Graeme Obree and his Old Faithful bike put to the test in a wind tunnel: Here's how they did

Twenty-five years ago Graeme Obree revolutionised cycling aerodynamics with little more than his wits. But his radical bike and position were never tested — were they actually as good as everyone thought? - Photos by Sean Hardy - HARDYCC

Graeme Obree.

(Image credit: Sean Hardy - HARDYCC)

I knew what I was going to the Mercedes F1 team’s wind tunnel to see. But actually seeing it was still disconcerting. When I walked into the control room, there in the 50kph gale on the other side of the glass was Graeme Obree.

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Set-upCdATotal power at 52.7kph, including tyre and chain drag (watts)Power to overcome aerodynamic drag at 52.7kph (watts)
1990s tri-bar track bike0.204384.0410.0
Old Faithful, tuck position0.172323.7349.8
Old Faithful, superman0.200376.4402.5
Current UCI road TT bike0.188353.9379.9

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Michael Hutchinson is a writer, journalist and former professional cyclist. As a rider he won multiple national titles in both Britain and Ireland and competed at the World Championships and the Commonwealth Games. He was a three-time Brompton folding-bike World Champion, and once hit 73 mph riding down a hill in Wales. His Dr Hutch columns appears in every issue of Cycling Weekly magazine