Comparing vintage vs modern racing bikes with Sarah Hammer

Extra scene from The Equalizer (2016) feat. world record holder Sarah Hammer, her coach Andy Sparks, physiologist Greg Wells, sports scientist Steve Haake and Professor John Hart of the Centre for Sports Engineering Research at Sheffield Hallam University. Narrated by David Suzuki for CBC’s The Nature of Things.

Steve Haake meets world champion track cyclist Sarah Hammer at the US Olympic Training Center in Colorado Springs. Sarah holds the current world record in the 3000 metre individual pursuit. Her training and bike are state of the art, and her skin-tight suit defeats air resistance. Steve challenges Sarah to compete on a level playing field against 1960s British track legend Beryl Burton.

About The Equalizer
Every year, athletes set new world records. But are today’s top performers really better than athletes of the past? In The Equalizer, Steve Haake, a top sports scientist based in the UK, investigates five major sporting events where technology is a factor. He travels to Canada, the US and Germany to meet five world-class athletes whose sport is impacted by the latest developments in technology.

For each of the athletes, Haake examines the variables that go into their winning performance – enhanced athletic gear, training, nutrition and psychology. Then, for the first time ever, Haake equalizes the playing field and challenges them to compete against a legendary athlete using equipment from a bygone era.

The Equalizer was co-produced by Kensington Communications (Canada) and Berlin Producers (Germany) for broadcast on CBC-TV’s THE NATURE OF THINGS (Canada), SRC (French Canada), Ici Explora (French Canada), ZDF (Germany), Arte (Germany/France) and other international broadcasters. Robert Lang is Executive Producer and Producer for Kensington Communications. Kristian Kaehler is Executive Producer for Berlin Producers. “The Equalizer” is directed by Rebecca Snow, written by Allen Booth and narrated by David Suzuki.



rezilla1 says:

They forgot to mention that these days there is better dope : (

Ian Whalley says:

In 1983 Norman Sheil* was advising a 88-91 inch gear for the pursuit – so Sarah should be riding the same gear as Beryl for comparison purposes.

* &-11 Grand Prix Training Manual II, Norm Sheil, Rodale Press, 1984.

Joe Slater says:

You should see if Sarah could break Beryl’s record on the same bike. See who was actually better.

Thomas L.S. says:

I’ll take an older bike anyday over these newer pieces of junk.

20alphabet says:

Comparing vintage vs. modern? The vintage lasts longer enough to become VINTAGE. Let’s see if any of the current day crap will be around in 35 years .

steve ducell says:

Gearing…….misleading information given although factual, one has to take into consideration the LENGTH of the CRANK that the rider wants to use. Crank Length is chosen based on the length of the leg AND if the rider has their developed muscles for endurance ( hi cadence ) or brute force ( lower cadence). Study Jan Urlich and Lance Armstrong The two had fundamentsl differences in how they set up their Gear Train

Joseph Hatter says:

“For every rotation of the crank you’re going 8 inches further”

Not correct unfortunately. The difference between a pedal revolution with a 98 and 90 inch gear is actually 64cm (7.84m vs 7.2m) i.e. just over 25 inches.

Need to convert inches to metres and multiply by pi.

ynotnilknarf39 says:

Burton was the first woman to go sub 4mins on track for 3000m, Hammer could only manage 4min 12s on similar bike/track so not even close! Then we have the fact that Burton would beat all comers on the road too, over any distance you care to name. her 23mph average over 12 hours is still a world record for women 50 years on.

Robi Eman says:

Bought old racing bycycles for the streets with 10gears, one is in really good condition the other is quite rubbish but I am going to use it as an fixie bike.. both models coming from the late 1970s early 80s

Mikhail Matximbarrena says:

Don’t get too cocky.

Aiaiaii z says:

What realy is drag?? i know there are 3 main things.. the air crushing to object the air going around object dispersment and the air leaving the object… whitch i know is called drag.. is the other 2 called drag aswel.. they are totaly different things.

PROcrastiDRIVE SV says:

Your forearms matter road cyclists. The new most aero position is forearms horizontal on the hoods (no longer in the drops). Watch the pros do it. I should add that the big benefits happen with a slammed stem + lower headset height.

juan martinez says:

very interesting

Irfan Kamaludin says:

At 2:24 it wasn’t a fair test because the first rider was on the hoods not the drops

MRGRUMPY53 says:

But track racers don’t have hoods to ride on. They are always in the drops.

Raccoonrider says:

OK, but where’s the comparison of vintage vs modern? Different types of bikes and actors playing scientists is all I see. You could add a downhill bike into this mess, it would not even make this useless video less relevant.

insert good name says:

My recumbent can beat all these guys. Haha

The Lazy Logician says:

Annoying video. I don’t think the disc wheel is supposed to act as a “sail”…

Chris Mad says:

For competition ….yes…probably good…..but if you looking to have better endurance ,cardio,muscles…..Old fashion Metal road bikes are the king!

MK Ultra says:

vintage for life!!! china for months

Paul Webb says:

What a load of bollocks. Made it sound like a modern bike was faster simply because it had a bigger gear. And even then they don’t know what gear inches are. That was only the first minute, at which point I gave up.

portnoy38 says:

marketing, il n’y a que peu de difference

Trilaminator says:

No SPD Pedal M8000 = No relaxt Cykling

juan martinez says:

thanks for sharing the video

Mustard Jar says:


Tomas Longa says:

Where is the actual comparison?

Halfwheelhell says:

position 1 in the hoods. If your going to make comparison, it should have been in the drops… useless.

David Horne says:

i have a Raleigh Kellogg’s Pro tour bike,1980s .i love my steel bike.theres something special about riding a bike with standered geometry…oh and a 52/42 chainring…perfect.

Carlos Marin says:

Take a look at my fixed gear video and don’t fotget to suscribe!!

AndresM.Uy says:

una re cagada la comparación

bishplis says:

“acts like a sail” nigga i know you cant afford a boat but that not how sails work 1:04

you sew? says:

Everyone knows that hand made lugged steel bikes are the only bikes that matter.

Wesley TY says:


3Daddicted says:

As the speed increases so does the volume of the annoying music.

death2pc says:

More modern day myopic bullshit……………………..

Alda Vigdis Skarphedinsdottir says:

Great and informative video. The sound mix could have been better though. 😉

Joni English says:

at what speed does AERO take effect ?

Noah Calderon says:

where do you get a 98 inch gear?

Diego Pereira says:

Bicicletas não são automóveis. Aerodinamica ajuda, mas se não houver um bom ciclista em cima dela, não adianta de nada.

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