Endurance Innovation 53 – Flo Cycling Co-Founder Jon Thornham

Endurance Innovation 53 – Flo Cycling Co-Founder Jon Thornham

FLO Cycling co-founder Jon Thornham is on to cover the history of his innovative – ‘best of both worlds’ – wheel brand, and takes us on a deep dive of wheel aerodynamics and rolling resistance.

This is Endurance Innovation’s one year anniversary! 🍾

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  • 3:15 the FLO story
  • 7:30 the early challenges of the direct-to-consumer model
  • 10:00 unintentional scarcity
  • 11:15 the value of learning from the mistakes of others
  • 12:45 the value of transparency in business
  • 14:45 the FLO Gen 1 process
  • 17:00 FLO studying the real world
  • 21:00 the evolution of wheel design over the course of FLO’s presence in the market
  • 26:00 the brand new FLO all sport and gravel lines of wheels
  • 29:00 how rolling resistance became a cornerstone of design consideration for FLO
  • 34:00 the evolution in thinking about the right tire pressure
    • High pressure leads to wheel bounce and power loss
  • 36:00 testing rolling resistance with help from Aerolab
    • Turns out, a wider rim reduces rolling resistance
    • Optimizing for both rolling resistance and aero drag, saves up to 2W per wheel
  • 38:00 rolling resistance impedance affected by weight, tire type, road surface AND rider speed
  • 40:45 how to determine optimal tire pressure?
    • Start with the FLO tire pressure charts (scroll down to see the chart), use these values as you maximum pressure
    • Experiment and maybe drive those numbers down
    • Decrease in CRR with decreasing tire pressure is gradual, but the increase in CRR above the breakpoint is substantial! So err on the side of lower pressure.
    • Refer also to the Silca tire pressure calculator
  • 44:45 don’t sweat the accuracy of your pump, since your pressure will change with several variables: temperature, altitude, air loss, etc.46:45 the effects of altitude and air temperature on tire pressure
    • Only about 5psi difference over an elevation change of 10,000’ (3,000m)
    • Only about 5psi difference over a temperature change of 30F (17C)
  • 48:30 what’s next for FLO and performance wheels?
  • 53:45 how FLO gives back and respects environmental impact

Check our the rest of the FLO Cycling page here. I certainly recommend their primer on rolling resistance as a good reference too.

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