Technology developed and patented by University of Adelaide researchers has powered Olympic and world track cycling champion Filippo Ganna in his world record quest – when he rode further in one hour than anyone in history at the UCI Hour Record Timed by Tissot event in Grenchen, Switzerland, on Saturday, 8 October.
Ganna completed 56.792 kilometres, beating the previous record of 55.548 kilometres.
Ganna rode a Pinarello Bollide F HR 3D bike that used AeroNodes, precision bumps that reduced the drag on the bicycle frame in a key area of high turbulence.
Madderns assisted with patenting this technology for the university.
“This allows the rider to travel further and faster for the same effort,” said University of Adelaide associate professor Richard Kelso, the co-developer of the low-drag technology.
“We have been working on this technology since 2006, first using them to improve the performance of aircraft wings and fans.
“Their use on bicycle frames came about when we noticed that the airflow around the seat tube alternates through a wide angle as the cyclist pedals, leading to separated flow and increased drag.
“We discovered bumps, or AeroNodes, on the front surface are able to minimise this separation effect and reduce the drag significantly by generating a regular pattern of vortices around the seat tube.
“However, standard manufacturing techniques such as carbon fibre moulding cannot easily produce such small features.
“Engineers at Pinarello and their UK partner Metron Additive Engineering have solved this problem by using cutting-edge 3D printing technology and a new high-strength alloy to produce the optimized AeroNode shapes.
“Together they have achieved the first-ever 3D printed bicycle that is the fully ridable, UCI-compliant, passing the ISO4210 and that will be ridden by a world champion. And the first to include the AeroNode technology.
“It’s the culmination of many years of research into low-drag cycling equipment, and it’s brilliant to be able to share it with Pinarello and their partners.
“Innovation is at the core of Pinarello’s bicycle designs, so it’s great to be able to collaborate with them to commercialise our technology.”
Further information about the record breaking attempt can be found here.