Velocite Syn updates

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.

Velocite Syn tire clearance
Rear tire clearance on the Velocite Syn – plenty of space

 

 

  • Sam Corkin

    Looking good Victor! I noticed the new release bikes all heavy on the aero stats too, why they don’t factor in bottles on top end bikes is mystifying (albeit I only realised this factor after coming across Velocite!!)

    • Thanks Sam. It is a bit odd as when you see these same bikes being used in racing, they all have round bottles on them.

  • Alfredo

    Thanks for the update Victor. This is a great plus to the whole testing experience. I think the SYN is a better product overall, more aspects of the bike considered in the aerodynamics and still more others like the wheel clearance for wider wheels and the seat tube made for rider comfort make it a better product in my opinion. I also think none of the other companies adopted thru axle and disk breaks in at least their initial iterations of their bikes. Honestly as an Engineer I can see the challenges in manufacturing with thru axles since I think require a higher precision specially with a tighter tolerance aero design. And having consumer riders be part of the testing of the bike just makes the whole offering even sweeter and more unique. Can’t wait to test the bike. All components are waiting for it.

    • What helped us is the fact that we are not encumbered by a vast number of other bike models in our product range that we need to protect. That is one drawback to such thorough market segmentation that major brands pursue. It by default means that every bike made by a mainstream brand will be crippled in some way – they will of course call it “optimized” for a purpose, but besides time trial bikes no major brand has a volume selling bike that is optimized for anything except good looks and low inventory costs.

      We were thus more at liberty to make a real superbike. The Velocite Syn has no intentional compromises, we put into it everything that would make it go faster and feel nicer to ride and own.

      Starting with the disc brake version first is indeed harder, but we (very soon) pulled it off, and delaying the rim brake version allowed us to benefit from being able to specify superior rim brakes that are now either entering the market, or finishing product testing.

      Lastly, having our desired customer segment test the bike before we enter mass production is unique as far as I know. It is also more useful from the practical point of view than having a pro team or a star rider test the bike and froth about how awesome it is. Unfortunately, having a pro tour team ride a bike is far more effective in terms of marketing and sales than actually making a better bike.

  • dllm

    I wish the prototype could be in a smaller size so that I could join the test…

  • rupert3k

    Super excited & looking forward to the build & first pedal strokes. Dropouts, forks, headtube, downtube & BB all seem extremely tasty. I love the stem slammed against the new spacer, can’t wait to see it in black.

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