Please disregard all previous statements declaring my withdrawal from the cycling arms race. These were made before I became aware of the UKSI bike.
Cycling Weekly first bought this stealth bomber of road bikes to my attention as it was ridden by Bradley Wiggins, Chris Froome, and Mark Cavendish in last Saturday’s Olympic Road Race. And doesn’t it look cool? Ugly, yes. But cool.
For some years now, the British track cycling team have been using a version of this bike, made in a top secret laboratory buried deep within a volcano just outside the Manchester velodrome (probably…), but the UCI have since ruled that all kit used must be commercially available. Rather than get rid of the bikes and buy some stock frames from another manufacturer, the British team have decided to make their secret weapon available to the rest of the world, via UK Sport.
Except, of course, they’re not going to make it too easy for everyone else.
The frames, plus forks, chainsets, bars, stems, seatposts, saddles, and helmets are all made to order, by hand, so the prices can vary considerably. Quite how much they can vary by, I couldn’t tell you, because UK Sport don’t provide prices, unless you email them and enquire.
Needless to say, they would be very, very expensive.
However, regardless of price, it could be argued that this is actually quite an ethical way of producing a bike. Consider the positives:
- Made to order, so minimal wastage.
- Made by hand, so encouraging the development of specialist skills.
- Made in the UK, so keeping money within the national economy.
Clearly it’s a no brainer.
So, who would like to buy me one?