We have a few must-visit booths at Interbike every year. These are the booths where we know we’ll find something to fall in love with. Two years ago, Louis Garneau had that effect on us with the P-09 helmet. Last year it was the M-2 Course tri suit. So as always, when we walked up to the LG booth this year, we had high hopes that something was about to set a new level of expectations for 2016. Needless to say, Louis Garneau did not let us down. They made not one, but two announcements that left us asking for more.
The first announcement was of a new partnership between Alphamantis Technologies Inc. and Louis Garneau. Alphamantis takes aero testing out of the tunnel and brings it to the track.
The tests tests are run in a 250m velodrome in Milton, a town in Southern Ontario, Canada, using a live athlete riding on the track. Just like real-life conditions, it is impossible to eliminate all movements other than the pedaling motion—even if, for testing accuracy purposes, it is important that these athletes maintain the very same position throughout the tests. Therefore the tests conducted in Milton are much closer to real-life conditions than those conducted on a static or artificial mannequin in a wind tunnel. The only downside resides is that since they are testing in the velodrome, all testing is conducted at 0-degree wind angle.
With this partnership, Louis Garneau is going to start adding an Alphamantis seal to all of Louis Garneau’s products that the team from Alphamantis signs off on. And Alphamantis already has a few seals to hand out.
The P-09 helmet was first tested in the NRC wind tunnel located in Ottawa on an adjustable mannequin in two different positions; the first being that of an age-grouper in an Ironman trial, the second represented a professional racer in a time trial. In both cases, Alphamantis tested speeds from 30 to 60 km/h. They repeated these tests with riders in real-life conditions at the Milton velodrome at the beginning of September 2015. In every case, the P-09 helmet proved to be faster or equal to the competitor helmets brought along; for example, a rider wearing a P-09 gained 1.5% compared to a POC Cerebel, and 2.8% compared to a Rudy Project Wing 57.
With the Course helmet, the team from Alphamantis found gains of 5% compared to a Giro Synthe, 2.5% compared to a Specialized Evade, 4% compared to a Kask Protone, and 4% compared to a Lazer Z1.
The final seal from Alphamantis is going to the Course M-2. The tri suit is able to reduce a rider’s CdA by as much as 6%, which roughly represents savings of 13 watts to an average rider in aero position riding at 40 km/h, or 2 min 30 sec savings on a 90 km flat course at 250w average versus a sleeveless tri suit.
Gennix A1 Aero Road Bike
The second big announcement from LG was as much a surprise to us as the first. Louis Garneau launched its new Gennix A (Aero) Road Platform on the floor of the Mandalay Bay. Built with many of the same concepts from the Gennix TR1, the A1 includes internal cable housing, low seat stays, dropped down tube, shielded wheels and brakes, a bottle-optimized profile (CFDs included the bottles during the design process), a wide-spacing fork blade and zone-specific tube profiles. The end result is that the A1 has 14% lower drag than the Gennix R model.
To keep the A1 stiff, LG combined an oversized 386 Evo BB and a 1-3/8” lower head tube along with a carbon lay-up. The Gennix A is the first frame from Garneau to make good use of Altair Hyperworks, an advanced composite analysis software that creates virtual prototypes in order to optimize carbon fiber type, layer shape, and position.
Garneau chose to go with a brake mounted at the seatstay junction for two reasons. First up was the ease of maintenance for the home mechanic. But secondly (and for Garneau, more importantly) was the decrease in deflection the brake would be subjected to during periods of heavy climbing or sprinting.
Like the R1 before it and the TR1, the A1 will be available with Louis Garneau’s Dream Factory custom program. Customers can choose to have their A1 painted to match their favorite colors or just their favorite kit. Then again, with Louis Garneau’s custom clothing options, you can also choose to go with a fully custom kit \ bike combo.