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Bahati tests gear in wind tunnel

Steve Owens watches as Nathan O'Neill spins. Photo: Brian Holcombe

By Brian Holcombe

The Bahati Foundation Professional Cycling Team hopes to be just that little bit faster after testing equipment and clothing in a Colorado wind tunnel over the weekend.

Eight-time Australian time trial champion Nathan O’Neill used the time spent with Colorado Premier Training at the Cermak Peterka Petersen wind tunnel in Fort Collins to work on his time-trial positioning and test a new proprietary speed suit and helmet from Louis Garneau.

Rahsaan Bahati, meanwhile, checked out some options for getting faster in road races and criteriums.

The first-year U.S. Continental team will ride Cannondale Super Six and Slice frames equipped with Shimano Dura-Ace drivetrains and brakes; PRO handlebars, stems, wheels and seat posts; fi’zi:k saddles; and Challenge tires.

O’Neill spent two hours riding his Slice in the wind tunnel on Saturday, switching hand positions between the flat and S-shaped extensions on his PRO Missile Flat aero bars. No stranger to tunnel testing, O’Neill also checked out no fewer than eight skinsuit/helmet combinations from Garneau and competitors.

Rahsaan Bahati and Pierre Perron watch the CPT wizards work the computer. Photo: Brian Holcombe

Bahati also spent nearly two hours in the tunnel aboard his Super Six, working through a number of clothing, helmet and position options that the team hopes will produce results in road races and criteriums.

“We’re testing the integration of general aerodynamics principles into road cycling and sprinting,” said Steve Owens, founder and CEO of CPT, who also manages the Bahati squad. “Having investigated the difference in aerodynamics between certain uniforms, helmets, shoe covers and positioning and quantified those differences, we can educate the guys to help them understand the importance for efficiency.”

Colorado Premier Training’s partnership with CPP gives Owens open access to the wind tunnel, a perk he says is a distinct advantage for his squad. While most pro teams hit the wind tunnel to check out time-trial equipment and positioning, Owens can conduct more generalized testing without breaking the budget.

“Knowing that you’re saving, say, 20 watts power output to go the same speed, you know that you’ve done every little thing. You know that you’re fast,” said Owens. “Athleticism is so much mental and knowing that information makes a difference.”

The Bahati Foundation Professional Cycling Team will unveil its team kit on March 12 in Los Angeles. Stay tuned to VeloNews.com for coverage of the event and a full technical report.

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