The British Secret In The Velodrome – Round Wheels
The French are getting a bit uppity about the British bikes in the velodrome.
The British have joked that they use round wheels and the French have swallowed the story, hook, line and sinker. Read about it here in the Standard.
But I doubt, that the story is very far from the truth. Even your car from humble run-arounds upwards, has its wheels properly balanced, at manufacture and when new tyres are fitted. We’ve all been in cars, where there has been vibration because of out-of-balance wheels.
So I suspect that British cycling has borrowed from Formula One and other industries that spin things fast, and developed extremely accurate roundness and balance sensing for bicycle wheels. So they run straighter and truer than the best the French can do!
I didn’t do the work myself, but forty years ago, I worked in a department at Plastics Division of ICI, that did a lot of calculations in this area, to try to stop vibrations in chemical vessels. So the theory is nothing new.
It is the application of technology to bicycles, helmets and other things, that have given the British the edge. I doubt that cycling is the only sport to have benefited either!