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Cycling success is down to the perfect combination of rider and machine – and now the very bike that the British team has been riding in this year's Tour of Britain is available to researchers online.

Team Sky’s carbon fibre Pinarello road bike has joined nearly 9000 plastic objects at the Museum of Design in Plastics (MoDiP) at Arts University College at Bournemouth.  It has also been digitised as p
art of a JISC-funded project which has made over 1500 objects from the collection available online.

Louise Dennis, assistant curator at the museum, explained why the bike design is of interest to researchers: “The material something is made of has a great effect on its speed and plastics have been used by manufacturers to overcome many of these issues. Carbon fibre is a plastics-based composite material which allows the bike to be extremely low in weight and yet be stiff, strong and responsive. In addition the geometry of the tubing and the smoothness of the material help to reduce drag.”

Ben Showers, programme manager at JISC, said: “The ubiquitous nature of plastic objects means that it is easy to take their impact for granted – but the newly digitised collection at the museum includes some wonderful artefacts and objects that will help inspire students, teachers and entrepreneurs contributing to our productive and innovative creative economy.

“We now really want other academic and cultural institutions to learn the lessons from this valuable project, which is a great example of how a small scale digitisation project can become fully embedded and useful to teaching and learning in an individual college as well as being sustainable in the longer term,” he added.

The plastic objects now have a dedicated section on the Visual Arts Data Service (VADS) website which shares the collection with a wider audience and places it alongside other archives from other art institutions such as Central St Martins, London College of Communication, and the Design Council Slide Collection.

View the new online collection at: http://www.vads.ac.uk/collections/MODIP