Maximizing speed on a bicycle can be defined as a rider’s ability (power output) to overcome air resistance. Together, the bike and the rider must move powerfully and efficiently through the air. When we developed the Norcom Straight, our central focus was on the rider and the bike as a single system. Fuji’s Development Team knows that a bike which may test well in the wind tunnel but does not enable the rider to achieve their most aero position which enables the body to produce maximum power will produce poor results on race day.
Fuji’s designers and engineers have created a bike with low drag coefficient numbers across all yaw angles with a versatile range of fit attributes that guarantees any and all riders will obtain their perfect, personalized position. Because the Norcom Straight is designed for the complete system (bike and rider) we are confident that this is the fastest, best-fitting bike in the world.
Three years ago, we aimed to develop a Tri/TT machine that would capitalize on the new aerodynamic technologies emerging in the market and push our ground-breaking D-6 Tri/TT bike to a new level of speed. Drawing upon some key style features from the D-6, we developed initial tube shapes based on the nose section of the NACA 0030 Airfoil. The initial concepts and sketches came to life using 3-D computer modeling before we produced the first RPT (Rapid Prototype #1).
Our product and engineering team took Norcom Straight RPT #1 to the A2 wind tunnel, where we tested the frame’s aerodynamics using interchangeable modular pieces. Specifically, we switched out various tube shapes and frame sections in an effort to discover the optimum frame design that produced the lowest amount of drag. Once we found the best performing configuration, we glued hundreds of pieces of yarn in a grid formation onto the RPT #1, and examined every millimeter of the frame. In so doing, we learned about all areas that had good laminar flow and also pinpointed the areas that generated turbulence or dirty air, which was manifested through fluttering yarn.
Armed with this data, we produced RPT #2, a one-piece unit and went back to the A2 wind tunnel. This time we evaluated its flow characteristics and found we were right on target - the Norcom Straight performed in the top strata of all superbikes on the market. We were able to pinpoint areas for more finite design improvements before investing in the carbon molds.
After we gave the green light for opening the first mold and then received our first prototype, we took one more trip to A2 wind tunnel to test the final evolution of our Norcom Straight.
During our final trip to the A2 wind tunnel, we wanted to review our findings and test against the competition, including our own D-6. We tested 14 different configurations – including 6 different competitor comparisons – and assessed 232 data points. The tests confirmed the development team's design decisions. The Norcom Straight is not only among the fastest Tri/TT superbikes on the market today – it’s also the fastest Fuji ever produced. On average, the Norcom Straight features an 18% improvement in efficiency across the most common yaw angles over the Fuji D-6. Of course, the Norcom Straight achieves this accolade by surpassing the fit limitations of our competitors.
But testing didn’t stop with the results from the A2 wind tunnel. We wanted our professional athletes to put the bike through a barrage of intense testing including wind tunnel, track aero/wattage testing and real-conditions riding. Triathletes Cameron Dye and Sarah Haskins tested their positions in the A2 wind tunnel in North Carolina while Jan Barta and the riders of the NetApp-Endura team attained their results at the Kaarst-Büttgen velodrome in Dusseldorf and at the TTT at Giro del Trentino. All riders reported the same thing: they were able to get into their preferred aero position with no problem and achieve the watts required for their specific pro-level racing.
The razor-thin profile of the Norcom Straight minimizes the drag induced by the frameset.
The stem, specifically designed to blend with the lines of the frame, maximizes aerodynamics when set in the stem pocket. When set outside of the stem pocket, stem induced drag is reduced because of its unique aerodynamic shape and features.
Designed to work in tandem, the fork and down tube are sculpted to smooth laminar flow between the two frameset members.
Considerable time was spent in the A2 wind tunnel refining the seat tube-seat stay junction to reduce turbulent air exiting the frame.
An integrated seat clamp provides cleaner air-flow.
We chose TTV brakes after A2 wind tunnel testing revealed that, when combined with the Norcom Straight's frame and fork design, the rear-mounted brake produced 18% lower drag than front-mounted designs.
The UCI-compliant Oval Concepts 960 aero base bar, spec’d on the Norcom Straight 1.1, was put through extensive testing at the A2 wind tunnel and achieved the optimum aero shape.
Available in the aftermarket, the Oval Concepts 970 aero base bar – which utilizes the brand’s famed JetStream technology – was born out of a design collaboration with the Spyker F1 Team. Capitalizing on the front-wing aerodynamics of Formula 1 auto racing, the second wing to the base bar redirects a flow of clean air away from areas of high turbulence – where the most drag is produced – and allowing it to dissipate into ambient air. Although this base bar is not UCI-legal, triathletes can capitalize on its competitive advantage.