Australia's track endurance cyclists will be riding the BT Blade bike from Bike Technologies Australia, the company announced today. It joins the BT Stealth bike used by the sprint cyclists.
"An incredible amount of research, design, testing, experience and cost goes into the development of each BT bicycle," said former Olympian and BT Australia Director, Sal Sansonetti. "We looked at each element of the frame and modeled the stresses and loads applied to it.
"We then chose the best combination of carbon fibre grades and fibre orientation for each individual element," said Sansonetti. "It's the same basic approach used in the aerospace industry."
Martin Barras, Cycling Australia's senior track coach, praised the new bikes. "There is no doubt the final result comes down to the performances of each individual cyclist but in events where the result can be decided by a thousandth of a second, our team goes into every race confident they are riding the very best bike which gives then a psychological edge over their rivals," he said. "BT Bikes consider every variable in the design of these machines which are custom built to suit each cyclist."
The Australian team has used BT bikes for over ten years, with the company providing "the most advanced carbon fibre bicycles available in the world today". It uses Computational Fluid Dynamics (CFD) modeling to simulate wind tunnel conditions, thus enabling it to develop optimal aerodynamic frame shapes.
All BT carbon frames are created using the company's 'Monocoque Method' – the major factor contributing to a frame's performance, the press release noted. "This is a process in which the frame is fused together into a seamless monocoque (one-piece) structure," according to Sansonetti. "Based on feedback from the Australian Institute of Sport and the Australian cycling team the 'BT Blade' continued to be refined until this final version which weighs just 6.8kg complete. The result is a frame free of compromise and full of performance providing the Australian team with the ultimate advantage."
The new bikes will also feature new wheels and new tires. "Vittoria has worked closely with Cycling Australia carrying out extensive research and testing to create race tyres that have decreased weight and enhanced grip, responsiveness and overall speed," the press release noted, "while Mavic has produced a state of the art wheel used by the leading track cycling teams around the world."
(Editorial assistance and research provided by Susan Westemeyer.)