RPT Has Arrived!

Posted: January 17, 2009 in KestrelBlog

RPT or Rapid Prototype

Well it’s here.  The first step towards the new Kestrel TT bike.  A RPT is really a plastic mold of your future bike frame and fork.  What it means to me is that I get to head to the A2 Wind Tunnel to test it against my competitor’s frames and see how well or not well we do. 

My goal is to test it in what I call a fair presentation.  I’m doing this on the basis that most people will ride a stock by out of the box from their dealer.  OTB as I am calling it.  There are many ways to test in the tunnel my first test will be frame against frame, then exact bike against bike, meaning same parts will be installed and then my final test will be exactly how the consumer will get it out of the box.  Meaning, if I spec SRAM Red with Zipp bars and brand X specs Dura Ace and Profile, I want to test the complete bikes against each other.  This way, I run 3 real tests with the final test being what the consumer can really expect.

Hopefully, our test goes well and I head back to China in 2 weeks to make some final tweaks and move toward the final frame design.  How realisitic will this be?  Unlikely as I have told my tech guy Bill.  It usually takes 2-3 sessions in the tunnel and 2-3 RPT’s to get it right so it’s many trips to China and many trips to Carolina.

But, this is what I love to do so I’m really excited to present this bike in 2010.  The new frame design looks awesome and overall comments have been very positive.  Lots of little designs that will really reduce wind drag and provide the rider with a very comfortable ride.

That’s it for now.  Stop back in a week and I’ll have some sneak peak pics for everyone to see.

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