Skip to comments.Whale Fin Inspires Safer Racing Wheels
Posted on 01/11/2018 8:17:29 AM PST by fishtank
Whale Fin Inspires Safer Racing Wheels
by Randy J. Guliuzza, P.E., M.D. *
Road bicycle racers are exciting to watch as they race in tight packs at speeds between 30-40 miles per hour. Cycling is a risky sport, and numerous racers have been injured or killed as they contend with the challenges of hazardous road and environmental conditions like strong cross winds. Some new technology may help reduce the risk of cycling accidents.
The engineers who design racing bikes look to achieve the fastest, yet safest, bicycles possible. One company, Zipp Speed Weaponry, spent four years developing new rims for racing wheels that are aerodynamically more stable in crosswinds. The engineers found a highly successful unpatented design, copied a portion of it, and applied it to their wheel technology.
A report on the new wheels describes the linkage between design imitation and the new Zipp 454 wheel,
For the 454, Zipp looked to humpback whales and, specifically, the lumps on the leading edges of their pectoral fins. Called tubercles, these protrusions make humpbacks more agile by keeping water attached to their flippers when they turn. In the same way that a plane can stall when air separates from the wing during high-speed maneuvers, uncontrolled turbulence over a whales flipper makes turning more difficult. Tubercles keep the water attached as it flows past
.Zipp says its SawTooth tubercles, which the company calls Hyperfoils, make deep-section rims more stable in crosswinds by forcing air to slip around and off the rims in a much more predictable manner.1
(Excerpt) Read more at icr.org ...
ICR article and image.
From the article:
“The report on Zipps new wheels is a clear example of how evolutionists are content to plug a massive void of empirical evidence with their faith that nature somehow exercises agency, At the unveiling of the 454s in London Wednesday night, Zipp engineers repeatedly turned to the idea of biomimicry, an old concept of approaching engineering problems by looking to how nature has solved them. But nature cant solve anything because it has no mind or willit cant think, plan, or build.”
“Fortunately, God hasnt patented any of His designs and He is likely pleased and honored when humans apply them into useful technologiesif He is duly credited. “
Looks fragile and a real “B” to keep true (ie round).
Zipp is making a lot of claims about these wheels, but hyperbole in cycling is a standard operating procedure.
By the way, the wheels cost $3,000 for the pair.
They’re carbon-fiber, and so are going to be far more rigid than metal wheels. The spokes are more there to keep the rim attached to the hub. The rim will stay round no matter what.
On a more general note, if tubercles help stabilize whale fins, why aren’t they used on passenger jets?
Correction: $4,000 for the pair.
“But nature cant solve anything because it has no mind or willit cant think, plan, or build.
The author has inadvertently stumbled on a tenet of natural selection and evolution!
Poorly adapted beasties tend to die early. Better adapted beasties tend to live long enough to pass on their better adaptations.
Give it a few million years (which I guess for your purposes can be compressed into the time since October 4004 BC) and the world is filled with the better adapted structures.
No planning or thinking required, just reproduction and environmental culling.
Doesn’t explain, though, how something dead initially came to life, or how sexual reproduction began.
$3,000 or $4,000.
Folks will pay that much for them if they have and advantage.
I have a set of brakes on my road bike that are worth $4,000 to $5,000 (I did not pay that much new, but they were $500 at the time which was 3 x the cost the next best brakes).
Unfortunately, these are bicycles, not airplanes, and definitely not fish. How much of the cyclist's stability depends on airflow across the tires in a crosswind?
I once heard it stated that 95% performance isn't all that expensive - with ability and effort you can omit the exotic and run with all but the top 5% in everyday life.
It's that top 5% that gets unbelievably hard and expensive. I think this is a "top 5%" idea - maybe a marginal improvement. Could you get the same benefit by shaving your legs, losing a few pounds or carb loading? Probably.
Oh well, your yuppie friends will be impressed anyway.
There’s only so much speed you can buy. I don’t see many pros running the 454 Zipps.
Or what went BANG!
There’s the fundamental question.
I darned-near crashed one day at 30+ MPH due to a crosswind-induced front-wheel flutter.
Remmeber that in 1989 Greg LeMond won the Tour de France by a margin of 8 seconds out of ~300000 seconds.
It’s all about the technology.....I marvel at the alpine skiing events where the difference between first place and 10th place may be only 1 second.......
Nope, and even Darwin recognized that. If you had ever actually read his book, you might have noticed the title is “On The Origin of Species”, not “On The Origin of Life”.
He recognized that the origin of life was beyond not only the scope of his book, but beyond the human ken in the 1850’s.
It still is.
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