The missing link for Specialized (Alistair Brownlee) just got a new bike from the British cycling legend Chris Boardman. He says that the new Elite AiR frame should help Brownlee save his running legs (?). “The moment it’ll make a difference in a race is when you’re on the front of the pack.
When you’re in somebody’s slipstream, you’re in turbulent air and going through the small low pressure area they’ve made, so it’s not really important what shape your frame is, but it is when you hit the front. So we optimise it for when you hit the front in relatively clean air.”
Don’t expect updates in 2012, though; Boardman work to a two-year development cycle, saying they’re against “change for change’s sake”, but new ideas are already in progress for 2013.
The range-topping Elite AiR 9.4 (£3,299.99) will be Alistair Brownlee’s race bike this season. The new frame is designed to be as aero as possible in ‘real conditions’, tested in crosswinds at up to 20 degrees which, according to Boardman himself, is “quite a strong crosswind”. “We don’t do straight-line testing in the wind tunnel,” he says. “This is a really nice bike that performs well in a decent range of conditions.”
The frame weights in at 1.2kg (size large) and has a tapered head-tube and internal cable routing to keep airflow clean. The fork and seat stays are designed to work best with aero wheels.