To break the hour record involves more than just supreme fitness. We take a look at the tech which helped Sir Bradley Wiggins break the record

We previously reported on Bradley Wiggins Pinarello Bolide, which he would ride in the Hour Record. Here we take a look at some of the other tech details, that were crucial to his record. Climate is crucial for the Hour, with hotter air enabling riders to go faster.

Wiggins’s support team had a tough task of getting the temperature just right. They had to account for the temperature rising when 6000 spectators enter the velodrome, with the temperature reported to settle at a stifling 30ºC.

Bradley Wiggins - UCI Hour Record

Temperature control was strict. Credit – Graham Watson

Pedals

Wigginss-pedal-by-Andy-Jones

Wiggins used Speedplay Aero Zero pedals. Credit – Andy Jones

We first spotted Wiggins’s new Speedplay Zero Aero pedals/cleats in his attempt at the British 10-mile time trial record. As predicted, he was using them in the Hour Record too. The Zero Aero differs from other Speedplay pedals by being single sided. When the single-sided pedal is clipped in, the dimples on the bottom create an aerodynamic profile that integrates with the cleat, which also features dimples.

Saddle

Bradley Wiggins - UCI Hour Record

The Fizik Arione K3 saddle. Credit – Graham Watson

Wiggins Hour Record

Wiggins appeared to have used an anti-slip patch on the upper surface of the saddle

Being sat in the same time trial position for an hour means that saddle choice is crucial, if you intend to still be able to have kids after the Hour Record.

Wiggins opted for a Fizik Arione K3, a saddle which he has favoured on the road this year. Having previously used the standard Arione, he appears to have embraced the K3, which is a more padded version originally developed for triathletes. It’s also been a popular choice with Geraint Thomas and Richie Porte.

Shoes

xxx

Note the branding on the under-side of the sole

Under UCI rules, shoe covers are not allowed for the hour record and track riding. Wiggins wore a pair of lace-up, customised Giro Empire SLX shoes. The shoes were gold, befitting the Olympic champion and featured ‘Wiggins’ branding on the Easton soles. Having tested the standard Giro  Empire SLX we can vouch for their low weight supreme stiffness. Without ratchets, the Giro Empire shoes are claimed to be fairly aerodynamic too.

>>> Buyers guide to shoes

Gearing

Bradley Wiggins - UCI Hour Record

Long socks and sleeves reduce drag. Credit – Graham Watson

On a track bike you only have one gear, so picking the right one is crucial for the hour. A larger gear will mean a slower cadence and the risk of muscles getting too tired towards the end. A smaller gear will allow you to spin a higher cadence, but can potentially limit the rider, if they are feeling better than expected. Wiggins opted for a 58t front ring and 14t rear for the hour.

>>> Road bike groupsets buyers guide

Clothing

Unknown-2

Wiggins sans beard. Credit – Andy Jones

A immediate statement of intent was Wiggins lack of beard. Forever in the hunt for marginal gains and aerodynamics, function was seen to trump fashion for the Hour.

jersey

Wiggins’s sleeves included a crimped area just below the shoulder, to disturb the airflow around the shoulder and reduce drag. The material used on the arms appears to be a heavier weight than the rest of the clothing

Also worth noting is the perfect fit of custom Rapha Skin suit worn by the World TT champion. The long sleeves and shorts offer improved aerodynamics, as the special textiles used offer less drag over skin. The long socks are also worn to reduce drag over the lower leg too.

socks

Wiggins’s mid-length socks are more than a fashion statement: they appear to have a crimped edge to panel on the front, and made from similar material to the sleeves of his skinsuit

socks

Socks have a half-length zip at the back

>>> Specialized shows how shaving can shave seconds

Helmet

Bradley Wiggins - UCI Hour Record

Was Wiggo’s helmet straight out of the secret squirrel club? Credit – Graham Watson

Although not confirmed, we believe that the helmet Wiggins was wearing was the UKSI Aero helmet, as worn by the GB Track cycling team. One of the products developed by the so called ‘Secret Squirrel Club.’

>>> Buyers guide to road bike helmets

Wheels

Bradley Wiggins - UCI Hour Record

Double discs for the Hour. Credit – Graham Watson

Disc wheels offer a significant aerodynamic advantage. Of late, the disc wheel of choice has been the Light Weight Autobahn. Wiggins appeared to be riding the UKSI disc wheels, made from lenticular carbon with low friction ball bearings.

Bradley Wiggin’s time trial minute man

  • Daniel Hopper

    Shoe covers are band but hes socks have been made to have the top just like a shoe cover. He’s ridding in the same make/pattern skin suit that he and Froome use at sky as well as Team GB at the Olympics. Would have a educated guess that those seams and wrinkles are there for a reason, especially the seems acting like a trip wire. There would be good reason behind why only he and Froome have access to them.

  • ESTrainSmart

    Are shoe covers banned? Also, it looked like the sleeves on his skinsuit didn’t fit him well. Sounds ridiculous, but there’s actually research (search: “speed skating” AND textiles AND aerodynamics) showing that exposed seams and bunched clothing can make a significant impact on aerodynamics.

  • Nigel Rue

    Lets face it, bikes only look the way they do because of the UCI’s arcane rules. Personally I would like to see anything go, and hopefully some of the technology would trickle down to us mere mortals.

  • kristianDK

    Does any of you know what kind of chain and tyres Bradley used? Tyres look like the ones UK national team uses – don’t know them. And chain looks like Shimano Dura Ace.

  • Bob

    well done Brad, fantastic, but as all this high tech stuff is now allowed, what’s wrong with reinstating Chris Boardman’s 56k from 20 years ago? isn’t the object to cover the most distance on a bike in an hour? id draw the line at fairings, but it seems a bit of a gyp to me. I remember Moser doing it on a bike with a tiny front wheel which at the time many thought wasn’t ‘right’ but they allowed it then, so where does innovation stop and the UCI whims start?

  • lee

    yep, they’ve updated from the original article.

  • Tom Sharp

    “Wiggins opted for a 58t front ring and 14t rear for the hour”

    Seems pretty correct to me.

  • lee

    Hugh Porter mentioned that the gear he was riding was actually a 58×14 (definitely not a 54*14, that would spin out at the speed he was riding. apparently the team dropped it from a 59×14 they were going to use earlier in the morning.

    if writing a technical article, at least get the details correct.