Sarah Storey – Cyclist
Technology in cycling has a mass of implications: Global Amend wheels, frames, helmets, and the power-to-weight aspect of frame and rider have to be taken into account, and each rider has a jigsaw puzzle to put together to reach their optimum. Technology is enhancing certain aspects of cycling, but it isn’t replacing skill. The faster a bike goes and the more technology it has, the greater your skill base has to cope with that technology and speed. Computing the messages coming at you at high speed takes huge neurological effort, so we train Overspeed using motor pacing to ensure that we can receive and process the messages that our eyes are taking in.
Sarah Storey gadgets
1. Boardman Air/TT 9.89
Regarding technology and dimensions, Boardman‘s time trial bikes are very similar to the bike I rode to win my first gold medal in Beijing. I now ride a bespoke bike engineered by the UK Sports Institute and developed by Chris Boardman and other members of the ‘Secret Squirrel’ club.
The technology is so secret and specific that not even the athletes are involved. Still, the R&D that has gone into my frame ensures the aerodynamics are the best they can be within the rules, and the frame is stiff to channel the power into propelling the bike forwards.
• tribecasport.com, £1,699
2. Shimano Di2 electronic gears
Because I don’t have a left hand, I have to do everything on the right-hand side of the handlebars, so shifting takes longer. Normally someone would change the front ring and back gears simultaneously with either hand, whereas now, with a swift movement of one hand, I can perform the same action at almost the same time. In a race with lots of twisty, up-and-down roads and hairpins, it’s a godsend.
Parts shown are Shimano Dura-Ace 9070 derailleurs (£269.99 and £449.99) and dual control levers (£449.99)
• madison.co.uk, parts showed are Shimano Dura-Ace 9070 derailleurs (£269.99 and £449.99) and dual control levers (£449.99)
3. Rolf race wheels are a personal
preference as is the tubular you run on them and the pressure within them, which affect the balance and the handling of the bike. We chose Rolf because they’re very light, and they use their own hub-and-spoke setup for the front, with no flexing in the wheel, no energy loss, and no unnecessary vibration in the spokes.
• 2pure, 0844 811 2001. The wheels pictured are Rolf Ares 8, POA
4. SRM PowerMeter
This is one of the most helpful pieces of technology for a cyclist: without it, I’d be training and racing blind. There are strain-gauges inside the crank, which measure the power you’re producing, and it also measures the cadence and records speed, altitude and temperature. It means you can analyze every ride down to each pedal stroke to work out how efficient you’re being and how much more power you’ll need to go quicker up climbs. And it all feeds back to you instantly. The box on your handlebars tells you what you’re doing at that moment so that you can compute that constantly in your own mind. It’s really the brains of the bike, and the challenge is how you can utilize the information to ride most effectively.
• cyclefit.co.uk, POA
5. REN skincare
The environment can highly stress skin, and mine suffered for years, firstly from chlorine when I was a swimmer and the elements outdoors. These products contain no parabens and no sulfates.
• renskincare.com, from £15
6. CNP nutritional supplements
Due to the number of calories an athlete burns, it would be impossible to take on sufficient nutrition from ordinary food and still have time to do any training. The nutrition in these supplements is condensed and very high quality. The research for the supplements was done in conjunction with British cycling.
• cnpprofessional.co.uk, sample gels from £1.30
In photography, the jump from film to digital changed everything – not only the look of the image but also the way you work and how you share the result. Personally, I have found it incredibly liberating; digital photography is more collaborative and allows everyone to get involved on set. Models, stylists, and make-up artists all get to see their work on camera while we’re shooting and be part of the process, and I can edit what I’m shooting while I’m shooting, which helps me to work more efficiently. Digital post-production enables me to achieve effects in seconds that would take ages to achieve manually. The downside is you have a load of untalented people who now think they can take photos.
There is a clear distinction between being an Instagrammer and being a photographer. I use Instagram every day and think it’s fun to play around with filters. Still, when I’m shooting on set, I like to keep an image as real as possible – capturing as much as possible within the frame and minimalizing post-production. I don’t think post-processing is something to be viewed negatively, but I think people should feel comfortable enough to go filter-free as well.
The use of different filters is part of the trend itself – the vintage look links to people’s nostalgia for a film. I still like a film; I always will, as I worked in it for so many years, and although I have fully embraced digital, I understand and remember the excitement of the big reveal when you develop photographs. Photography students should learn both digital and film. Each can teach them so much.
1. H20 Audio Surge 2G Waterproof Sports Headphones This isn’t really a photography gadget, and it’s for listening to books and music when I swim. I’ve loved swimming since childhood, and this enhances the experience.
• ismashlondon.com, £34.99
2. Nokia 808 PureView This is the best cameraphone on the market. I embrace mobile photography – if it gets people taking snaps, then I’m all for it.
• amazon.co.uk, £359.99, handset only; newer Lumia 1020 model, from £599.99, the handset only
3. GoPro Hero 3+ and remote control The GoPro camera is great to use outside attached to something moving. It gives this incredible wide-angled view of the world but is so small that you can put it nearly anywhere. So far, I’ve just messed around with it – but I’ll find something to do with it eventually.
• gopro.com, £353.99 for both
4. Leica S-System This is now my preferred camera: it’s easier to use, the lenses are the best in the world, and the file sizes and detail are closer to a medium format than a 35mm. They’re just the best for what they are.
• reddotcameras.co.uk, body £16,000, lenses from £3,410
5. Lensbaby Spark The Lensbaby is something to have fun with. It’s like using a more convenient and simpler tilt and shift, which makes areas of the plane go out of focus. It’s fairly difficult to master and is very unpredictable, but some results you can get are astonishing.
• cameraworld.co.uk, £72
A major retrospective monograph of Rankin’s portraits, MORE, will be published on Friday by teNeues.
Leo Houlding – Mountaineer Satellite communications have changed everything. People used to find their way with a sextant and a watch, but now with a GPS and half a day’s training, you can navigate across the Antarctic. Ultimately it’s much safer and more convenient, but at the same time, it makes expeditions less adventurous. I spoke to my wife from the summit of Everest when she was on a beach in an obscure part of Indonesia. That was amazing, but the negative side comes when I can no longer tell my loved ones, “no news is good news.”
Does GPS mean the world is completely discovered? You’re not going to find the highest mountain in the world or another North Pole. However, the northeast face of Ulvetanna in Antarctica, where we went this year and where I used all the technology I’ve listed below, was unclimbed. There’s a whole world of more subtle challenges to discover, and modern technology opens those doors.
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