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  • Few sports test the limits of

  • professional athletes like cycling.

  • [Cycling Commentator] It's a furious threat.

  • But it's not just human endurance

  • on the track that delivers the winning formula,

  • it's human ingenuity off it.

  • It's the world's fastest bike.

  • In an elite sport,

  • the difference between success and failure

  • is often the finest of margins.

  • This is base camp for one of

  • the most successful teams in global sport.

  • Great Britain's track cyclists have topped

  • the medals tables at the past three Olympic games.

  • And it's a team that keeps churning out winners.

  • We wanna be the fastest in the world,

  • we don't just wanna win the Olympics,

  • we wanna win in the fastest time ever.

  • In a sport where races

  • are decided by as little as 1/1000th of a second,

  • Emily and her teammates are obsessed with one thing:

  • marginal gains.

  • A little margin of half a percent

  • will make that difference on the day.

  • [Cycling Commentator] Turning the pressure on.

  • And one of the best places

  • to find those tiny margins is on the bike.

  • The team's key man for this is an aerodynamics expert

  • and ex-Formula One motor racing engineer.

  • My job is simply to use technology and engineering

  • in any way I can to make the team go faster.

  • Cambridge University Professor of Engineering,

  • Tony Purnell, designed the world-renowned

  • T5GB bike with manufacturerrvelo.

  • By dramatically reducing air resistance,

  • it helped the British team enjoy

  • its most successful Olympics ever.

  • It's the world's fastest bike.

  • The way those layers of carbon fiber are constructed

  • all makes for a lighter and a stiffer bike,

  • without compromising the aerodynamics.

  • All important milliseconds

  • were shaved off performance times

  • by making the tiniest of design changes,

  • even down to the chain.

  • When you cycle, a little bit of the power you produce

  • gets lost in friction in the chain.

  • If you can reduce that loss, it translates

  • into the athlete being that little bit more powerful.

  • Using that chain would have made the difference

  • in the games between the silver and the gold medal.

  • It's not just the bike

  • where aerodynamic perfection is relentlessly pursued,

  • it's also the person on it.

  • The precise position of the rider

  • can make all the difference.

  • [Cycling Commentator] Always ahead of schedule,

  • he was 45 seconds up after 40 kilometers.

  • In 1996, Olympic Gold medalist

  • Chris Boardman broke the one hour world record.

  • [Cycling Commentator] As Boardman

  • settles into the superman position, arms stretched

  • in front of his head, for smoother aerodynamics.

  • By pioneering his legendary superman position.

  • Today, this legacy lives on at the state-of-the-art

  • Boardman Performance Center, in Evesham, England.

  • Bike design can absolutely help,

  • but we see that the most significant portion

  • of the aerodynamic effects and the drag

  • is coming from the rider themself.

  • Sit down, tell me a little bit more about

  • the direction we want to take, what do we want to look at.

  • Today, Jamie is helping

  • professional cyclist Dan Bigham decipher

  • his optimum body posture for an upcoming team pursuit race.

  • In the wind tunnel, Dan is battling winds

  • of over 60km/h to simulate the drag conditions

  • he'll face on the track.

  • His performance, and ultimately success,

  • could depend on a series of almost imperceptible

  • tweaks to his position on the bike.

  • Okay Dan, let's go for our first change,

  • we'll do this on the fly.

  • Let's move the hands, please.

  • By moving his hands slightly forward,

  • and adjusting the gap between them by just millimeters,

  • Dan speeds up by nearly half a second per kilometer.

  • We're operating at a world record place here.

  • So we've found some gains there,

  • particularly from the hand open position,

  • which is absolutely worth having.

  • Come race day, subtle changes like this

  • could add up to a big advantage for Dan's team.

  • Me personally, I'm about 4/10ths quicker just for my turn,

  • and if that gain was for everybody in the team,

  • then we're one and a half to two seconds quicker overall.

  • Cycling's reputation

  • has been damaged by doping.

  • But its pursuit of legitimate marginal gains

  • still sets the pace for many other disciplines.

  • Britain's world-beating cyclists

  • face ever more intense competition from rivals

  • who are quickly learning how to innovate.

  • The pursuit of marginal gains

  • is about to get even more marginal.

Few sports test the limits of

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骑行的速度秘诀(Cycling's speed secrets | The Economist)

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    joey joey 發佈於 2021 年 05 月 18 日
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