Hoy's world changed forever after his all-conquering displays at the Beijing Games, returning home with three gold medals. A knighthood followed.
His momentous performances in China have firmly established the burly Scot - along with world heptathlon champion Jessica Ennis - as the most ubiquitous symbol of GB's London medal hopes.
But the 35-year-old has not had it all his own way since those famous two and a half weeks in the Far East. May's World Championships brought three medals, but none of them the golds that became a habit in China.
"I think what will happen is it will be Olympic year and you find that extra little bit in your training," said Hoy. "I have been so busy with so many other things that your life isn't about getting up, riding your bike, and then going to bed.
"It's about doing a media appearance here or a charity thing there or a sponsor event and everyone wants a little bit of your time. It's amazing because people are so keen to get you involved and it's very flattering but at the same time you have to realise that after London you can do what you want and be available or anything, 24 hours a day virtually.
"But until that point cycling has to be the priority and has to take precedence over everything.
"Ultimately, I know that when I am riding at my best then it takes a special ride to beat me. And so my main focus is not about trying to beat a specific rider or fending off someone or catching up someone, it's just about being the best I can because I know that when I am at my best that is all I can do and when I am at my best it is usually pretty good.
"I just don't feel like I have been there recently and that's not taking anything away from any of the guys this year but I still feel like I have been a bit off where I should be or where I could be.
"And that will hopefully come this year."
Hoy said that he would like to compete in the 2014 Commonwealth Games in Glasgow, but would not make the decision on whether to continue for that long for another year.
"I have not thought beyond London. I will let the dust settle, then see what happens," he said. "It would be a massive thing to be part of the Commonwealth Games... in Glasgow.
"What a way that would be to finish your career. It would be the perfect ending, but two years is a long time. I’ll be 38 then, so it is a challenge to be at the peak of your condition.
"You couldn’t turn up if you were less than 100 per cent because the Commonwealth standard is almost world standard."