World hour record study   1993-1994  :

Riding postion and bicycle design for a world hour record attack, just before the UCI changed the tehnical rules on the bikes were allowed. 

"In 1993 I had to choose a graduation project to complete my industrial design study. Lots of things around the world hour record were happening that period, and when I saw the creativity and the successful attempt of Graeme Obree, I decided there was still room for optimization left.
Since the biggest factor of the hour record is air-resistance, and since the rider is responsible for +90% of the total air resistance, I started with optimizing his position on the bike within the UCI regulation at that time. I inclined the position forward to get the frontal area as small as possible with a completely horizontal back. Inspired by Obree, I decided that a real steer was only needed to get up tempo during the first half minute. After that, steering could be done by moving the riders COG, as if you're riding without hands.... To test and validate this conclusion, I made several mechanical constructions on top of my own race bike. After several unsuccessful attempts, and crashes , I found a good rotation axis for the shoulder support. A new cycling position was defined with the arms horizontal to the back, like ice skaters do with one arm...., catching no air at all. The tests proved that the shoulders did need support in order to be able to keep the position for a full hour. The grips behind the saddle help to fix the hips and put less strain on the back. With this new cycling position in mind I designed the bike, with 26" wheels, beam design with integrated saddle, and shoulder supports that are suspended on rubber to allow for a few degrees of movement, which allows sufficient steering at higher speeds. Unfortunately, the UCI changed their rules during the project, so no actual attempt with this concept was executed."

Context : the design had to be compliant to the technical UCI rules of that period : recumbent or other pure aero features or parts were not allowed, position of wheel and pedals axis within the below limits :

Functional prototype with the new rider position, based on Obree and ice-skaters. Behind the saddle there's an adjustable set-up to determine the ideal position and angle of the hands and arms. The shoulders supports were also adjustable in height and length, and can swing 7cm left and right for balance purposes, around an axis running from the knee position to the middle of the saddle. There is no connection between the hand-grips and the real handlebar. Balance is kept by the self balancing effect and slight weight shifts of the shoulder, like riding with no hands.  This is only an ergonomic and functional test set-up to validate and determine the human interfaces, built onto an existing road bike. Gear shifters, brakes, and the adjustable set-up will not be needed on the final bike design.

Final Real Life, Non-functional prototype of the bike , adapted and optimized for the newly developed rider position. Since it's a dedicated design for the world hour record, it has a fixed gear, no brakes, swinging shoulder supports, saddle and hand-grips integrated in the aerodynamic carbon mono-coque structure. Unfortunately the UCI (union cycliste international) changed it's technical rules just before the project was finished, and the whole project became obsolete.