We have all seen those pictures of the Trek/Discovery team testing their equipment and positioning in the wind tunnels. They've got it down to an exact science (see Discovery Channels series The Science of Lance Armstrong if you haven't already). The last couple tours, Bontrager has been partnering with HED to produce some of the slickest bicycle wheels of the tour. From cyclingnews.com:
"Steve Hed is probably one of the most brilliant aerodynamic guys in cycling," said John Balmer, Bontrager's director of product management. "Steve is able to look at something - I'm pretty sure he can actually see air movement - and predict things that take a number of rounds of software and wind tunnel tests to validate."
Aerodynamics has always been a factor for timetrials but who would have thought it played a significant factor in stage races? Hed and Bontrager did. Convincing Bontrager to go aero gave birth to the Aeolus wheelset. According to Bontrager wheel designer, Brad Addink, the team is able to use the Aeolus 5.0 wheels in almost any condition, in place of even the sexy XXX Lite tubular rims. Lightweight is not everything when it comes to racing:
"[T]he majority of riding is done in undulating terrain, not mountains, where aerodynamics trump weight"
Read more at velonews.com >>