Cube has taken the wraps off an amazing new 'stealth bullet' TT bike, built to rule the punishing Queen K Highway at this year's Ironman World Championship in Kona, Hawaii.
The all-black Cube Time Trial Bike is based on the existing C:68 frame and was developed with the help of F1 engineers Swiss Side, to be ridden by German athlete Andreas Raelert.
Raelert, 38, is the world record holder over iron-distance triathlons, but a win at Kona has long eluded him. Now, his sponsors Swiss Side and Cube have collaborated to give him what they call the 'ultimate aerodynamic package', based on plenty of wind tunnel time.
He'll be aiming to cover 180km of hot Hawaii tarmac in as close to four hours as possible – his best bike split there is 4:36:34, while the current record is held by fellow German Normann Stadler, who posted 4:18:23 back in 2006.
World record holder Andreas Raelert spent considerable time at the GST Wind Tunnel in Immenstaad am Bodensee, Germany
Cube says there were no half measures in developing this bike, with Swiss Side employing computational fluid dynamics (CFD) to tweak Raelert's position and his equipment setup, including helmet, apparel, shoes and drink bottle configuration.
“The new bike is light and stiff with the advanced twin-mould carbon frame," says Cube's head of engineering, Bernd Schenkl. "This frame is market leading in its form, with an extreme geometry transferring each and every pedal stroke into pure speed.
"At the same time, the bike modularity ensures the possibility for every rider to make their individual setup. Our goal is to build the most aerodynamic bike on the market. With this new bike we did a huge step forward to achieve our goal.”
Big aero gains
The new Cube comes equipped with Swiss Side Hadron Ultimate 800+ wheels, honed with the same CFD techniques used elsewhere, and claimed to be among the world’s most aerodynamic wheelsets.
After fitting the new parts for Kona, Swiss Side says that big aero gains could be made on Raelert's previous ride, a Cube Aerium Super HPC. The base drag level was reduced by over six percent, and further drag reduction of over 20 percent at higher yaw angles was apparently achieved.
Cube tells BikeRadar that the bike in its current form will not be available to buy. However, it is the first prototype as part of a new aero bike development project in the works from Cube, with aerodynamic development support from Swiss Side.
An athlete zooms down the Queen K Highway at Ironman Hawaii (image: Getty)
Find out how Raelert's new stealth bullet performs by tuning into live coverage of Ironman Hawaii on the event website this Saturday (10 October) from 6am local time – that's 9am US West Coast, 12 noon US East Coast, 5pm UK time, and 3am on Sunday in Sydney.