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Dowsett Hour Record - Take 2

Last week Alex Dowsett announced he was going to go for a second hour record attempt after Bradley Wiggins put a huge 1589m on to his old record. I had previously done some maths on Dowsett’s record to see what power he was putting out and what he might be able to achieve in the future. Now he’s announced a second attempt and is confident he can take the record back, I’ve decided to revisit the maths and see what is required to overhaul Wiggin’s 54.526km. Since I last crunched the numbers Movistar have released Dowsett’s power data from his hour record set in May 2015. Unfortunately, it wasn’t released as a complete power profile rather, just an average power...

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Watts It Worth?

Manufacturers and brands often claim wattage savings but rarely put them in context, such as at what speed and power the savings are calculated at. For a cyclist on a budget I feel the biggest number that matters is the £/watts ratio. Cyclists often spend hundreds or thousands of pounds on equipment that will save them very little watts, but ignore or mock wattage gains that cost very little. To go faster for the same amount of power you can improve your aerodynamics, your rolling resistance, your weight or your drivetrain efficiency. These are the variables within your control. My aim here is to try to put wattage gains in to context and normalise them with the £/w ratio. The...

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History of Waxed Chains

Waxed chains were pioneered by Jason Smith of Friction Facts, an American company performing research and testing in to lubrication, chains, bearings and all other drive-train paraphernalia. Jason found that current lubricants just weren't up to scratch, with some lubricants being up to 6w worse than his optimum paraffin wax recipe at a 250w power output. These results were published by VeloNews in their February 2014 VeloLab test, available here Jason's own process involves running in a chain, cleaning it in a ultrasonic bath and then waxing it with a special mix of paraffin wax, PTFE and MoS2.Jason was selling his own optimised chains under the Ultra Fast Optimisation (UFO) brand until 2015 where he was bought out by CeramicSpeed....

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