure on his septum. This saw the team going back to the drawing board and coming up with a brand new design.


[Image Source: Turbine]

The ratchet system of the Turbine was adjusted so that it would be more secure and comfortable, yet still gave athletes the chance to take asymmetry into account in their noses. Athletes rely on their noses for around 70% of breathing. However during exercise this drops to around 27% of airflow. The Turbine addresses this issue by making use of the Venturi principle.

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[Image Source: Turbine]

The Venturi Principle in physics is when air is passed through a tube and the tube has a hole in it, air is then intrained through that hole. If the size of the hole is increased, which in the case of athletes is their nose, then it’s possible to intrain more air. When resistance is reduced in the airway, the result is more air and less energy cost.

At the moment the benefits of using the Turbine are being explored at the Murdoch University in Western Australia.

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