Track cycling tech: bikes of the stars

Through the lens of Rob Wilmott

With the UCI track world championships getting under way in Melbourne, Australia next week, we thought we'd give you a closer look at some of the technology that goes into modern track bikes.

The rules of track cycling dictate that you're only allowed to ride a fixed gear bike - that means no gears and no brakes. This combined with the wind-free conditions of indoor racing breeds its own form of tech.

Frames and handlebars are designed to be as stiff and as aerodynamic as possible, with weight less of an issue given the UCI's minimum bike weight requirement (6.8kg) still needs to be met. Front disk wheels, which are virtually impossible to control on the road when it's windy, are commonplace on an indoor velodrome. Toe straps are used in addition to clipless pedals to secure sprinters' feet so they don't become unclipped when they're putting 2000+ watts through the pedals.

Our photographer Rob Wilmott was at the track world cup in London last month, and picked out a selection of images for us which we've posted in a gallery here.

We'll have an even closer look at the stars and what they're capable of in part 2 of our track cycling tech feature.

Interesting Australian sprint bars

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