Specialized focuses on functional aerodynamic designs, from the Evade aero helmet to the Shiv’s new SWAT storage system
Evade aero helmet: “No need to look like a bowling ball”
Specialized has successfully publicised the Evade aero road helmet at the Tour de France this year, with Mark Cavendish winning in it. The company’s aerodynamicist, Chris Yu, said he was pleasantly surprised to see other riders, such as Alberto Contador, wearing it as well.
Specialized aero R&D manager Mark Cote said good looks were key targets of the design, which has been in the works for a few years. “We don’t believe that you need to compromise the core elements of a helmet – to keep you safe, to keep you well ventilated – when making an aero road helmet. There is no need to look like a bowling ball.”
The Evade has relatively generous vents, especially at the back. Cote claims the helmet is actually slower when you tape over the vents. “The (rear) exhaust port is bigger than the intakes,” Cote said. “You can actually suck air through.
“This has the same aerodynamics as the TT2 (a previous Specialized time trial helmet), with similar ventilation to our Prevail.” Cote also claims the Evade is “as aerodynamic as a bald head”.
The Evade weighs 260-280g for a medium size, depending on market.
SWAT – Storage, Water, Air, Tools
Specialized has a new storage concept for 2014, and it appears on both road and mountain bikes. After noticing riders taping, strapping and otherwise attaching food, tubes and tools to their bikes, the company’s product team decided to incorporate those needs into professional products.
“I can tell you horror stories of all the weird places I’ve taped stuff in triathlons over the years,” said Matt Elmore, of Specialized’s performance road marketing team.
Water storage had already been incorporated into the frame design for the Specialized Shiv triathlon bike; for 2014 the bike also has a frame-mounted Fuelcell container above the bottom bracket, and the Sitero saddle has a tripod attachment at the rear for a bottle cage or transition hook, plus attachments for CO2 cartridges.
The Shiv is also available with Magura RT8 TT hydraulic rim brakes, which were developed for the Cervélo P5. All Shiv models will come with the Sitero, and the top-level bikes will come with the Fuelcell as well. “These are not add-ons,” Cote said. “They are designed as part of the bike.”
The Fuelcell, which Specialized riders tested at the Kona Ironman world championships last year, is basically a firm pouch you can simply reach into. Instead of taping gels onto the top tube, triathletes can put them in the container. Many triathletes use some version of a ‘Bento box’, a top tube-mounted container.
Cervélo and some other companies have frames with bolts on the top tube for just such a container. While more of a reach for the rider, the Fuelcell is a substantially larger unit.
On the mountain side, the SWAT moniker applies to a stem-cap chain tool, a down tube-mounted flat pack, and a multi-tool mounted to the underside of the upper shock link or nested in a compartment attached to the water bottle cage of select models.
This article was originally published on BikeRadar. Click here to view the full article including Specialized’s full 2014 bike line-up.