Tour de France bike designed using NVIDIA RTX GPUs – Geeky Gadgets

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Tour de France bike design
In an era where technology propels innovation, NVIDIA RTX GPUs are fuelling new revolutions in design cycles. Trek Bicycle, the renowned Wisconsin-based company, stands among the world’s leading bicycle manufacturers. It aims to perfect the craft of bike-making, prioritizing not just style, but also performance and user comfort.
Collaborating with its new partner, Lidl, the international retailer, Trek Bicycle houses a cycling team called Lidl-Trek. The team is participating in the annual Tour de France stage race on Trek Bicycle’s premier lineup, including models like Emonda, Madone and Speed Concept. Moreover, a significant portion of the team’s accessories and gear, such as the wheels and road race helmets, originate from Trek’s design studios.
Designing a bike presents an intricate interplay of physics, where striking a balance between aerodynamic efficiency, comfort and ride quality is the real challenge. To tackle this issue, the brains behind Trek are leveraging the NVIDIA A100 Tensor Core GPUs to execute high-fidelity computational fluid dynamics (CFD) simulations. In doing so, they are setting new aerodynamic standards for bicycles that are comfortable to ride and boast smooth handling. NVIDIA RTX technology further enhances their workflows on Dell Precision workstations, including the NVIDIA RTX A5500 GPU, and a Dell Precision 7920 equipped with dual RTX A6000 GPUs.
The design process begins with user research to foster initial design concepts and generate diverse ideas. The team then crafts prototypes and refines the design as necessary.
Achieving optimal performance necessitates a particular “feel” for the bikes, whether they traverse road or trail. Therefore, Trek invests substantial time with athletes to pinpoint areas that require key changes, such as alterations to geometry, frame flexibility, and shock absorption.
To facilitate their computer-aided design (CAD) workflows, the designers employ graphics-intensive applications like Adobe Substance 3D, Cinema 4D, KeyShot, Redshift and SOLIDWORKS. For CFD simulations, the Trek Performance Research team deploys Simcenter STAR-CCM+ from Siemens Digital Industries Software to leverage GPU processing capabilities.
NVIDIA RTX GPUs have catapulted Trek’s design and engineering capabilities forward. The visualization team can harness the power of RTX technology to expedite iterations, present more design options and produce high-quality renderings. They also utilize Cinema 4D and Redshift with RTX to visualize different designs in near real-time.
Michael Hammond, Trek Bicycle’s lead for digital visual communications, emphasizes the value of having time for iterations. With the RTX A5500, Trek’s digital visual team can push creative boundaries and reach the final design much quicker. “The RTX GPU performs 12x faster than our network rendering, which is on CPU cores. For a render that takes about two hours to complete on our network, it only takes around 10-12 minutes on the RTX A5500,” said Hammond.
In the past decade, CFD has become a pivotal tool for engineers and equipment designers, helping them understand their designs better. It’s a tool for improvement that obviates the need for time-consuming and costly physical testing for every design variant. Consequently, Trek has integrated CFD into its product development workflows.
The aerodynamics team at Trek utilizes Simcenter STAR-CCM+ to enhance each bike’s performance. To ensure a comfortable ride and smooth handling while optimizing aerodynamic performance, Trek engineers equipped the latest generation Madone with IsoFlow, a unique feature designed to enhance rider comfort while minimizing drag. The Simcenter STAR-CCM+ simulations, supercharged by GPU computing, enabled the engineers to slash simulation runtimes by 85 days. The CFD simulations now run 4-5x faster on NVIDIA A100 GPUs compared to their 128-core CPU-based HPC server.
The team can now scrutinize more complex physics in CFD to comprehend air movement under real-world unsteady conditions. “Now that we can run higher fidelity and more accurate simulations and still meet deadlines, we are able to reduce wind tunnel testing time for significant cost savings,” said John Davis, the aerodynamics lead at Trek Bicycle.
In a world increasingly dominated by advanced technology, NVIDIA RTX GPUs are revolutionizing the way we design and optimize for performance. By enabling faster, more accurate simulations and powerful, real-time visualization, GPUs are transforming the creation process for products like the Tour de France bikes from Trek Bicycle. In essence, the fusion of technology and creativity is setting new benchmarks in product design, paving the way for a future where the boundaries between virtual and physical design become increasingly blurred.
For more information on how the Tour de France bikes were developed using NVIDIA GPUs jump over to the official NVIDIA blog by following the link below.
Source : NVIDIA

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