Tech of the Month September: Dan Bigham's Hour Record kit, new Giant Propel and Zipp 858 NSW wheels and remembering Mike Burrows

We discuss where Dan Bigham found his gains and where bike design might be going - as well as remembering where it's come from, with the huge influences of the legendary Mike Burrows

TOTM September
(Image credit: )

Coming up this month we have the kit used by Dan Bigham in his hour record attempt and we discuss the launches of the new Giant Propel and Zipp 858 NSW wheels - are World Tour bikes all morphing into one same-y shape? And what to make of these 85mm deep wheels that mange to be lighter than some 45mm options?

We also have a look back over some of the most memorable bike designs developed by the cycling legend and engineering pioneer Mike Burrows, who sadly passed away a few weeks ago.

There's a lot of exciting tech we take a dive into, so get ready to settle back. But read on for the highlights.

Competition

Just before we get into all of that, we just wanted to let you know that we've partnered with Garmin to give away a Garmin Edge Explore 2.

This newly released computer from Garmin has been created for those who maybe ride an e-bike or just don’t want all the granular performance metrics that GPS computers can be known for.

To be in with a chance of winning, simply click this link (opens in new tab) or fill in the form below. We’ll get in contact with the lucky winner by the end of this month. If you don’t end up being the lucky one – don’t worry, we’ll be running it again next month.

Dan Bigham's Hour Record breaking ride

Dan Bigham's hour record

(Image credit: INEOS Grenadiers )

Dan Bigham finally cinched the hour record on August 19, 2022, manging to cover a whopping 55.548km at the Tissot Veoldrome in Grenchen, Switzerland.

In contrast to his previous attempt at the title, this time Dan Bigham had the full support of Ineos Grenadiers behind him. Along with the optimisations in his training and preparation, this also meant a whole host of lust worthy kit.

Perhaps the highlight was the prototype track frame, which looked to be heavily based on the new Pinarello Bolide TT bike that launched earlier this year, but the Princeton Track Special wheels, Continental GP5000TT tyres and MOST Custom 3D basebar and extensions were all quite delectable too.

Remembering Mike Burrows

Mike Burrows

(Image credit: Daniel Gould)

Legendary bike designer and engineering pioneer, Mike Burrows, sadly passed away on August 15, 2022 at the age of 79.

He was perhaps most famous for the work he did on the Lotus 108 track bike that Chris Boardman road to victory in the 1992 Barcelona Olympics, but it was his work with Giant that arguably has had the greatest effect on bike design as we know it.

The sloping top tube and 'compact' frame geometry - features which are now ubiquitous on essentially all performance bikes - were first developed for the Giant TCR, and by Mike Burrows himself. 

But his interests were broader than the confines of UCI sanctioned races. Mike had a keen interest in recumbents - low to the ground and with the potential to be covered in an aerofoil - it's possible to go much faster on these machines than a conventional bike.

And away from speed, Mike was a huge proponent of utility bikes, developing the 8-Freight cargo bike - which could handle 100kg loads - and the 2D, a commuter-style bike designed to take up minimal space and featuring an enclosed drivetrain, step-through frame and a 'right-y' fork.

He will be missed.

Zipp 858 NSW

Zipp's new 858 NSW wheels

(Image credit: Zipp)

Having covered the launches of the Zipp 353 NSW and, more recently, the Zipp 454 NSW wheels, it didn't take much guessing to work out what might be coming next - and what features might be boasted.

Sure enough, Zipp duly delivered, launching the 858 NSW deep section wheels and featuring a wider internal rim width, a move to a hookless profile and a lighter overall weight. For all the details, you can find our launch story on the 858 NSW - and the 808 Firecrest - wheels over here. 

What's most exciting about these wheels is the weight in combination with the undulating aero profile. At a claimed 1,530g, these wheels are lighter than some 45mm hoops, yet the 858 NSW boasts a depth of a whopping 85mm. That should provide a significant step up in aerodynamics without the usual weight penalty. 

Alongside this, those peaks and troughs are supposed to improve the handling in crosswind conditions - address another typical issue with deep section wheels. We've got a set in on test and will bring you our verdict on whether the 858 NSW measure up to the hype.

Giant Propel

Giant's new Propel aero bike

(Image credit: Future)

Finally, for bike of the month, we have the new Giant Propel. By shedding weight whilst simultaneously increasing its aerodynamic performance, the new Propel appears to have joined the recent crop of 'do-it-all' race bikes, such as the Tarmac SL7 and the Factor Ostro VAM.

It seems that hardly a month goes by without a new World Tour bike becoming lighter, faster and - don't forget - more comfortable too. But whilst the talking points might be quite similar, it seems that there's an emerging split between bikes favouring deep tubes (such as the new Trek Madone and Scott Foil) and those going for a more svelte design (such as the aforementioned SL7).

It'll be interesting to see which approach ultimately wins the battle for hearts, minds and medals.

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