There are several videos on the Global Cycling Network channel in which former competitive cyclists push the limits of budget bikes. In a new challenge, however, pro cyclist and European Track Champion Ollie Wood tries the opposite. During a visit to a velodrome in Derby, UK, he rides a standard hire bike around a velodrome—and then compares it to the performance of the Hope Lotus Olympic racer, one of the most expensive and high-specification bikes in the world.
For his first ride on the hire bike, Wood completes four laps of the 250m track—a total distance of 1km—at full speed, finishing with a “pretty reasonable” time of 1: 21: 06.
Then, following a brief rest period, he takes the Hope Lotus out for a spin, and shaves almost 4 seconds off his time, covering the four same circuits in 1: 17: 59, beating his estimate that he would only improve by about 2 seconds over such a small distance—leading him to speculate just how much of a difference that might make to his speed in a longer distance race.
“It’s the whole package; wheels, tires, obviously the position is going to be different,” says Wood. “I guess that’s the difference between just something to get you on the track and get you started, or somebody who’s literally just doing it for the fun of it, which is I guess what it’s all about at the end of the day, compared to a full racing machine.”
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