Hour Record: Retro bikes gallery

A look at some of the iconic Hour Record designs over the decades

The Hour Record dates back to the late 19th Century, when, after several attempts in the United States and the United Kingdom, Henri Desgrange – who went on to establish the Tour de France – set a record in Paris following the newly formed International Cycling Association.

The Hour Record went on to be continually broken throughout the 20th Century at velodromes around the world by the likes of Guiseppe Olmo, Fausto Coppi, Jacques Anquetil, Eddy Merckx and Francesco Moser for the men’s record.

In the 1990s, Graeme Obree and Chris Boardman began experimenting with bike positions and designs in an effort to improve aerodynamics. The UCI, however, eventually outlawed the radical bikes and positioning made famous by the duo, and in 1997 the UCI brought in new rules restricting competitors to traditional equipment.

Following a decline in popularity of the Hour Record, possibly due to the stringent rules in place from the sport’s governing body, the UCI updated the rulings to replicate modern regulations for track pursuit bikes and also adhering to other UCI regulations including the biological passport.

Since the unification of the Hour Record rules in 2014, the mark has been broken six times by Jens Voigt, Matthias Brandle, Rohan Dennis, Alex Dowsett, Bradley Wiggins and, most recently, Victor Campenaerts.

Click through the gallery above for a look at the Hour Record bikes throughout history.

Related Articles

Back to top