Joss Lowden set a new Women’s UCI Hour Record yesterday (30 September), riding 48.405kph at the Velodrome Suisse in Switzerland to beat Vittoria Bussi’s 2018 record of 48.0007km.
Lowden rides for Drop Le-Col s/b Tempur on the road and normally rides a Ribble Endurance SL R Disc. For the Hour Record attempt, she opted to use an Argon 18 Electron Pro.
Lowden’s bike was kitted out with FFWD Disc-T SL wheels fitted with 23mm Vittoria Pista Speed 2.0 tyres.
Behind much of the bike’s spec is Lowden’s partner Dan Bigham, co-creator of Wattshop, which manufactures parts and components that take an uncompromising approach to saving watts. He is also one of our favourite custom bike builders.
Lowden used Wattshop’s Pentaxia Olympic handlebar with Anemoi extensions. The basebar is specific to the Argon 18 Electron Pro.
The extensions were specifically designed for Lowden, as she rides with her elbows particularly close together. The complete handlebar package with aerobars would set you back an impressive £8,500.
Elsewhere on the bike, there’s an SRM crankset fitted with a Pyramid Cycle Design chainring, which from the creases on its surface appears to be made from carbon fibre. While Pyramid Cycle Design normally makes custom alloy chainrings, many riders are now opting for low-friction carbon fibre rings, as Lowden seems to have done.
Lowden paired the 64-tooth chainring with a 15-tooth sprocket at the rear. This is a massive gear but it helped Lowden keep a lower cadence than would be desired for other track cycling events as this is said to help keep your heart rate lower.
Lowden ran an Izumi KAI chain, which during coverage of the attempt was said to be one of the fastest chains Wattshop has tested.
The record attempt also doubled as an opportunity for sponsor Le Col to show off its Le Col x McLaren Project Aero Skinsuit. This has dimpled fabric across the shoulder blades and tripping fabric on leading edges, and it’s said to have been independently tested and approved by McLaren.
Lowden also wore a POC Tempor aero helmet, which is probably most recognisable from the Denmark track team, who have been wearing it for a number of years.
A set of single-sided Speedplay Aero pedals further contribute to the watt savings.
Lowden has said she unofficially broke Bussi’s record in training earlier this year covering 48.160km in Aguascalientes, Mexico, where other Hour Records have been set, including Victor Campenaerts’ in 2019 (the velodrome there is at an altitude of 1,887m).
Joss Lowden’s Argon 18 Electron Pro for the Women’s Hour Record
- Bike Frame: Argon 18 Electron Pro
- Wheels & Tyres: FFWD Disc-T SL, Vittoria Pista Speed 2.0 23c
- Pedals: Speedplay Aero
- Chainset: SRM and Pyramid Cycle Design
- Gearing: 64×15
- Bars & Finishing Kit: Wattshop Pentaxia Olympic with Wattshop Anemoi extensions
- Kit: Custom Made Le Col x McLaren Project Aero Skinsuit
- Helmet: POC Tempor