The Roo crew was up on stage at the expo showing off their new tri bike. The frame is currently a one-off, but they say it will be available for purchase in early 2009 – pricing undetermined, but no doubt high. The biggest innovation is the assymetrical downtube and BB area that are designed to suck air flow away from the “dirty” drivetrain side and over to the clean side of the bike.
They had a video showing the wind tunnel test – as the smoke trail was moved closer to the drive-side of the frame, the smoke would suddenly jump over to the non-drive side. Interesting. They claim it registered notably less drag than any frame tested to date.
There is one caveat here though. I asked if they had tested the frame with a rider on it – whoops. Their explanation is that they were focusing on making the frame itself as slippery as possible. While I applaud their efforts to raise the bar, I hope that adding a rider doesn’t negate any aero advantages. Remember that Cervelo uses a “dummy Zabriske” in the wind tunnel to make sure the frame/rider unit is as aero as possible.
Another thing that jumps out at you on the frame (besides the paint job – I expect folks will love it or hate it) is the wide downtube. Also of note: proprietary brake mounts front and rear (will these make production?). A very nice touch is a slotted seatpost with one-degree seat angle marks, allowing adjustment from 76-82 degrees. The slot is sloped so that seat height is maintained as you increase the seat angle.
Overall I think this is a good move for QR: in the past, as far as I know, their frames have not been wind-tunnel designed. This frame, like their other newer models, will use Dan Empfield’s geometry philosophy, so from my perspective that is a good thing. Expect 78-80+ degree seat angles and fairly low stack measurements.