Les arguments marketing hyperboliques ne nous intéressent pas. L'aérodynamisme est véritablement tout pour nous. Cette philosophie est incarnée dans chacune de nos décisions de conception. C'est pourquoi nous fixons sans cesse de nouvelles normes pour proposer les produits les plus rapides sur le marché.

Innovation

Aero is Everything

La traînée aérodynamique est en effet la principale force qui affecte le cycliste, et comme la seule façon de l'éliminer complètement est de rester immobile, il est essentiel de la réduire partout où cela est possible. C'est pourquoi nous n'avons pas regardé à la dépense en mettant sur pieds une équipe d'aérodynamiciens dotés de tous les outils nécessaires (dynamique des fluides numérique, acquisition embarquée des données, sans oublier notre Win Tunnel construit spécialement pour eux juste en face de notre siège californien de Morgan Hill). En mettant tout cet équipement à la disposition des esprits les plus novateurs de l'industrie cycliste, Specialized accélère l'innovation aérodynamique pour que vous soyez plus rapide, plus vite.Chris Yu, Mark Cote, Chris D’Aluisio, Camron Piper et Chuck Teixeira cumulent à eux cinq plus de 50 ans d'expérience aérodynamique et bien plus de 20 000 heures en soufflerie. Leur expertise et leur présence sur le terrain, en plus d'être inégalées, sont un facteur clé de développement et d'innovation. Quand on n'a pas besoin de prendre l'avion pour mener des essais en soufflerie, il est plus facile d’améliorer la pénétration dans l’air d'un garde-boue de vélo urbain ou d'un champion du monde de DH. Cette totale liberté a nourri une culture de l'innovation inédite dans l'industrie cycliste. Autrement dit, notre équipe est libre de secouer les conservatismes ; elle n'a pas besoin de réserver une journée d'essai dans la soufflerie de San Diego pour confirmer des angles de lacet modélisés.

TOOLS OF THE TRADE

The Win Tunnel

Of course, the lynchpin to our whole aero operation is our very own Win Tunnel. Designed and built to our own exacting standards, it's the world's finest cycling-specific wind tunnel. We optimized it for real bike speeds, and it's large enough to allow us to test multiple riders at once, simulating group situations, like the peloton or a team time trial. Its proximity to the team enables us to conveniently test things without concern to cost or time, so we have the freedom to test everything that we make—from a commuting helmet, to clothing, and everything in between. And since it's also used as an educational facility, there’s room for our fitters and retailers to observe and learn from testing, which directly impacts product development and your experience in the local bike shop.

The FreeFoil Shape Library

Surprisingly, our quest for perfect tube shapes don't always start in the Win Tunnel. With the latest Venge, we started with a new piece of technology that we call the FreeFoil Shape Library. Our engineers wrote an optimization algorithm and utilized a supercomputer (yes, we used an actual supercomputer) to help create new airfoil shapes with different weights, surface areas, and structural targets. Armed with this library of shapes, all with different aspect ratios, we were able to plug them into the different parts of the bike and test a variety of configurations to determine the fastest setup in the Win Tunnel. And moving forward, this methodology is being applied to nearly all of our bikes and components. So, with a little help from some Silicon Valley supercomputing, we're discovering the new shapes of speed.

Computational Fluid Dynamics (CFD)

We're not alone in our usage of CFD, which allows aerodynamicists, like Chris Yu, to play in a virtual space with a range of shapes and surfaces. With it, he can easily simulate the flow of various fluids across shapes of his choosing to test their aerodynamic performance. CFD allows us to see, via simulation, things you can’t see in the real world, like tiny "bits" of drag on a frame. It’s an extremely handy way of predicting aero behaviors. Where our usage diverges from the norm, however, is that we're able to discard designs that are total duds before developing prototypes for testing in our Win Tunnel. Of course, we're in a unique position, in that, we're able to design and test in CFD in the morning, 3D-print a prototype in the afternoon, and test in the Win Tunnel before the day is done.

Data Acquisition (DAQ)

Then there's our own DAQ system. Used on both the road and the velodrome, DAQ takes data from power, speed, rider position, and the direction of wind, and it measures the true coefficient of aerodynamic drag on the rider. Information gleaned from this testing enables us to advise our Body Geometry Fit team, racing staff, and the athletes themselves on changes to their position that'll improve performance. And while the Win Tunnel can certainly be more precise, there's nothing quite like combining what we learn there with real-world riding.