So this pops up today on SRAM’s blog:
Supposedly the big boys will soon ride this in Pro Tour TTs. First reaction: UGGGLY! It gives the Giant “icebreaker” a run for it’s money in the “bleeechhh” dept.
Of course that matters not one iota to air molecules whizzing past it at 40mph. And what those molecules will see is a clean, smooth front end sans cables or brakes or other “dirty” protuberances. Said molecules will also not see any stem or spacers as the aerobar and pads are integrated into the aero-schnoz dangling over and partially encasing the front tire.
Clean indeed, as the front brakes, dangling below the schnoz, are also barely visible to marauding air molecules. In fact, the molecules may be so confused by this setup that they’ll pass by without exerting ANY drag.
I do like the gracefully mono-curved trailing edge of the downtube/headtube/toptube. That is nice on the eyes, and sure to confuse the molecules even more. The rear triangle look rather conventional by today’s standards. One might even say that the chain stay/seat tube junction might manage to corral some of those puzzled air particles resulting in a drag coefficient somewhat >0.
So what have we learned? Most of the innovation still to come within UCI guidelines is probably in the front end of the bike (until the UCI outlaws it and specifies round head tubes). I spent probably 2 pints-worth of my Kona “vacation” at Lulu’s grilling Cervelo’s Phil White about conventional front brakes on the P4, and why can’t anyone come up with something better – like him for instance? He said it was not for lack of trying. I assume they drew the line at adding a big fat schnoz to the P4, Cd be damned.
This also brings up a comment I read in RBA magazine from Scott’s VP saying that they realized after the Tour of CA that they would need to build different long and short distance TT bikes (Columbia didn’t ride the Plasma in the TT’s). A bike that works well for 110 miles doesn’t cut it for an hour or less. So maybe that’s what we’re seeing here too. No holds barred machines made to go 35 mph for an hour or less, and then more mainstream TT bikes, made for everyday folk who like to ride 112 miles as fast as they can just so they can get off and run a marathon. Yup, mainstream…