Chloe Dygert and USA team pursuit teammates Sarah Hammer, Jennifer Valente and Kelly Catlin began training on the new Track Aero, Felt Racing Development (TA FRD) rigs for about a month before they were unveiled. Photo: USA Cycling.
  • Dave B

    may the best bike win!? good work by the americans here, great development. just wonder how this is good athletic competition. Makes me think of the ‘swimsuits’ worn about 5 years ago by swimmer – higher buoyancy, less drag – they got rid of them. it’s always tough to know where the draw the line with sports and technology. rowing, swimming etc.

    • As long as UCI/IOC approves then it’s all fair game bro.

      • Dave B

        Yep of course. not really what I was getting at ‘legal or non legal’. More that non-standardized equipment means it’s not just ability in the sport – for the olympics especially i wonder if it grates against the ethos (maybe a better term can be used)

    • ridein

      I’m guessing it is just a matter of time before the UCI comes down against it. Either before the inevitably postponed Zika virus Olympics or after.,,,,

      • velocite

        Well, that will be an interesting one to watch. The UCI tend to support the traditional bike with their rules, often with no no apparent justification. This may be one move they didn’t anticipate. A bit harder to come down on a major manufacturer and team USA than it was to block Graham O’bree though.

  • Alex

    If anyone wondered why UCI rules are so strict, this is why. If Felt isn’t BS’ing about the numbers I think this is an unfair advantage. Let the biggest budget team win?

    • Ethan J Boyes

      The U.S. track program has very far from the biggest budget. UCI rules ARE strict, and this bike is within them all.

      • Ronin

        I think it’s lost on many around the world that US Olympic teams/athletes receive no state funding.

      • Robert Merkel

        I don’t doubt that, but it flies in the face of the spirit of the rules – to ensure that the sport is primarily a contest of riders, not engineers.

        To be fair, Team GB and their lottery money have been making a mockery of this for years; back in the 1990s Australia tried the same thing with the RMIT superbike (the full story of which involved considerable skullduggery), which resulted in the Lugano Charter, which is the statement of the principle I mentioned earlier.

        Good luck to Team USA and their winged keel.

        • Nathan

          Agreed, Australia did the same with their ‘superbikes’ of yesteryear, and all the big nations have spent a lot of dollars on bikes, clothing and assorted accessories to gain advantage. Yep, it may mean that one team is more advantaged, but it doesn’t mean they will win. Remember the US mens pursuit back in the day with blood transfusions? Was perfectly legal and gave a real advantage, but they lost to Australia because they muffed their changes. You can’t change one thing and expect to win without everything else being sorted.

        • velocite

          Ha ha! Revenge for the America’s Cup loss..

      • Alex

        I misspoke with “budet”. Let’s say “best tech” Since Felt is a US company it’s clear they were going to support the US team.

        • Ethan J Boyes

          I’m not sure I’d say Felt has had the best technology. I’d expect their 3.5 second gain claim to be in comparison to the older Felt bikes the girls were riding for the world championship. Which was 3.2 seconds behind the world record set on BTs. Apparently cervelo still has better independently published drag numbers for pursuits than the new Felt too, and anyone can just go out and buy those. The UK olympic skinsuits, which aren’t available to the public, come with bigger claims than this new bike. I suppose they’ll put those back to use this year. When it comes down to it, it is still mainly about the riders.

  • Nitro

    Absolutely one of those “Duh – why didn’t anyone think of that before?” moments…

    The analogy of NASCAR is brilliant – they worked out that given the cars only ever turn left, asymmetrical cars are the way to go…

    Great article – will be interesting to see what happens next / if this catches on (If they win, I guess its guaranteed to)

    • jules

      the assymetry in NASCARs is really down to suspension setup – with the outboard wheels being loaded far more than the inboard ones.

      AFAIK, aerodynamics on NASCARs is symmetrical as they are homologated (‘stock cars’). I get the analogy which is fine but the direct relevance is tenuous.

      • Dave

        The body of the current Generation 6 car is indeed asymmetric, even before it gets crashed.

        NASCAR body shapes have not had anything to do with production cars for quite some time now, the only variation between the manufacturers is the engine and the shape of the decals for the grill and headlights.

  • jules

    this sounds suspiciously like Lance and Trek’s old cheap mind trick “we’re developing a new bike that will blow everyone else out of the water, you may as well not even turn up”

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  • JCJordan

    So the British team wins then, considering that they are on bikes, that if you believe their website, are $230000 plus to purchase and anyone who has tried is still waiting. At least the Americans are trying to meet the rules.

    • jules

      motorsport has better rules – you have to sell, or at least make a certain volume to discourage this sort of rule-bending

      • Dave

        And in motorsport, the rules are actually enforced. The UCI’s rules could work to some degree, but not if the pattern of non-enforcement continues.

        I haven’t seen any of the British medals from London 2012 redistributed as yet. Maybe there will be some additional podium presentations at the upcoming Olympics?

    • Milessio

      Well, except that we will have to wait, as they haven’t sold any of the bikes so far.

      If they don’t win, who’ll even want these hyped bikes?

      What if the Rio track runs clockwise?

  • Robert Brennan

    Well, that was a waste of money :-)

  • Daryl Layton

    That went well.


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