Mavic and Garmin-Cervelo go wind-tunneling.

Mannequin goes for a ride.

Quick, everyone into the wind tunnel.

French wheel manufacturer Mavic is working in close collaboration with the Garmin-Cervelo team this year. Hey, it’s already paid off big time in Paris-Roubaix with Johan Van Summeren winning the Hell of the North even on a flat tire.

In particular, the tunnel trip is an exploration of wheels and frames tested together as a unit. The goal is to create new bike + rider + wheel solutions to optimize airflow of the entire gestalt. The non-technical term is “go faster.”

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The short video yields a few fascinating nuggets: The front wheel represents 7% of total drag, the frame and both wheels add up to 20% with the rider contributing a hefty 80% of drag. Thus the need for guys with narrow shoulders and the ability to hold a tight aerodynamic position.

It’s also your chance to see the all-white plastic mannequin riders they stick on the bike. WHen they carry it around, it remind me of my kid’s old Gollum doll from Lord of the Rings.

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