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Icons of cycling: UK Sports Institute track bike

Icons of cycling: UK Sports Institute track bike

We sing the praises of a machine that strikes fear into the hearts of Team GB’s rivals Photo: Graham Watson The New Zealand rugby team perform the haka to intimate their opponents before an international. The Great Britain cycling team have no need of an ancestral war dance before a track meet.

A mere glimpse of the all-black UK Sports Institute track bike with its Darth Vader-like presence has the same effect.

In the gladiatorial arena of the velodrome, believing your bike is faster than the opposition’s — combined with the opposition believing it too — is the difference between gold and silver. And of course, in Team GB’s case, it actually is faster.

Since 2002, Team GB’s equipment has been the envy of the world, with the track frame the centrepiece in a collection of awe-inspiring custom components. The bike is now on MkII and is constantly being tweaked, but the blueprint remains the same.

The year after Jason Queally won gold in the kilo at the Sydney Olympics , the British Cycling Federation asked engineer Dimitris Katsanis to produce a new frame. Up to that point there had been no dedicated equipment programme.

Indeed, Chris Fields, the creator of the Hotta Perimeter […]

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