53 - FLO Co-Founder Jon Thornham
FLO Cycling co-founder Jon Thornham is on to cover the history of his innovative - 'best of both worlds' - wheel brand, and takes us on a deep dive of wheel aerodynamics and rolling resistance.
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- 3:15 the FLO story
- 7:30 the early challenges of the direct-to-consumer model
- 10:00 unintentional scarcity
- 11:15 the value of learning from the mistakes of others
- 12:45 the value of transparency in business
- 14:45 the FLO Gen 1 process
- 17:00 FLO studying the real world
- 21:00 the evolution of wheel design over the course of FLO’s presence in the market
- 26:00 the brand new FLO all sport and gravel lines of wheels
- 29:00 how rolling resistance became a cornerstone of design consideration for FLO
- 34:00 the evolution in thinking about the right tire pressure
- High pressure leads to wheel bounce and power loss
- 36:00 testing rolling resistance with help from Aerolab
- Turns out, a wider rim reduces rolling resistance
- Optimizing for both rolling resistance and aero drag, saves up to 2W per wheel
- 38:00 rolling resistance impedance affected by weight, tire type, road surface AND rider speed
- 40:45 how to determine optimal tire pressure?
- Start with the FLO tire pressure charts (scroll down to see the chart), use these values as you maximum pressure
- Experiment and maybe drive those numbers down
- Decrease in CRR with decreasing tire pressure is gradual, but the increase in CRR above the breakpoint is substantial! So err on the side of lower pressure.
- Refer also to the Silca tire pressure calculator
- 44:45 don’t sweat the accuracy of your pump, since your pressure will change with several variables: temperature, altitude, air loss, etc.
- 46:45 the effects of altitude and air temperature on tire pressure
- Only about 5psi difference over an elevation change of 10,000’ (3,000m)
- Only about 5psi difference over a temperature change of 30F (17C)
- 48:30 what’s next for FLO and performance wheels?
- 53:45 how FLO gives back and respects environmental impact
Check our the rest of the FLO Cycling page here. I certainly recommend their primer on rolling resistance as a good reference too.