Cycling and bicycle discussion forums. 
   Click here to join our community Log in to access your Control Panel  


Go Back   > >

Professional Cycling For the Fans Follow the Tour de France,the Giro de Italia, the Spring Classics, or other professional cycling races? Here's your home...

User Tag List

Reply
 
Thread Tools Search this Thread
Old 07-13-09, 09:34 AM   #1
monosierra
Senior Member
Thread Starter
 
Join Date: Apr 2009
Bikes:
Posts: 450
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Do the bikes really matter?

Yep, does the fact that Astana rides Treks have anything to do with their performance? Or Cancellara on a Specialized TT bike. I've always been a skeptic of bike improvements on a minuscule scale. Some things do matter, of course, but seriously, does a specially designed top tube really make a difference at the highest level?
monosierra is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 07-13-09, 09:59 AM   #2
Laggard
Lance Hater
 
Join Date: Jul 2003
Location: Los Angeles
Bikes:
Posts: 4,403
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 7 Post(s)
I've never once heard that any team had a advantage 'cause they were riding any particular bike.
Laggard is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 07-13-09, 10:27 AM   #3
wearyourtruth
Ride for Life
 
wearyourtruth's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jun 2004
Location: Baltimore
Bikes:
Posts: 2,729
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
i don't think that the little changes here and there make any real advantage to one team or another, but all those changes over a period of time (many years) can add up to large improvements in the sport as a whole
wearyourtruth is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 07-13-09, 10:44 AM   #4
Bacciagalupe
Professional Fuss-Budget
 
Bacciagalupe's Avatar
 
Join Date: Aug 2005
Bikes:
Posts: 6,438
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
For the road races, I don't think it makes any difference. They're all the same basic design, mostly use the same quality of components, are the same weight, and all need to conform to UCI standards.

It's possible that one TT bike might provide a small advantage over another, but I don't know how you could definitively prove that the bike itself was a critical factor. Even wind tunnels, which are an excellent tool for determining aerodynamic factors, are still an artificial tool that will not necessarily reflect what really happens in real-world riding conditions.
Bacciagalupe is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 07-13-09, 11:11 AM   #5
tcs
Palmer
 
tcs's Avatar
 
Join Date: Mar 2007
Location: Parts unknown
Bikes:
Posts: 4,737
Mentioned: 2 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 29 Post(s)
Quote:
Originally Posted by wearyourtruth View Post
i don't think that the little changes here and there make any real advantage to one team or another, but all those changes over a period of time (many years) can add up to large improvements in the sport as a whole
Compare last year's Tour average speed to the average speed of the 1960 Tour. Then allow for what you feel is the difference of better training, better nutrition/hydration, real time biometric monitoring, better support, aerodynamic kit, the use of race radios and computers, increased specialization, far better roads, better tires, and basically all the thousand and one other things that have changed (even things like air conditioned team buses/cars/hotels). The difference you're left with is the difference better bikes have made in the last 50 Tours.

Just a thought,
tcs
tcs is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 07-13-09, 11:12 AM   #6
kwrides
Senior Member
 
kwrides's Avatar
 
Join Date: Nov 2006
Location: Houston, TX
Bikes: 2007 Orbea Onix, 2007 Windsor The Hour, 2008 Kona Jake
Posts: 3,198
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Yes, Trek's have secret little EPO and transfused blood dispensing compartments. They can get a shot on the fly.
kwrides is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 07-13-09, 11:12 AM   #7
kwrides
Senior Member
 
kwrides's Avatar
 
Join Date: Nov 2006
Location: Houston, TX
Bikes: 2007 Orbea Onix, 2007 Windsor The Hour, 2008 Kona Jake
Posts: 3,198
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Quote:
Originally Posted by tcs View Post
Compare last year's Tour average speed to the average speed of the 1960 Tour. Then allow for what you feel is the difference of better training, better nutrition/hydration, real time biometric monitoring, better support, aerodynamic kit, the use of race radios and computers, increased specialization, far better roads, better tires, and basically all the thousand and one other things that have changed (even things like air conditioned team buses/cars/hotels). The difference you're left with is the difference better bikes have made in the last 50 Tours.

Just a thought,
tcs
You left out one key ingredient
kwrides is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 07-13-09, 11:19 AM   #8
tcs
Palmer
 
tcs's Avatar
 
Join Date: Mar 2007
Location: Parts unknown
Bikes:
Posts: 4,737
Mentioned: 2 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 29 Post(s)
Quote:
Originally Posted by kwrides View Post
You left out one key ingredient
I'm guessing from the context of your previous post. Consider:

“I was one of the best British time trialists and I was beaten by 14 minutes over 50km by the European pros. I had to ask myself what was going on. I got dropped in the world championship road race and this Dutchman came up and offered me a handful of pills. He said, “Make you go fast!”” Dennis Talbot, about racing in Europe in 1955.

Anyone who thinks the racing was clean in whatever they consider the golden era to be is naive.

tcs

Last edited by tcs; 07-13-09 at 11:23 AM.
tcs is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 07-13-09, 11:24 AM   #9
julian
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Sep 2006
Location: julian, ca
Bikes:
Posts: 598
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Quote:
Originally Posted by tcs View Post
I'm guessing from the context of your previous post. Consider:

“I was one of the best British time trialists and I was beaten by 14 minutes over 50km by the European pros. I had to ask myself what was going on. I got dropped in the world championship road race and this Dutchman came up and offered me a handful of pills. He said, “Make you go fast!”” Dennis Talbot, about racing in Europe in 1955.

Anyone who thinks the racing was clean in whatever they consider the golden era to be is naive.

tcs
The new "pills" are much better. Advances you know!
julian is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 07-13-09, 12:20 PM   #10
redfooj
pluralis majestatis
 
redfooj's Avatar
 
Join Date: Feb 2004
Location: you rope
Bikes: 20 W/st.
Posts: 3,428
Mentioned: 1 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 103 Post(s)
if one bike results in even seconds of difference over 200km, which adds up over the course of a full tour, wouldn't the top contenders be on them (surely purse & publicity from a win >> sponsorship from 1 manufacturer).

i dont think it makes a difference.

but your average fred surely thinks so (this cervelo will make me much faster than a trek!)
redfooj is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 07-13-09, 12:23 PM   #11
thehammerdog
Senior Member
 
thehammerdog's Avatar
 
Join Date: Dec 2007
Location: NWNJ
Bikes: Road bike is a Carbon Bianchi C2C & Grandis (1980's), Gary Fisher Mt Bike, Trek Tandem & Mongoose SS MTB circa 1992.
Posts: 2,100
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 11 Post(s)
I would say NOPE......
It's the engine BABY!
thehammerdog is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 07-13-09, 12:27 PM   #12
icelemmings
Senior Member
 
icelemmings's Avatar
 
Join Date: Feb 2008
Location: North Jersey
Bikes:
Posts: 107
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Comparing current rides, I would say no. Comparing modern equipment with vintage tour equipment, yes. But, even then, marginally so. The comfort of riders, I think, matters much more. Slight variations in design between a handful of modern companies may make the rider feel better, in turn, helping that rider ride better in the end. Whether that specific bike is any better or worse than a comparable model? I doubt it.
icelemmings is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 07-13-09, 12:30 PM   #13
wearyourtruth
Ride for Life
 
wearyourtruth's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jun 2004
Location: Baltimore
Bikes:
Posts: 2,729
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Quote:
Originally Posted by tcs View Post
Compare last year's Tour average speed to the average speed of the 1960 Tour. Then allow for what you feel is the difference of better training, better nutrition/hydration, real time biometric monitoring, better support, aerodynamic kit, the use of race radios and computers, increased specialization, far better roads, better tires, and basically all the thousand and one other things that have changed (even things like air conditioned team buses/cars/hotels). The difference you're left with is the difference better bikes have made in the last 50 Tours.

Just a thought,
tcs
well maybe i should have said "many, many years" and "noticeable improvements." i'm not so much talking about weight or aero tubing, but i don't think anyone can deny the improvements of deraillers, brifters, clipless pedals, and things like TT bars for the time trials. there are also more minute things like double-pivot brakes (over center pull) and improved brake surfaces for decending and better tires, as you already mentioned. bikes didn't improve near as much over the past 50 years as they did the 50 prior to that, but over those 100 combined we have a completely different machine.

i don't think anyone could say that if you put astana on a fleet of these that they would still be the team to beat.
wearyourtruth is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 07-13-09, 12:31 PM   #14
zonatandem
Senior Member
 
zonatandem's Avatar
 
Join Date: Dec 2003
Location: Tucson, AZ
Bikes: Custom Zona c/f tandem + Scott Plasma single
Posts: 10,908
Mentioned: 1 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 41 Post(s)
Having been raised in Europe, the professional riders in Belgium in the late 1930s had a secret ingredient in their bidons (water bottles): Beer and 2 raw eggs. Whatever's legal and works for you!
Is a new Trek any better than a new Huffy . . .
zonatandem is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 07-13-09, 01:03 PM   #15
USAZorro
Señor Member
 
USAZorro's Avatar
 
Join Date: Oct 2004
Location: Florence, KY
Bikes: 1954 Hetchins M.O., 1959 Viking Severn Valley, 1970 Raleigh Pro, 1972 Fuji "The Finest", 1974 Raleigh Superbe&Comp, 1976 Raleigh Team Pro, 1996 Giant Iguana, 2000 Bob Jackson Arrowhead
Posts: 14,577
Mentioned: 7 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 73 Post(s)
Quote:
Originally Posted by wearyourtruth View Post
...
Sweet. Is that yours?
__________________
In search of what to search for.
USAZorro is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 07-13-09, 01:24 PM   #16
wearyourtruth
Ride for Life
 
wearyourtruth's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jun 2004
Location: Baltimore
Bikes:
Posts: 2,729
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
^ i wish, i'd take that over a full carbon s-works
wearyourtruth is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 07-13-09, 01:39 PM   #17
kwrides
Senior Member
 
kwrides's Avatar
 
Join Date: Nov 2006
Location: Houston, TX
Bikes: 2007 Orbea Onix, 2007 Windsor The Hour, 2008 Kona Jake
Posts: 3,198
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Quote:
Originally Posted by tcs View Post
I'm guessing from the context of your previous post. Consider:

“I was one of the best British time trialists and I was beaten by 14 minutes over 50km by the European pros. I had to ask myself what was going on. I got dropped in the world championship road race and this Dutchman came up and offered me a handful of pills. He said, “Make you go fast!”” Dennis Talbot, about racing in Europe in 1955.

Anyone who thinks the racing was clean in whatever they consider the golden era to be is naive.

tcs
I agree, but taking an amphetamine is not the same as getting a fresh day's worth of highly oxegenated blood.
kwrides is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 07-13-09, 03:07 PM   #18
Gotte
Senior Member
 
Gotte's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2006
Bikes:
Posts: 1,333
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
I read somewhere, I forget where, that drugs in the old days were mainly for fooling the body into not hurting as much as it should. Of course, that still gives you an advantage over a clean rider, as you don't fade with pain. I guess the difference now is that the dope actually increases on your natural ability.

That's what I read, anyway.
Gotte is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 07-13-09, 03:19 PM   #19
DMF 
Elitist Troglodyte
 
DMF's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jun 2006
Location: Dallas
Bikes: 03 Raleigh Professional (steel)
Posts: 6,924
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Some changes to the bikes do make a significant difference. Think of the first aerodynamic positions. Heck, even Floyd's "praying mantis" position was good for maybe seconds.

But with the weight limit, there's not much else that can be done, especially mechanically.
__________________
Stupidity got us into this mess - why can't it get us out?

- Will Rogers
DMF is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 07-15-09, 07:36 AM   #20
wearyourtruth
Ride for Life
 
wearyourtruth's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jun 2004
Location: Baltimore
Bikes:
Posts: 2,729
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
i just found this reading about lance's wind-tunnel work with trek in '99

"Final wind tunnel testing of the OCLV-HC TT frame proved that the aero shape alone could save 10 to 15 seconds in a 40-kilometer time trial over last year's bike."

even if they are exaggerating the results to make their product look better, that was just with one season of development.
wearyourtruth is offline   Reply With Quote
Reply


Thread Tools Search this Thread
Search this Thread:

Advanced Search

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off



All times are GMT -6. The time now is 11:34 PM.