Sport science and engineering as applied to cycling is a double edged sword. On one hand the discipline uncovers countless truths about the nature of racing. We can make some really informed decisions about equipment choice, pacing strategies, and race execution in general. All of these things can deliver “free speed” and take us closer to “the perfect ride”. On the other hand some bike racing disciplines are now really predictable, a question of plugging rider’s power and other parameters into a mathematical model to calculate speed and race time. Not everybody likes that because sporting events were often designed to turn uncertainty into excitement.
On the spectrum of predictability the hour record is right up there, possibly the perfect example of preparing a rider to turn known knowns into a certain result. Hour record rides take place in a controlled environment, indoors, and recent attempts have been ridden with power meters. Preparing for the event boils down to making smart equipment choices then asking a simple question: how high can we get the ratio of this rider’s FTP (sustainable power output for one hour) to CdA (the aerodynamic drag metric). The answer determines the number we’re all waiting for...how many kilometres can this guy cover in an hour?
If modelling and predicting the hour record isn’t for you then browse away now. But if it is, and if you intend to take even the slightest interest in cycling during 2015, then you may be interested in our hour record calculator. The defaults are set to estimates of Jens Voight’s parameters, indicating a distance of 51.11km, but you can tweak them endlessly to run your preferred scenario. We believe that when the big guns weigh in the record is going beyond 53km. Our calculator will help reveal just what that takes in terms of power output. Want the quick answer? Quite a lot!