“How does Knight design the world’s fastest wheels?”
As you may imagine we get this question quite a lot. The long answer is, well, pretty long… The short answer is, we start with extensive testing in the wind tunnel. We look at the cross-sections of the wheel’s shape (air-foil). And we look at the wheel itself to see how the air moves at a wide range of angles (“yaw”). We examine how and where the air flow separates from the wheel’s surface. And we look at where this separation creates drag. These are the basics of any aero testing, sure. Where our testing differs is our approach to eliminating drag.
To answer these questions, here’s Knight Designer Kevin Quan, with a little bit about the testing protocols we use, how they help us eliminate drag and their impact on real world performance.
Testing – A quick aero primer
To reduce the drag from the air flow separation, we’ve taken the approach of reducing drag from the wheel’s trailing edge, as air moves away from the wheel, and over the bike and rider. This is where, as a wheel designer, we can have the most impact on drag. In fact, our engineers have honed in on the design concept of “Trailing Edge Aerodynamic Manipulation” (T.E.A.M.) as the most effective way to reduce drag. This creates a gradual widening of the airflow as it leaves the wheel and passes over the rider and bike. As a result, we’ve designed the Knight wheel’s airfoil shape to eliminate drag, create lift, and give you more usable watts. This is what makes our design so fast.