ENGINEERING A TOUR CONTENDER

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.

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6
  • Stage 1
    Saturday, July 5th

    Leeds - Harrogate

    Sprint, 191km

    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.

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  • Stage 2
    Sunday, July 6th

    York - Sheffield

    Intermediate 201km

    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.

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  • Stage 3
    Monday, July 7

    Cambridge - London

    Sprint, 159km

    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.

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  • Stage 4
    July 8, 2014

    Le Touquet - Paris-Plage

    Sprint, 164km

    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.

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  • Stage 5
    Wednesday, July 9

    Ypres - Arenberg Port du Hainaut

    Sprint, 156km

    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.

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  • Stage 6
    TODAY: Thursday, July 10

    Arras - Reims

    Intermediate, 194km

    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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