Rappstar wind tunnel time

Jordan Rapp spent time in the Specialized Wind Tunnel on Monday to test a few items and we were there to join him in his maiden wind tunnel time.

It was surprising to learn that Rappstar had never been tested inside a tunnel but he is street smart about aerodynamics and his general setup is dialed in. He wanted to test and see a few small items this time around and will return to this fairly new Specialized facility more before too long for some other tests.

Rapp was also willing to share the information learned in this round where he looked at helmets, a lower head position, riding on the base bars, taping his suit zipper and carrying additional storage.

At 40 km/h the McLaren / TT04 helmet was a 5 watt improvement over the Evade road helmet, but that is actually respectable and reasonably close and allows Rapp to wear the Evade helmet with confidence on very hot days or non Championship races. Rapp though plans to test more helmets in the next round with Specialized, but the focus here was for Kona.

A lowered head position (also known as turtling) for Jordan meant a 3-4 watt saving at 40km/h.

Rapp also wanted to know what aerodynamic penalty it would be for him to ride on the base bars versus the extensions, and that of course changed with the speed. At 20km/h it meant 4 watts, at 30 km/h 15 watts and at 40km/h a pretty impressive 35 watt difference. That now means for Rappstar that he can make the call on the fly and if he can produce more power on the base bars at those speeds he can indeed opt to ride there versus staying tucked on the extensions.

The out of control looking zipper line was mostly a nuisance to the eye of the onlookers and not so much to the wind. There was no penalty a 0 degrees and barely 1 watt at 10 degrees.

Rappstar believes in carrying a repair kit and that Pros should be self sufficient along those lines and not just hope for neutral support. The bag in that position would not give him more drag.

All images (except images 8 + 18) © Herbert Krabel / slowtwitch.com

Jordan Rapp looked quite comfortable in the wind tunnel.

Chris Yu explains the Specialized wind tunnel to Jordan Rapp and a few other folks before the testing started.

Jordan Rapp took quite a few pics an d seemed impressed with the facility.

After the tour it was time for Jordan Rapp to get his bike out of the case and ready for the tunnel.

Final adjustments on the S-Works Shiv with a few folks looking on.

Early testing with the Evade aero road helmet.

Specialized Aero Engineer Mark Cote looks on as Jordan Rapp warms up. Cote's eyes are fixated on the display on the floor.

This is what the tunnel side camera sees and the trisuit zipper line became a hot topic of discussion, but turned out to be of virtually no impact.

Mark Cote looks on from the control room as Jordan Rapp does his thing in the wind tunnel.

Mark Cote and Chris Yu explain to Jordan what they have discovered so far.

The wounds on the leg of Jordan Rapp from the most recent accident.

Work on the front end of the S-Works Shiv.

And the bike is back together.

Jordan Rapp prefers road shoes when riding his triathlon bike on longer courses.

The bike awaits his pilot in the tunnel.

These big fans in this open design tunnel suck the air at whatever speed is set in the control room.

Time for some more tests and now with the TT04 / McLaren helmet.

Here Jordan Rapp tested a small bag with a spare tube and a repair kit.

An interview in the tunnel after the testing.

The fans are isolated from the ground with suspension units.