Our new Aero Engineering Intern

Introducing Dan Gardner: Velobike's New Aero Engineer Intern

Welcome Dan to the Velobike Family! As an ex-professional road cyclist and expert bike fitter, Dan is shifting gears into the world of bicycle design and aerodynamic analysis. He's ready to apply his engineering expertise and passion for cycling to our cutting-edge track cycling equipment.

Dan Gardner - Aero Engineer

Personal Background:

Can you introduce yourself and tell us about your new role at Velobike?

Hey, thanks for the warm welcome! I’m from a small town close to Brighton in the UK, and moved over here two years ago to be with my girlfriend who’s from Auckland. Since then I’ve loved exploring NZ by bike and getting to know the friendly kiwi culture. The role is an aero engineering internship for the summer. I’ll be aero testing some of Velobike’s ingenious products and applying some engineering principles to analyse their performance. 

You've toured the world throughout your professional road cycling career. What's your most memorable experience from these tours?

I rode the team time trial world championships in Richmond, USA as a 19 year old. My teammate had a last minute mechanical so I ended up leading the team off the startline. I’ll never forget the energy from the crowds and buzz around the start ramp. 

Dan Gardner - Aero Engineer

Educational and Professional Journey:

What was your pathway from professional cycling to engineering, and what inspired you to join the aerodynamics side of bicycle design?

I studied engineering for 6 years alongside my racing career. They complemented each other nicely; I was able to apply some of the physics I was learning to help me optimise my performance on the bike. Ultimately going fast is something I’ve always enjoyed and aerodynamics is a major component of that. 

Can you share more about your professional bike fitting experience and how it complements your role in R&D at Velobike?

I struggled with a knee injury during my career so developed a keen eye for bike fitting. The gains of aero equipment are limited without good biomechanics so it will be exciting to work with Velobike to ensure athletes are not only fast but injury free and efficient.

Dan Gardner - Aero Engineer

Current Role and Contributions:

Tell us about the aero study you’re conducting on track cycling handlebars. What goals do you aim to achieve through this study?

We’ll be testing the handlebars under different conditions and hand positions to get a comprehensive idea of how they perform. The aim will be to have quantitative data to compare and analyse the properties of the handlebars so that athletes can make informed decisions on what to ride and how to use them.

You'll be working closely with professional athletes and industry stakeholders. How do you plan to integrate their feedback into your research?

I’m looking forward to hearing about how athletes feel when using these handlebars and hopefully being able to answer some of their questions with the results from the research we undertake. 

Vision for the Future:

As we approach the LA2028 Olympics, how do you envision your contributions influencing Velobike's product development?

The marginal gains asymptote is getting closer and closer which paves way for more original, out of the box thinking. What better place to get creative and draft up some new ideas than Velobike HQ.  

Quick-fire Questions:

Having switched from professional road cycling to now being involved in the track cycling industry, what aspect of aerodynamics excites you the most?

The way Glenn and his team have spearheaded the movement towards track handlebars with ‘grips’ has fascinated me. It completely changes the way a rider cuts through the air. I’m excited to delve deeper into the marriage between ergonomics and aerodynamics. 

What's one trend in cycling aerodynamics (road or track) you wish to see boom in the next decade?

I think we’ll see more development in the surface textures of components and optimising boundary layers. It has an important effect on drag coefficient so there is certainly more scope for innovation. 

If you could bring one element from your cycling experience into your engineering, what would it be?

Back yourself! There will always be naysayers but if you believe in something then trust your instincts and embrace the challenge.

Follow us on Facebook and Instagram to catch Dan in action as he delves into the world of aerodynamics at Velobike. Stay tuned for exclusive updates and sneak peeks behind the scenes of our latest R&D adventures.

Dan Gardner - Aero Engineer

Final Comments:

A huge thank you to the Velobike team for welcoming me aboard. I'm eager to learn from this flourishing team and to contribute to a brand that's as passionate about cycling as I am.

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