At the World Championships in Glasgow, the French Track Cycling Team has been spotted using an unreleased track bike, which Cycling Weekly understands is called the Look P24.
Along with super-wide fork blades at the front, the bike has a striking dual seatpost design, and is brand new to the team. So new, in fact, that the riders have only been using the bikes for the last two months, a team mechanic revealed to Cycling Weekly inside the Sir Chris Hoy Velodrome.
The wide forks and double seatposts work around a new aerodynamic ethos that puts emphasis on system efficiency, rather than the bike alone.
Dual seatpost design
By far and away the most staggering part of the new design is the dual seatposts. That's right, dual seatposts and two seat clamps support the rider, making the design technically a 'seat mast'.
From the rear, a much clearer picture can be seen of the two aero seatposts bypassing the top of the seat tube, where a conventional seatpost would normally sit. Interesting too is the top tube, which has been elongated, presumably in aid of smoothing airflow over the rear wheel.
The extensions of the seat stays are braced in the same conventional area as most bikes, just above the rear wheel, which we think improves the stiffness of the design for the 2000+ watt sprints commonly seen by the best sprinters in the world.
The real question, though, is why has Look opted for this wacky design? Though at this time no details have been published on the new Look P24, it is clear that the French brand has adopted a similar design ethos to the Lotus x Hope track bike.
By having the seat says spread much wider apart, they can be hidden in the wake of a rider's leg. This is pretty significant when you consider that a rider's legs cause around 70% of drag from the body. It's likely that the widened seat stays even help to smooth the turbulent air caused by the constantly moving legs, which would aid aerodynamic efficiency.
It is a similar story for the seatposts, which now sit almost entirely behind the riders' thighs.
Super wide front forks
At the front of the bike, the fork blades sit equally wide apart, similar to the Team GB bike; however, instead of a dual crown style fork, the Look P24 uses a more conventional head tube.
Wide forks at the front of the bike play a slightly different role to the wide seat stays at the rear.
Instead of smoothing turbulent airflow coming off the rider's leg, it is understood that the front forks seeks to purposely disrupt the airflow. This calculated disruption at the front of the bike can allow for a more efficient system overall.
Another neat detail on the new Look P24 is the asymmetric fork dropouts, which have been designed to make space for a transponder to be fitted with minimal aero impact.
No one-piece cockpit
Instead of the fully custom 3D prints we're used to seeing on the world's fastest track and time trial bikes, Look has designed a cockpit that appears more adjustable.
Four bolts on top of the handlebar show that the bars can easily be taken apart, and we can only assume that means different stem lengths may well be available for different riders.
Is this a custom power meter?
Another interesting pro bike adaption we spotted was the rather large power meter- esque box on the inside of the non-drive crank arm. A French team mechanic told us this was a power meter - but it hardly looks off the shelf.
We think this could be either a custom power meter attached by the French Cycling Team which may be rated to higher inputs, or even a power meter that also collects data, which would prevent the riders having to stow a computer underneath the saddle.
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