Icons of cycling: Francesco Moser's 1984 Hour Record bike

Francesco Moser stunned the cycling world when he smashed Eddy Merckx’s Hour Record on a silver dream machine with disc wheels

Moser’s Hour machine put aerodynamics before weight. Photo: Yuzuru Sunada

When Ernesto Colnago built the bike Eddy Merckx rode to a distance of 49.431km in 1972, he believed the lighter he could make it the further its rider would go. He even inflated Merckx’s tyres with helium.

Twelve years on, Moser’s team of engineers, led by Antonio Brandazzi, understood that it was aerodynamics, not weight, that would allow the Italian, aged 32 and nearing the end of his career, to break the longstanding Hour Record.

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Simon Smythe

Simon Smythe is a hugely experienced cycling tech writer, who has been writing for Cycling Weekly since 2003. Until recently he was our senior tech writer. In his cycling career Simon has mostly focused on time trialling with a national medal, a few open wins and his club's 30-mile record in his palmares. These days he spends most of his time testing road bikes, or on a tandem doing the school run with his younger son.