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  1. #1
    Senior Member Homebrew01's Avatar
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    Bike / Wheel Change Rules

    Seems like (in some situations like small groups on down hills) time could be saved if the team car got 100 meters ahead of the rider and got the bike off the roof waiting for the rider. Then the rider can switch faster without waiting for the bike or wheel.

    Just now, Gilbert, would have been better off coasting downhill and meet the mechanic with the bike already off the car ready to go.

    Is there a rule preventing the car from going ahead ?
    Last edited by Homebrew01; 07-20-13 at 09:21 AM.
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  2. #2
    Walmart bike rider gpsblake's Avatar
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    Not 100 percent sure, but I think the position of the vehicles is determined ahead of time based on factors like race position, mood of the referee, and such so the support car just can't zoom ahead, pull over, and wait for their rider. The rider has to come back to them.

  3. #3
    Heretic Caretaker's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Homebrew01 View Post
    Seems like (in some situations like small groups on down hills) time could be saved if the team car got 100 meters ahead of the rider and got the bike off the roof waiting for the rider. Then the rider can switch faster without waiting for the bike or wheel.

    Just now, Gilbert, would have been better off coasting downhill and meet the mechanic with the bike already off the car ready to go.

    Is there a rule preventing the car from going ahead ?
    Doesn't make sense. If someone in a small group is descending and suddenly punctures or has a chain problem like Gilbert he will lose more time if the car has to overtake, then go far enough ahead to give them time to stop and get the bike ready. Makes more sense for the rider to make a controlled stop while changing to a small sprocket if it's a wheel change. Car pulls in behind, job done and a quick push from the mechanic without the added complication of the rider having to go around the car.

    It's not against the rules, except the rule of common sense.
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    pjgonwa
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    Ask Bobke...
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  5. #5
    Senior Member Homebrew01's Avatar
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    In some cases, it looks like it would make sense to keep going instead of stopping and waiting for the car and the bike to get taken off the roof. Coasting downhill at 50% speed is better than standing, and if the car goes ahead, then there's less standing time. This would only work in a few situations, such as Gilbert and TVG. Couldn't really tell from the coverage I saw how much waiting they had to do.
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  6. #6
    Heretic Caretaker's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Homebrew01 View Post
    In some cases, it looks like it would make sense to keep going instead of stopping and waiting for the car and the bike to get taken off the roof. Coasting downhill at 50% speed is better than standing, and if the car goes ahead, then there's less standing time. This would only work in a few situations, such as Gilbert and TVG. Couldn't really tell from the coverage I saw how much waiting they had to do.
    So if you can't tell how much waiting they had to do how do you know it would be better for the car to overtake?
    History is the future

  7. #7
    Senior Member Homebrew01's Avatar
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    I just watched a replay. Gilbert is coasting at almost the same speed of the other riders ... let's say 75% ..... The car and Gilbert stop at the same time. The camera cuts away as the mechanic is getting the bike off, but my guess is it takes 10 seconds for the mechanic to get out and get the bike off the roof. If the car had gone ahead 100 yards and got the bike off, then Gilbert could have been coasting for that 10 seconds and been that much further up the road. He would have gained whatever distance he could coast for 10 seconds instead of standing on the side of the road for 10 seconds.

    In that particular situation, I believe they would have gained from the car going ahead and having the bike off the roof and ready to go. But I'm no expert on the rules, so was wondering if there is a rule against team cars going ahead of the riders in a situation like that.

    I didn't see TVG's bike change, but he was in a similar situation: stuck chain on a fast descent.
    Last edited by Homebrew01; 07-21-13 at 10:11 AM.
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  8. #8
    Heretic Caretaker's Avatar
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    ^^ A descending cyclist travelling at 55km/h will cover 100 yards in about 6 seconds. These guys do about 70-90km/h downhill when they don't have a mechanical problem.

    The last thing you want is to have a rider on a new bike coming around a stationary car at slow speed with the probability of following riders descending at high speed.
    History is the future

  9. #9
    Senior Member Homebrew01's Avatar
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    The racers are used to support cars and riders with mechanical issues. Not much difference between what happened, and the scenario I was suggesting.
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  10. #10
    Heretic Caretaker's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Homebrew01 View Post
    The racers are used to support cars and riders with mechanical issues. Not much difference between what happened, and the scenario I was suggesting.
    Big difference. The way it's done is safer, less complicated and quicker.
    Last edited by Caretaker; 07-21-13 at 01:26 PM.
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  11. #11
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    A friend pointed this out especially on the ITT when so many riders were changing bikes for the final descent. It would definitely have made more sense to have the bike waiting rather than spend 10-15 seconds getting it down off the roof, but I seem to remember there is a rule about support cars in TTs not getting ahead of the rider.

  12. #12
    Senior Member Homebrew01's Avatar
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    Yes, there's probably a rule against it, and there are only a few situations in which it would save time, such as those I mentioned.
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  13. #13
    Junior Member laylaholic's Avatar
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    Something like this, perhaps?



    (And yes, I know it's a different scenario, but I love that clip!)

  14. #14
    Senior Member Homebrew01's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by laylaholic View Post
    Something like this, perhaps?



    (And yes, I know it's a different scenario, but I love that clip!)
    Exactly. No waiting around.
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  15. #15
    Senior Member Keith99's Avatar
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    They are not going to allow a car barely in front of riders on a narrow road.

    There was one stage (the double ascent of Alpe d' Huez?) where we saw a long decent with no shots from ahead because all the TV bikes were only allowed behind groups.

    The do not allow cars between groups that are within a minute of each other.

    The risk is also too great. If you have a really bad mechanical and the car is in front you could lose 5-10 minutes easily.

    The only time something like this might be on the table would be a planned bike change, if it could be done within the rules.
    Perish any man who suspects that these men either did or suffered anything unseemly.

  16. #16
    Travelling hopefully chasm54's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Homebrew01 View Post
    Seems like (in some situations like small groups on down hills) time could be saved if the team car got 100 meters ahead of the rider and got the bike off the roof waiting for the rider. Then the rider can switch faster without waiting for the bike or wheel.

    Just now, Gilbert, would have been better off coasting downhill and meet the mechanic with the bike already off the car ready to go.

    Is there a rule preventing the car from going ahead ?
    Yes, there is a rule. I do some commissairing, and the disposition of the support cars is at the discretion of the chief commissaire. They would never be allowed to get ahead of the race. In the first place, if you allowed one of them up there, you'd have to allow all, and that would mean a dozen cars between the lead car and the race. In the second place, if the car was ahead of the rider who needed assistance, then to give assistance it would be dropping back into the front of the peloton, and potentially causing an obstruction. This would be especially true on narrow roads, and in a fast descent could be fatal. It is altogether safer, and allows the officials to maintain better control of the race, if the rider has to drop back to the car rather than vice versa.

    Support cars are allowed in front of the peloton if their rider is in the break and if the break has a sufficient gap to make it safe. Bt even then they have to stay behind the break, not ahead of it.
    There have been many days when I haven't felt like riding, but there has never been a day when I was sorry I rode.

  17. #17
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    Quote Originally Posted by Keith99 View Post
    The only time something like this might be on the table would be a planned bike change, if it could be done within the rules.
    Well this is exactly it. Say Rider A is in a break, and he (or one of his break companions) notices he has a slow puncture. His group has a 50 second lead, with 10km to go, so his team car is directly behind him, but it's a very slim margin. Could he get on the race radio and tell his DS "drive up ahead of me 500 feet, have the bike ready, and we'll do the quick hop change." Rider A imitates the gif above, and the break stays intact. If he has to stop for 20 seconds to change wheel, he's out of the break and the break is down a man.

  18. #18
    Senior Member Homebrew01's Avatar
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    I wasn't suggesting that cars be allowed ahead of riders as a matter of course during the race or anything different in support car positioning. In the specific instance of Gilbert, he was in a break on a downhill. He came to a stop for a bike change and the car pulled ahead of him a few feet for the change, which took 10 seconds or so. It would have made for a faster change if the car had gone ahead 100 feet or so, so that Gilbert could continue coasting while the mechanic got the bike off the roof.

    Again, no change it the current set up, just having the support car stop a bit further up the road. But perhaps there's a rule that support cars must "stop in the immediate vicinity of the rider" or something ....
    Last edited by Homebrew01; 07-22-13 at 02:44 PM.
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  19. #19
    bored of "Senior Member"
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    There is a rule during the TT that the car cannot go in front of the rider. I think it would have been a quicker bike change if the car could pop ahead and prepare, but it's prohibited.

    During a regular stage, as discussed throughout here, it could get real messy.

  20. #20
    Senior Member Keith99's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by slcbob View Post
    There is a rule during the TT that the car cannot go in front of the rider. I think it would have been a quicker bike change if the car could pop ahead and prepare, but it's prohibited.

    During a regular stage, as discussed throughout here, it could get real messy.
    Try writing a rule to sometimes allow the car to pass the riders.

    Remember 90% plus of mechanicals occur in a group of over 50 riders.

    Also except for a planned bike change I do not see any advantages. The 'time savings' do not exist. There would actually be a considerable additional loss of time. Oh it might be faster from bike stop to bike start by 2 or 3 seconds but there would be 10-45 buried seconds while a crippled bike limps further down the road.
    Perish any man who suspects that these men either did or suffered anything unseemly.

  21. #21
    Senior Member
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    I've always wondered, if they can change shoes, wrench on the bike, and urinate without stopping, why can't they change bikes without stopping? One guy leaning out the passenger front window, one out the passenger rear, one of them with the new bike, one to catch the old bike... MAKE IT HAPPEN.

  22. #22
    Drunken Master amit_shah25's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Kind of Blued View Post
    I've always wondered, if they can change shoes, wrench on the bike, and urinate without stopping, why can't they change bikes without stopping? One guy leaning out the passenger front window, one out the passenger rear, one of them with the new bike, one to catch the old bike... MAKE IT HAPPEN.
    Aiight, I think I got this engineered.


    Rider has a mechanical. Team car pulls up right besides the rider, with passenger side facing the rider.

    - Team cars have no doors
    - Team car does EXACTLY same speed as the rider.
    - Rider unclips
    - Passenger lifts the rider's butt off the bike (as rider keeps same cadence)
    - Rear passenger side person lifts the bike off the road
    - A third person sitting in the trunk puts new bike right under the rider's butt
    - Rider clips back on (remember, he has not stopped pedaling yet)
    - Keep moving like the mechanical never happened ..

    ... ?? Haaa ?? Now, just like the above post says, MAKE IT HAPPEN !!!!
    Nothing to say !

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