Se affermiamo che "l'Aerodinamica è tutto", lo diciamo sul serio. E' il motivo per cui abbiamo costruita la nostra galleria del vento che viene utilizzata per ogni design, in modo da poter fornire vantaggi in termini di prestazioni per ogni nostro prodotto.

Innovazione

Aero is Everything

La resistenza all'aria è la forza più grande che influisce sul ciclista e l'unico modo per non subirla è quello di fermarsi completamente. Quindi riuscire a diminuire l'impatto di questa forza anche solo in minima parte è essenziale. I nostri esperti di aerodinamica gestiscono con destrezza i loro 'strumenti' come il CFD, la fluidodinamica computazionale e il DAQ, il sistema di acquisizione dati sulla bici. Queste tecnologie, insieme alla galleria del vento, la Win Tunnel, sono tutte a disposizione del team a Morgan Hill, nella Sede di Specialized. L'innovazione in termini di aerodinamica può accadere a maggiore velocità e i nostri prodotti diventano sempre più veloci.Chris Yu, Mark Cote, Chris D’Aluisio, Cameron Piper e Chuck Teixeira insieme possono vantare ben 50 anni di esperienza in questo campo, ed hanno passato complessivamente oltre 20.000 ore nella galleria del vento. La loro presenza in Specialized è un fattore unico e cruciale per lo sviluppo della tecnologia con metodi incredibilmente innovativi. Se le prove in galleria del vento sono a portata di mano, semplicemente attraversando la strada come nel nostro caso, è probabile riuscire a rendere i campioni del Downhill ancora più veloci. E’ una libertà che favorisce l’innovazione. Il nostro team è in grado di stravolgere le tradizioni, testare ogni strana idea che venga loro in mente, non sono costretti a volare a San Diego per fare poche prove tesi solo a confermare quello che i modelli prevedevano.

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.