Reynolds 58 Aero - $2,775.00

Believe it or not, but some of us here have at Competitive Cyclist hold degrees in physics. And while we're no engineers, in a cycling world becoming more and more driven by complex science, it's helped us understand and interpret the aerodynamics du jour. Along these lines, we remember less than two years ago when a certain wheel maker proclaimed that airflow turbulence in the rim's boundary layer was not only beneficial, but the penultimate in drag reduction. The data made sense, and the resulting wheel worked flawlessly in comparison to the zeitgeist. So, you can understand our interest in a wheel that knowingly takes its cues from the complete opposite side of the aerodynamic spectrum. With the Reynolds 58 Aero, the principles of wheel aerodynamics are turned on their heads -- the impossible becomes possible and the game is forever changed. Now, we're going to be forward -- the complexity of the Aero design is deep, but we'll walk through it together. To start, one needs to understand the prevalent ideology in aerodynamic wheel design, and to do so, we need to understand drag. What is it' Simply put, it's the restraining force that acts on the wheel when its direction of motion is counter to the free stream of airflow. Now, airflow near the surface of a wheel is turbulent by nature, and when it comes close to the rim surface, it becomes a turbulent boundary layer. This is the start of two kinds of drag, skin friction and pressure drag. Currently, wheel makers are attempting to harness the turbulent layer, reattaching it at the rear section of the rim. The reasoning behind this is that the system reduces pressure drag, but in return, the wheel sees gains in skin friction. However, this is viewed as a comprising trade off, as skin friction has around a ten-fold lower drag value than pressure drag. To maximize this turbulent system, we've been seeing builders create a constant, rounded edge at the spoke face. - $2,775.00