The Royal Dutch Cycling Federation (Koninklijke Nederlandsche Wielrenunie, KNWU), bike manufacturer KOGA and TU Delft are joining forces to develop a revolutionary track bike. The new lightweight, aerodynamic bike will take account of differences between individual cyclists. The KNWU expects that this bike will enable cyclists to achieve faster times, as every bike can be fully adjusted to the individual characteristics of the cyclist and their particular discipline. The Dutch track cycling team will be using the new bike in their bid for gold at the 2020 Olympic Games in Tokyo.
Active role for cyclists and training staff
For the Beijing Olympic Games, KOGA already developed a special bike, called the Kimera, for Theo Bos. This time around, the new track bikes will be designed and developed for the entire Olympic cycling team – specifically tailored to each individual cyclist. The cyclists in the national team selection and their training staff will play an active role in the development of the new bike. The project recently kicked-off with a co-creation session centred on the wishes and insights of the cyclists. ‘It was hugely inspirational to have the opportunity to work together with engineers and designers to develop the optimal bike’, said track sprinter Jeffrey Hoogland (multiple European Champion).
It was hugely inspirational to have the opportunity to work together with engineers and designers to develop the optimal bike. — Jeffrey Hoogland
KOGA expects the bike to be ready early in 2019. But a lot needs to happen before then. Mark Dorlandt, Project Manager at KOGA: ‘We believe in a holistic approach, focusing on perfecting the bike as a whole and in cohesion with the cyclist. We think that significant gains are still to be made with regard to the integration of the frame and the components, including the cockpit (handlebars and stem), seat post and wheels’. And that is where TU Delft researchers come in.
Role of science
Multiple disciplines from TU Delft are involved in the development of the new track bike. Aerodynamicists, for example, will help devise new methods of further reducing drag, and experts in lightweight materials will contribute to creating a bike offering the ideal rigidity for the least weight. At TU Delft, extensive research is being conducted into the bike’s stability and steering – expertise that will also be incorporated into the new track bike design. ‘It is important to tailor the geometry of the bike to the cyclist in such a way that the bike is as manoeuvrable as possible, while ensuring that all of the cyclist’s power output is converted into forward speed’, explains researcher Arend Schwab.
Vincent Luyendijk, Director of the KNWU: ‘The close collaboration between sportspeople, the business world and the scientific field means that we can really make a difference here in the Netherlands’. That is precisely why the KNWU, KOGA and TU Delft are collaborating in a platform for cycling innovation. ‘The track bike currently under development is the first concrete innovation as we head towards Tokyo 2020, but we expect more in the near future, also working with new partners in what we refer to as Project Tokyo’, adds Vincent Luyendijk. Progress in the coming years will be reported via the media and through the partners’ own channels.
Dr Daan Bregman (coordinator TU Delft Sports Engineering Institute)
Arend Schwab (TU Delft researcher)
Claire Hallewas (TU Delft Press Officer)
Mark Dorlandt (Project Manager)
Vincent Luyendijk (Director)
About the KNWU
The KNWU is the umbrella sports association of, and for, cycle sport in the Netherlands. It represents top-class, competitive and recreational levels, divided into the disciplines of road, BMX, track, field, MTB, para- and artistic cycling. The ultimate aim of the KBWU is to allow everyone in the Netherlands to improve how they cycle.
KOGA is a premium brand with a passion for sports cycles. Since its foundation in 1974, the company has consistently worked according to the KOGA philosophy, which is focused on the development and manufacture of handmade, exclusive, high-quality bikes of outstanding technical levels. Constant innovation and a close relationship with top-level sportspeople and international professional cycling teams form the foundations of the brand. KOGA’s own expansive Quality Center provides the backbone of development and quality control. KOGA has flourished into an international brand: in addition to serving the domestic Dutch market, KOGA also exports its programme to Germany, Belgium, Scandinavia, Switzerland, Austria, England, Australia and Asia. Acclaimed bikes produced by the brand include the WorldTraveller, BeachRacer and the Kimera. KOGA is part of the Accell Group.
The Accell Group focuses internationally on the mid-range and higher segments of the market for bikes, bike parts and accessories. The company holds market-leading positions in the Netherlands, Belgium, Germany, Italy, France, Finland, Turkey, the United Kingdom and the United States. In terms of turnover, the Accell Group is European market leader in the bicycle market.
About TU Delft
The 21,000 students and 4,700 staff at TU Delft are driven by a fascination for science, design and engineering. TU Delft is not only the oldest, but also the largest university of technology in the Netherlands. Known for its high standards of research and education, TU Delft collaborates with many other educational and research institutions, both at home and abroad. A range of disciplines at TU Delft contribute to innovation and new technology for the sport world, and all of these disciplines are united in the TU Delft Sports Engineering Institute. In addition to its focus on technology for top-class sport, TU Delft also contributes to developments in recreational sport.
About track cycling
Track cycling is a spectacular KNWU discipline. Following the achievements of Theo Bos, Teun Mulder and Tim Veldt, in recent years, the Dutch track team has been extremely successful at international competitions. Elis Ligtlee and Matthijs Büchli won gold and silver respectively at the Rio de Janeiro Olympics. Jeffrey Hoogland, Kirsten Wild and Theo Bos won a host of medals at European Championships, World Championships and the Olympic Games. Harrie Lavreysen recently caused a stir by winning silver at the World Championships in Hong Kong. The KNWU offers a full-time track cycling top-level sport programme, operating from the track at Omnisport Apeldoorn and the top-level sports centre in Papendal.