Science Behind the Bike

With the increasing drive towards aero on the mountain we thought we’d pull the Open University’s Science Behind the Bike series together into one place for you in the Full Sus website.  

The Open University
The Open University

It’s essentially a roadie feature, starting with the hour record, where riders race the clock for an hour around a velodrome track to see how many kilometres they can ride in sixty minutes. The UCI Hour Record (which restricts competitors to roughly the same equipment as Eddy Merckx used in setting his 1972 record of 49.431km, disallowing time trial helmets, disc or tri-spoke wheels, aerodynamic bars and monocoque frames) is arguably the purest form of cycling competition, pitting one rider alone against the clock and history.

The current UCI Hour Record was set in 2005 and is held by Ondřej Sosenka, standing at 49.700km. With Jens Voigt’s announcement that he’ll be attempting the hour record on Thursday the 18th of September the drive towards the hour record could be heading into a golden era not seen since the mid-90’s. Along with Voigt the top road time trial specialists of the current pro peloton, Fabian Cancellara, Tony Martin and Sir Bradley Wiggins have all announced their intentions of challenging for the hour record.

Back to Science Behind the Bike though, if you’re interested in the inexorable march of technology and love all things carbon-fiber then this series is a must watch, even if it has a road slant…





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