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USA Cycling, Partners Present Project 2016

This press release was provided by USA Cycling. The Club Industry editorial staff was not involved in the creation of this content. 

USA Cycling, Felt Bicycles and nine best-in-class partners have combined to create Project 2016, a revolutionary team pursuit bicycle and supporting technology ecosystem designed to make the 2016 World Champion women’s pursuit team the fastest in Rio.

“Our goal after London was to assemble the best team in the world and to put that team on the best bike in the world,” said Jim Miller, Vice President of Athletics, USA Cycling. “Working with all of our partners, we feel that we have created a game changer that will help deliver us to the top step in Rio.”

Longtime USA Cycling partner Felt Bicycles began designing the Project 2016 bike frame, formally known as TA FRD, in 2013 with sights set on breaking the mold in track bike design. The asymmetrical frame and left-side drivetrain provide the foundation for this cutting-edge bike designed specifically for women’s team pursuit and the aerodynamics needed to combat the naturally occurring yaw found in an indoor velodrome.

“It was a no-brainer for us to create a new bike for Team USA,” said Jim Felt, founder of Felt Bicycles. “This is exactly the type of endeavor that we’re good at, and it was a project we really wanted to take on. And what we’ve created is truly revolutionary in its singular focus on the team pursuit discipline. Everything from the asymmetric airfoils to the left-hand drive to the component integration makes the TA FRD the perfect weapon for the athletes of Team USA in their pursuit for gold in Rio.”

Hed Cycling Products designed a custom wheel for the Project 2016 bike to fit in a narrower, aerodynamic fork and rear stays, while Vittoria developed a tire that surpassed all competition in rolling resistance and aerodynamics testing.

Vision designed a custom version of its Metron TT Crankset for Project 2016 and an aero chain ring cap, all of which are positioned on the left side of the bike rather than the right, creating more optimal airflow in an event with 64 left turns over four kilometers. Stages developed carbon-based, dual sensor meters that capture high-resolution data at 64hz with cadences of 10-220 rpm and power outputs from 1-2,999 watts.

Off the bike, IBM has developed a groundbreaking analytics solution that automatically links rider and environment data to the cloud through the IBM Watson Internet of Things Platform, allowing coaches and staff to track athlete power watts, lap timing, new muscle oxygenation and match burned results in real time. The data is then transferred instantly back through the cloud to Solos high-performance smart eyewear, which integrates innovative, heads-up lens display and audio technologies. MuscleSound supplements IBM’s data gathering with nearly instantaneous glycogen level monitoring post-effort or post-workout.

Specific to the athletes, USA Cycling and its partners are exploring additional advantages, as ASSOS of Switzerland is developing a proprietary speed suit for the U.S. Olympic Cycling Team, and the women’s pursuit team will ride in Rio wearing Giro helmets, which were the fastest tested for the demands of team pursuit’s environment.

MEET OUR PARTNERS

ASSOS of Switzerland: In preparation for the Rio 2016 Olympics, ASSOS COO, Omar Visentin, and USAC VP of Athletics, Jim Miller, have launched a collaborative R&D team to create the ‘fastest speed suit on earth.’ To execute this project, the newly formed team is leveraging 40 years of ASSOS heritage that focuses on meticulous design, fabric creation, pattern making technology, testing and construction. The speedsuit features a new ASSOS proprietary 3D fabric with cutting-edge aerodynamic, weight and elasticity properties, which have been further optimized for speed and fit through a series of ongoing wind tunnel tests performed by USAC and ASSOS. Visit ASSOS.COM and follow on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter.

Felt Bicycles: To aid the athletes of Team USA in their pursuit for gold at the 2016 Olympic Games in Rio, Felt Bicycles set out to create the most advanced track racing bike the world has ever seen. Enter the TA FRD. The result of countless hours of computational fluid dynamics (CFD) software utilization, finite element analysis (FEA), advanced prototyping and extensive wind tunnel testing, the TA FRD was designed specifically for the U.S. women’s team pursuit squad. Featuring asymmetric tube shapes and airfoils honed specifically for the unique conditions of the velodrome, as well as a unique left-hand drivetrain integration that has been aerodynamically optimized for track airflow, the TA FRD is the ultimate weapon to combat aerodynamic drag, conquer world records and claim gold. To learn more, visit http://www.feltbicycles.com/pursuitforgold/ and be sure to follow Felt Bicycles on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.

Hed Cycling Products: Hed Cycling Products is very excited to provide our fastest wheels to the Project 2016 Women’s Pursuit Team. It’s been a pleasure to collaborate with all of the sponsors on this project, to give our athletes the best technology possible. Please visit hedcycling.com for the latest on our products, and follow our social media outlets: Hed Cycling on Facebook, @HedCycling on Twitter, and @HedWheels on Instagram.

IBM: In partnership with IBM® jStart®, the U.S. Women’s Team Pursuit team is now harnessing a mobile-enabled, cloud-based solution to simplify and accelerate the process of collecting and analyzing key training analytics. Data from multiple sources, including a power meter, heartrate monitor and muscle oxygen sensor is gathered in real time during training or competition on a mobile phone during the session. The solution leverages IBM Watson™ Internet of Things Platform on IBM Bluemix to transmit the data to the IBM Cloud, where it is stored and analyzed using IBM Analytics for Apache Spark, and the results are sent to the coaches’ iPads in real-time in the form of a summary iOS dashboard presenting metrics such as W-prime depletion and matches burned. The solution saves an estimated four hours per rider per day on training data analysis and enables coaches and riders to instantly understand how each training session is going, identify optimal race tactics and reinforce winning strategies.

MuscleSound: MuscleSound’s goal is to maximize each individual athlete’s potential by gauging overall muscle health through advanced ultrasound technology. MuscleSound allows users to track glycogen (fuel) and muscle composition so that athletes can perform at their optimum levels. The company has worked with the USA Cycling team over the course of several months, scanning and providing critical information regarding the effect of an intense training and travel schedule on fuel levels and recovery. The Director of Track Programs for the team recently said, “We are major believers that MuscleSound’s technology can contribute to our goal of winning Olympic medals for Team USA at the Rio 2016 Olympics.” MuscleSound is thrilled to be going on the “Road To Rio” with the team this year!

Solos: Solos™ smart eyewear for cyclists is an integral training tool for the USA women’s Olympic team in its quest to win gold at Rio 2016. The Solos team and USA Cycling team partnered in Project 2016 to fuse critical wearable technologies that include an innovative heads-up display and audio technologies. The Solos Wearable’s team focused on three key areas of unique system design and performance: on track, Olympic athlete smart glasses testing— Solos is the first Smart Glass optimized to maximize competitive athlete’s user experience with unobtrusive and seamless real-time feedback; aerodynamic smart eyewear design— exclusive high-performance smart glasses design that focuses on optimized features for aerodynamic fit for road and track racing that accommodates new aero-helmet designs and minimizing weight; and heads-up display integration—unique software integration for track and road performance training plans empowering athletes to receive seamless real-time critical information through the Heads-up microdisplay and integrated audio technologies. The @SolosWearables team, in collaboration with MIT Sports Technology research experts, validated an optimal design of Solos, with sound data analytic models Heads Up Display Integration to enable the Olympic Team to drive ultimate performance. 

Stages Cycling: Stages Cycling, maker of the Stages Power meter, combined all of their most refined designs and capabilities—both production and prototype—to build the USA Cycling Team the world’s most advanced track-specific power meter. This power meter pushes the boundaries of the category and lessons learned will trickle into Stages products for years to come. At the heart of the USA Cycling Team’s left-drive meter is Stages newly released carbon based technology. From there, this special meter departs, with dual sensors and specially developed track firmware, with the potential to capture high-speed, high-resolution data at 64hz—64x per second—with cadences of just 10rpm all the way to 220rpm, and power outputs from 1 to 2,999 watts.

Vision: Vision is honored to have been asked to contribute to Project 2016. We have a long-standing history of developing bicycle components with several of the key project partners and that brings a natural sense of collaboration to our involvement. Working on this ground-breaking concept, we were challenged to apply our core competencies of R&D, aerodynamics and carbon manufacturing to rethink and enhance our 2016 Vision Metron TT crankset—a proven model raced by professional Vision road teams and triathletes globally. The resulting design fulfills two key objectives of superior aerodynamics and ultimate stiffness and ensures the greatest transfer of the athlete’s power to the bike. We can’t wait to see the Project 2016 bike in action! In addition to cranksets, Vision offers a complete line of cockpit components, wheels, drivetrains, brakes and accessories for road, track, time trial and triathlon applications.

Vittoria: Vittoria is proud to be chosen to support the USA Cycling Team as its tire of choice in this historic event. Vittoria’s long brand heritage of racing has given us a unique insight to the needs of the world’s top athletes and recreational enthusiasts alike, and continues to drive our product development process. The result is the creation of cutting-edge products that enhance performance in the most demanding scenarios. When the podium is within reach time and again, you can count on Vittoria. For the most up-to-date product information and news, please visit www.Vittoria.com.