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Self-supported bikepacking races require a lot of kit and carrying capacity and practicality have historically trumped weight and aerodynamics concerns. As long-distance single day events, particularly in the gravel world, have grown in popularity and riders have perfected the art of carrying even less for shorter bikepacking events, the balance between carrying capacity and aerodynamics has shifted.

Apidura increasingly found themselves wondering if bikepacking packs could be designed to make a bike faster. That’s why they contacted Ridley. They wanted to explore what could be done with an already aerodynamic gravel race bike, our Kanzo Fast.

Ridley already has a longstanding history with aerodynamics in cycling through the design of high performance road racing bikes. The aerodynamic features of these road bikes (such as the Noah Fast), have been carried over to the Kanzo Fast. This makes the Kanzo Fast a true aerodynamic gravel racing bike. With our understanding of aerodynamics we decided to join forces with Apidura in their quest to develop aerodynamically efficient bikepacking bags.

During the exploration of the project both Ridley and Apidura understood that gravel racing presents a unique opportunity in the sense that there are no official rules defining the bike (accessory) design, contradictingly to the strict rules enforced in UCI road racing.

Drawing inspiration from triathlon race bikes, Apidura consulted Ridley’s aerodynamics engineer to define the best possible positions for gravelraceproof bikepacking bags. After this briefing, Ridley provided the Apidura team with 3D CAD files and a sample frame for the development process. The Apidura team then came up with initial bag designs, which were evaluated by Ridley’s aero engineer using CFD (Computational Fluid Dynamics). At the same time Ridley tested commonly available bikepacking bags in the Bike Valley wind tunnel to get further data and understanding on the aerodynamic effects of various bag setups. This process eventually led to a first set of bags that were used for wind tunnel testing at Bike Valley.

For now this is just a concept study, but we can imagine this technology trickling down into Ridley bikes in the future. What we can tell you is that we made the fastest gravel bike in the world even faster with these bags. Find out how many watts are saved on the Apidura journal.

The Kanzo Fast with the Apidura Aero Pack System is being unveiled at Unbound 2022. You can see the bike and concept packs at the Unbound Expo between 2 and 3 June. On June 4th Nol van Loon (FatPigeon.cc) will compete in the 200 mile race on his custom Kanzo Fast gravel bike with Apidura Aero Pack System.

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