When you think of factors that affect downhill speed you’d probably imagine commitment, suspension set up and tyres would be the most important. However, this year the Specialized Gravity Republic has added aerodynamics to the mix.
Loic Bruni’s team recently picked up Specialized bikes as a sponsor and they have taken full advantage of all the facilities the Big S has on offer, including its wind tunnel.
Don’t expect the team to be turning up to World Cups in skin suits just yet (UCI rules state you need to be able to pinch an inch of fabric), but you need look no further than Aaron Gwin’s chainless run in Leogang to see what effect a good tuck position can have.
Bruni says: “It’s not really essential to do wind tunnel stuff but if you have the possibility to do it then it can make the difference, whatever other people say it’s really good to do it. We’ll have some stuff in our pocket that will make us a little bit faster.”
Bruni’s team mate, Loris Vergier, took a slightly different approach. He said: “It’s just science bro. I’m not an scientist or an intellectual. It was so strange.”
The rest of the video is well worth a watch too as it show the team ramping up for their first season aboard the Specialized Demo.