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Pedal Medal

Friday, 02. December 2016

How can the track cycling shoe be better connected to the pedal, in order to enable optimal power transmission? That was Kristina Vogel, the later Olympic champion‘s, question to the SINN during the preparations for the Olympic Games in Rio. Why the SINN, you might ask?

Before the Olympic Games started, our network started an initiative called “SINN goes Rio”. Its goal was to actively support athletes during their preparations for Rio by giving them the possibility, to put any and all questions to the SINN, which then would discuss them in an interdisciplinary setting.

This was the point of origin for a project funded by the German Federal Ministry for Sports Science called PedalMedal, in which Innovationsmanufaktur and its partners 5th dimension, Alpha Modellbau GmbH, FluiDyna GmbH, phoenix GmbH and the Department of Sport and Health Sciences at TU München worked on a connection between pedal and shoe that minimizes loss of power and air resistance, but is at the same time optimized for track cycling and, last but not least, in accordance with the rules.

As a first step, the athletes were asked about their wishes; the project team was among other things interested in the currently used pedal-shoe-systems, in the athletes’ demands on a new system, or in how far the system should be adaptable to different persons or conditions. The next step was based on the athletes’ answers and consisted of  designing several functional prototypes which then were tested by the athletes themselves.

All testers, among them heavyweights such as Pauline Grabosch (Silver medalist at the European Track Championships in the 500m time trial, German Champion in team sprint) or Joachim Eilers (World champion 2016 in the 1000m time trial and in Keirin) as well as head coach Detlef Uibel all agreed that  the new system did in fact not only improve the connection between shoe and pedal but also the power transmission – which means that the first goal of the project partners has already been reached!

As a next step, the overall system will be improved further, among other things, the whole structure should weigh even less. And the overall goal of the project: As many athletes as possible should be able to use the new pedal-shoe-system developed especially for track cycling during the tack cycling world championships in Hongkong in April 2017. So keep your eyes peeled – maybe you will see innovation made by Innovationsmanufaktur in Hongkong!

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