Can you spot the big difference with Felt's new track bike?

USA women's pursuit team to ride 'game-changer' bikes at Rio Olympics

Take a good long look at the track bike in the picture above. Drink it in. There's something so different to what's gone before that it's making us a little uncomfortable. Have you spotted it yet?

Felt created the Felt Racing Development (FA TRD) team pursuit bike with a left-side drivetrain for the USA Cycling's women's pursuit team to race at the Rio Olympics this summer. It comes with a complete "technology ecosystem" from nine partners including Hed Cycling Products, Assos clothing, Stages Cycling, Vittoria tubulars and more.

Riders will encounter 64 banked left turns during the team pursuit race:
Riders will encounter 64 banked left turns during the team pursuit race:

The thinking behind the flipped drivetrain is that placing these components on the left as riders go counterclockwise around the track will reduce aerodynamic drag compared to a traditional right-side drivetrain. Over a 4km team pursuit track race, riders will encounter 64 left turns.

The bike also features asymmetrical airfoils to further improve airflow, custom wheels from Hed that can fit in a narrower, aerodynamic fork and rear stays, and a custom version of Vision's Metron TT Crakset. Oh and Vittoria tubulars that are claimed to beat any rival in terms of rolling resistance and aerodynamics.

It also features asymmetrical airfoils and is laden with custom kit:
It also features asymmetrical airfoils and is laden with custom kit:

The bikes use dual-sensor Stages power meters that capture data at 64hz — meaning 64 times a second — at a wide range of cadences (10-220rpm) and power outputs (1-2,999w).

The aim is to create a bike that will help usa cycling dominate the rio olympics
The aim is to create a bike that will help usa cycling dominate the rio olympics

“Our goal after London [2012] was to assemble the best team in the world and to put that team on the best bike in the world,” said Jim Miller, USA Cycling's vice president of athletics. “Working with all of our partners, we feel that we have created a game changer that will help deliver us to the top step in Rio.”

Jamie Beach

Deputy Editor, UK
Jamie's been addicted to bikes from the moment his stabilisers came off. Earliest cycling memory is the chipboard-ramp-on-bricks, but happiest one is bombing down a Mallorcan mountain pass that seemed it might never end. Always on the hunt for the perfect rain jacket, a keen collector of hats.
  • Discipline: Road, gravel
  • Preferred Terrain: Big mountains with long climbs, equally long and fast descents, the chance to get above the treeline.
  • Current Bikes: Genesis Croix de Fer, Brompton M3L
  • Dream Bike: BMC TeamMachine SLR01, Moots Routt
  • Beer of Choice: Augustiner
  • Location: Bath, Somerset, UK

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