I thought my first take on the Ridley Dean bike was a little shabby for my tastes.
So here's a second part to it and some more added thoughts.
Some asked me through comments whether these so called surface textures on the Dean frame are the same deal as dimples on a golf ball?
I will tell you I'm no expert but I do have a BASIC understanding of golf balls.
A golf ball in air is a rotating body. If you give them a critical amount of dimples (too many is counterproductive, too less is simply not enough) on the surface, it'll "catch" a small area of turbulent air around the boundary layer and this turbulent layer causes the air to 'stick' onto the ball. The trailing air will have hence have a longer separation point in its wake which ultimately means less drag and a more long, nice looking streamlined flow.
So is this what the Dean frame is mimicking?
The theory I think is essentially the same here too, but these are no dimples. They are just rough surface textures done here and there. I dont have a microscopic image of what they look like, so I wont call them dimples just yet anyway.
While dimples in golf balls in addition to the Magnus lift effect due to ball backspin have really solid and verified benefits, I'm not really sure about the practicalities for Zipp's wheels or ... the Dean, if any reasonable numbers are out there yet.
But hey, a golf ball is a golf ball. Typical velocities at impact are 60-70 m/s and spin rate is 3000rpm+. I'm not sure whether you want to compare golf balls with Zipp wheels or Ridley's new frame.
So what good is frame texturing to a cyclist? You decide with your money and your head.
Ben Atkins of Cycling News has done a good job with getting us laymen some pictures of the bike. I'll spoil it and put some arrows in them too so we all can see whats going on.
Theoretical Benefits : Getting turbulent air onto the boundary layer, increasing separation point on the trailing side yada yada.
Here are two places they did this :
SLOTTED AIRFOIL ON FORKS
In airplanes, control devices called slots on wings are can be fixed or moving.
Remember this? You probably must have seen it through the window seat the last time you flew.
Benefit of slotted airfoils in aircraft : Click this to read.
NOTE : I'm not an airplane guy but I understand some of my readers are from the Boeing company. Please improvise in comments if you do read this. What exactly is a slotted wing doing to airflow and talk about the benefits?
Anyway, so similar idea done on Ridley Dean's fork :
So this is supposed to create vacuum around the tire and spokes and decrease drag by 7.5%, and results from tests show that it saves 45watts when ridden at 45 kmph (28mph) ?? It cuts 8X more drag from the fork and spokes area than normal bikes?
Whoa whoa whoa, slow down there. One at a time. Sorry Ridley, can't believe it unless you prove it to us. Take the pen away from the marketing guys.
Give us a graph, a video in the wind tunnel ---- > something we can actually see to believe. For now I like your sharp design, but I'm not buying the specific claims you make about the "fastest bike in the world".