For the first time ever, Velo dedicates an entire issue to the science of cycling. The August edition of the magazine tackles a range of topics, all of which focus on finding a few more watts, a couple extra seconds, or a little quicker recovery to improve performance.
Science takes on its most tangible form in the equipment that makes the sport possible. Lennard Zinn looks at the evolution of bicycle technology, paying special attention to how the use of carbon composites has grown and evolved.
Velo‘s team of testers then takes the newest incarnations of carbon technology — four aero road bikes — into the wind tunnel and onto the roads to determine which has the right blend of science smarts and practical speed.
Naturally, the magazine’s tech team was quite busy with the Science Issue. They do a round-up of eight different power meters, and Caley Fretz digs into the thorny issue of disc bikes in the professional road peloton for this month’s VeloNotes.
Beyond bikes and things you bolt onto your bike, the world of science and technology now extends to apps and websites, which is why Ted Burns takes a look at “The Strava Effect,” and what the era of big data will mean for cycling.
But remember, behind any piece of technology, there’s a keen human mind at work. In this issue, Matthew Beaudin talks to Sky’s David Brailsford and Garmin’s Robby Ketchell, and Andrew Hood interviews Andrew Talansky after his Dauphiné victory. Sky and Garmin are both on the cutting edge of science and technology, and their teams wouldn’t be the same without that attention to detail.
Though you can buy the perfect aero bike, stay up to speed on Strava, and futz over marginal gains, one of the most important variables in the science of cycling — your physiology — is much harder to change. Trevor Connor determines the optimal balance between power and weight, comparing Stijn Vandenbergh and Rigoberto Uran (Omega Pharma-Quick Step). He also examines the limiting factors for peak performance, such as VO2max, lactate threshold, and tactics.
Lastly, any conversation about science in cycling wouldn’t be complete without speaking of doping. Fortunately, anti-doping agencies are starting to use genetics to help in the fight against cheats, and Michael Puchowicz, M.D. explains how that is possible.
Pick up the latest issue of Velo at your local bookstore, bike shop, or in the Apple iTunes store. Subscribe online.