The UCI hour rule change, a record resurgent?

After a quiet period of nearly a decade, the UCI’s ‘cycling hour record’ has been making news again over the past year. In February, the time trial powerhouse Fabian Cancellara announced that he would attempt the record in August — an amazing opportunity to see how a cyclist of the modern era stacks up against legends such […]

Cycling’s a drag, but it doesn’t have to be

After a regrettably lengthy hiatus from the blog, this article was inspired by the excellent aerodynamics segments of the ITV’s tour de France coverage (in collaboration with Southampton University). Cycling aerodynamics in the 1980’s A few years ago my colleague Dr Richard Lukes wrote a review paper titled “The understanding and development of cycling aerodynamics” […]

Top 5 Olympic sports that have been influenced by technology: No 1

Number 1: Cycling – Computational modelling of bike design Our final post in this series looks at a technological influence that isn’t focussed so much on the big gains, but more on fine tuning the small details to make a winning difference. As said many times during the Olympics, cycling is all about finding marginal […]

Blink and you’ll miss it

Blink and you’ll miss it The next question in our Ask a sports engineer series is: Are sports getting too fast to view? With the constant pushing of boundaries by athlete’s and the wider availability of sports scientists and top coaches many sporting events are becoming more and more closely fought, by a greater number […]

High speed sports

In my previous article I examined how quickly Usain Bolt completes his 100 m race, and the difference between his maximum and average running speed. We found that Usain Bolt is the fastest man in the 100 metres, but how fast is he compared to other athletes in other running events or even other athletic […]

The History of the Bicycle

In 2005 the bicycle was voted the most significant technological invention since 1800; this blog looks back at the history of the bicycle and investigates how sports engineering has helped the bicycle achieve this accolade. The history of the first bicycle is a little muddled; like many great inventions its current design has been more […]

How can we cycle faster?

At the museum we have a great exhibit with two racing bikes along a simulated course; this has sparked a range of questions on the topic of cycling, from the physics of riding a bike to the most popular question; how can we cycle faster? How do we master the art of balancing on two […]