There’s been something bubbling away behind closed doors at KATUSHA. The wheels in the brains of our R&D team started turning way back during our debut visit to a Team KATUSHA Training Camp, when our first summer Performance collection was merely notes on a piece of paper. But the tunnel days are over, the light has finally been reached.
Anyone who’s ever cycled into a strong headwind knows about air resistance. In a word, exhausting! To make matters worse, aerodynamic drag squares proportionally to the increase of speed. In simpler terms, the faster you ride, the more wind resistance you experience and even more energy is required in order to tackle it.
If you double the speed from 25 km/ to 50 km/h, the drag quadruples and so does the power required by the rider to push on the pedals.
So, how do you beat air resistance? First, training. The more power you have in your legs, the harder you can push. But training can only take you so far and that’s where aerodynamics comes in. This is where the AERO kit comes in! Studies show that about 80% of resistance is caused by the rider, the bike counts for just 20%. Body position is the first element of importance in this equation, but clothing can make a big difference in the amount of drag reduction.
Low drag clothing needs to be tight fitting and made with a special fabric structure that helps to reduce the volume of the area of vortex behind the rider.
What we didn't know: What’s the best fabric? What is the best fabric structure?
These questions were tested in three steps:
- Fabric testing in wind tunnel to select the most AERODYNAMIC fabric according to different speeds.
- Garment testing in wind tunnel to confirm the fabric placement on the body.
- Garment testing on the track with Team KATUSHA ALPECIN Pro riders to confirm the product concept in situation.
In collaboration with Team KATUSHA ALPECIN, KATUSHA has developed a highly performing AERO kit. The fabric selection and placement are the result of intensive testing in a wind tunnel and on the track, the results of which prove it to be the fastest rider kit.
These are the key elements of KATUSHA AERO technology:
- Engineered rough surface of the fabric to be used in the point of delamination of the air flow.
- Smooth surface of the fabric, with linear stripes to be used where the air has to glide better.
- Very stretchable fabric with a good compression to reduce the wrinkles on garments and to assure «no flapping» even at high speeds.
- No compromise in terms of comfort, breathability and thermal regulation to guarantee comfort of the rider in all conditions.
The graph below shows you the performance of KATUSHA AERO technology. At 45km/h, the AERO technology will allow you to save few watts that make the difference.
Energy expenditure (in watts) when riding at 45km/h, measured with 3 different kits. Comparative test done in wind tunnel.
Rule #10 // It never gets easier, you just go faster.
As the famous quote by Greg LeMan tells us, training, climbing and racing is hard. It stays hard.
“Training is like fighting with a gorilla. You don’t stop when you’re tired. You stop when the gorilla is tired.”