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Softride in the news!
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FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
October 4, 2004
Contact: Adam Greene


University of Washington Aeronautical Laboratory
tests four fastest industry leading aero bikes.


Seattle, Washington-September 17, 2004 Test # 1805



Comparative drag tests conducted at the University of Washington wind tunnel have tested what are considered to be the fastest aero bikes in the industry. The tested bikes included a Cervelo P3, Litespeed Blade, Trek Team Time Trial, and Softride FasTT7. All the bikes tested in the wind tunnel were tested with the same rider, bike components, rider cadence, and at a constant wind speed of 30mph.



* Ave. drag listed above was calculated from the data collected at the following yaw angles 0, 4, 8, 12, 16, 20 degrees.
* Bikes were appropriate size for test rider 55cm, 700c wheel.
* Identical components, set up and fit was identical for each test and independently verified.
* Formula to create this data based on James Martin's "Validation of a mathematical model for Road Cycling"
* Times based off a 40K course, with same rider and same power output.


Conclusion:
The most aerodynamic competitive frames available today can not compete with the drag saving laminar air flow of Softride technology. The UCI says it is another unfair advantage from America. We agree!


###

If you do not want to receive these updates please e-mail Adam and request that your e-mail address be removed. Thank you. P.O. Box 9709 ~ Bellingham, WA 98227 ~ Phone: 360.647.7420 ~ Fax: 360.647.1884
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Re: Softride in the news! [larssoftride] [ In reply to ]
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Is it me, or the rider's position positively SUCKS?!...

-
"Yeah, no one likes a smartass, but we all like stars" - Thom Yorke


smartasscoach.tri-oeiras.com
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Re: Softride in the news! [smartasscoach] [ In reply to ]
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It's you


edit: the softride looks okay, the other one is bad
Last edited by: freestyle: Oct 8, 04 11:08
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Re: Softride in the news! [larssoftride] [ In reply to ]
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From the two pictures with a rider, the riders position is inconsistent, and could be improved. Now where is that very large grain of salt to go with this?
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Re: Softride in the news! [smartasscoach] [ In reply to ]
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It really looks like the P3 seat and bars are at the same height to me.
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Re: Softride in the news! [nickc] [ In reply to ]
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There is NO WAY my Blade is that much slower... I paid tooooo much for that to be true!!:)



JB
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Re: Softride in the news! [larssoftride] [ In reply to ]
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Results and data and charts and crap mean nothing to me when I'm riding my Powerwing..it may or may not be the fastest bike according to wind tunnel data..but for me it is as fast as it needs to be. I could remortgage the house and buy the new P3C and possibly gain a second advantage over X number of kilometers..but why? Since none of us on the forum (with the exception of a very select bunch) will ever make any money at this sport what's the point? You're buying speed (or at least hoping to)? Bah..screw it...muddle the minds of the people with numbers and figures half of them (us..I have no idea either) will never be able to understand..pretty will sort it all out in the end.
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Re: Softride in the news! [larssoftride] [ In reply to ]
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82 seconds over 40 kms seems quite significant. Will be interesting to watch Zack at Kona.
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Re: Softride in the news! [larssoftride] [ In reply to ]
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This "test", the manner in which the "results" are presented, and this post, is bullshit.
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Re: Softride in the news! [Ben in FL] [ In reply to ]
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"bullshit."


Why would you say that? Do you own a P3, Blade or Trek?
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Re: Softride in the news! [JBergland] [ In reply to ]
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Years ago I had a softride solo (not even that aero) and it blew away both my Kestrel 200 and Litespeed Tachyon on every ride down the same steep hill. Where the other bikes would top out at 64-66 kph depending on wind and barometric pressure, the Softride was consistently 66-69 kph. On my other bikes, I would be dropped by my 180 lbs training partner, but on the softride, I would usually be ahead. Granted, the Kestrel 200 and Litespeed Tachyon do not measure up to the P3 and Blade, but the bottom line is that losing the seat tube makes the bike faster.

Interesting that they did not use a Kestrel Airfoil in the study. I bet it would be closer to the TT7.
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Re: Softride in the news! [larssoftride] [ In reply to ]
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They are forgetting that you have to FIRST be strong enough to do a 30mph average for 40k.
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Re: Softride in the news! [Captain Pubmed] [ In reply to ]
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The press release does not specify what speed was used in estimating the time differential over 40k, but it need not have been 30 mph.

Are you saying that the time differential would be the same no matter what the speed was? Doesn't matter if the rider is at 18 mph or 26 mph?








"People think it must be fun to be a super genius, but they don't realize how hard it is to put up with all the idiots in the world."
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Re: Softride in the news! [larssoftride] [ In reply to ]
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I once heard about Softride aerodynamics at a coaching seminar in Colorado Springs from a very smart scientist at the Olympic Training Center who was talking about project 96. He claimed that when they tested the Softride bike by itself, it was very fast, but with a rider, the air flow would do really strange things when the riders pedals were at 3 and 9 o' clock. Seemed that when the thighs are parallel to the beam that a "wall" is created that causes the air flow / smoke to go "poof" "poof" "poof" while the rider pedals. Probably not a coincidence that the smoke in the picture is running under the arms and past the lower leg.

I wonder if they would post a video of the air going between the riders arms and through the legs. Of course, with that position any air going through the arms is hitting him right in the gut anyway.
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Re: Softride in the news! [vitus979] [ In reply to ]
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In practical terms, I think what C.P. is saying, is that the % difference at any given speed will always be the same, so actual time saved it will be more for the slower riders than the faster ones.
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Re: Softride in the news! [trischnitz] [ In reply to ]
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Hello,

The article stated that the results were for the same cadence, which should remove any problems associated with foot position (unless of course the cadence tested was zero ;).

I'm never sure why some posters results are taken as gospel and some are dismissed (general observation not directed specifically towards trischnitz). Cervelo, HED, Zipp, Softride, JCobb, etc. all have a vested interest in the tests showing that their products are best. Their are three ways that this can happen:

1) They lie about the test results - I doubt that many of the manufacturer do this.

2) They do a bunch of testing and only publish testing which shows their products in a favorable light. This happens a lot.

3) The testers have do decide on a certain testing protocol, everything frome frame size, to yaw angles, to clothing, to the fixture holding the bike. In the process of testing they opitmize their designs so naturally, a Cervelo comes out best with Cervelos protocol, and Softrides come out best with Softrides protocal.

Styrrell
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Re: Softride in the news! [Captain Pubmed] [ In reply to ]
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I meant that the relative differences in drag ("axial force") would be the same - the calculated time differential would depend on the speed, but would be smaller at 30 mph than at a slower speed.

Gotcha, I agree.

Is anyone surprised by the results? By which I mean, does anyone out there think a P3 is actually more aero than a Softride?

Here's what I'd like to know: How much more of an impact does rear wheel choice have for the Softride. My guess is that a rear disc represents a bigger savings over 32-spokes on a Softride than on a P3. Can anyone confirm?








"People think it must be fun to be a super genius, but they don't realize how hard it is to put up with all the idiots in the world."
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Re: Softride in the news! [larssoftride] [ In reply to ]
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Read it and weep.

_________________
Dick

Take everything I say with a grain of salt. I know nothing.
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Re: Softride in the news! [vitus979] [ In reply to ]
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"Is anyone surprised by the results? By which I mean, does anyone out there think a P3 is actually more aero than a Softride?"

Without getting into issues surrounding test protocol and potential bias, I'd say that I'm not at all suprised. I'd love to see some aero tests for non UCI legal production bikes. So Softride vs TitanFlex, Kestrel, Corima Fox, Trek Y-Foil, the old Zipp... would be interesting to me. This test is a comparison between bikes with totally different design restrictions in mind. I'm not bagging on Softride, but why not compare their bikes to ones who's design is also not the traditional double diamond?
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Re: Softride in the news! [trischnitz] [ In reply to ]
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In a week or so we will install some video on the Softride website. I'm not sure what it will look like exactly, but it should include a clip of the FasTT next to some footage of the three other competitors. This will be actual footage of the wind tunnel testing. Lars
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Re: Softride in the news! [Captain Pubmed] [ In reply to ]
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"certainly by the magnitude. "

Same here. I remember Softride had a magazine ad a few years ago claiming their bike was the fastest. They provided no aero data, just a photo of Zack riding one. Now it appears that they have the proof.
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Re: Softride in the news! [larssoftride] [ In reply to ]
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Well, my only contribution here is that I have owned either two or three Softrides (I forgot). At least one Powerwing (blue, whenever that was) and a red Rocket TT.

I have to say, they did seem faster than most bikes I've ridden. I liked them. There are some additional maintenance duties to perform and be educated on with the beam and saddle mounting hardware. I'd like to see Softride raise their prices $100 and completely clean this area up.

I heard a mall story that Jurgen Zack had a beam mounting hardware failure that caused him to abandon a race- any information on this?

Overall, I hope they stick around. In my opinion, the concept actually has proven itself. Personally, if it weren;t for my worries over the beam and saddle hardware, I'd like to sell more.

Oh, I wasn't too into it on hilly courses. That said, on the flats and especially on bad pavement when used with a disk wheel it struck me as a being very fast. -Sure was comfortable. Now that I think about it, I ran quite well off of it then. I think that was early 1997......???????


Tom Demerly
The Tri Shop.com
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