Enhancing Performance Cycling: The Bike Tailor’s Collaboration with UK Ironman 2021 Winner

Working in the bike fitting world you get to meet some fantastic people. When I started The Bike Tailor back in 2017, I made myself a promise: never to take for granted how lucky I am to do a job I love, which also helps riders and athletes achieve amazing things in the process. 

Imagine how I felt last weekend (4th July 2021) when Joe Skipper, already record holder for fastest British male Ironman of all time, won the PRO races at Ironman UK 2021. This also means he has now won an iron-distance every year since 2017.


The story of the ironman, the tailor, and the revolver

Back in mid-June 2021, I made a trip to Silverstone Sports Engineering Hub (SSEH) to meet with Joe at the amazing wind tunnel facilities (The Bike Tailor is the only bike shop in the UK to have access to this). My job was to analyse his cycling performance in real-world conditions and advise him where I could in order to help his performance. 

I see this work as the cherry on the cake for athletes; Joe has put in all the training, refining his skills over the years. With the help of some sophisticated analytics software and working alongside the excellent Harry from Revolver Wheels, I can apply some science to the process. Tweaks to key things like Joe’s position, for example, can make his job is a lot easier on race day. 

Wind power

The SSEH centre has been built around an advanced technology wind-tunnel and is there to offer cycling enthusiasts of all abilities the chance to improve their performance accurately and effectively.

I have drawn from my vast experience to provide my clients with the ultimate immersive bike fitting service, combining the wind tunnel with the best, up-to-the-minute products and equipment. 

How to shed the seconds in an ironman race

The Bike Tailor uses Dartfish 3D motion analytics software for all our bike fit sessions, whether at our cycle fitting room in Brighton or at the wind tunnel. The advantage of the wind tunnel facilities though, is that it can recreate crosswinds or ‘within-run yaw-sweep’ capabilities +/-30 degrees and allow for testing at different wind speeds up to 80 km/h.

With all of these tools plus our extensive experience and understanding of aerodynamics on the bike, we tested Joe’s position and performance. The results helped him refine his posture, and even decide his wheel choices and clothing. Decisions that can make all the difference to time in an ironman race. 

I am so proud of Joe’s achievements and can’t wait to work with him again!

– Stephen, The Bike Tailor

Want to get some wind tunnel experience yourself?

To book in a wind-tunnel bike fitting session at the performance centre or to check availability, please call us on 01273 569006 or complete this short form!

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