With a new aero wheel in development, Mavic started the tour off well with wins on the first three stages, including the team time trial. It seems that the aero wheel arms race is really starting to heat up with more companies touting their extensive wind tunnel testing, yielding supposedly best results.
While Mavic is certainly using the Geneva wind tunnel to fine tune their new wheels, the video above has just as much to do with designing new processes and equipment for testing as it does the wind tunnel. In order to make rapid prototyping possible, Mavic is relying on stereolithography which is basically layered resin which creates a solid form. Stereolithography is able to produce an identically formed rim in a very short period of time, to use for aerodynamics testing.
Check out the yet to be released CX-01 Aero wheel after the break!
When asked about the new wheel, Mavic responded that they weren’t able to say anything on the matter, but they did give Velonews a sneak peek at the start of the Tour. Supposedly, this CX-01 might be the second version of the current CC80 and obviously will included CX-01 Technology. According to Garmin-Cervelo head mechanic Geoff Brown, the CX-01 tire is designed exclusively for this wheel, and is glued normally to the rim. However, once the tire is glued to the rim, there is a special channel in the rim for the foam insert you see above being peeled back. The point of the insert is to eliminate the gap between the tire and rim, in order to smooth airflow over the wheel.
Not much else is known about the wheels other than the fact that the hub shells are constructed from carbon fiber, and they feature 20 rear, and 16 front steel bladed spokes.