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Team GB Bike Developer In Guernsey

Jason Kenny and the Tokyo track bike

The head of tech for Team GB's track cyclists will give a talk on the revolutionary 'Tokyo' bike he helped develop.

Professor Tony Purnell worked with Team GB with the aim of making the squad's kit, bike and position in the saddle as aerodynamic and effective as possible.

Development took place ahead of the Tokyo Olympics, with the aim of getting Team GB more medals on the track, a sport in which they excel.

Tony says at speeds of 60 kmh or more - 37.5 mph - then battling the air is an effort:

"You are just as well off trying to reduce the aerodynamic drag as produce more power. It's much easier to tuck yourself in, or put on an effective skin suit, or improve the bike."

Professor Tony Purnell

And this is what Tony and his team of performance engineers did. Along with manufacturers Lotus and Hope, they made a bike that would slice through the air in the velodrome:

"What we did with the Tokyo bike is look at the rider and bike as a system and we designed the bike to lower the drag of the rider, and in particular we focussed on the rider's legs."

"It's got very wide forks which are in line with the rider's legs, and the seat stays, which connect the rear wheel to the saddle, are also very wide and look like aerodynamic fins."

It worked, and Jason Kenny added to his medal toll to make it 7 Olympic golds and two silvers. The bike is still being used and was at the recent World Track Championships in Glasgow. It sells for around £30,000 all in.

Professor Tony Purnell, who's also worked in development in F1, will talk at a meeting of the Channel Islands Group of Professional Engineers at the Performing Arts Centre on Tuesday 19 September.

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