GRENCHEN, Switzerland (CT) – For all the marginal gains, new frames, and aero testing that go into each and every Hour Record attempt, ultimately, the weather can make or break even the best attempts. On the face of it, weather conditions may appear to have little impact on an indoor attempt, and while this is true of both wind and rain, air density is a critical factor in any speed-focused track event.
According to Sciencedirect.com , air density is defined as the mass of air per unit volume. Increased density means decreased speed for the same rider power output. Lower air density means riders can travel faster for the same power. How much difference can this make? Well, experts have calculated Bradley Wiggins could have ridden as much as 500 m further had his attempt been scheduled for just four days earlier. Of course, Wiggins’ team had to nominate the date of his attempt weeks in advance, and with no idea how the weather conditions would be on their selected day.
The weather conditions in question are barometric pressure, temperature and humidity. Fast forward to today, Ganna’s team can somewhat influence air density by tweaking both temperature and humidity within the velodrome.
Temperature seems like the easy part of this equation. Warmer air means lower density, and the Tissot Velodrome in Grenchen has central heating, it is well-insulated and offers stable conditions. Furthermore, a large crowd could push up the temperature significantly and help drop the density. Humidity is also within their […]