Olympic cyclist versus toaster: can Förstemann toast a slice of bread? (video)

German track cyclist Robert Förstemann cycles at 700W to power a toaster, but can he turn a slice of white bread brown?

It's a debate I've had with my friends at the pub on countless occasions - how many Robert Förstemanns would it take to power a toaster?

Well, now we can settle it once and for all. The answer? One.

Förstemann, the proud owner of gigantic 74cm thighs, hopped on a stationary bike hooked up to a toaster and churned his massive legs at 700W until the toast was nice and brown.

Screen Shot 2015-06-04 at 10.16.33

Förstermann churns out nearly 700W

The experiment wasn't so much a case of 'can Förstemann toast bread?' but more 'how much energy would it take to toast bread?'

It turns out the bloke generated 0.021kWh in the time it took to toast the bread and looked pretty ruddy gassed at the end of it.

Screen Shot 2015-06-04 at 10.17.30

It worked!

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The video's makers handily put a guide at the end as to how many Förstemanns it would take to do other vital tasks. We would need 180 Roberts to power a car and a pretty unlikely 43,000 Roberts to power an aeroplane.

It did seem an awful lot of effort to power the toaster, so I don't think this method will catch on. And I'm not sure Mr Förstemann would be too keen on coming round to our houses every morning to do it.

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Stuart Clarke is a News Associates trained journalist who has worked for the likes of the British Olympic Associate, British Rowing and the England and Wales Cricket Board, and of course Cycling Weekly. His work at Cycling Weekly has focused upon professional racing, following the World Tour races and its characters.