The Wind-Tunnel Myth

The world’s biggest bike companies have spent decades perpetuating a myth: that wind tunnel data is the most definitive test of a bike’s quality and design. “Looking to be a better rider?” they claim, “our bikes can save you X number of seconds over a 40 km time trial. Here, just look at our tunnel tests...”

 

It’s a charade. That number almost never translates to race day. Sure, it might be applicable to riders with the right height and weight and power output, riding on normal course profiles, in normal weather conditions, on Wednesdays, in March…

 

For the average customer, it just doesn’t add up. Riders buy equipment thinking it’ll make them faster—but it never really makes a difference for the average racer.

Still, the industry spends endless time and a mountain of resources developing more and more sophisticated disc wheels...that can only be used by a fraction of riders in the field.

 

That’s where we come in.

 

The only real question a rider has here is: “will I go faster?. That’s it. Can this bike help me reach my potential? Everything else is noise. With traditional equipment, the best answer has always been, “it depends”.

 

We don’t think that’s good enough.

 

That’s why our bikes are designed for the real world, for the real conditions our riders race in. And that’s starts with designing our bikes to work with the wind, rather than against it.

The typical large company makes their bikes with the intention of becoming invisible to the wind. It’s an impossible game to win. The results are bikes that have most riders struggling against crosswinds and wasting valuable energy just to stay on a line.

 

Since then we’ve gone to the wind tunnel a couple of times, revised the shape of the rim and tested different materials to come up with something pretty good.

 

Wind tunnel test showed that as the yaw angle increased the drag dropped. This is because it was using the wind to produce its own thrust . The wheel also did not stall as a typical disc wheel would. We also tested for absorption of wind gusts and stability in high Yaw angles.

 

The wheel adapts to the wind so that the rider doesn’t have to.

 

Wheel choice was always infuriating to me because as a lightweight rider, I could never race any of the truly aerodynamic equipment without a performance detriment. There was always a tradeoff of aerodynamics vs both weight and stability. Deeper section rims were not only a lot heavier, but they were unstable in the wind. Light riders did not produce the power to accelerate and carry the additional weight of deeper section wheels and still get that advantage… And you were also always fighting against Crosswinds and trying to not blow across the road. A lot of your energy was being spent on trying to stabilize or re-stabilize the bike rather than just going forward.