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GB Cycling Team benefits from high-tech ergometer + video

Testing and training tool developed by defence and security experts BAE systems

Defence, security and aerospace company BAE Systems has unveiled an advanced cycling ergometer that it has developed with UK Sport for Britain’s top riders in the lead up to Rio 2016 and beyond.

A team of BAE Systems engineering experts has worked with the Great Britain Cycling Team to develop the ergometer which measures the power output of elite riders.

“The system measures the work rate and energy expended by cyclists and is capable of replicating the forces of a velodrome more accurately than any other testing tool,” said BAE Systems. 

The ergometer was developed in response to a request from British Cycling for an adaptable system that could be customised for different riders and events. 

“Highly accurate testing tools such as the cycling ergometer help to ensure athletes are performing at their most competitive,” said Paul Barratt, Lead Biomechanist, Great Britain Cycling Team, English Institute of Sport.

“BAE Systems has created a portable and accurate system that we believe will be integral to the teams’ training regimes and will help us to achieve our medal winning target at Rio.”

BAE Systems said, “With an appearance similar to a normal ergometer or static exercise bike, the advanced cycling ergometer houses a large variable flywheel at its rear with blades that can be adjusted to increase or decrease resistance on the pedals, mimic different gear ratios with incredible accuracy and generate forces for the cyclist based on their individual load and the track on which they are riding.”

Although unveiled only now, the ergometer has clearly been around for a while because BAE says that was instrumental in the success of Sir Chris Hoy, the multiple-Olympic gold medallist who retired from the track in 2013.

Mat has been in cycling media since 1996, on titles including BikeRadar, Total Bike, Total Mountain Bike, What Mountain Bike and Mountain Biking UK, and he has been editor of 220 Triathlon and Cycling Plus. Mat has been technical editor for over a decade, testing bikes, fettling the latest kit, and trying out the most up-to-the-minute clothing. We send him off around the world to get all the news from launches and shows too. He has won his category in Ironman UK 70.3 and finished on the podium in both marathons he has run. Mat is a Cambridge graduate who did a post-grad in magazine journalism, and he is a winner of the Cycling Media Award for Specialist Online Writer. Now over 50, he's riding road and gravel bikes most days for fun and fitness rather than training for competitions.

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