So we were rolling down the rover path in Taipei when we came upon a Birdy bicycle at a rest stop. Half the bikes out there were mini-wheeled folders, but this one had tiny HED aero wheels on it.
These looked to be Jet-type wheels about 40mm deep; I believe they were originally marketed to recumbent riders. They look super trick, but I honestly have my doubts that making the wheels more aerodynamic helps when their size means they contribute less to overall drag relative to the rider and bike frame. And no one on that path was really moving fast enough to justify an aero set-up.
On a recumbent traveling at 30mph+, the aero advantage would be inarguable. On a sunny bike trail at 14mph, they are probably more fashion than function. Mind you, I’d love to wind it out to see if there’s a difference at business speed on a mini velo, but that bike trail was just too crowded for riding tempo…let alone sprinting.…
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