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Video: Short film follows Graeme Obree as he tests his old race positions in a wind tunnel

Obree’s first time in a wind tunnel

The crouch, the Superman or the conventional one? Which of Graeme Obree’s riding positions was the most aerodynamically efficient? With the help of Endura, he went to a wind tunnel to find out.

While Obree concedes that there is a touch of sadness at killing off the mystery, he’s also a man with a bountiful supply of curiosity. Clad in his Fullarton Wheelers skinsuit, he clambers onto his various bikes and awaits the results with interest.

“I just realised, I don’t get to keep everything after today,” he says at one point. “Before: ‘He was a genius, he’s an amazing athlete, he’s so fast, designed those positions’ – but once you’ve done the measures, I don't keep all of them.”

While he clearly feels a little like it’s a no-win situation, Obree is as watchable as ever, embarking on the experiment with a certain glee, cracking jokes about the length of his arms and how Old Faithful “should be outlawed” because of how uncomfortable the position is. At one point he views a modern bike from the perspective of an air molecule.

We won’t spoil the results, suffice to say that the exercise gives a better perspective on the Scot’s oft-overlooked ability as an athlete and diminishes our opinion of him not one bit.

Alex has written for more cricket publications than the rest of the road.cc team combined. Despite the apparent evidence of this picture, he doesn't especially like cake.

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9 comments

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ghibbard | 5 years ago
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What a man & great video.  Really enjoyable.

Wish they could have tried Old Faithful with modern skinsuit, helmet, etc just to see where you could get to now.  Although I suppose skinsuit designed to gain benefit with the modern arms position.

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Roberj4 | 5 years ago
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Athlete and a Genius!

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Bigfoz | 5 years ago
3 likes

Live near Irvine these days, seen him on the roads occasionally,  he's very quick even when cruising... Utter legend. Back in the '90s I raced in the same races as both him and Boardman, both nice blokes, and both complete machines. We were blessed to have them both.

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BehindTheBikesheds | 5 years ago
4 likes

Mutz Nutz!

As the guy says, modern kit with his 'old faithful' body position would wipe the floor, even with the old bike/bog std cycling kit he was still 30 watts up on the modern bike+kit.

The guy was revolutionary, modern day engineers are only evolutionary, massive difference and shows how much kudos Obree should receive and is underplayed IMHO.

From this Boardman's 1 hour record should still stand as the absolute hour record/UCI record as the position he used was inferior aerodynamically to modern kit not to mention inferior components/tyres!

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Ad Hynkel | 5 years ago
0 likes

Enjoyed that a lot, top fella is Obree.

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Alex222 | 5 years ago
0 likes

What a hero. Great video

 

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Jumbotron | 5 years ago
0 likes

Love that guy! 

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gstuplin | 5 years ago
1 like

Genius and Athlete. Mega!

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David R | 5 years ago
3 likes

Legend!

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