The Hour Record and Marginal Gains, Part 3

The Hour Record and Marginal Gains, Part 3

In this final (?) part of our Hour Record trilogy, we talk about the rules of the modern Hour Record, how marginal gains start really coming into play, the theoretical upper limit for the hour record and how close we are to it, and the future for the hour record. We give extra focus to Bradley Wiggins' hour record, in part because it comes as close to a perfect attempt — apart from uncontrollable factors — as we've ever seen, and in part because Josh has some fascinating inside knowledge of Sir Wiggins' incredible feat.

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8 comments


  • Tony Geller

    If I heard correctly, Josh said that they discovered in the early 2000’s that regular tubular cement was slow. I’m surprised he wasn’t aware of Jobst Brandt’s work in the early to mid 90’s (if not earlier) which showed this. It was a source of long discussions on rec.bike.racing around that time though it seems the data and Brandt’s understanding of it dates back to 1986. https://yarchive.net/bike/rolling_resistance.html


  • Tony Geller

    Hmm, why not? I can think of possible reasons, but don’t know the properties of latex well enough to know if they’re reasonable.


  • Robert Chung

    It worries me that I’ve thought about the consequences of inflating with large molecule gasses, too, and came to the conclusion that not just any large molecule gas will work.


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