Crowie at Specialized tunnel 2013

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Specialized has found the perfect utilization of its newly built wind tunnel. Located at the Specialized campus in Morgan Hill, Calif., and containing six electric turbines and a massive open circuit tunnel, the project was the brainchild of Specialized aerodynamics engineer Mark Cote.

Today, Cote has the assistance of fellow aero engineer Chris Yu to, in effect, do whatever they wish with the tunnel in the interest of product development.

Of course, with both the Ironman 70.3 World Championships in Las Vegas next month and the Hawaii Ironman World Championships in October, Specialized has been using the tunnel to take its flotilla of athletes through for a day of fit honing and product selection testing.

LAVA was present when three-time Hawaii Ironman world champion Craig Alexander of Australia took a day break from his Kona training prep to play with a few things in the tunnel. Cote and Yu welcomed Crowie, explained the protocol and asked him what he wanted to test—and Alexander had a solid laundry list, with items ranging from all three aero helmet offerings from Specialized (TT2, McLaren and the new Evade aero road helmet) on down to his Timex GPS watch and his RoadID wristband.

While this gallery from the day’s proceedings represents a fair bit of what was tested and additionally providing a look at the tunnel. And to be sure, there  were a few prototype items that we were forbidden to release to the public at the request of the Alexander team.

After the session had concluded, Yu and Cote sat with Alexander with a synopsis of the day’s findings And Crowie was certainly content.

“It’s great to have this at my disposal as an athlete, and just gives me a chance to confirm or reconfirm some things with the products I’m using,” Alexander said. “I really wanted to see how the new Evade helmet worked, test my new Xlab Torpedo. Lots of little changes, but we all know by now how important all of this is. I’m very fortunate to have Specialized in my corner.”

Oh, and the details on those findings? Well, that data all belongs to Crowie … all armory for his quest for another Kona crown.