The Perfect Blend of Form and Function: Creating the Award-Winning Noah Fast Bicycle
Jochim Aerts, founder Ridley Bikes, an innovator in the area of bicycle technical know-how, asked Voxdale—as a specialist in aerodynamics—to work together with them on the development of the next generation of Noah Fast racing bicycles.
The goal was to create a racer that would be even faster and more aerodynamic—the fastest professional racer within UCI regulations.
Features of the Noah Fast
The same ‘truncated teardrop shape’ is used everywhere in the frame. The windflow is optimised across the tubing from different approaches
‘Wings’ on the underside of the fork reduce turbulence caused by the front wheel hub.
There is a small notch in the tubing. This creates ‘mini-turbulence’. As a result, wind that previously collided with the frame under a curve or angle now stays attached for longer, reducing the turbulence behind the frame (the golf ball effect).
The D-shaped steering tubing ensures that all cables are completely integrated into the steering/axle spindle and the frame.
Complete integration of all components
The steering, the saddle and the forks blend seamlessly into the frame.
Designing for Speed and Comfort
In 2017, Ridley and Voxdale conducted a preliminary investigation into the state of aerodynamics in the competitive cycling world. In doing so, they examined the parts that contribute to rider comfort and the speed of bicycles. The preliminary investigation resulted in a list of bicycle parts that they wanted to develop, with the technical requirements for each part.
With this design brief, Voxdale set to work, making sketched studies of the desired parts. Based on this study—and additional analysis and selection—Voxdale made digital 3D models of the parts. These 3D models were subsequently simulated in a virtual wind tunnel with help from the CFD (Computational Fluid Dynamics). Using this software, Voxdale mimicked the airstream from various angles of approach. They were able to extensively analyse the effects of the airstream on every part of the bike and optimise the 3D models for the next step.
This next step was a full-scale, printed 3D model of the bike that underwent extensive testing in the physical wind tunnel at Bike Valley. After analysis and the final adjustments of that 3D model, the design went into production at Ridley.
”Noah Fast was the winner, celebrated as the best professional bike in the areas of comfort, design and aerodynamics”
For Ridley and Voxdale, the cherry on top is the result of the comparative study performed by the renowned German cycling magazine Tour Magazin.
The result of this process is a new generation of the Noah Fast model from Ridley, with improved performance in the areas of rider comfort and aerodynamics.