Cycling 15 May, 1971
Ergometers investigated as our Phil gets a new job
The birth of the turbo trainer, or smart bike, could be traced back to this issue as Eddie Cook takes a look at the bicycle ergometer and its usefulness for cyclists. Indoor riding was nothing new, as roller racing was huge in the 1950s when riders like Reg Harris raced in front of massive crowds while clubs would regularly host events in clubrooms through the winter. But turbo trainers were unheard of.
The ergometer was usually found in laboratories, hospitals and health clubs and was designed to be “used primarily in three ways: as an aid to athletic development, as medical apparatus in the treatment of hospital patients and as a measuring device for research.”
Cook’s article featured an image of racing man Brian Jolly attached to some heavy looking breathing apparatus and surrounded by men in suits and white coats during a test at Loughborough. “As a training aid, the ergometer may suffer in comparison with rollers as they allow the cyclist to simulate actual riding,” Cook explained.
He goes on to write that ergometers can most often be found in health clubs where, ‘members use them to loosen up the near dormant cardio-respiratory systems of some of the most overweight and oversmoked among them.’
He looks at various models, many at this time were built in Scandanavia. Retailer extraordinaire Ron Kitching listed 10 models in his catalogue, ranging from £18.61 to £141.
This issue also celebrated staff writer Phil Liggett getting the job as organiser of the Milk Race. ‘New Milk Man? Our Phil!’ Ran the headline. Quite a responsibility at the age of 27. “I suppose you could say I’m quaking in my shoes, being in control of the biggest amateur race in Western Europe.” Liggett said.
The appointment followed in the tradition of Tour de France organisers who have always been journalists. The news pages wondered if Alf Engers quitting a 25m TT while in the lead was the end of his career, while Irish trailblazer Shay Elliott was remembered in a big feature written by Phil Liggett.
The issue featured an extended obituary for Irish pro trailblazer Shay Elliott