We have a general rule at Cyclelogik that we don’t talk about cross before Labour Day. But we’ll break that rule this year since we’re so excited about this year’s CX season. And every year CX seems to spill a little further and further back into summer, and it’s no surprise, CX is fun as hell. Gravel roads and smooth single track are fun, an adventure, and generally free of traffic.
Ottawa has a great CX racing series but for those who aren’t ready to race or just love to cruise, there’s still plenty to be excited about! Cyclelogik’s Danielle recently picked up one of Felt’s new 2018 F4x CX/gravel bikes and she never stops talking about mud time, gravel time and the Dirt Church. And where does Danielle worship? Ottawa/Gatineau is home to some amazing gravel riding! Check out some of the routes we enjoy here at Cyclelogik!
TCT Rip – 73km – 250m
The TCT is a gravel rail trail that begins near Corkstown Rd and runs all the way to Carleton Place. It’s perfect for beginners and riders who want a hard fast ride free of technical features. You can do the whole ride to Carleton Place and back from Corkstown which comes in at just over 70km or you can do a short rip out to Stittsville for a stop a Quitters.
Bike: Road with 25s or larger will work fine for this ride.
Gatineau Park P16 Loop – 37km – 665m
There are lots of places to have fun on a gravel/CX bike in Gatineau Park, and we encourage you to explore some of these great trails and paths! But our personal favourite is the P16 loop around Lac Phillipe. Park at P16 near Wakefield and cruise along the gravel paths and smooth single track trails around Lac Phillipe. This ride is short and sweet and there are lots of opportunities to add mileage. Pick up a park map at the Chelsea office and go exploring!
Bike: Road Bike or Gravel Bike with 28s or larger.
Wakefield to Low – 53km – 820m
This out and back ride takes you from Wakefield all the way up to Low on some spectacular gravel roads. Follow the river on the west side beginning at the bridge in Wakefield. Follow Chemin de la Riviere to Maxwell, from there you can ride all the way to Low, QC. You have the option to loop back and return via the route you came, or you can cross the river in Low and have a hard fast asphalt rip back to Wakefield. If you cross the river at Low and are looking for a little more grave riding, you can take Fieldville and explore the backroads in and around Low.
Bike: Gravel Bike with 30s or larger.
California Road – 81.5km – 866m
Head out towards Almonte and Begin the ride with a little road rip. Peneshula Rd is one of the funnest road rides in the area with fresh pavement and short roller coaster hills. From there you turn Left and find yourself on California Rd. It looks a lot like like a off-road path, and in some ways it is, but its an incredibly fun and twisty gravel road that snakes through beautiful forests! Look out for folks on dirtbags and four-wheelers, but for the most part this trail is empty. At the end of California, follow Darling back to Tatlock and head back to Almonte!
Bike: Gravel/CX Bike with 30s or larger.
Don’t have a gravel bike yet? You certainly have some options! While it’s possible to ride some gravel and trails with a robust road bike that has the clearance for wider tires, we recommend at the very least a dedicated gravel bike for most off road and gravel road riding.
If you plan to ride mixed terrain, asphalt, gravel, and trails on the same ride, you might consider a gravel bike rather than CX bike. CX bikes generally feature a single small front chainring, which is needed for aggressive climbs and technical features of CX racing. Gravel bikes like the Scott Addict Gravel straddle the line between road and CX. They feature the geometry and handling of a CX bike with the groupset of a road bike. With a double chainring in the typical compact or standard size chainrings, you’ll be able to handle gravel routes and still be able to ride comfortably on asphalt. Disc brakes and larger clearance make a dedicated gravel bike a versatile machine that can be used as both a road bike and a mixed terrain machine.
Why Mallorca for a bike trip?
Mallorca is an absolute paradise for road riding cyclists. Ok it is pretty good for mountain biking and all sorts of other things, but for a road cyclist – looking for some amazing group riding, Mallorca is tops.
Where is Mallorca?
Mallorca is a Spanish island and the largest of the Balearic Islands, an archipelago in the Mediterranean Sea, approximately 90 km off the coast of Spain. Ferries to Mallorca leave from Barcelona, (but take the plane.) The island’s capital city, Palma de Mallorca, has a population of 200,000. During cycling season 30,000 cyclists are on the island enjoying the best of the best.
How do we get there?
Boulevard Travel can suggest various routes to get to Palma (PMI), our rendez-vous point. There are no direct flights to Palma from North America so a connection is required in any of the major centres in Europe.
Where is our Hotel?
For the duration of the trip, our group stays at the Esmeralda Park Hotel in Cala d’Or (Spanish for “Gold Cove”), a small town on the southeast coast of the island, about a 45-minute bus ride from the airport. We run day trips but return to our homebase every night. Lots of time to hang and relax.
Do I need to be a professional cyclist?
Definitely not. We cater to a varied group of cyclists; everyone from the intermediate level cyclist to the seasoned expert is welcome. We help build everyone’s group riding skills.
How far will we ride?
There are 9 days of riding available in our 10-day trip. We schedule 7 rides and suggest a rest day (although some choose to cycle even on the days off and others take more days off.)
Daily, riders are divided into groups based on their cycling ability or energy level that day.
Each group is lead by our expert guides. You may opt to join Groupo Relaxo, or set off with GroupoRapido in search of that epic ride.
Everyone is given a map and told the day’s route, but our objective for each ride is to cycle together as a group and improve your group riding skills. We adopt an ‘All for one and one for all’ approach to group riding.
Groupo-Not-So-Relaxo: 80 – 100 km a day, going a little further and a little faster, but is still looking for the best café con leche and a break or two.
Groupo-Rapido: 80 – 140 km a day. The emphasis here is on a controlled, smooth group working together to improve riding skills and put in the miles. Brief coffee breaks are common.
Will we run out of roads in 10 days?
Mallorca has thousands of kilometres of cycling-friendly roads through varied terrain, from switchbacked 12-km climbs to rolling lanes through the orchards. From our base in Cala d’Or we set out for day trips. We use a bus to transport the group to the far sides of the island for remote starts. We will explore the entire island but still won’t have time to see it all.
What gears do I need?
Mallorca has something for every cyclist. Mountains along the west coast, rolling groves and orchards in the central region, and on the east coast, flat shore roads along beaches. We recommend a 39 X 27 for Groupo Rapido and perhaps a 39 X 28 for Group Relaxo. The island’s old mountains roads were built well before the advent of the automobile and designed to ease the burden of work animals carrying loads to higher elevations –they are not as steep as they are long. It is always better to have the smaller gears and not use them than to find yourself wishing you had them with 5 km left to go before the summit.
Do I bring my own bike or should I rent?
If you choose to bring your own bike we will give you useful tips on how to safely pack it. The airlines allow you to take 2 pieces of luggage. The bike in a box counts as one. You may also choose to rent a bike. Our hotel is equipped with top-of-the-line road bikes for rent. These bikes are available for rent at a cost of $275 Cdn. for a 10-day trip. Rentals are Shimano Ultegra equipped GIANT or STEVENS bikes with compact cranks to get you up all the hills. Most guests rent bikes and save the hassle of traveling with your bike. By day 3 you will want to bring the bike home.
What services are offered?
Our package price does not include airfare.
You will be met at the airport and shuttled to and from the hotel.
The rooms are beautiful with kitchenettes, living space and balconies. You will be provided breakfastand dinner buffets.
Everyone will receive a special cycling jersey.
You are responsible for your lunches and booze.
All mechanical services are provided along with expert group leaders.
There are no sag wagons, we leave as a group and get home as a group.
We run clinics on group riding and technique. A skills clinic on descending switchback roads will be given before our first mountain day.
There are bank machines and car rental outlets located very close to the hotel.
What about meals and accommodations?
The hotel is made up a series of three-storey buildings centered around the main reception, bar and dining room. The rooms are suites, complete with kitchenettes, living area, television and balcony. Our package price is based on double occupancy, with a single room supplement costing $400 Cdn.
A breakfast (08h00 10h00) and dinner (18h00 20h30) buffet is available daily. We will enjoy an evening out in a local restaurant for a special evening.
What is a typical day like?
A typical day looks a bit like this:
07h30 – morning stretch on the beach
08h00 – generous buffet breakfast
10h00 – group ride departs
10h01 – 16h00 ride, coffee, ride, laugh, ride, pee break, coffee, check out the scenery, ride, stop for lunch and superb cafe con leche, ride, ride, ride, joke, ride, more cafe con leche, ride, ride back to Cala d’Or
16h00 – 18h00 happy hour
20h00 – 21h00 delicious buffet dinner followed by group meeting
21h00 – 07h30 choose any of the following: evening walk, talk, early to bed, out for a beer, out to dance, just plain out, way out, karaokee, take in (sometimes corny) hotel entertainment, talk about the great day you just had.
Is this trip for me?
It sure is. Mallorca has become a mecca for European cyclists seeking spring warmth, great roads, and thousands of fellow cyclists. We are delighted to introduce Canadians to this wonderful cycling destination. In short if you’re a cyclist looking to get a great jump on the cycling season with quality group cycling in unforgettable surroundings, then this is the trip for you.
Want to book? Contact Kim Nguyen at Boulevard Travel and she can arrange your booking with you.
July and August are those two magical months when you can take time off work and disappear from normal life for awhile. And if you’re an athlete, that usually means taking your bikes, shoes, wetsuit.. whatever with you. Maybe you’re off to a big triathlon or climbing in the Pyrenees; whatever your vacation of choice, if you’re going to be active on your cycling vacation, we’ve got your back.
Here a couple of things we recommend for your vacation:
Did you know we not only sell but rent bike travel bags? With an EVOC travel bag your bike will stay safe during a long flight. It’s only $50 for the week to take one of our bags. We can even box it up for you if you’re new to flying with a bike.*
*Additional Fee may apply
Heading to a big triathlon event? Need a wetsuit? Stop by the shop and reserve a suit for your big event. Staycation? Sure. We can do that too! Reserve your wetsuit at Cyclelogik and pick it up at any local Somersault event!
We have so much nutrition! Everything from gels to recovery powders. And it isn’t just for races! Grab a couple cliff bars for that big camping trip! Stuff a few Honey Stinger energy chews into your pocket during that epic hike! We have products from Made Good, Skratch, Xact Nutrition, Beet-It, Naak, Kuul, Picky Bar, Clif, Honey Stinger, Hammer, and many more! Come by the shop to see whole selection! Many of our nutrition products are certified organic and vegan friendly. So there’s something for everyone!
Before packing your bike into one of our travel bags for the big French cycling adventure, bring your road machine in for a tune up. The last thing you want are squeaky gears and sloppy shifts when you’re going up the Tourmalet!
Even if it’s not a big road adventure, bring the kids bikes in for a quick check-up before heading off to Algonquin Park. Kids love jumps, stumps, roots and rocks so it’s always a good idea to make sure everything is in good running order.
Thought you could get away with your old helmet and shoes that you’ve been using for the last 5 years? Maybe not. Stop by the shop and kit yourself for your cycling vacation. All of our Northwave and 2016 Shimano shoes are on clearance right now! Check out the new line of Scott helmets and protect your noggin with MIPS technology –and look effing cool doing it!
Oh. And socks! All the socks! It’s Canada’s 150th year so celebrate with a pair of Enduroffical Canada 150 themed cycling socks! Remember when you were a carefree student and slapped a Canada patch on your backpack when you took off to Europe? Well Canada socks are the cycling version of that. Make it happen!
Of course! What could be better than hopping on a brand new bike during your cycling vacation?! Treat yo self! Pick up a bike from Cyclelogik in July and get 10% off instock models. Get a sweet new bike for an epic vacation!
If you need anything else, just ask! Enjoy your vacation, whatever you end up doing!
Nutrition is the cornerstone of any successful endurance activity. From training to racing, you need to stay fuelled and well high hydrated. At Cyclelogik we carry a wide range of awesome products that will keep you going on the toughest of days. We have all your favourite staples and some interesting and unusual choices that we think you should try!
The classic packet of gooey carbohydrates. Squeeze one in your mouth and your body gets a quick shot of glucose to keep you alert and sharp during a long hard ride, run, or race.
At Cyclelogik we carry all your favourite brands of gels. Clif Shots, PowerGels, eLoad gels, Hammer gels, and Endurance Tap. We’re chock full of gels. Each brand has it’s own unique flavours, consistency, and texture. Some people prefer the thick molasses-like texture of the Clif shot, while others are disposed to the light and viscous texture of the Endurance Tap. Whatever you preference, pop by the shop on your next ride and we’ll find the one perfect for you.
Chews and Gummies
These are our favourite types of fuel. You can munch on some sweet candy-like chews and not feel bad about it. It’s like raiding the Bulk Barn without the guilt. We carry Shot Bloks, Skratch Drops, Honey Stinger chews, and Fruit 2 bars. And they’re all so good. Pop a couple in your bento box during your next event. Race fuel can be fun.
The bar. Nothing beats the bar. They’re the cornerstone of athletic nutrition. Bars are great because they have a variety of different purposes. Some are rich in protein for post-race snacking, some are high in carbs and easy on the belly for during races and events. Others are just great to keep in your purse, glove box, backpack, whatever, for a quick and easy snack during the day.
Honey Stinger Waffles
Literally. They’re actual waffles. And they’re effing delicious. We carry the classic honey flavour and the strawberry flavour. Give them a try. They’re flat and you can easily fit 5 or 6 in your jersey pockets without having a huge bulge in your jersey. Amazing for long rides and races.
Vegan. Gluten Free. Soy Free. Dairy Free. But most importantly: chocolate. These artisan crafted bars are delicious. They’re essentially chocolate bars for athletes. 70% Dark chocolate and Cherry are the first two ingredients on the package. And there are no weird unpronounceable ingredients. They taste good and they’re perfect for our food sensitive athletes out there. Fuel your ride naturally.
With flavour names like ‘Laura’s Mega Nuts,’ ‘Smooth Caffeinator,’ and ‘Cookie Doughpness,’ (yes, the P is supposed to be there), these bars really need no other description. But let’s do it anyway. They’re delicious and easy on the stomach. They’re the bar-of-choice for most of our triathlon team during long course triathlon events. They’ve got a little bit of everything the body needs to keep moving forward. They’re small and fit easily into almost any jersey pocket or bento box. Try one!
We hear they’re made good.. (we’re allowed a Dad joke now and then..) These are less of a bar and more of a bag of delicious energy filled balls. Imagine a marble made from a granola bar. Bite sized snacks for those who like to munch on something often.
These are new. And they weird. But they’re also delicious. …and they’re made from crickets.. Okay. It doesn’t sound appetizing but they’re actually really good. Don’t worry, there’s no actual crickets. The crickets were turned into a flour and then used to make the bars. Cricket protein is a thing. Look it up. You should give them a chance. We did. And we regret nothing.
A protein bar that doesn’t punish your stomach. Imagine a Kit Kat Bar went on a diet. It’s a chocolate covered wafer bar that is not only satisfying but delicious. Munch on one of these immediately after a race and you’ll be good to go. Check out our review off all Xact Nutrition products
The Clif Bar. Need we say more? Everyone loves the Clif Bar. They’re great ride and run fuel, but they’re also just nice to munch on as a snack. Sometimes you don’t have time eat during the day so grab a Clif Bar.
Tequila. Bourbon. Whiskey. We have shots. Okay. Not really. Our shots have Beet juice in them. If you want to mix our Beet shots with alcohol, that’s your business. We have Beet It shots that are great for post ride recovery. Apparently Beet juice has all sorts of amazing properties and has even been touted as a natural EPO. We can’t confirm any of that but we do know that beet juice is chock full of good stuff like nitrates. Nitrates! And in shot form, you can take it with you anywhere.
We’ve got everything you need to cover all your nutrition needs. Stop by the shop and check out our full range of nutritional products. Stayed fuelled. Stay sharp. Keep pushing!
For 2017 we decided to give our classic Saturday morning rides a branding overhaul. What was once referred to as the Cyclelogik A and B rides are now known as The Powered by Caffeine Rides or ‘the PBC’ for short. While the rides themselves haven’t changed much we’ve also added for this year a women’s ride on Tuesday and Saturday mornings.
The PBC A Ride
This ride is for riders who like to go hard and don’t mind being dropped along the way. Riders take turns driving the pace on the front of the group trying to shed their riding partners off their wheel while everyone else tries to hang on.
This ride isn’t a race and there isn’t any attacking from the group but riders are encouraged to set the pace on flats and climbs that may leave their riding partners in the dust. This ride is almost guaranteed to end up splintered in smaller groups. If you find yourself in one of the chase groups, then you know what you have to do: chase!
Because of the nature of the A-ride, it takes more than just good legs, you need to be confident in your bike handling group riding skills to ensure the safety of the group. This isn’t for newbies but you also don’t need to be a pro either. Test your legs against some of Ottawa’s strongest riders.
The PBC B Ride
The B-ride is a controlled pace no drop ride. But that doesn’t mean is a beginner’s ride either. This group can move a long at a good clip and basic group riding skills are necessary. Anyone can join this ride and no will be left behind. So if you want something fun and challenging without the risk of being left out on your own, the B ride is a great choice.
Attacking and hammering the pace on this ride is out of the question. Keep the pace steady and follow the directions of the ride’s leader.
The PBC Women’s Ride
New for 2017, the women’s ride is controlled pace no drop ride, just like the B ride but for women only. This ride is considered an intermediate level ride. You should have some experience group riding and decent level of fitness but you also don’t need to be a bike racer to take part.
If you’re not sure which ride is best for you or whether you have the fitness and skill to participate, give us a call, and we’ll help find a good fit for you.
Generally I don’t pay enough attention to the brands of gels or bars that I use when I’m riding to bother writing a review about them. Normally I just stop into my local LBS and grab a mix of whatever they have as long as it’s fruit flavoured, has caffeine and/or some protein in it. But I recently started using Xact Nutrition bars almost exclusively on my rides and during races so I’ve been paying some attention to what I like and don’t like about them.
First off, I have to admit that when it comes to bars and gels, I don’t generally put much stock into proprietary performance enhancing gimmicks. If we get down to brass tacks, almost every gel and energy bar is basically the same, they’re just a wad of high fructose corn syrup with some flavouring and maybe some caffeine. But to be fair, that’s all they really need to be because that’s all you really want when you’re racing or riding hard. The point of these energy bars is to maintain blood sugar levels to preserve your muscle glycogen as long as possible. While the health conscious folks might see HFCS as the anti-christ, it’s really more of a magic elixir for endurance athletes. So when a company releases a product boasting a ‘new formula’ that has x% more energy than the leading brand or some ridiculous claim like that, I tend not to pay attention. Just give me the sugar-filled goo blob and no one gets hurt.
And that’s why Xact appeals to me. There are no silly gimmicks involved. In fact if you go to their website the first thing that comes up is their products laid out in a straight forward way: fruit bar; caffeine fruit bar; protein bar. You would never know at first glance that these things are actually vegan friendly and made with actual fruit so, as it turns out, they don’t even have any HFCS in them at all. Rejoice! But that doesn’t really matter to me. And the the fact they are vegan friendly and made of real fruit doesn’t affect my opinion of these bars at all. What I like is their utter simplicity, their taste, and their ease of consumption.
On the Fruit 2 and Fruit 3 the packaging is perfectly clear, one is a basic fruit bar that offers the simple sugar boost you need with classic fruit flavours and the other is the same but with caffeine. If there is one thing I find pointless and irritating it’s when nutrition companies offer performance gels in silly hipster flavours like Coconut Graham Cracker. When I’m in a crit race and I’m digging through my pockets for a gel, I don’t need to satisfy my complex pretentious hipster palette. I just need something that tastes good enough that I don’t want to spit it out all over the other riders. And in this area, Xact hits the mark with flavours like Orange, Strawberry and Apricot.
Their Pro Krunch protein bar comes only in chocolate, which is good, because if I’m going to stuff a protein bar in my mouth I at least want to pretend that it’s a delicious Kit-Kat bar and not actually something that’s good for me.
The two fruit bars are delicious. I wish they came in the bulk bins at the grocery store because I would snack on them like candy. And that’s really all I need to say about that.
Ease of Consumption
This is definitely the most important part of a good bar and the Fruit 2 and Fruit 3 pass this test with flying colours. They’re soft and manageable. They don’t get gummy in your mouth so you don’t have to spend the first 5 minutes after swallowing one using your tongue to get the gooey remnants off your teeth. While they aren’t as easy to open as a gel (a quick work around is to just open the package a little before you take off on your ride or race) they definitely don’t give you that feeling like you want to throw up a little when you first put them into your mouth like a gel –is it just me that this happens to?
The Pro Krunch Bar is definitely the most surprising of Xact’s offerings. Most protein bars are dry and heavy and give you gut rot if you don’t chug 2 bottles of water immediately after swallowing. This bar is surprisingly light and easy to swallow –literally. It doesn’t mess with my stomach at all. Because it’s lighter than most bars I do find that it doesn’t feel quite as filling. I need to eat two after a long ride in order to feel somewhat satisfied. Of course, you should never rely on protein bars alone for post-ride/race food but sometimes it’s all you get until you can make dinner or get somewhere where there is more food available.
Overall I really like both the fruit bars and the protein bar that Xact offers. The only downsides are that protein bar isn’t as filling as I would like and the fruit bars do get a little squishy on hot days in the back of your jersey pocket. Fortunately, they don’t get sticky, just a little softer than usual. If there’s one thing I hate is having my jersey pockets full of stray goo from empty gel packets. This doesn’t happen with the Fruit 2 and Fruit 3 bars.
Check out Xact Nutrition and try some of their stuff.
Have you ever seen a high end triathlon bike; not a UCI legal TT bike but a triathlon specific racing bike? With no limitations in terms of frame design, these bikes incorporate some of those most unique bicycle designs on the market. The reason for this? Any experienced triathlete knows the answer: aerodynamics. While road cyclists are obsessed with weight savings, triathletes obsess over their ability to cut gracefully through the air, saving watts, saving minutes, and saving energy.
There are plenty of good resources discussing aerodynamics and how they affect cycling (Saving Energy With Aerodynamics Aerodynamics: Debunking the Myths) but let’s look at how it works from the perspective of how it goes into the design of a bike. Over flat and rolling terrain at race speed, wind resistance is the greatest force affecting the ability of a rider to move forward. When Cameron Robertson and the Aerovelo team developed the Eta speed bike to break the human powered land speed record, aerodynamics was the primary concern. It was so important to achieving the speeds needed to break the record that even a single bug splatter on their aerodynamic fairing could cause enough drag to prevent them from achieving top speed.
Normal riding, however, doesn’t rely on such a perfect system and there are many points on a rider that cause aerodynamic drag from the buckles on shoes to the shape of the frame. In professional cycling, all these factors are accounted for by riders. They use shoe covers to create better flow over their shoes, they wear skin suits designed to reduce skin surface drag and adjust their position to reduce their frontal drag as much as possible while still being able to produce race winning efforts. Their only limitation is UCI regulations on frame design.
The opposite happens in triathlon. Shoe covers and skin suits are impractical and the time required to take them on and off in transition is more than the savings they create. Where triathletes gain a strong advantage is the position of the rider and the design of the bike and wheels. This is why machines like the Felt IA looks like something straight out of science fiction. It is designed to be as aerodynamically efficient as possible. A lot goes into the design of these bikes so let’s look at some of the considerations that engineers account for when designing bikes.
Most of us are familiar with the airfoil, the tear drop shape of an airplane’s wing. In aviation the tear drop shape is
manipulated to create a low pressure area above the wing and high pressure below to generate upward lift. In bicycle design, the primary focus is cutting through the air with the greatest efficiency, sometimes this can mean creating an airfoil and other times it can mean decreasing the amount of drag created at less than optimal airflow angles. An airplane wing, for example, relies on the forward thrust of the plane to push air over the wing parallel to the wing (air flows over the wing from front to back). An airfoil does not generate lift if the air moves over the wing from top to bottom or bottom to top, in fact, this would create a high degree of drag. Gusts of wind crossing over the airfoil at less than optimal angles is a major contributor to turbulence we experience during flight. Airplane airfoils are designed to generate lift from air moving in a very specific direction (front to back). Bicycles on the other hand, need to be aerodynamically optimal from air flowing over the bike from a variety of different directions. This means that the standard tear drop shape isn’t necessarily the best design for bike tubes.
Let’s untangle some of the jargon by looking at the Felt IA’s frame shape. If we look at the frame shape of the IA you’ll notice that the down tube (the tube leading from the handlebars to the pedals) is very wide and narrows slightly towards the inside of the frame. This is a very shallow tear drop. It doesn’t come to a point but is more of an egg shape. Older aero bikes and some current models use very sharp points maintaining a true tear drop shape in the down tube. This is efficient for winds coming from directly in front of the rider but creates a large area of drag in crosswinds. These bikes often boast wind tunnel testing with positive results. And they would get positive results if the bike were setup to face the movement of air straight on. The IA’s construction, the egg shape, allows the bike to achieve better aerodynamics from a wide range of angles (called yaw). It sacrifices some performance in direct wind but gains significant performance in cross and cross headwinds. This allows a rider to continue to maintain their aerodynamic advantage in a wide variety of practical conditions on the road.
The depth or width of the tubes help to create a smooth plain for the wind to move over and eliminates the point of separation where the wind can no longer follow the flow of the tube. The earlier the point of separation, the more drag there will be. The IA’s design allows air to flow more smoothly and separate later, reducing the area of drag. See the video below for a more scientific explanation of separation and drag.
Felt is one of the few manufacturers that truly accounts for crosswind and real world riding in their aerodynamic calculations. The list is growing as more manufacturers realize the need for better development in aerodynamics but still remains small. Felt uses computational fluid dynamics (CFD) software to simulate airflow over their frames much in the same way Aerovelo did with their record breaking bike. Using computer models allows the engineers to develop a near perfect design before ever laying any carbon. Once the design has been optimized by the software, Felt takes their design to the wind tunnel to test in various conditions. Refinements can be made to design at this point and the final aerodynamic profile of the bike is achieved.
The reality of aerodynamics is that it is difficult to know how altering shapes will affect the overall aerodynamic ability of the shape. This is particularly true of bicycles, which have many curves, shapes and bends that can alter the airflow over even the most aerodynamic shapes. When a bike is put in the wind tunnel and its drag coefficient measured, there is no algorithm to determine what needs to change to make the bike more aerodynamic. The process is largely left up to the experience of the engineer and can involve hundreds of tweaks based on educated guesses to get the perfect design. In CFD simulations, changes can be made quickly and engineers have the ability to look at many different scenarios at once. The result of these labour intensive efforts is what we find in the Felt IA, a bike that pushes the boundaries of aerodynamic performance.
The traditional upright riding setup of bicycles that we’re familiar with is one of the most difficult positions to optimize aerodynamically, this is why Aerovelo chose a recumbent position with a fairing to cover the rider. There is no best design that will work in every situation. Every bike has it’s advantages and disadvantages and because of the research and development costs associated with bicycle design, manufacturers often have to pick one or two considerations to spend their time optimizing. This can mean designs that are excellent in cross winds but poor in calm conditions, or vice versa. The best designs are those that account for every possible variable, a near impossibility. Manufacturers like Felt, who devote a substantial portion of their R&D specifically on triathlon bike design, come very close to accounting for many of these variables. There a lot of great bike manufacturers out there who have a similar passion for aerodynamics (see Argon 18 and Cervelo) but the Felt IA stands near the pinnacle of bicycle design with respect to aerodynamics.