Deceuninck – Quick-Step and Specialized have enjoyed a long and fruitful relationship that has seen our team ride the best bicycles in the world.

During a recent testing session with some of our riders at the Valencia Velodrome, Leo Menville of Specialized told us about the work they do during the session and how it benefits our team throughout the year.

“We have been holding these sessions for several years now, where we do aero testing with the riders. The riders will have a Retül fit before they arrive at the velodrome, where we look to give them a good fit on the bike, as well as metabolic efficiency testing to give us a basis to work from. We use this information to do a test to optimize each rider’s position on the bike, mainly focusing this time on their Shiv Time Trial bikes.

This is done at the Velodrome because it is a controlled environment, where the conditions are always the same and there is no impact from the weather or terrain for example. This means using the same protocol every time where the rider will ride a number of laps of the track at set speeds and the data is checked using a coefficient drag calculator. We then make adjustments to the rider’s position and repeat the test.

The kind of adjustments we can make are with the handlebars, which can be higher or lower, further apart or closer, different pads, or changes to the saddle. The purpose is to find the most aerodynamically efficient position for the rider during a TT. We then pair this with the metabolic tests, which is important – for example it is shown that some positions maybe more aero but mean that the rider can produce less watts. So, we look at all of the information and find what is the perfect position for each rider.

All of the data we collect is recorded, saved and taken into account when we are designing our future new products, but this is not the main reason that we do the tests. Our main purpose is to help the riders of the team get the most out their bike every time they ride.”


Photo credit: ©Wout Beel

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