The Hour Record and Marginal Gains, Part 3

In this final (?) part of our Hour Record trilogy, we talk about the rules of the modern Hour Record, how marginal gains start really coming into play, the theoretical upper limit for the hour record and how close we are to it, and the future for the hour record. We give extra focus to Bradley Wiggins’ hour record, in part because it comes as close to a perfect attempt — apart from uncontrollable factors — as we’ve ever seen, and in part because Josh has some fascinating inside knowledge of Sir Wiggins’ incredible feat.

Got a question you’d like to ask? Text or leave a voicemail at the Marginal Gains Hotline: +1-317-343-4506 or just leave a comment in this post!

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6 thoughts on “The Hour Record and Marginal Gains, Part 3

  1. It worries me that I’ve thought about the consequences of inflating with large molecule gasses, too, and came to the conclusion that not just any large molecule gas will work.

    1. Hmm, why not? I can think of possible reasons, but don’t know the properties of latex well enough to know if they’re reasonable.

      1. I don’t want to go into the details but, just as an example, CO2 is a larger molecule than N2 or O2 yet tires inflated with CO2 deflate faster than tires inflated with atmospheric air. So, not just any large molecule gas will work.

        And, Jobst (hallowed be his name) was right about tubular glue but wasn’t right about inflation pressure and Crr.

  2. If I heard correctly, Josh said that they discovered in the early 2000’s that regular tubular cement was slow. I’m surprised he wasn’t aware of Jobst Brandt’s work in the early to mid 90’s (if not earlier) which showed this. It was a source of long discussions on rec.bike.racing around that time though it seems the data and Brandt’s understanding of it dates back to 1986. https://yarchive.net/bike/rolling_resistance.html

    1. Sorry if I mis-phrased.. it wasn’t that it was exactly ‘discovered’ in the 2000’s but rather that the old ways were lost and nobody knew what to do about it. Jobst had some data on this comparing shellac to modern glue, but shellac really isn’t an option for modern racing for a bunch of reasons. I guess, in a way we ‘rediscovered’ it in terms of deciding to try to solve the problem in a different way.

  3. If you’d like to color outside the UCI lines a little, you should explore the recumbent hour records. Matthias Konig did 57.637km on a M5 MOEKOKKEN highracer
    at Frankfurt-Oder velodrome, Germany 9/18/2016 and Francesco Russo did 92.432km at an auto track in Klettwitz,
    Germany in a fully faired recumbent streamliner on 6/26/2016

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