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We're not interested in hyperbolic marketing claims. To us, aero truly is everything. It's an ethos embodied in every design decision we make, and it's why we're continually setting new benchmarks for the world's fastest products.
Aerodynamic drag, after all, is the single biggest force affecting a cyclist, and since the only way to eliminate completely is to stop moving, reducing every bit of it is critical. That's why we've spared no expense in building a team of aerodynamic experts and giving them whatever tools they asked for to get the job done—Computational Fluid Dynamics (CFD), on-bike Data Acquisition (DAQ), and of course, building them their very own Win Tunnel across the street from our main office in Morgan Hill, California. Add it all up, and having all of this at the disposal of the industry's most innovative minds makes aerodynamic innovation occur at greater speed, making you faster than ever in less time.Chris Yu, Mark Cote, Chris D’Aluisio, Camron Piper, and Chuck Teixeira—between them, this aerodynamic-tour-de-force has over fifty years of aero experience and well over 20,000 hours in wind tunnels. Their expertise and presence is not only unique, but a key component in continuing to move the science forward in new ways. After all, when your tunnel time calls for a walk across the street, not a trip to the airport, you can make commuter fenders and Downhill World Champions faster. It's total freedom, and this has bred a culture of innovation unknown to the cycling industry. In other words, our team is free to push the buttons of the ideologues and poke the sleeping bears of unchallenged design principles, instead of booking a day in San Diego and only testing yaw angles to reinforce what our models predicted.
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.
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.
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.
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.