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Aerodynamic Engineering Of Carbon Bike Wheels

Aerodynamic Engineering Of Carbon Bike Wheels

Central to the engineering of the System-Optimised™ rim shapes was our use of cloud computation in CFD simulations. 

We teamed up with the cloud CFD processing company SimScale, for our advanced windtunnel simulation and the aerodynamic optimization of our wheels.

Simscale is a next-generation cloud-based computational fluid dynamics platform. Tokyowheel uses this technology to optimize the aerodynamics of our wheels. By creating a 3-D model and simulating air flow over the wheels, we can determine the drag and characteristics of a specific design and make changes to improve aerodynamics and performance.

Traditionally CFD has been a very time-consuming and resource intensive process. Simscale is revolutionizing the industry by moving all of the computation of the simulations to cloud-based computers.

Why does this matter? A typical CFD simulation can require hundreds of hours of computer processing time to finish. The amount of time required for each simulation limits the number of changes and iterations possible. By moving the computer processing into the cloud via the SimScale platform, we are able to utilize nearly unlimited computing power.

Where a traditional simulation may take days or weeks to finish, we are able to finish them in minutes or hours. This allows us to iterate our designs more frequently. We also have the added benefit of being able to run multiple simulations simultaneously, which allows us to test multiple designs at the same time.

Another benefit of cloud-based CFD, is that staff members around the globe can work synchronously with our US based engineering team. Without the limitation of local software, and the need to be in the same room to collaborate, we are able to deploy a talented worldwide team on our engineering and product development efforts.

We will detail our engineering and CFD process in another post, but I think there is merit to explaining some of the topics discussed in the simscale article in lay terms.

You can see here a 3-D CAD (Computer aided design) model of one of our wheels (the EPIC 3.4 Rear). By modeling the wheel, tire and seat tube with extreme accuracy, we are able to calculate accurate aerodynamic drag results from our CFD simulations.

By simulating airflow over the wheel, with realistic velocity, rotation, and airflow yaw angle, we are able to accurately predict the aerodynamic drag of the wheel. We are also able to observe the airflow characteristics by visualizing the air as graphicly represented streamlines.

By varying the yaw angle of the incident airflow (the direction the wind is blowing from). We are able to determine the aerodynamic drag in all of the conditions a cyclist can expect to experience.

Cloud CFD has allowed us to make significant improvements to our products, in a fraction of the time it takes competing companies. This provides us with a very real market advantage, and provides you the rider with faster wheels, that make your riding more efficient, and ultimately more fun.

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