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The Edge Series – Photos of Five Bikes Built by Matt Weaver

(I’d love to see other images as I don’t have many. Anyone who witnessed the Cutting Edge in 1989-1991, or Virtual Edge, etc… please let me know.)

The "Cutting Edge"


1989 Cutting Edge sitting out the rain in the racecar paddocks of the awesome Michigan International Speedway.

1989 Cutting Edge with eager-to-race Matt late-night in the garage of an accommodating bed-and-breakfast in Adrian, Michigan.

1989 Cutting Edge – Frame and Body – the "MAT Speedbike" logo was not a half-finished label but an acronym of a tease my father had for "Matt’s Advanced Tinkering"

1990 Portland International Raceway – Cutting Edge on the "edge" of the raceway the critical moment it passed the Gold Rush (world hour and sprint record holder) on the outside and never looked back (no rear-view mirrors!). Notice I ran with the covers off the front end due to record high temperatures in Portland that week (August 1990) (photo courtesy Kevin Purell. Where are you, Kevin?).

1991 – The glistening Gold Rush LeTour, powered by Fred Markham, which set a new flying kilometer world record on the opening day and city of the 1991 Tour de France. I had the privilege of fabricating the disk wheel covers for this bike.


The "Speedbike"

1990 "Speedbike" polished mold plug with messy-hair Matt (after lots of polishing) holding.

1990 "Speedbike" polished mold plug viewed from top rear

1991 "Speedbike" front-wheel drive test frame #2 with DuPont Prize (65.48-MPH) "Gold Rush" designer-builder Gardner Martin. "Gold Rush LeTour" frame (when under construction) in the background.

1991 Speedbike frame #2 with Matt putting it through maneuvers.


The "Kyle Edge"

2000 – Unpainted Hexcel-IM7 Carbon body "Kyle Edge" blurring by on a Nevada desert highway at near or exceeding 70-MPH with Matt inside with only the glow of two redundant flat LCD video screens as a guide. (photo courtesy Richard Myers)

The "Virtual Edge"

See also Chris Broome’s "Virtual Edge" Pages (Virtual Edge Pages by Chris Broome) for images of completed Virtual Edge.

1999 "Virtual Edge" sans video and cooling system. Notice sealed wheels. My head is cocked back more than I ride as there’s plenty of headroom, and I’m also choked by the helmet-strap. It’s more comfortable than it looks in this photo!

1999 "Virtual Edge" rear view

1999 "Virtual Edge" – Top View of Body – An interesting angle few get to see.

The "Eta Edge"

Later. Actually, I don’t have any photos yet. I could photograph a half-finished body mold (a 1200-pound block of special wood laminate carved out by a large CNC mill, roughed, not finished. It resembles something like a wood bathtub carved by Michelangelo!). Unfortunately, I won’t share blueprints yet given the nature of some teams. I’ve pretty well spelled out many key principles in my 1999 Virtual Edge e-mail Alan Thwaits published through year 2000 on the web before his site closed down recently. Note what’s in that e-mail, and my 1991 Cutting Edge article published in Cycling Science, and you can be well on your way to venture with an excellent creation of your own!

Here are a few images of the sort of plots that I examine 1000s of, or more accurately, the billions of numbers behind them that I analyze and direct before the creation of a body like that of the Eta Edge. To a large degree one can skip all this with a good eye given existing examples now. High quality of the finish work and understanding and attending to lots of critical details is still the main key for high-performance laminar flow, no matter how much computer-stuff is performed.

This shows air pressure (color-coded, blues=higher pressure, red=lower pressure) on a body surface (not exactly the Eta Edge, but similar to it) , and the paths (streamlines) that air particles take moving near the surface (there’s a slight cross-flow shown here).

This is a graph of the local "skin friction" – a number that represents how much rubbing action the air has against the surface of the body (nose = 0, tail = 1.0) Note the dramatic increase in friction at the laminar-turbulent transition at about 75 percent. The goal of a "laminar body" like the Kyle Edge and the Eta Edge is to delay that dramatic increase in friction as long as possible. Most vehicles see that jump in friction a mere 10% or so from the nose, and as a result take upwards of 300% or more power to go the same speed as a nearly identical-looking laminar-body vehicle.

Brief Summaries of Five Bikes Built by Matt Weaver

"Cutting Edge"


"Kyle Edge"

"Virtual Edge"

"Eta Edge"