COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. — As the lead mechanic for USA Cycling Andy Bennett is in charge of some very expensive and very fast bikes at the Olympics in Tokyo, “it’s kind of a secret weapon,” said Bennett.
They’re called super bikes and are built by Felt engineers at Felt headquarters in Los Angeles, where work on the TA FRD model has trimmed down aerodynamic features, narrow hub spacing and a left side drivetrain that Jake Duehring with Felt Bikes says reduces airflow and speeds up times, “there’s better air flow on the inside of the track,” said Duehring. “so, we wanted to hide the crank on the inside of the track we did testing on track we used a program called CFD and we found a few milliseconds.”
The team and Felt spent years testing their bikes in computer simulations and wind tunnels eventually finding the sweet spot for speed and aerodynamics but it comes at a cost, the price tag for these bikes are around $26,000, “it’s a $26,000 bike,” said Duehing. “when you add up everything on the bike it’s actually not that crazy.”
Riding the TA FRD, Team USA women rode to a silver medal at the 2016 Olympics in Rio and have taken four team pursuit world championships and a bronze medal at the Olympics in Tokyo.
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