It is exciting to see that the new aero road bikes from the mainstream brands all adopted a similar overall idea to what we did with the Velocite Syn. When we first displayed the Syn to the public in February this year some of the comments regarding our design choices were mixed, but I was and still am unperturbed because our choices were purely functional.
With the new Specialized Venge, Trek Madone and the Scott Foil now out in the open it is also evident that there are still significant differences in the design philosophy. The main point of difference being that neither Specialized, Trek nor Scott integrated the round water bottles into the aerodynamic design. With all of them the bottles are exposed to the airflow and no amount of marketing spin will change the basic physics of the way that air behaves – basically the air is a fluid and will make contact with every surface of an object. Moving air will likewise impact on any surface that is in its path. If the water bottle is in the path of the air, it will get hit and the air (and the bike) will slow down. You cannot “break” the airflow, you can only shape it. I will of course go into more details over time, but only our water bottle integration solution is fully functional.
We are also the only ones that went with the round seat post, even though Scott also saw the benefit of not forcing an “aero” seatpost on the hapless rider. Trek solved the perils of rock hard seat posts by developing a Rube-Goldberg variation on the Isospeed concept. This is undoubtedly effective, but in my mind an overly complex and heavy way to go about ensuring some flex in the seatpost. I am not sure how the Specialized Venge will fare in terms of comfort.
The Velocite Syn development is proceeding very well with the 3rd generation prototypes on target to be available to ship to our test riders by early August. One of the improvements to the design that we already implemented for the 2nd generation prototype was to increase the rear tire clearance. We now have at least 10mm clearance to the BB with a 23mm tire, and 3mm on either side of a 27mm wide rim (Venn Rev 35 TCD). This should also be unique to the Syn and allows it to be even more versatile. Fork tire clearance is already very large.