Victor Campenaerts Sets Hour Record on Custom Ridley

Belgian and European individual time trial champion Victor Campenaerts set a new Hour Record yesterday at the velodrome in Aguascalientes, Mexico. The record, 55.089km in sixty minutes was set aboard a custom Ridley Arena TT track bike, putting Campenaerts 563m or 1.03% further than Bradley Wiggins’ mark set in 2015.  

Campenaerts’ custom Ridley Arena TT hour record bike

Victor Campenaerts set the new Hour Record on the short 250m quarter-track with steep 41 ° banked walls which sits at high altitude in Aguascalientes. The track is very similar to the track Wiggins set his record at in Londer, but at 1887m high though, there was considerably less aerodynamic resistance for Campenaerts to overcome due to lower air density at elevation. London being at sea level. Less air, though, also means less air to breathe to power through the intense effort.

Albeit thinner, air is still the number one form of resistance to overcome when competing in the Hour Record. Aerodynamics are king. So Ridley custom-built Campenaerts a carbon Arena TT aero track bike. The bike has identical geometry to the Dean Fast time trial bike he has used to secure several TT championships and the build earned a UCI certified sticker to keep everything official. As for heft, the record winning bike weighed in at about 7.6kg.

The Arena TT is a standard track bike from the Ridley line. It’s based on their Dean time trial bikes and borrows most of its tech from the Dean Fast, with a little more conventional front end. The bike features F-Surface Plus grooves on the downtube which introduces a boundary layer in air turbulence to reduce drag.

Campanaerts’ bike, nicknamed the “Flying Moustache” got a custom paint job with plenty of cool details. There are a few other custom bits worth noting:

The most notable custom element has to be the aero bar extensions on the bike. Ridley custom molded a set of bars to Campenaerts’ arms which support the full length of his forearms and create a perfect aerodynamic setup. Campenaerts first competed on the bars at last year’s ITT Worlds where he took third.  

His baserbar is also interesting. It was trimmed down to just 33cm wide. After getting up to speed over the opening seconds, Campenaerts wouldn’t touch the bar again for the bulk of the 60 minutes, so everything that wasn’t needed was cut away.

Campenaerts sat on a split nosed ISM Performance Short saddle, set pretty far forward on the Arena TT’s aero seatpost. He rode on Campagnolo’s Ghibli carbon disc wheels with Campy’s top-of-the-line CULT ceramic bearings in the hubs. That said, C-Bear was also a sponsor, so they may have supplied the ceramic bottom bracket bearings.

The drivetrain was also provided by Campagnolo, with an 11-speed chain and custom chainrings on a Campy SRM power meter crankset. However, Campenaerts wasn’t allowed to monitor his power output during the record attempt, as regulations stipulate.  

Campenaerts wouldn’t give a solid answer going into the Hour Record attempt as to what gearing he would run. In the end his record setting bike had a 61×14 setup, which works out to 9.04m per rotation. That puts his average cadence at 101.5rpm for the hour.

The last standout is where the bike meets the track. Some slick gold Vittoria Pista tubulars were wrapped around the Campy rims. Vittoria developed them specifically for ultra low rolling resistance on the wooden track.

All together the custom bike set the stage for Victor Campenaerts to gut out his new Hour Record at 55.089km.

If you want to read more on path to the record Ridley has been keeping a great blog going.


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