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Frame was too brittle for GB's most demanding sprinters...

The state-of-the-art Cervélo T5GB track bikes that were developed for Team GB for the Rio Olympics are all broken, leaving the Great Britain cycling team on old models at the world championships next month.

British Cycling has admitted that the £10,000, carbon-fibre frames, designed in partnership with Cervélo, are not available for use.

Problems apparently centre around the brittleness of the frames not standing up to the strength of some of Team GB’s sprinters.

It’s the opposite problem to the one engineers had in development, when the frames lacked stiffness to deal with the huge power the sprinters produce, resulting in flexing frames during all-out efforts.

It was touch and go whether the updated model would be ready in time for the Rio Olympics at all.

We reported last year how Sir Bradley Wiggins complained that the original carbon extension handlebars were too flexy, while Jason Kenny has found the frame flexing during his 2,000-watt efforts during a spring.

Cervélo worked on an updated version of the T5GB bike that will be stiffer and has a lighter paint job. It is signed up as the equipment supplier to Team GB until 2020.

It is now understood there are no working Mk I T5GB bikes left and the team heading to next month's track world championships in Hong Kong will be riding a combination of an older Cervelo
model and the bikes first developed by the UK Sport Institute for the 2004 Olympics.

In a statement, British Cycling said its "ground-breaking" partnership with Cervélo was always directed at a "world-leading" track bike for the British team at the 2020 Olympics and Paralympics.

"Due to the unprecedented speed and quality of the work involved by staff on both sides of the partnership, the T5GB bike was developed and manufactured ahead of schedule, making it possible for many riders to compete on this model in Rio," the statement continued.

"The results of the track cycling team speak for themselves and British Cycling was and still is delighted with the bike's performance, which was made possible by the outstanding contribution of Cervélo.

"British Cycling and Cervélo are continuing to work together to ensure our riders are once again given the best possible bike, along with the best possible chance of success in Tokyo.

"Whilst this process is ongoing - and as is usual practice at this stage of our performance programme - we will for the upcoming 2017 UCI Track Cycling World Championships be applying the same equipment protocols as were in place for the 2016 Track World Championships in London."

After an unpromising start, having to be bribed by her parents to learn to ride without stabilisers, Sarah became rather keener on cycling in her university years, and was eventually persuaded to upgrade to proper road cycling by the prospect of a shiny red Italian bike, which she promptly destroyed by trapping a pair of knickers in the rear derailleur. Sarah writes about about cycling every weekend on road.cc.

10 comments

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cyclisto [360 posts] 10 months ago
0 likes

I have had a not identical but similar issue with several forks that couldn't withstand my wattage. I finally found a solution when I replaced my CF fork with a Reynolds 532 fork. Now the ride is great, I can't wait for CF frames paired with steel or Ti forks, I believe it will be the next hot stuff. Oh and have a good month mates!

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ColT [345 posts] 10 months ago
10 likes

I thought track bikes didn't have breaks.  3

 

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jterrier [154 posts] 10 months ago
3 likes

I have this same issue. I can produce over 3000 watts for (anything up to) 3hrs, which means most days I literally tear the bbshell out of my frame and end up having to catch a bus home. Gets expensive.

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Leviathan [2935 posts] 10 months ago
3 likes

Well it stops them selling them off....

You know I really don't understand the microanalysis of everything BC does. It is almost like people want to find out that everything is rotten to the core because it suits their world view. Its like the whole french nation thinking Froome is a cheat just because he won the TDF and that justifies throwing urine on him. Some people just want to piss on your chips.

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Jackson [393 posts] 10 months ago
7 likes

"They've all broken" come off it guys, there was an angry Australian bloke selling some down Shepherd's Bush Market this morning. 

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CygnusX1 [737 posts] 10 months ago
1 like

What day is it today?

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sttuey [15 posts] 10 months ago
0 likes

I can easily produce 2kw in my springs too 

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davel [2120 posts] 10 months ago
1 like
jterrier wrote:

I have this same issue. I can produce over 3000 watts for (anything up to) 3hrs, which means most days I literally tear the bbshell out of my frame and end up having to catch a bus home. Gets expensive.

Tell me about it - but I break the flagstones at the bus stop and the floor on the bus, too  2

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Al__S [1284 posts] 10 months ago
0 likes

Even at Rio Philip Hindes used the old UK Sport frame as man 1 in the Team Sprint (sheer power over aero considerations out of the gate)

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dottigirl [813 posts] 10 months ago
0 likes
CygnusX1 wrote:

What day is it today?

That was my thought. At least, I'm assuming it's some kind of Fool.