8-Track Woosh-Woosh: Wind Tunnel Time

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Assume the position.
Assume the position.

Our own Josh Liberles recently had the opportunity to take an assortment of wheels – both HiFis and competitors’ – and his shnazzy new Orbea Ordu time trial bike into the University of Washington Aerodynamic Lab.

We’ll be spending a whole lot more time on CFD (Computational Fluid Dynamics) and wind tunnel testing, but these early forays proved what we’ve already seen out on the roads. They’re not only beautiful to behold, but our wheels also give the most established brands some very serious competition. In particular, the 8-Tracks – HiFi’s deepest offering at 85mm – tested extremely well, beating out what is commonly regarded as one of the “fastest front wheels” for time trials and triathlons at some yaw angles.

Aerodynamicist Len Brownlie points out one feature that makes the 8-Tracks slippery to the wind: The narrow Fidelity hubs.
Aerodynamicist Len Brownlie points out one feature that makes the 8-Tracks slippery to the wind: The narrow Fidelity hubs.

We performed our tests with a rider and a bike. There are too many variables and not enough yaw angles were tested to share any meaningful data at this point. But we will continue to test our products against the competition on controlled outdoor runs locally and we plan to get back in the tunnel for dedicated wheel tests – and data we can share – soon. Stay tuned.

University of Washington Wind Tunnel Session with drawing.And speaking of yaw angles, after lots of real world testing, both our 85mm 8-Tracks and 60mm LP tubulars have now joined the venerable 39mm EPs as a racer’s favorite for predictable, stable handling in crosswinds. The LPs are fantastic all-around road race, criterium, TT and triathlon wheels, while the 8-Tracks make great rear wheels for a variety of conditions and front wheels for TTs and triathlons. In the wise words of Blue Oyster Cult: “Don’t Fear the Deeper!”

Boeing's high-tech toys
Boeing’s high-tech toys

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