Sir Chris Hoy has launched his new track bike at the Glasgow velodrome named in his honour.
The six-time Olympic gold medalist rode the boards on the Hoy Bikes Fiorenzuola on St Andrew’s Day – and so did RoadCyclingUK.
Having seen Sir Chris’ personal prototype of the Fiorenzuola – a machine named after the venue at which he won his first UCI World Cup medal – on our last visit to Glasgow, we sampled the production steed for ourselves on Saturday for a few laps with the man himself.
The £750 machine, built to the geometry on which Hoy raced, has been tested extensively by the 11-time world champion, including sessions on the Glasgow track.
At its heart is a 6061 T6 triple-butted aluminium frame and carbon-bladed fork, with a straight, 1-1/8″ aluminium steerer tube.
The number of times over the years I’ve been testing other bikes with other geometries and it hasn’t been quite right, but because I’ve used the geometry that I raced with, the Fiorenzuola felt right straight away – Sir Chris Hoy
Hoy said that while he had been personally involved in the design of all bikes in the range, the track bike in particular felt like his own.
“It’s what I know better than anything else. I was a bit nervous the first time I got the prototype – it was unfinished, and unpainted, but within two laps I could feel it was right.
“The number of times over the years I’ve been testing other bikes with other geometries, and it hasn’t been quite right, and you say, ‘change this, change that’, but because I’ve used the geometry that I raced with, it felt right straight away. It’s pretty much the same bike that I raced on, but it’s made of aluminium.”
Hoy said the long top tube and short headtube had been included to deliver a riding position low enough for racing, and said the Fiorenzuola had met the most important requirement of a track bike – a resistance to flex.
I’ve done plenty of efforts on the Fiorenzuola, and it’s rock solid. If I can ride a bike and it’s not going to flex all over the place, then you know most people are going to be fine on it – Sir Chris Hoy
“The key thing is stiffness to make sure the bike doesn’t flex when you’re giving it plenty of stick. I’ve done plenty of efforts on it, and it’s rock solid. If I can ride a bike and it’s not going to flex all over the place, then you know most people are going to be fine on it.”
The Satori Fixter handlebars, with a whopping 169mm drop, provide a further aid to tackling wind resistance, and the 120mm Kalloy A-head stem supplied with the medium and large frames – and, like all Hoy bikes, bearing Sir Chris’ signature – continues the work of the long top tube.
Power is transferred via a 48-tooth SRAM Omnium chain set, secured with a conventional, external bottom bracket, and paired with a 14-tooth Q-Lite sprocket. The Fiorenzuola is a track bike – a sticker on the top tube spells out of its purpose as a machine for closed course use – and so the gear is fixed. It rolls on 32-hole Alex 380 alloy rims, shod with Maxxis tyres, on our test bike, at least. The spec sheet lists 120-TPI rubber from CST.
Hoy intends the Fiorenzuola as a machine for those starting out on the boards: a chassis that can withstand the watts of six-time Olympic champion and can be upgraded with superior components.
“I think what we’ve got is a bike that’s relatively affordable, an entry-level bike, but it’s a frame where you could upgrade the wheels and a couple of the components and make it into a proper race bike. You could certainly progress from track league up to racing national events on it,” Hoy said.
Would-be riders returning to the sport, or regular riders seeking to upgrade to a higher quality machine were those at whom the Hoy Bikes brand was aimed, he added.
“The key point of the whole brand is to make cycling accessible. I could have gone in with really top of the range stuff, but it excludes a lot of people.”