The U.S. women’s team pursuit squad takes to the track Thursday for the first Olympic qualifying rounds of the four-kilometer team event. As current world champions, the U.S. is the team to beat in Rio, and they’ll be riding unique leftside-drive bikes specifically designed for this women’s team.
Tentatively dubbed the TA/FRD (Track Aero/Felt Racing Development), the pursuit-specific bike has been in development for years. It features an ultra-narrow frame and Hed wheels specially designed to work within those spacing constraints. But most jarring of all is the fact that the drivetrain was moved to the lefthand side of the bike to account for the yaw angles riders encounter in the velodrome. Felt’s designers also claim that this helps with handling, since it moves weight inboard of the turns.