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It takes riders a lifetime to become a Tour contender and our engineers have devoted many lifetimes worth of knowledge into the Cervélo models selected by Team Garmin-Sharp.
Inspiration: Carlos Sastre and Ryder Hesjedal already proved that a Cervélo could win a Grand Tour. So, how do we take the stiffest, lightest bike in the peloton and make it even faster?
Cervélo engineers had established the pinnacle in stiffness and weight. They had designed the fastest road bikes through aerodynamic innovation. The next step, CASE: Concurrent Aerodynamic & Structural Engineering. The CASE approach was used to maintain stiffness, decrease weight, and improve aerodynamics in a new frame set.
Balancing weight, stiffness, and aerodynamics: an increase in one parameter usually means a sacrifice in another. How do you find the perfect balance?
Making a frame stiffer usually means making a frame heavier through adding material. Reducing aerodynamic drag can mean reducing stiffness due to changing a shape. However, by determining the ideal baseline for each parameter, our engineers can tune the shape and materials to find that perfect balance. Through each improvement to the design, the parameters of stiffness, weight, and aerodynamics move closer to the desired baseline. To find out how we set our baseline, read Lab vs Reality.
Engineering the best frame requires many different attempts to find the perfect shape. Part 2 of CASE is the Iterative Design Phase
Parametric Analysis allowed our engineers to examine how each change they made to frame shape affected the outcome in terms of performance. With this knowledge, 93 different frame iterations were modeled, tested, and analyzed to find the best possible outcome. Read more on our frame shape Squoval.
Measuring stiffness: one of the tools in use by the Cervélo engineering team is Finite Element Analysis (FEA).
FEA is used to test specific load cases for a frame. Two simple examples include pedaling load case and steering load case. The pedaling load case is directly affected by bottom bracket stiffness wherein a stiffer bottom bracket area efficiently transfers your effort into propelling the bike forward. The steering load case is directly affected by head tube and torsional stiffness. Proper head tube stiffness creates precise and immediate handling for the rider. To read how we determine ideal stiffness parameters read Measuring Stiffness.
Measuring aerodynamics: Cervélo engineers use two main tools to measure the drag of a bike, Computational Fluid Dynamics (CFD) and the Wind Tunnel.
Before a frame reaches the prototype stage, our engineering team can test and compare the effect of different tube shapes in CFD. Combing CFD capabilities and a nearly 20 years of wind tunnel experience and knowledge allows the engineers to begin refining the frame before we ever begin manufacturing.
Carbon fibre is the 'material of choice' for the bikes of the Tour de France. But, what exactly is carbon and where does it come from?
Carbon fibres are fine strands of carbon material. In the chart to the left, you can see the relative size of a carbon fibre (like the ones you will find in bicycle frames today) and a human hair (represented by the red circle). However, frames are not made of just carbon fibres. Rather, frames are constructed of a mix of fibres bundled together in a TOW and epoxy or a 'Carbon Fibre Reinforced Plastic.' No one single type, or modulus, of carbon fibre is used in a Cervélo frame.
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Team work at its finest. @ride_argyle truly stuck together during a tough stage. Photo by @jeredgruber http://t.co/OpEmXbeR9w via @cervelo
RT @Ride_Argyle: Today was epic. Here's @andrewtalansky on the bus after the stage. Photo: @BisoBus #TDF http://t.co/m4t3O96mGG via @cervelo
RT @GranFondoCanada: A BIG thanks to all who entered our @Cervelo Contest this year! Without further ado, the #Cervelo S2 105 winner is…htt… via @cervelo
What makes the R3 the Editor's pick as best in its class (again)? Find out http://t.co/5366Z9Gaqp http://t.co/I8R76CZQGO via @cervelo
What difference can you feel between frames? #AsktheEngineer the Just Noticeable Difference http://t.co/thit4x5zE8 http://t.co/irV7DOKqvc via @cervelo
RT @jeredgruber: Tons of standing water on the cobbles! #tdf http://t.co/RY6nXYeXVM via @cervelo
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