A2 Wind Tunnel discoveries with Brad Williams

US Pro Brad Williams spent a couple hours in the A2 Wind Tunnel in NC with his new Canyon race bike and discovered quite a few interesting items while he was there. He had sought out Brian Stover to assist and advise him as the two have been friends for a long time. Williams also knew that Stover has a lot of experience in this field and has often come to this wind tunnel before. Mostly as part of the Aero Camps with Heath Dotson, but also in the recent Independent Aero Super Bike Test that was organized by ST forum member Kiley Austin-Young.

In addition to racing as a Pro triathlete, Williams is part of the K.I.S. Coaching crew with Scott DeFilippis and Sam Cardona, and that group is now supported by Canyon. Until recently Williams rode a Cervelo P5/6 and he now attempted to set up that position on his Canyon Speedmax CF SLX. He was however also curious if what he had learned over the years was good, and he wanted to see if he could improve his numbers.

He had 2 hours to get this done and helmets, apparel and shoes were among various items tested, but first up was the new bike itself and a look at the extensions and hand positions.

2 hours is enough to test quite a few items, and plenty of work for the person being in the wind tunnel. It is very crucial to be steady and the endless starting and stopping sequences tire out even seasoned pros.

Early on in the wind tunnel and also before the bike goes in there is plenty of wrenching to do. Typically the cables get either disconnected or snipped in order to allow speedy swaps of extensions and base bars once the actual wind tunnel session starts.

Brad Williams started the session with the stock Canyon extensions, his hands up as high as they were on his Cervelo. Clothing wise he started with a LG p-09 helmet, a Kiwami Spider LD suit, DeDeet socks and Scott Road Team BOA shoes.

Williams is waiting for the countdown to bring the bike back up to speed and once he is going the platform rotates from 0 to varies yaw angles.

Brian Stover looks on as Brad Williams is now about to test out various 51 Speedshop extensions.

There is however always work to do, and with Brad Williams assisting here the extension swap is done faster and thus valuable testing time is not wasted. Because once the clock starts it keeps ticking.

The highest 51 Speedshop extensions worked best for Williams, but they also tested out an even higher position. Short carbon sections do the trick in such a situation to keep the hands in place, but this proved to be slower for Williams.

Williams also removed the front hydration and bento box to see those numbers. At 0 it made no difference but at yaw it was worse, as Stover had predicted.

This is the stack height and 51 Speedshop extension that found Williams well. It is lower than he had been on his Cervelo.

Meanwhile in the control room Geoff from the A2 Wind Tunnel keeps an eye on the data and the man in the tunnel.

No socks proved to be faster by about a watt, but Williams was shocked when he learned that the Bont Zero Plus he had bought were 4 watts slower at 0 and 2 watts slower at 7.5 yaw than his Scott Road Team Boa.

Various helmets were tested and among them was the Giro Aerohead. The Aerohead often tests well and for Williams it beat the Louis Garneau p-09.

The Kiwami WS1 suit by itself tested worst at yaw for Williams, but with the Kiwami Wings Kona top over it Williams was 2 watts faster than with the Spider LD.

The POC Cerebel worked best for Williams and was about 2 watts faster at 0 and yaw when compared to the the Aerohead.

The Kask Bambino was 5 watts at 0 and 4 watts at yaw slower than the POC Cerebel.

Compared to the Cerebel on Brad Williams, the Rudy Project Wingspan 57 tested 9 watts slower at 0 and 11 watts slower at yaw.

This is likely how we will see Brad Williams race in the near future, and Williams reckoned that this time in the tunnel will give him 10 watts. According to Stover his CdA is now .211

The man and his Canyon Speedmax CF SLX after a long morning.

Correction: The difference between the Scott shoes was initially noted as 6 watts and that is not correct. It was actually 4 watts at 0 and 2 watts at 7.5 yaw