Cost of Olympic Track Bikes

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  • This topic has 33 replies, 25 voices, and was last updated 1 year ago by  kerley.
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  • Cost of Olympic Track Bikes
  • Premier Icon tomhoward
    Subscriber

    All the bikes have to be made available to the public, and they are. They just aren’t accessible….

    Think a helmet is in the region of 8 grand

    mickmcd
    Member

    I think they are just the next gen T4 from Cervelo T5 maybe the awning costs money, cant see it being 65k though
    .

    I know the other GB cycling ones were bank but that was more because of the carbon in them and the fact the same guys that built really silly shit were the people making them and they wouldnt get out of bed in a morning for less than a kings ransom.

    crotchrocket
    Member

    BBC said the frames were individually designed, hand laid Carbon & cost £20k a pop. They wen’t on to say the parts were not just laying around in warehouses…

    The UKSI bikes were about £25k for the frames, not sure where £75k would come from but it’s not unrealistic if you include a spare pursuit/sprint bike (I.e. for the omnium riders)? Or they might be dividing the whole development budget by the number of bikes built?

    The rest of the teams are on off the shelf bikes as far as I know, so £5k-£7k or thereabouts.

    Interesting that team GB aren’t using much of their equipment at all, bar, stems wheels etc all seem to be commercial stuff now?

    Premier Icon Stainypants
    Subscriber

    Jess Varnish was talking about the cost of continuing outside Team GB on Radio 5 last week and i think she said 35k for the bike plus everything else.

    Personally I think it’s not formula 1 they should all have the same bike and helmet etc and then it would be down to the athletes ability.

    zanelad
    Member

    Anyone gother a realistic idea of what the bikes used in the velodrome cost.

    Mrs Z said £75,000 a bike was mentioned on the radio. I couldn’t believe they’d cost as much as that.

    Was she right or should she get her hearing checked 😀

    butcher
    Member

    I think tomhoward has it.My understanding is they cannot use custom equipment. It’s got to be available for sale. So they make custom kit and put a vastly inflated price tag on it to get round this.

    big_n_daft
    Member

    BBC said the frames were individually designed, hand laid Carbon & cost £20k a pop. They wen’t on to say the parts were not just laying around in warehouses…

    If they made a hundred more the cost would be less, the development cost was high compared to the number of units made

    The number given to Jess would have been to add insult to injury, they don’t want to support an off programme rider

    World champions have been on Dolan frames in the past, wheels are off the shelf, cranks shimano dura ace, bars and stem off the shelf, pedals spdr if you can find them or speedplay track

    mickmcd
    Member

    probably worth every penny to CERVELO who will sell a shit ton of bikes

    Premier Icon lucky7500
    Subscriber

    Personally I think it’s not formula 1 they should all have the same bike and helmet etc and then it would be down to the athletes ability.

    +1

    premier
    Member

    The frames have been developed with GB and Cervelo – Cervelo sponsor British Cycling so the costs quoted are likely development costs. The bits that will cost are the custom bits such as the bars, cranks and the custom carbon shoes which are tailored to each rider.

    Premier Icon dknwhy
    Subscriber

    Personally I think it’s not formula 1 they should all have the same bike and helmet etc and then it would be down to the athletes ability

    Agreed.
    Whilst I love watching the Olympics and getting behind the athletes, it does appear that we seem to do well in the events we can throw money at.
    There are some exceptions where there is little equipment to gain from, although you could argue that the money we put into the support side is similar.

    Edric 64
    Member

    They could all ride Planet flex frames ,that would slow them down

    Premier Icon kayak23
    Subscriber

    £75,000 a bike

    Made by Intense?

    Premier Icon dknwhy
    Subscriber

    £75,000 a bike

    Maybe British Cycling fell for Planet X’s RRP prices…

    Personally I think it’s not formula 1 they should all have the same bike and helmet etc and then it would be down to the athletes ability.

    But who would pay the wages for the pro riders without sponsorship?

    I suspect the equipment is overrated, no one makes crap bikes, the UKSI was just a mental game. We do well because we have a full time track team, with coaches, velodrome access, and 4 year programs.

    The USA by comparison has 5 indoor velodromes (we have 6 of the top of my head, plus loads of outdoor ones).

    Edric 64 – Member
    They could all ride Planet flex frames ,that would slow them down

    That just makes you sound like an idiot.

    The Planet X track frame has won a LOT of races, often badged as something else!

    premier
    Member

    st I love watching the Olympics and getting behind the athletes, it does appear that we seem to do well in the events we can throw money at.
    There are some exceptions where there is little equipment to gain from, although you could argue that the money we put into the support side is similar.

    We invested nearly £275 million this Olympic cycle on sport, the real difference comes from the investment in talent id & development and coaching – the equipment is the icing on the cake – GB, France and the USA all issued propaganda about how they had developed the fastest bikes….

    MTB Rob
    Member

    dread to think what the USA bikes cost with their left hand drivetrain!

    Premier Icon crazy-legs
    Subscriber

    Depends on how that price was arrived at. Chris Boardman once quoted £100,000 but that included the R&D, the cost of the moulds etc so it wasn’t an actual material cost of one bike.

    A top end track bike at RRP is somewhere around £6000 but very few are ever sold as complete bikes – most people at that sort of level will buy a frameset (£2000 for a Cervelo T4), a set of wheels (easily £3000 for top end carbon track wheels) and the finishing kit can be another £1000. It’s expensive because it’s niche and the numbers sold are tiny.

    That said, track bikes hold their value very well since they never really wear out!

    The old UKSI bikes were on the market at about £20,000 but that was solely to get round the “must be available to buy” rule.

    Premier Icon molgrips
    Subscriber

    That said, track bikes hold their value very well since they never really wear out!

    Commented on a bloke’s gleaming new looking bike last time I was there. “Nah mate, this is 5 years old…”

    Premier Icon scaredypants
    Subscriber

    dread to think what the USA bikes cost with their left hand drivetrain!

    fixed gear track bike ?
    I can’t see where there’s a massive cost unless their frames are asymetrical – I could reverse a shimano crankset easily enough and if I didn’t have to create a reverse freehub I’d be laughing

    (err, wouldn’t I ? 😳 )

    Premier Icon zilog6128
    Subscriber

    I can’t see where there’s a massive cost unless their frames are asymetrical

    which they are…

    Premier Icon scaredypants
    Subscriber

    meh, I assume you only mean at the seatCHAINstay indent ?

    You could bodge an extra lump into the existing LHS mould to sort that out – wi’ blutack or something 😉

    mrblobby
    Member

    might be dividing the whole development budget by the number of bikes built?

    I’d have assumed this. Also most of the bars / front ends looked custom made for each rider. A good few grand there.

    Be curious to know too if all the frames were built the same. I doubt it. Suspect there would be different layups for different riders requirements.

    Premier Icon eddie11
    Subscriber

    You can get one of the Looks that most of the other countries use for only £6,999, you do get free seat, crank and bars for that though. And it’s only an extra £833.33 to paint it in the national colours of choice. Bargain.

    http://www.velodromeshop.net/index.php?p=product&id=877

    Premier Icon crazy-legs
    Subscriber

    I suspect the equipment is overrated, no one makes crap bikes, the UKSI was just a mental game. We do well because we have a full time track team, with coaches, velodrome access, and 4 year programs.

    The USA by comparison has 5 indoor velodromes (we have 6 of the top of my head, plus loads of outdoor ones).

    USA has ONE indoor velodrome – Los Angeles.
    UK has 5 International standard ones (Manchester, Newport, Derby, London, Glasgow) plus the 166m one at Calshot which is sort of indoors but bloody cold!

    This subject cropped up in the Olympic Cycling thread about how different teams are funded and the cost of the equipment (which at this level is all sponsored anyway) but GB are in a strong position with R&D, technology etc. The bikes they used were nothing radical but they were specifically developed in conjunction with the athletes for an incredibly specific purpose – not just average everyday “track racing” but discipline (and rider) specific, medal winning races over the course of a few days. Custom sizes, custom bar set-ups and so on…

    Premier Icon ampthill
    Subscriber

    I think tomhoward has it.My understanding is they cannot use custom equipment. It’s got to be available for sale. So they make custom kit and put a vastly inflated price tag on it to get round this.

    I think you can have something as exclusive for 6 months. That’s card the Americans played for the drive train side swap

    Lots of the sailing is now very one design. The laser and sailboard are issued by the organiser. I think the Finn is still a bit crazy with complicated sail to mast matching which favours the rich

    I don’t think bike costs really have much impact in terms of buying kit. I bet they spend more on wind tunnels and experts and that might still be true even if you all start with the same frame

    Not sure where I got 5 from, maybe that’s north America. Forrest City velodrome in Canada looks a bit mental, saw some onboard video and approaching the bends looks like you’re riding into a wall it’s that steep!

    Either way the point was that even the US doesn’t have access to the same facilities as GB when it comes to cycling. Compared to most other sports where they dominate because collage sport over there is on a whole other level to our drinking clubs with sporting pretentions. The only other sport I can think of that has a similar imbalance is Sailing, and again we have a much better setup than they do, typically their club buys boats and they loan them, so if your club sails a non Olympic class, your stuffed, where in the UK any kid can buy a beaten up old Laser and work their way into the RYA squad system.

    Finn’s are as good as a SMOD now, Devotti have had the market sewn up for a long time. Masts are expensive, as are sails, but at Olympic level it’s going to be small change relative to things like shipping to regattas. They really should update the classes though, the Laser still justifies it’s spot, just, I doubt anyone except Laser would complain if they replaced it with an Aero or D-zero. But the Finn and 470 are getting a bit long in the tooth, they should implement a rolling 3 Olympic cycle change over of the classes, yes there’s an argument it increases costs, but I bet every medal winner had a new boat for this season anyway, and if it did increace turnover of boats that means a whole load of fast boats for kids to learn in before buying into whatever class replaces it.

    zanelad
    Member

    Thanks for the replies. It seems that there’s not much wrong with Mrs Z’s hearing. Something I’ve learnt over the years. 😀

    andyl
    Member

    I don’t think it is unreasonable to have a bike frame made for a specific rider and that is going to cost, especially in the UK where labour is not cheap and you are looking at something like £500-£1k per human per day.

    I remember the days of Graeme Obree and Chris Boardman and there was plenty of bike innovation going on that was then being claimed to give the GB riders an advantage. Obviously Obree was doing his own thing but it highlights my point above that getting a bike that fits the rider is the most important thing.

    It’s not just about the fit but also the specific stiffness that works with that rider. Just look at the difference in body types and muscle mass between Chris Hoy and Laura Trott.

    Are Usain Bolts running standard off the peg items or are they cut specifically for him? When some where stolen recently they reportedly worth £20k, no idea if that is as they were his and signed by him of if it’s because they are specially made for him.

    It does open up a very good question though about an unfair technological advantage but where do you stop? Do you cap training budgets? Restrict access to dietitians, physios, track time? Something like cycling is no longer just about the athlete, it is very much a team sport. I say that in no way to make light of the amazing achievements of the individual athletes but I don’t think there can be any doubt that their job would be a lot harder without the expertise of the whole GB cycling team. Ultimately the performance is down to them and all the technology and prep does is maximise their potency and helps ensure they peak for the events.

    Premier Icon aracer
    Subscriber

    Andy wrote:

    It does open up a very good question though about an unfair technological advantage but where do you stop? Do you cap training budgets? Restrict access to dietitians, physios, track time?

    The latter are the things which make most of the difference (and I’d assume where most of the money goes), so limiting the tech advantage would be fairly pointless. I doubt there’s a huge difference with the bikes anyway (those narrow bars could make a real difference, but that’s a physiological rather than tech issue) – and all the teams probably know that.

    andyl
    Member

    exactly, the figures quotes above show how much a small percentage of the total budget the bikes are. In fact when you consider how much is spent on the other aspects it could almost be considered wrong to not spend money on the bikes to get that last bit of performance.

    A bit like running an F1 team but then buying off the shelf tyres from kwik fit

    your stuffed, where in the UK any kid can buy a beaten up old Laser and work their way into the RYA squad system.

    except, getting into the squads is done on results and you can’t win with a battered suit of sails. It gets even more expensive in other classes, the feeders into the RYA such as Mirrors or Cadets. A dry suit is expensive. Travelling up and down the country to various events can cost a fortune. Just the squad jacket was £120 – that was in 1999. Race entry was around £50 IIRC for the weekend. There’s accommodation to think about too.

    Getting to the pinnacle of a sport takes money and therefore tends to be the preserve of the wealthier in society.

    kerley
    Member

    Track bikes are not cheap. You would need over 10K to buy a Look frame, some Mavic IO wheels and the other cheaper bits.

    Pretty sure that if they were all riding that bike team GB would still be winning. None of them are exactly riding crap bikes are they, they are just from all different manufactures. Are the Looks any worse than the Cervelo’s?
    It is not as though there are teams using Dolan Precursa’s.

    Team GB are winning because they have put the money into getting the talent, coaching the talent, building team, having a flow of new athletes etc,. etc,.

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