By Paul Norman
Rather than fitting Campenaerts to his Hour Record bike, Ridley has built a custom machine based on his dimensions. So the geometry of the Ridley Arena TT bike is an exact copy of that of his Ridley Dean Fast time trial bike.
Aero features include the use of Ridley’s F-Surface Plus tube profile. It uses areas of textured surface and groves to create a turbulent boundary layer that smooths airflow over the frame and helps decrease drag. It’s used in all Ridley’s aero machines, including the Noah Fast, which we’ve tested.
Another custom feature is the aerobar, which is carbon and based on a mould of Campenaerts’s forearms and hands. Ridley has been working on perfecting this, and gaining UCI approval, since January last year. Campenaerts successfully used the extensions in the World Championship time trial in Innsbruck, where he rode to a bronze medal.
The base bar measures only 33cm wide – as against the normal 38cm to 44cm. Again, this improves aerodynamics. And Campenaerts will only use it to gain speed in the first 15 seconds of his attempt.
Gearing for the attempt in Aguascalientes, Mexico on April 16 or 17 has yet to be decided. But Campenaerts is trialling both 63x15 and 59x14 gears. Ridley says that it will be bringing six different chainrings and six sprocket sizes to the attempt.
These two gearings result in similar ratios and 8.7m of forward travel for each rotation of the pedals. With a planned cadence of 105 rpm, that means that he should travel around 54.8km in the hour – around 300m more than Wiggins.
Campenaerts will use a road chain rather than a track chain to reduce friction in the drivetrain. And the chainrings and sprockets have been specifically milled too. His Campagnolo Ghibli disc wheels will be shod with Vittoria tubs with a gold tread – again with the aim of lowering friction.
Ridley asked the Belgian public to vote for a name for the Hour Record bike. Rather like the vote to name the next polar research vessel in the UK, which ended up with the name Boaty McBoatface, this didn’t go well: the bike has been named the Flying Moustache.
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