Andy Potts and the A2 Wind Tunnel

Posted: February 12, 2011 in KestrelBlog

One of my friends recently told me that my job must suck. Sarcasim aside, I really love my job. No, it’s not always perfect, but the fact that I get to wear running shoes (I own 53 pair and I don’t run), jeans and the occassional button down shirt, I think I have it fairly good.

This past week I spent Monday and Tuesday in the A2 Wind Tunnel with Andy Potts, Matty Reed, Herbert Krabel from Slowtwitch.com, Jeff Smith from Speedfil, Morgan Clark from All3sports.com, Chris Mesigian from Fuji, Eric Wynn, the best photographer I know, and Mike Girard from the A2 Tunnel.

I’ve been planning this trip since signing Andy Potts and since I also sponsor Matty Reed with Oval Concepts, I wanted him there as well. My boys from Speedfil also have a wicked cool product coming out and wanted them there to see how the bottle tested.

It was also cool hosting Herbert. He and I have a past that goes back to college days @ Temple University so it’s always fun catching up with him and hey, I think getting a bit of good press from Slowtwitch.com a bonus! Thanks Herbert for all your work last week! I’ll owe you a dinner in Kona this year!

And Morgan. Well, if you haven’t had the opportunity to meet her, do so. She’s one of the few female owners of a Triathlon Store (might be the only one) and she is wicked smart. Her store All3sports.com is one of the best in the industry and I’m fortunate to have her sponsor both Andy and Matt. All in all, she’s a rockstar with a kickass attitude. Now Morgan owes me dinner in Kona 🙂

OK, enough about the cool people. The A2 Tunnel is the shit. Yep, I went there. I love the place and having an aero expert in Mike Girard there is a huge bonus. Mike is able to offer advice from his many years in the tunnel and really helps me navigate my way to refining a fit that is both aero and powerful. This is always the key, combining aerodynamics with watts and making sure the athlete can maintain this position and then get off the bike and run.

With both Andy and Matt, we tested for over 4 hours each. It’s important to show them options. There is not a right or wrong, just options that can make you faster and each athlete has to be comfortable with the change in position and or products they use. I can make anyone fast in the tunnel but what I’m concerned with is learning the options of what if we did this or that. i.e. head down a bit, Speedfil bottle vs. Profile vs. standard bottle.

I can’t go into details but we came out of the tunnel saving them both some valuable time and learning a lot. I’m never satisfied thinking I know everything about aerodynamimcs but after many visits, I’m getting to be confident in my skills not just as a bike designer but also how the bike design and rider must work together.

If you want to see some of the pictures from our testing, visit slowtwitch.com. Pictures were taken courtesy of Herbert and I’ll be adding some more to the Kestrel Facebook page from both my Iphone and some from Eric Wynn.

As always, feel free to email me @ sharad@kestrelbicycles.com

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Comments
  1. Jeff Irvin says:

    nice post Steve, thanks for sharing!

    Where is the battery for the Di2 located on the 4000 LTD? And is there any difference in the wind tunnel testing with the Di2 vs SRAM or DA?

    Potts looks awesome on that bike!

  2. Kestrel Bicycles Admin says:

    Jeff,

    Andy’s test was move about his position. On the 4000, we found that placing the Battery on the left side chainstay was the most aero and provided the best position.

    Here’s the thing with wind tunnel data, you need to understand what it means so is Di2 more aero? Yes and no. Yes because there are no exposed wires but the front der negates some of the advantages you gain. What Di2 does do is make you faster due to cleaner shifts and quicker shifts. All that said, you can ask Mr. Potts the lesson I taught him about a rusty chain and how all the work in the tunnel only works if the bike is in perfect condition mechanically!

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