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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.’
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