A pioneering piece of equipment designed to help cyclists and bicycle manufacturers maximise performance has been launched.
The Silverstone Sports Engineering Hub (SSEH) has added a Pedalling Efficiency Rig to its already impressive list of facilities which will allow professional cyclists to boost their efficiency using cutting edge equipment.
The rig complements the comprehensive existing cycle test facilities at the SSEH including the Sports Performance Wind Tunnel which make it the leader in its field.
Many cycle teams from the world tour are now SSEH customers thanks to the combination of facilities and location along with the ability to use the hotel at the Silverstone circuit.
The rig was officially launched at SSEH on 6 October at a special event for 50 guests made up of Buckinghamshire Local Enterprise Partnership (Bucks LEP) representatives, existing SSEH customers and industry delegates.
SSEH Managing Director Rob Lewis said: “We are very pleased to launch the Pedalling Efficiency Rig, a project which has been made possible through the continued support of Bucks LEP.
“The rig will open up new opportunities for teams and manufacturers to investigate the efficiency of the bicycle in a way that has not been possible before, encouraging future development and innovation within the sport.”
SSEH received £450,000 of Local Growth Funding from the Buckinghamshire Local Enterprise Partnership to support the project.
It comes in addition to the SSEH Cycling Test Lab launched last year at Silverstone University Technical College which received £350,000 of funding.
Richard Harrington, Chief Executive of the Bucks LEP, said: “Despite the critical importance of data in monitoring cyclists’ performance, there is a lack in the technological capabilities necessary to capture realistic data on how everything works together.
“We are excited to see how this new facility will drive cycling productivity further. The capability we hope is of national if not international significance and unique in its colocation with other test capability such as the wind tunnel.”
Together with the Sports Performance Wind Tunnel, the Cycling Test Lab, Performance Lab and the Pedalling Efficiency Rig (PER), SSEH now provides a “one stop shop” for both professional cycling teams and manufacturers looking to optimise the performance of their athletes and equipment.
The PER measures rider input power and compares it with output power at the roller surface in a controlled environment, revealing the mechanical losses of a bicycle and providing an overall measurement of efficiency.
The rider’s pedalling technique and its influence on power transmission and efficiency is also quantified, allowing for adjustments to be made to riding style.
The bicycle is mounted via the front forks using bespoke mounting fixtures, enabling the bike to pivot and roll. The rear wheel is in contact with a roller which has interchangeable surfaces set to range from velodrome wood to Tarmac and cobbles, simulating real world conditions.
Development of the PER will be ongoing with further upgrades seeing human input optionally replaced by a mechanical system capable of delivering a repeatable power profile without the issue of rider fatigue.
Rob added: “We are very excited to add this rig to the list of facilities we now have available at Silverstone Sports Engineering Hub and believe that we are well on our way to providing customers with the tools required to fully optimise every aspect of their performance under one roof.”
For further information visit www.silverstonesportshub.co.uk and www.bucksez.co.uk