A2 Tunnel Visit.

Posted: June 19, 2009 in KestrelBlog

Me in the Tunnel

Visit to the A2 Windtunnel is always exciting for me. I love learning and even when you think you have it down pat, the tunnel will always surprise you! Plus, any time I get to go on a road trip, I’m really happy. I love driving and seeing the country. Morresville NC is a great town and Mike who I work with @ the tunnel is a great guy with lots of knowledge. I highly recommend a visit there if you are looking to get fast!

So…20 hours of driving for 5 hours in the tunnel. Worth it? It is when you just created the next generation Kestrel that is blowing away the competition.

The new Kestrel was designed, not just tested in the A2 Tunnel. A combination of engineering, industrial design work, and wind tunnel data has allowed Kestrel to create by all accounts, the fastest UCI legal TT bike/Triathlon bike that will surely see the podium in 2010.

The challenge has been to exceed expectations. The goal is to not only make a bike that is fast in the tunnel, but is fast in real world conditions.

I’ve focused on 4 primary goals:

1. Aerodynamic superiority
2. Enhanced ride characteristics
3. Rider comfort and fit
4. Engineering expertise

This wind tunnel time was spent testing our RPT – Rapid Prototypes, our current Airfoil Pro SE, and some of our competitor’s bikes. By doing this, I’m able to set a baseline against my competitor that I need to exceed. I tested at all angles, with wheels moving, both sides of the bike, up to 25 degree yaw (angle) and with different wheels, bars, components. I want to make sure that the frame is matched to the best fork. This may seem simple but after testing multiple forks, they each affect the frame differently. It is also the same with wheels. Some wheels react differently with the frame and fork design. Each part is tested including aero bars to determine what reacts with the frameset.

In the end, I am able to see the bike as a whole, not just the frameset. This is something that is extremely important to the end user. I can advise the customer on how a bar or wheel or component will change the aerodynamic characteristics. I call this the macro approach to building a bike.

So, next step is to open up tooling. This is the scary part! Once we open tooling, we have officially pushed the button. No changes after this. Next comes the riding samples that my pro athletes get to test and provide feedback. Carbon layup is very important here and I want to make sure my athletes find the stiffness and comfort to be correct. Laying up carbon is an artform. A bit more here, a bit less there can really change the ride characteristics. My engineer Boris is very skilled in this area and will help me to create the science here.

Graphics have been completed and I think they compliment the look and feel of the new frameset.

I’ll begin updating some sneak peak shots and the name soon.

It seems like we are almost there! Over a year and a half has gone into creating the new Kestrel. It’s going to be an awesome bike and I hope everyone is as happy as I am with the results.

  1. alan warburton says:

    new bike looks fantastic, when available in the UK do you expect? Do you have distribution here in uk if not i’d be interested to talk to you about that.

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