The Obree Position (mk1)

Graeme Obree and the hour record 1993

In 1993 the hour record was broken by Graeme Obree, an relatively unknown rider, at least outside Great Britain. In the past years the hour record had been attacked by well known road racing stars. Even more surprising was his "home made" bicycle and his position on this bike. His unique, compact riding position allowed him him to rest his torso on his tucked forearms. In this way, folding his arms under his chest, he eliminated them from the aerodynamic equation.

The Early Years

Obree invented the crouched (or tucked) position in 1987, using a standard bike, just flipping the handlebar upside down. He won national championships in the following years and broke the British hour record. Look at his bike with flipped handlebar on the left picture (from

In the winter of 1992/1993 he decided to attack Francesco Moser's hour record and designed a special bike for this purpose.

Though this position was not very comfortable, wind tunnel measurements showed that it reduced the aerodynamic drag about 15 %, giving a theoretical speed gain of more than 2 km/h at 50 km/h!

Track World Champs 1993

In the major time-trial competitions on the road he was not that succesful. Though the low position is a disadvantage on the climbs, where a more upright body is needed, his results were probably just due to bad shape.

Francesco Moser: january 1994

Graeme Obree's second hour record 1994

My own invention 1994 ...

The world champs 1994

PS: My Obree-handlebar was banned in the 1995 Ironman Jümme, because the german triathlon union DTU had added a new rule: "Extraordinary equipment is illegal" One could ask how any of the innovations of the past years (disc wheel, aero-bar, etc.) could have made with this rule, but as said above: Stupid officials have the power...

Update: Sydney Olympics 2000

Personal Update 2001...

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