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Feb 172012

Bontrager Aeolus Wheels

Bontrager Aeolus Wheel

Aeolus 9.0 Rear Wheel (Clincher)

Trek Bicycle’s recent development of a new line of Aeolus D3 tubular wheels, each of which is the world’s most aerodynamic wheel in its class. Bontrager wheels are the fastest way across the finish line.  The aerodynamic drag performance of this new wheel line achieves a drag performance comparable to the next depth class from  either Zipp or HED, and the Aeolus 9 D3 is in a class of its own as the fastest non-disc wheel in the world.

Bontrager Aeolus D3 wheels offer dramatic aerodynamic drag savings over the competition. What’s the benefit of lower drag in the real world? Real, appreciable savings of time and power.   The translation of drag to seconds is independent of all other factors, including the rider’s speed.  Similarly, we can translate 10g of drag savings to power savings, but this translation depends on the rider’s speed.  For example, 10g of drag savings translates to 0.75 watts of power savings for a cyclist traveling at 40kph (25mph).  The  230g drag variance determined by wind tunnel tests between Aeolus D3 and the highest-drag wheels translates to 17 watts of power.

Bontrager R4 Aero Tire

Bontrager R4 Tire

Bontrager R4 Tire

The World’s Fastest Tire combines the aerodynamics and low rolling resistance of the R4 tire with a new streamlined profile saving you 9+ seconds over the next fastest tire in a 10k time trial, and more than 37 seconds faster over a 40K time trial than our closest competitor

Bontrager’s development process of the Aeolus Wheel

When developing the Bontrager Aeolus D3 wheels, Bontrager engineers aimed to understand the core fluid dynamic phenomena that contribute to a wheel’s aerodynamic drag. We then leveraged this understanding in a series of parametric tests where every aspect of the wheel’s geometry was tuned for ideal airflow. This true scientific process is expensive and requires a high level of expertise—and it is the most effective method for developing optimal aerodynamic shapes. For this project alone, Bontrager engineers conducted over 2,000 CFD (computational fluid dynamics) simulations and over 900 wind tunnel measurements spanning 107 individual wind tunnel tests.

Bontrager took full advantage of their unique relationship with Trek Bicycle and its wealth of aerodynamic expertise and tools, resulting in a highly efficient and accurate design process. Each wheel’s aerodynamic development took two weeks of CFD testing, followed by a wind tunnel test of three prototypes per wheel depth. This efficiency allowed for rapid delivery of cutting-edge technology today.

Aeolus 3 D3: no-compromises climber

The Bontrager Aeolus 3 D3 is a no-compromises climbing wheel, offering generous drag savings over wheels of similar depth. In fact, it even beats the 10mm deeper Zipp 303 in almost all wind conditions. Furthermore, Aeolus 3 D3 dramatically beats the 21mm deeper Easton EC90 Aero wheel Aeolus 5 D3: ultimate all-around versatility The Bontrager Aeolus 5 D3 is the ultimate all-around wheel for maximum versatility. For all but the steepest hill climbs, the marginal weight increase is well worth the significant drag savings over the shallower depth class. Aeolus 5 D3 beats the HED Stinger 4 and Zipp 303 by a margin much greater than can be attributed to the 5mm depth advantage. Furthermore, it offers consistent drag savings over the 8mm deeper Zipp 404 Firecrest. Finally, Aeolus 5 D3 nearly ties the 10mm deeper 2011 HED Stinger

Aeolus 7 D3: ultra-high performance

The Bontrager Aeolus 7 D3 is the ideal wheel for the flat-lander or the lighter-weight triathlete looking for an extra bit of stability over the very deepest wheels. In fact, it has a slightly lower average drag than the 11mm deeper Zipp 808 Firecrest up until stall (from 0-12.5˚ yaw). Needless to say, it also beats the rest of the wheels in the same depth class and even the very deep Zipp 1080

Aeolus 9 D3: world’s fastest

The Bontrager Aeolus 9 D3 is the fastest non-disc wheel in the world. It achieves both the lowest minimum drag at negative 40 grams and the latest stall point at 14.5˚ yaw. This delayed stall is critical, since these deep wheels lose most of their aerodynamic benefit at the instant of stall. Furthermore, the Aeolus 9 D3 stalls much less severely than any other wheel in its class, offering significant drag savings even after stall occurs. Since stall is so critical to these deep wheels, the stall angle of the fastest wheel from Bontrager, HED, and Zipp was measured to 0.5˚ accuracy

The full Bontrager Aeolus D3 lineup

The Bontrager Aeolus D3 wheel line has a consistent spread of drag performance across all depths and yaw angles, providing an athlete with a simple choice for the wheel that fits his/her needs. Also note the low poststall drag, a consistent characteristic of the Bontrager wheel line

Brand-by-brand summary

The Bontrager Aeolus D3 wheel achieves a drag performance comparable to the next depth class from either Zipp or HED, and the Aeolus 9 D3 is in a class of its own as the fastest non-disc wheel in the world

When plotted the drag force against the side force instead of the rim depth the general trends remain the same. This demonstrates that the Bontrager Aeolus D3 wheel line allows a rider to enjoy the side force stability of a shallower wheel while achieving the same drag savings as a deeper competitor wheel.

Summary of the Aeolus Wheels and R4 Tire

Aeolus D3 Wheel

  • Dual Directional Design.
    • D3 profile reduces drag on both the tire-leading and rim-leading edge. This not only makes you faster, it gives you more control in a crosswind.
  • Shape is more important than depth.
    • D3 rim shape is so aerodynamic that even our shallowest rims compete with other brands’ deeper wheels.
  • Shallower is better.
    • When you run shallower wheels, you reduce weight, decrease the watts required to climb, increase acceleration out of corners, and improve handling on windy days.
  • OCLV Carbon: the world’s best carbon.
    • Hand built in USA from our exclusive aerospace-grade carbon. Stiffer, stronger, lighter, better.
  • Stacked lacing, stiffer wheel.
    • Innovative pattern of straight nailhead spokes widens the bracing angle on rear wheels for more lateral stiffness.
  • Long-term precision.
    • DT’s proven drive mechanism comes standard, with superlight 180 internals on tubular and precision 240 internals on clincher.

R4 Tire – The Worlds Fastest Tire

  • More than 37 seconds faster over a 40K time trial than our closest competitor
  • For higher performance, racing purposes only. Not intended for everyday use or training 220 tpi casing provides ultra low rolling resistance and excellent ride quality
  • CFD-aided tread profile for better aerodynamics on contemporary rim widths
  • Aero wings help slice through the wind
  • Integrated sub-tread puncture protection

In San Diego you can check the Aeolus Wheels at:

El Camino Bike Shop
121 N. El Camino Real, Suite A
Encinitas, CA 92024




Sep 012011


Volagi Liscio a Winner in San Diego

Volagi Bicycle

Wishbone Stays / Disc Brakes / Fender Ready

A month ago the co-founder from Volagi, a new bike manufacturer came into El Camino Bike Shop. The bike she presented was eye catching and its design was a bit out of the box. The goal of the Volagi bike is to provide the recreational rider who likes long rides the most comfortable bike on the market, but with the geometry is designed to handle quickly like a race bike. Volagi Liscio certainly has a “whoa” factor, with its Wishbone frame and Avid’s mechanical disc brakes. The San Diego Bike Shop was impressed. The Volagi demo was given a green light.

El Camino Bike Shop demo of the Volagi was a success. Over six days over 20 people road the Volagi. As one new Volagi owner stated “I trust the guys at El Camino Bike Shop. I was looking for something different and they showed me the Volagi Bike. One test ride and I was sold.”

Volagi Road Bike Background

Volagi Liscio’s unique split seat stays (Wishbone) allow for more flex in both the seat stays and it greatly softens the ride. That doesn’t mean that the road bike will flex. The chainstays / fork combination offer great power transfer and stiffness.

Disc brakes offer steady braking under all situations, better safety and management, better stopping power, a smaller amount hand fatigue, less servicing, they’re more economical, easy to adjust, won’t harm your expensive carbon wheels, will brake even with damaged wheels, you can run bigger tires and/or fenders without stressing about wheel clearance and it helps make changing a flat easier.

The Latest race bikes can give you the quick, tight performance, but beat an individual up on rides lasting two or three hundred miles or more. The advantage of these bikes, beyond the designed better braking and comfort, is that no proprietary parts are used. Volagi maintains that the move to hydraulic disk isn’t only coming, but will expand help expand the road bike market. This year when Volagi is coming out with hydraulic disk brakes, you’ll have the ability to upgrade (though depending on how the interior cabling is run, you may have to work the house along the frame). Lastly the wheel clearance and built-in mounts on the frame allow fenders on the bike which will be great on winter commutes on the Volagi..
Volagi, is founded by two former Specialized Bikes employees. Robert Choi was the founder of VistalLite and when Bell Sports purchased VistalLite, he became the head of marketing and product development for Blackburn, Rhode Gear and VistalLite. He then worked at CamelBak for 10 years developing many break-through products for CamelBak.

Volagi Liscio Ultegra

Test Ride the Volagi Liscio at El Camino Bike Shop

The Volagi has roll out three models:

The Volagi Liscio Rival retailing for $2,895.00
The Volagi Liscio Ultegra retailing for $3,595.00
The Volagi Liscio Dura-Ace retailing for $4,495.00

Check out the line of Volagi Road bikes at the only San Diego bike shop carrying the Volagi – El Camino Bike Shop

Sep 132010

John Howard's Mastering Cycling

Book Signing Tuesday Sept 14th

Local Bicycle Legend John Howard has just published his new book, Mastering Cycling.

John is a Three-time Olympian and 18-time national masters cycling champion John Howard has created the ultimate cycling guide for serious riders, triathletes, and masters athletes. Whether you are 18 or 88, Mastering Cycling will help you trim seconds off your time, train more efficiently, or simply maximize your fitness workouts.

John will be at Stone Brewing from 5-7pm Tuesday September 14th.

  • Bring your friends
  • Check out John’s book
  • Has some FREE appetizers
  • Have John sign your copy of his book
  • Buy John a beer

See you there….

Buy your copy here or buy your copy at the Book Signing on Tuesday from 5-7pm

 Posted by at 2:18 pm
Feb 102010
Rainy Days in San Diego can’t stop the Superfly

SmoothSuperflyHere in So Cal we have been staying off our fragile trails due to all the rain. That’s why I was delighted when I came across these cool Bontrager tires called Nebulas. They are nearly smooth 700×45 tires that mount nicely on a 29er rim. Not sure what these tires were intended for as they have no tread for off-road and they are way to fat for any Hybrid. So I figure they must be for 29er street conversions. Sure is fun rockin the Superfly down the pavement with 85psi slicks.

Sep 122009

Joe Pusl did an interesting modification to his Santa Cruz Blur. Check it out.

I recently changed my Santa Cruz Blur over to a 2×9 setup (2 front rings, 9 speed in rear). I have attached some pics of this project. For 2010, SRAM has done this (2×10 in their case) for their XC racing group called “XX”.
See http://www.sram.com/en/XX/products

This is done for 2 main reasons: Narrower Q factor (distance between pedals / stance width) and better shifting (less cross chaining since only 2 rings). My Dura Ace double road crankset has a Q factor of 145mm. My M760 XT crankset has a Q factor of 175mm. That’s a huge 3cm difference that my knees didn’t like.
See http://www.julmtb.com/index.php?menu=qfacteur for more Q factors.

SRAM actually offers 2 different Q factors (156 or 166mm) depending on what the width of the chainstays on your bike are. The 2010 XX crankset is not available yet (as far as I can tell), but when it is, it will be big $.

So I set out to make a road crankset work. A road triple (Ultegra) has a Q factor of 155mm. Notice that this dimension is about the same as the narrower of the 2 SRAM options, so it won’t work on all MTB frames. The total BB width of a road double setup is 90mm (68mm BB + cups) The total for a road triple setup is 100mm (90mm + 10mm of spacers). I am using a 6mm spacer on the spindle drive side (comes w/ triple crank), + 4x1mm spacers (from a cogset), 2 on each side of the BB (pics 1 & 2).

The key issues are crankarm clearance and chainline.
The 2x1mm spacers on the non-drive side are used to keep the non-drive arm from hitting the frame (pic #3). The other 2x1mm spacers on the drive side are used to help the chainline and get the total spacing up to 100mm. Road bike front derailuers come closer to the seat tube and hence the rings are placed closer. The chainline is defined as the distance from the center of the seat tube to the center of all the rings. This is 45mm for a road triple and 47.5 to 50mm for a mtn triple.
See http://www.sheldonbrown.com/cribsheet-bottombrackets.html#chainline for chainline info.

Using the Ultegra crank w/ the 6mm spacer (w/o other spacers) w/ a 68mm BB shell (like I have; some mtb’s have 73mm) would give a 45mm chainline, just like on a road bike. Adding the 2x1mm spacers brings it up to 47mm, which is pretty close (pic #4).

I removed the big ring and swapped out the chainring bolts w/ ones that were shorter (made for a single ring). I kept the middle ring (39t), and changed out the little ring to a 26t. These are the same size rings as SRAM’s 1st of 3 options for their double. See pics 5-6.

They claim that 1.5:1 for the ring sizes is optimum for the most usable gear ratios.
The reason Dura Ace will not work is that the minimum little ring is 30t due to a bigger BCD.
See http://www.sheldonbrown.com/cribsheet-bcd.html for BCDs. Ultegra is 74mm inner, 130mm middle/outer (standard 5 bolt rings).

I’ve only ridden it a few times so far, but it really feels a lot better to me.
If you have any questions, send me email.