We have a six stage approach in our development cycle, and at each stage we review and inform our vision for the project:
1.Knowledge, Experience & Expertise
Technology can only enhance what the user puts in to the system - a computer program may be able to answer a question, but it cannot tell you if it is the right question to ask! To be able to make a real technological breakthrough you need a team with experience, passion and most importantly imagination.
2.Computer Aided Design (CAD)
We take our ideas and blue-sky thinking and convert these into CAD designs – these are detailed 3D model our designs in a simulated world. To our frame designs, we add a full suite of componentry as well as 3D “people” through the use of body scans.
3.Computational Fluid Dynamics (CFD)
Next, we take the CAD models and test these using sophisticated CFD programs – this allows us to do aerodynamic testing to model the effect of airflow over our designs. CFD can show us a highly detailed aerodynamic analysis of the bicycle and allows us to pin point areas we can improve and tweak until we are happy with the result. There are often dozens of trials in CFD before we are ready to move on.
4.Finite Element Analysis (FEA)
Once we have refined our preferred design using CFD analysis, we then run the design through FEA using specific load paths applied by the rider but at far greater forces, to identify how stresses and loads are distributed across the frame or components. Using this information we can again tweak the design if required and use the data to decide upon the type and quantities of material we need to use in each area, in order to get the best combination of strength, stiffness and weight. When using carbon fibre, the FEA process also allows us to identify which orientation we should lay the fibres in, in order to optimise performance.