Advanced technology and biomechanics were applied in the development of a new bicycle. Factors investigated included the position of the cyclist, geometry of the bicycle, transmission system, and the drag characteristics. Several wind tunnel tests were conducted to determine the minimum drag conditions for bicycle configurations and positions of the athlete. The results showed a clear advantage for nonspoked disc wheels of high composite material without discontinuity between the tire and the wheel. The conventional bicycle frame was redesigned and the optimum body position of the cyclist was determined. These findings were utilized in the development of the bicycle ridden by Francesco Moser in establishing a new 1-hour world record in 1984, and also in aiding the gold-medal-winning 4 × 100 km Italian team in the 1984 Los Angeles Olympic Games.
The authors are with the Department of Physiology and Biomechanics, Institute of Sport Science, Italian Olympic Committee, Via dei Campi Sportivi, 46-00197 Rome, Italy.