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After looking at the technology behind the goggles and swimsuit of Matthews and Blummenfelt in our earlier articles (links above) we now take a brief look at arguably the most high-tech piece of kit – the bike.
Blummenfelt used the CADEX Tri-bike. Weighing in at just under four and a half bags of sugar, this precision engineered machine is yours for a mere £6500* and, predictably, differs quite considerably from your average bike. Somewhat less predictably though, it also differs quite considerably from your average high-performance triathlon bike.
CADEX state that the bike is “not derived from a road bike, or even a time trial bike”. For starters there is no top tube and when viewed from the front (as shown below), the forks are very different from convention.
Front forks (view of bike head on)
The wide-legged “dual-crown” forks allow air to flow through the front of the bike and be channelled past the rider’s legs. This minimises any abrupt blocking of airflow at the front of the bike and considerably reduces the overall drag of the rider and bike combined. The legs of the forks extend up to the rider’s elbow supports. This stiffens the front of the bike which reduces flex and leads to improved handling.
It is perhaps obvious to even the most casual cyclist that lowering weight and improving aerodynamics are two key requirements for a high performance bike. But, perhaps surprisingly, a third key element is storage.
Cycling 112 miles requires the rider to take on a fair bit of fuel. This is typically in the form of carbohydrate gels. The frame of the CADEX has integrated storage areas capable of holding 10 32ml gel packs and an internal 1 litre capacity bladder with a straw that feeds up between the aero bars to allow the rider to take on fluids without moving out of the aerodynamic “tucked” position.
CADEX says: “When combined with ultra-adaptable fit, groundbreaking endurance aero technology, and a completely integrated hydration and nutrition system, the result is record-breaking total efficiency.”
Next time, we look at the running shoes worn, and how they helped propel the athletes to the finish. If you would like to discuss anything from bikes to IP protection with author Stuart Greenwood then feel free to get in touch.
*If, like most cyclists, you would like wheels on your bike then that will be an extra £1500 for the front wheel and £2200 for the rear.
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