Specialized Unveils Bicycle Specific Wind Tunnel

By AlpineZone News |
May 21 2013 - 11:46 AM

SPECIALIZED BICYCLE-SPECIFIC WIND TUNNELCustom wind tunnel will allow for unprecedented levels of aerodynamic testing and product development.

MORGAN HILL, Calif., May 20, 2013 /PRNewswire/ — Specialized Bicycle Components is introducing their bicycle-specific wind tunnel in its very own backyard of Morgan Hill. Continuing in a tradition of industry leading innovation, the new wind tunnel will provide unparalleled aerodynamic collaboration across the entire Specialized product line.

“Aero is everything,” according to Mark Cote, Manager of Performance Road, Triathlon, Aerodynamics R&D at Specialized. He added, “This is a fundamental shift in how we think about air; every product and athlete will be faster.”

Because wind touches all of their products, it’s everything to Specialized. By designing and constructing a cycling-specific wind tunnel, Specialized is able to streamline what has generally been a complicated process. Now, under one roof, the Specialized team of aerodynamic experts will have all the tools they’ll need to theorize, test and push the boundaries of innovation into new and exciting directions.

“By building and designing a wind tunnel from the ground up, we were able to really concentrate on optimizing the facility for testing human powered flow regimes; from tuning the air flow and force balance sensitivity to having a comfortable, modern environment to work in,” explains Chris Yu, Specialized Aerodynamics R&D Engineer.

The new tunnel will allow for, until now, unheard of levels of aero-integration. Wind tunnel time is expensive, closely monitored and, because of this, it’s been reserved generally for competitive race bikes and equipment – not anymore. By creating its own, on-site facility, the opportunity to experiment with equipment from the S-Works road line all the way down to the Globe commuter bikes is now a reality. If there’s the possibility of making a daily work commute less taxing thereby allowing the rider to sweat less and enjoy an extra cup of coffee in the morning, it’s worth it.

Equipped with this wealth of technical knowhow, Specialized is not just able to make the products faster, but the athletes too. Thanks to the size of the tunnel it’s possible to accommodate multiple riders at the same time allowing them to determine how certain crosswind angles affect those riding in a group. Cross country mountain riders can now experiment with how different positions can help them gain free speed during grueling races. By also utilizing the facility as an educational tool in conjunction with their Specialized Bicycle Components University (SBCU) classes, they can teach and inform dealers how aero tweaks can work hand in hand with Body Geometry Fit sessions for added comfort and efficiency.

In addition to an industry-leading piece of equipment, Specialized also has an industry-leading team of aerodynamic experts interpreting the data. Chris Yu and Mark Cote are joined by Chuck Teixeira and Chris D’Aluisio, who among them have 50 years of aero experience, with over 20,000 hours in wind tunnels. Their presence at Specialized is unique and a key component in continuing to move the science forward for the industry in bold new ways. They think it, they build it, they test it, and they make it better. Their pedigree, history, experience and expertise are second to none. Already armed with CFD (Computational Fluid Dynamics) and on-bike DAQ (data Acquisition), now the wind tunnel will serve as the final tool towards the next level of aerodynamic gains.

Specialized will be hosting live, online Q&A sessions on Tuesday, May 21 st from 4-5pm PST with Chris Yu and Chuck Teixeira then again on Thursday, May 23 rd from 9-10am PST with Chris D’Aluisio and Mark Cote. Please visit Specialized.com for more information.

Images of the wind tunnel can be found here and video here.

About Specialized
Specialized was founded in 1974 by riders for riders. Based in Northern California, we focus on the rider’s need for functional and technically advanced products that provide a performance benefit.

SOURCE Specialized