Bradley Wiggins will ride a modified Pinarello Bolide road time trial bike to attempt the Hour Record on Sunday.
Pinarello has worked with Jaguar to develop Wiggins’ Bolide HR, and claim to have improved aero efficiency by 7.5 per cent over its road-going sister model.
The gains have been realised with a one-piece titanium handlebar, and a narrow fork, placed closer to the front wheel to ease airflow over the bottom bracket, and with changes to the surface of the fork blades.
Wiggins said the bike is the most aerodynamically efficient track machine he has ridden. To date, Pinarello’s greatest contribution to the Hour Record is the radical Espada on which Miguel Indurain established a mark of 53.040 in 1994.
The Hour Record received a new lease of life last year when the UCI sanctioned the use of the type of machines used in track endurance races, typically with a carbon monocoque frame, disc wheels, and a low profile, aerodynamic riding position.
It had stagnated under the previous regime which stipulated the use of traditional machinery with round-tubed frames and wire-spoke wheels, of the type used by Eddy Merckx to set a record of 49.431 in Mexico in 1972.
Subsequent records established on more advanced machinery, and, in the case of Chris Boardman and Graeme Obree, on bikes that allowed increasingly radical riding positions, were relegated to the category of “Best Human Effort”.
Since the rule change, new records have been set by Jens Voigt, Matthias Brändle, Rohan Dennis, and Alex Dowsett. Only Dennis used a track bike: BMC’s Trackmachine TR01. The others used modified road time trial bikes.
Wiggins will make his attempt on Sunday evening at the London Olympic Velodrome. He is the current world and Olympic time trial champion and has won three Olympic titles and six world titles on the track.
Wiggins believes he can exceed 55km. To set a new record, he must beat the 52.937km mark set by Dowsett last month.