A great podcast critically reviewing the latest cycling science

Episode 10 -Technical Innovation 2 – Aero wheels re-invented

Streamline Cycling with Aerodynamic Interchangeable Rims

Over the last few years there certainly has been a proliferation of deep section rim wheels to give you that aerodynamic edge and of course they look cool as well. The basic physics of why deep section rims are faster is fairly simple, spokes do a lot of chopping up the airflow and the section of the spokes that are moving fastest and doing that chopping up is the section closest to the rim. Move that point closer to the hub and the final section of spokes are moving slower creating less turbulence. Taking this to the extreme the disc wheel gets rid of all of the spokes and that chopping turbulence and drag. In addition an appropriately profiled deep rim soothes the flow of air around the rim and tyre also reducing drag. Of course the other aspect that physics tells you is that any cross wind can create a problem making riding a straight line somewhat dangerous. So in cam conditions deep section rims can make a significant difference to your riding speed but this does come at a significant financial cost, particularly if you need to have more than one set of wheels in case of windy conditions.

This is where Daniel Cain comes in with his aerodynamic Interchangeable Rims. A keen racer and aero engineer he has invented a single rim for which you can buy different depths of deep section attachments or even a disk attachment to convert to your desired/optimal section. Still at the early stages of development he will be launching a Kickstarter campaign to get to production. However in my interview with Daniel we explore the bespoke aerodynamic modelling software that he has developed to design the exact profile of each of his different profile attachments. Also being a rider himself and a perfectionist he has spent a great deal of time designing his attachments and in particular the locking mechanism holding the rim attachments together so that there will be no rattle while riding.

So basically the concept is that you can buy a single base wheel and then convert it to 50mm, 70mm or disc for about the cost of an equivalent of one of these wheels. I know that I cannot wait until Daniel gets them into production so I can buy a set as I think that they are a really innovative concept that is likely to be popular. Go and have a look for yourself at his website www.streamlinecycling.co.uk and listen to Daniel talking about the development of his wheels on the Cycling Science Podcast.