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The very special bike that Brad rode to Olympic glory

This is the bike that Bradley Wiggins rode to victory in the Olympic time trial yesterday, and it's not the Pinarello Graal that he used in the Tour de France last month.

In our Olympic time trial preview yesterday we made a few predictions about the bikes the main contenders would ride. While we mostly got them right, we incorrectly guessed the identity of Lizzie Armitstead's bike. She rode a Cervélo P4, rather than the newer P5. Oops!

We did get the identity of Bradley Wiggins' time trial bike correct however. We'll allow ourselves a little pat on the back for that. In the time trial, as in the road race last Saturday, Wiggins opted for a UK Sports designed bike.

Is the UK Sports bike faster than the Graal? We don't know, but we can't see that Brad would have opted for a slower bike in his quest for gold. It's got some serious credentials, as it was British Cycling's own exact specifications for the all-conquering track team. It first appeared in 2002 and was used so devastatingly in the 2008 Beijing Olympics.

As we saw in the Tour de France, the Pinarello Graal is clearly no slouch so we'd love to know the exact reasoning behind Wiggins' choice of bike. Let's be honest, the way Brad is riding at the moment the bike probably wouldn't have made the biggest difference, but you don't win medals and races thinking like that.

Here's the UK Sports own Aero Road/TT frame, as it is listed on their website. The compact and very aerodynamic frame is the same as used in the road race, with the obvious change of handlebars. From looking closely at the frame, it's clear it draws on the very latest aerodynamic studies; there's the low front-end to minimise the frontal area, the air foil shaped down tube and seat tube, slender top tube and aero seat post.

Other details to minimise turbulence are the internally routed cables, internal seat post clamp – most likely an internal wedge clamp like found on BMC's bike – and skinny forks and a 1in steerer tube.

Each frame is made by hand in the UK and both frame and fork comply with the UCI regs. That also means that they're available to purchase. How much a frame costs, and how readily available they are is information we're working on getting. Weight for the frame is claimed to be in the 1kg region.

Photos ©  www.teamsky.com

David has worked on the road.cc tech team since July 2012. Previously he was editor of Bikemagic.com and before that staff writer at RCUK. He's a seasoned cyclist of all disciplines, from road to mountain biking, touring to cyclo-cross, he only wishes he had time to ride them all. He's mildly competitive, though he'll never admit it, and is a frequent road racer but is too lazy to do really well. He currently resides in the Cotswolds.

9 comments

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bikeandy61 [524 posts] 3 years ago
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What was Emma Cooley riding? I assumed it was a P5 but thought I saw P3 on it? I did wonder if the P5 is made to Lizzie's and especially Emma's sizes? Would they have the same aerodynamics anyway? Maybe a tiny P5 has no advantage over an older iteration and thus not worth the cost of building?

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drheaton [3318 posts] 3 years ago
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So... when are you getting one to review?  3

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RhysW [81 posts] 3 years ago
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Emma Pooley was ridding a P3 you can see it here, the area around the bottom bracket is one of the most identifiable differences.

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drheaton [3318 posts] 3 years ago
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FYI - http://www.bbc.co.uk/sport/0/olympics/19089259

Article/interview with Boardman. Quotes the cost to buy of Pendleton's sprint bike at around £20k.

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russyparkin [570 posts] 3 years ago
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its a bit of a function over form bike though isnt it. looks like its been thrown up rather than made. but if it works then ride the ugly bitch hard  1

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Rvizzle [94 posts] 3 years ago
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Can we have an article about the most weird and wonderful (pre-weird and wonderful ban) Time Trial bikes please Road.cc?

I'd be a happy man.

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Gkam84 [9080 posts] 3 years ago
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bikeandy61 wrote:

What was Emma Cooley riding? I assumed it was a P5 but thought I saw P3 on it? I did wonder if the P5 is made to Lizzie's and especially Emma's sizes? Would they have the same aerodynamics anyway? Maybe a tiny P5 has no advantage over an older iteration and thus not worth the cost of building?

Pooley was on the P3 and Lizzie on the P4  39http://www.morethanthegames.co.uk/cycling/0118204-olympics-london-2012-w...

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Oranj [23 posts] 3 years ago
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I didn't think it was the same frame as he used in the road race - that had a longer head tube which gave the top tube the appearance of being "dropped" slightly behind it. On the TT frame the head tube was shorter and so the top tube was aligned directly behind it.

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leedgreen [32 posts] 3 years ago
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Defo ukti bike, like this used in Madrid World years back...

http://www.flickr.com/photos/leedgreen/4671638432/

And ukti bars