The product development and marketing agreement with the Jordan Formula 1 Racing Team was signed on August 30th but the first fruits of the collaboration were unveiled at Eurobike in Friedrichshafen, with more unveiling to happen at Interbike, Las Vegas, next month.
Oval's sales manager Piet van der Velde originally contacted Jordan F1 to discuss Jordan's planned aero bike project. This was shelved but when Jordan engineers studied the Oval Concepts JetStream Aero Forks, the company's top brass was invited to meet with Jordan at their Silverstone HQ.
Bruce Eddington, Jordan composite design engineer, also happens to be a time trialler, and knows a thing or two about aerodynamics:
While the JetStream fork in its current form is quite interesting, we thought we could help Oval Concepts develop the next generation fork product using our composite design and aerodynamic capabilities to move the product two or three generations forward.
Tony Laszlo, Jordan brand marketing manager, believes high-end cycling and F1 racing are a good fit:
The composite and aerodynamic equations that are driving both F1 and cycling to optimise performance motivate both companies from the presidents on down.
Eddie Jordan, owner of the team, is intimately involved in performance issues at Jordan and he is also an avid cyclist. Both of Jordans drivers use road bikes and MTBs in their fitness regimes.
Healthy minds and bodies drive our technology to create speed a common element for both Jordan and Oval Concepts, said Jordan.
Oval president Morgan Nicol, founder of Ritchey International, and formerly of HED aero products, said:
I am humbled by my good fortune. Jordans budget for CAD design, aerodynamic testing and carbon proto-typing rival the entire bike industry. There is no way I could afford the type of capabilities that Jordan has proposed sharing. While the aerodynamic equations and composite production systems are quite different, having competitive cyclists inside Jordan give both companies a common language and interesting insights into the other sport.
Oval Concepts designs, manufactures and markets top-end road, aero and mountain handlebars, stems, seat posts and forks.
The company has previous worked with US IBD and go-fast guru John Cobb, the man who advises Lance Armstrong on his bike position.
Oval is distributed in the UK by Upgrade Bikes Ltd of Henfield, West Sussex, the DMR, Kinesis and Dirtyhabit distributor.