Why does the WX-R Vorteq ridden by Datuk Azizulhasni Awang and Muhammad Shah Firdaus Sahrom cost RM300,000? Does it really cost RM300k?
As we all know, our national riders, Datuk Azizulhasni Awang and Muhammad Shah Firdaus Sahrom were knocked out of the 1/8 final round of the sprint event yesterday at the 2020 Tokyo Olympic Games.
For those who follow them closely, you would have known that this was a tactical move all along by their coach John Beasley, as their energy would be better spent on the Keirin event on Saturday instead.
The spotlight has really shined bright on our national riders ever since it was publicised that their WX-R Vorteq bikes cost a whopping RM300,000 each, but a recent interview by Astro Arena with Datuk Azizulhasni Awang has uncovered that the publicised price of the bike was actually a tactical ploy.
National track bike champion, Datuk Azizulhasni Awang revealed that the actual price of the WX-R Vorteq model bike that he is using at the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games is not as expensive as reported.
Pic credit: Wilayahku
The 33-year old rider said that those who managed the project to produce the bicycle had deliberately put a price that could be considered unreasonable in order to protect the technology produced from being used by other parties, especially other challengers in the Olympics.
"We have made all the investments, how can we give it to others to use it like that. Therefore, the people who manage the bike project put a price that does not make sense, they deliberately put a price like that.
"They put a high price so other people won't buy it because people will think it doesn't make sense. This is a little secret I can share," he told Astro Arena.
Saying that however, even if the bike was RM100k cheaper, which should put it on par with the prices of other bikes used in the cycling event, it's still a significant amount of money to be spending on a bike.
But all the materials and technology used to create the bike are not cheap, so let's look at some of the parts and costs that make it expensive.
Anything that involves F1 engineers is bound to be expensive. According to the UK-based company, all WX-R products are designed and developed using 3D CAD (Computer Aided Design), FEA (Finite Element Analysis), CFD (Computational Fluid Dynamics), static and dynamic structural rig testing, and cycling-specific wind tunnels.
With the help of Vorteq, they also ensured that each component produced has the ultimate balance of low aerodynamic drag, low weight and the correct level of stiffness to provide the best possible ride for world-class athletes.
The WX-R Vorteq frame features an unusual extra deep tube profile. This gives the frame better aerodynamics so it can cut through the wind easily. The fork also has an unusual shape that tapers down to a very small thru-axle that attaches its wheels to the frame.
The profiles for the Vorteq Tokyo 4 Spoke front wheel rim and spoke have been carefully developed using computer simulation techniques CFD and FEA, and then verified in the wind tunnel and on stiffness testing machines to ensure that the best possible balance of low aerodynamic drag, low rotational inertia, and required stiffness has been created.
Campagnolo's Ghibli disc wheel, the very first tenso-structure (tension no compression build) wheel ever introduced in the cycling world is one of the best rear track wheels ever made. The incorporation of carbon fiber throughout in addition to completely new construction techniques gives the new wheelset an ultralight build while not sacrificing its performance attributes.
According to Vorteq, their Tokyo edition handlebar with a width of 30cm and short grip length puts the rider's hands in the ultimate aerodynamic position. This helps the rider glide through the wind better.
The Vorteq Tokyo fixed position saddle, has been designed to mount onto the Vorteq Tokyo fixed position saddle mast, to give the ultimate in aerodynamic drag, stiffness, weight and reliability. It also saves weight by not having rails.
If you add up all the parts, the cost of the bike does seem to be more than RM300k, but if you've ever bought a high-performance bicycle before, you would also know that if you buy a bicycle as a complete set, the price is lower. Bought by prices individually, yes, it will cost more than RM300k.
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Wants to live the simple life, especially when it comes to cars and bikes. That's what tech is for he reckons, to make motoring simpler