Team GB Bike Design for Rio


This blog is particularly interesting to me as I ride road bikes for a local club, and I am always looking to find ways to go faster !

From what I gather the rapid engineering advancement in bike design began with Dimitris Katsanis (ex aerospace engineer) in 2001, using carbon fibre composites and improved aerodynamics. Chris Hoy used his bikes to win several medals at the Olympic Games in Beijing. He was originally commissioned by the UK governing body for cycling in 2001, a few years after National Lottery funding for sport began in 1997. Chris Boardman then took on the role up to 2013, carrying on the success with several wins in the 2012 Olympics in London.

Today Professor Tony Purnell, the former F1 team principal (Jagaur & Red Bull) heads up the Research and Innovation division at British Cycling – or ‘Room X’ nicknamed ‘Bletchley Park’ – who still teaches one day a week at the university of Cambridge. He has a team of post grad & PhD research engineers, and former rider Jason Queally, who helps with wind tunnel testing. Gains made in overall performance of 5% are considered major, and the cyclists notice the improvement !

A collaborative project between Purnell’s team and Cervélo, has produced the Cervélo T5GB bike for team GB for 2016 Rio games. Tony Purnell states, “This means that, even after the fantastic success we enjoyed at London 2012, we have been determined to work alongside Cervélo to build and improve on the equipment that has served us so well in the recent past. Without question, this bike represents that quest for continuous improvement.”

Investment in UK sport, advancing training knowledge combined with advancing equipment design, has lead to amazing number of medals in Rio – go GB !

Hope you have a good month,

All the best,



“When your legs scream stop and your lungs are bursting, that’s when it starts. That’s the hurt locker. Winners love it in there”

– Chris Mc Cormack (Ironman champion 2007 & 2010)

My biggest fear is that when I die my wife will sell my bicycles for what I told her they cost.”

– unkown

ps  If you have enjoyed the blog please forward to those who might be interested, many thanks in advance, Mike

About Mike Osborn CEng

A Chartered Engineer and member of the Institution of Mechanical Engineers living in the UK with a passion for engineering design, technology and innovation, peppered with a little humour. Presently running a small engineering design & CAD drawing solutions business, serving mainly London and home counties.
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