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Watch: Was Graeme Obree an aerodynamic genius or supreme athlete?

Joe Robinson
12 Mar 2018

Twice world hour record holder, Graeme Obree finally finds out how aerodynamic his innovative positions were

Graeme Obree was truly a man ahead of his time. With a bike built from an old washing machine and two revolutionary riding positions, the Scot managed to set the World Hour Record twice and become World Champion on the track twice.

These positions, named the crouch and superman, were so progressive that the UCI even banned them through fear of them giving Obree a superior advantage. 

This then sparked the obvious debate. Was Obree's success down to his ability to outthink his competitors with a revolutionary position or was he just an incredible athlete?

After 23-years, Endura has finally brought Obree to the wind tunnel to answer the questions of two decades previous.

Using aerodynamic expert Simon Smart, Endura and Obree tested four positions, the crouch, the superman, the 1993 UCI standard position and modern UCI standard position to determine which was truly the fastest.

With no access to wind tunnels and aerodynamic experts in the 1990s, Obree relied on instinct to perfect the most aerodynamic position to his mind which made his exploits over the likes of Chris Boardman that more impressive.

As for which position was the most aerodynamic, the results do offer up some surprises and prove that Obree was more than just an innovative genius with a knack of cheating the wind.

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