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Tech News – May 30, 2009

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First look: Graeme Obree's amazing bicycle

By Jeff Jones

Graeme Obree's new bike.
Photo ©: Jeff Jones
(Click for larger image)

Graeme Obree is as well known for his hour record breaking exploits as he is for the hand-built machines that he set them on.

The 43-year-old Scot recently announced that he's going to attempt the hour record again - and this time it will be on a UCI-approved 'standard' track bike. Drop handlebars, spoked wheels, steel frame, everything that will make the UCI officials in Aigle happy.

But this is Obree we're talking about. He is not a conventional man. And by the looks of the machine we spotted at BikeRadar Live this afternoon, he seems to have hand-crafted every component. From the Reynolds 653 steel frame to the narrow, semi-sculpted seatpost topped by a purple velvet saddle to the aluminum time trial handlebars that he whittled down over the course of three months while watching TV, to the massive drilled out 67 tooth chainring to the 15-year-old Specialized mountain bike pedals to just about everything else.

Some parts will be swapped for the eventual hour record attempt, of course, but this will do perfectly well for a time trial.

In fact, when you look at it closely, you can see it's an amazing machine - it's more retro than retro, and so much time has gone into building it. It's beautiful to behold and hard to get your head around the fact that it is designed to go very fast. And you can be sure it will with Obree astride it as he attempts to set the fastest lap in the Procycling Hot Laps. The man himself looks very fit and you can see it in his eyes that he's ready for the challenge ahead.


For a thumbnail gallery of these images, click here

Images by Jeff Jones