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Thread: An Open Letter to Bradley Wiggins

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    Default An Open Letter to Bradley Wiggins

    I don't really care about any of the allegations of irregular TUEs during your career. You've always had an eye for style (except for those tall socks).

    So try and see if your LBS has some more stylish handlebars in the parts bin in the back. Cinelli makes some. Lose the current ones. Immediately.

    You've had a grand career on the road and track. You're the holder of the World Hour Record. A Tour de France champion. An Olympic gold medalist and a World Champion on the road and the track.

    What are you thinking?

     

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    Default Re: An Open Letter to Bradley Wiggins

    Really??
    I was thinking that those may be the first purpose built track bars ever.
    The upward bulge is so you can hold on like a brake hood.
    Good work Bradley-
     

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    Default Re: An Open Letter to Bradley Wiggins

    Quote Originally Posted by boots2000 View Post
    Really??
    I was thinking that those may be the first purpose built track bars ever.
    The upward bulge is so you can hold on like a brake hood.
    Good work Bradley-
    I know that they're for holding like a brake hood and aerodynamics. But they're oh so ugly. I'd like to see them in use obviously. But my eyes hurt looking at them.
     

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    Default Re: An Open Letter to Bradley Wiggins

    Missed the 10 minute edit deadline.

     

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    Default Re: An Open Letter to Bradley Wiggins

    I too saw the first photos a couple of weeks ago, and thought wow they are awful. Then I attended day two of the London Six, and watching him ride with them, they made complete sense (for the reasons already given).
     

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    Default Re: An Open Letter to Bradley Wiggins

    He probably fashioned them out of an old washing machine.
    Weight Doper

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    Default Re: An Open Letter to Bradley Wiggins

    They are not mod sixty fives, but god is not perfect.
     

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    Default Re: An Open Letter to Bradley Wiggins

    You guys are talking as if you were watching track racing only when a famous roadie entered an Úvent. As ugly as they are those bars have been widely used in the last 5 years or so on mass starts races.
    --
    T h o m a s

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    Default Re: An Open Letter to Bradley Wiggins

    To be fair, I only get to watch live velodrome racing once a year or so, but can't recall seeing them before (I don't watch much on TV). Maybe others haven't wrapped them in dark tape to make them look less conspicuous.
     

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    Default Re: An Open Letter to Bradley Wiggins

    Pinarello, Zipp, beard and sleeve ...those bars make sense there.
    Andrea "Gattonero" Cattolico, head mechanic @Condor Cycles London


    "Caron, non ti crucciare:
    vuolsi cosý colÓ dove si puote
    ci˛ che si vuole, e pi¨ non dimandare"

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    Default Re: An Open Letter to Bradley Wiggins

    Quote Originally Posted by sk_tle View Post
    You guys are talking as if you were watching track racing only when a famous roadie entered an Úvent. As ugly as they are those bars have been widely used in the last 5 years or so on mass starts races.
    I will admit that my current exposure to track racing is the photos I see on cyclingnews dot com. I have not seen them in use before. Obviously, Bradley Wiggins is a great cyclist and if he chooses them then he must like them. I'm sure he's of a stature to use the equipment of his choice at this point in his career.

    I'd be curious to see other pictures of them.

    The last time I attended a 6-day race was probably almost 20 years ago in Zurich. Bruno Risi and Kurt Betschart were the hot riders in those days.
     

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    Default Re: An Open Letter to Bradley Wiggins

    Those have been around for a while.

    Particularly popular among those who do the longer distance events where multiple hand positions are helpful.
     

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    Default Re: An Open Letter to Bradley Wiggins

    I can imagnie Brad's response to your open letter would include at least two expletives and a mocking impersonation.

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    Default Re: An Open Letter to Bradley Wiggins

    Remarkable for a briton!
    Andrea "Gattonero" Cattolico, head mechanic @Condor Cycles London


    "Caron, non ti crucciare:
    vuolsi cosý colÓ dove si puote
    ci˛ che si vuole, e pi¨ non dimandare"

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    Default Re: An Open Letter to Bradley Wiggins

    A few points-
    Firstly, Brad and a (commercial) bust of a product are the background to how/why the Sphinx exists as a handlebar (New 3T aero bar for World Track Champs - BikeRadar USA)

    Cam Meyer got 3t thinking about how to make a handlebar specifically tailored for track racing, and that was part of Cam going from "world champion" to "overwhelming favorite every time he lined up". his balance between being able to out sprint most, and also have the overdrive and lowered drag to get separation and laps was truly impressive for those years of international racing.

    Anecdotally, when I tested it at a velodrome, the sphinx position is so much faster than everything other than actual aerobars that it isn't even close. It's a wicked combination of lower drag AND higher watts than riding in the drops. I don't recall the exact number, but it was a TON.

    The UCI invoked the old "Eddy Didn't Use Them So You Cant Either" clause and effectively banned them after a few years by instituting the 5cm rule, so they stopped showing up in WCs. Also, early editions of the bar were flexy enough that on steep tracks they felt nervy- but if you look at modern 6day racing depending on the track and the standings, a whole lot of racers use them because they are just better for what modern points/scratch racing entails. (Modern Points/Madison overview: if you aren't taking laps, you aren't winning.)

    So- for modern track racers that don't have to abide by the 5cm rule or anyone who is going to try to take laps, these bars give you free speed, more stability, and even in the drops- a reduced frontal area (critical in the ultra-low yaw context of track racing).

    Other than "Eddie didn't use them", or racers like Alex Rasmussen that are big dudes and aren't about taking laps, there's a competitive disadvantage to not using them.

    So, that's what know.
     

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    Default Re: An Open Letter to Bradley Wiggins

    Consider me educated. Thanks for the information!

    I still think they're ugly!

    But I think triathlon bars are ugly too and they're ubiquitous nowadays.

    I'm still waiting for my response from Sir Bradley. I'm sure he'll PM me here or text me when he has a break from the Ghent 6-Day race.
     

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    Default Re: An Open Letter to Bradley Wiggins

    Track racing is an odd world- there's plenty that isn't necessarily apparent, and as racers have gone from using smaller gears to bigger gears, the strategies that dominate races have changed.
    Back in the 80s/90s, smaller ratios were the rule and laps were quite a bit harder to gain- making them less common.
    Nowadays with everyone using massive gears, if the string relents at all, the lap gain comes super quickly.

    since torque plays a larger role in modern track gearing, this has allowed for more track specialization as road racers are not used to the effort in the same ways.

    Also of interest (to me), rear wheel choices vary quite a lot from 6day events to WC events- has to do w the gearing (much larger in WCs), watts lost to deflection (pretty substantial between discs and spoked), and re-accelerating the mass of the wheel as 6day events are very off&on, and WCs pretty much don't slow down.

    To your point- those bars certainly aren't beautiful in a classic sort of way.
    Quite.
     

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    Default Re: An Open Letter to Bradley Wiggins

    Tangentially related comment. While track racing tends to be Euro focused, the USA excitement about the bicycle and track racing of the late 1800s into the 1900s was huge. And out our son's wedding reception last evening, my older cousin made a surprising comment about my late grandfather (born in 1877) which stopped me short "oh, and he was a really good bike racer..." That's a piece of family history that had never, ever come up in any conversation I had been in before.

    Now I have to figure out how to do research on the bike racing scene is WI/Milwaukee during that time period and see if his names shows up anywhere in results etc.

    And the handlebars of those days look pretty funky too:)
     

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    Default Re: An Open Letter to Bradley Wiggins

    Quote Originally Posted by hidayanra View Post
    Back in the 80s/90s, smaller ratios were the rule and laps were quite a bit harder to gain- making them less common.
    Nowadays with everyone using massive gears, if the string relents at all, the lap gain comes super quickly.
    Moving from mostly 333m tracks to 250m tracks plays a big part in this as well. Shorter, steeper tracks mean less distance one must kill yourself for in order to take a lap.
     

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    Default Re: An Open Letter to Bradley Wiggins

    Quote Originally Posted by hidayanra View Post
    ...the 5cm rule...
    So are we seeing these bars in this pic because the UCI doesn't meddle in six-days? The bars look more than 5cm in front of the front axle.
     

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