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Cycling does not require skills?

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Cycling does not require skills?

Old 05-06-12, 06:42 PM
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Originally Posted by Nachoman
Snooker? Really?
i dont even know what "snooker" is.

sounds a bit like the "Guatemalan Eyepatch" to me...
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Old 05-06-12, 06:46 PM
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I agree that relative to some other sports cycling relies less on skills and more on endurance. There are a number of pro riders who didn't start cycling until their late teens or early 20s. I don't think that is possible in ice hockey or tennis. Consider how much time a pro rider spends per week on skills vs endurance or power.
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Old 05-06-12, 06:58 PM
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Originally Posted by abstractform20
depends on the talent pool...although, absolute events like powerlifting, running, etc. will ultimately come down to genetics. this however, does not take away from the amazing fact that some human beings can pick up 1000lbs w/o external assistance (...ok, maybe lifting suits).

Speaking as someone who used to both power and olympic lift I'll concede the point about genetics (less so with Olympic style as there is more technique involved but it is true that if you don't have the fast-twitch it'll never, ever happen). However, to excel even in a straightforward sport such as power-lifting requires huge dedication and at least some skill. There is more technique in benching, dead-lifting and (especially) squatting than many realize and this technique must be continually practiced.
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Old 05-06-12, 07:13 PM
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Originally Posted by Walter
Speaking as someone who used to both power and olympic lift I'll concede the point about genetics (less so with Olympic style as there is more technique involved but it is true that if you don't have the fast-twitch it'll never, ever happen). However, to excel even in a straightforward sport such as power-lifting requires huge dedication and at least some skill. There is more technique in benching, dead-lifting and (especially) squatting than many realize and this technique must be continually practiced.
of course, the most skillful lift is curls in the squat rack. squats are bad for your knees, and curls are bad to the bone...
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Old 05-06-12, 07:24 PM
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I could see that argument maybe referring to time trials where its just you and the track. There's position and staying aero and all that, but not that much skill. Not compared to other sports.
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Old 05-07-12, 12:52 AM
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Originally Posted by Compsci523
When you compare Tennis to Cycling, the skill required for tennis just destroys it.
Next time a tennis player makes a small mistake and dies because of it, call us. Or heck, if they just crash themselves out of Wimbledon:


The problem with this thread is you've got a bunch of hackers commenting on things they don't know much about. Saying time trials don't require much skill is one example.

For the OP show your friend the video below, then tell him to go get 3 of his snooker buddies together with their bikes and try this at 40 MPH.


Debating what sport requires more skill is like arguing that your favorite color is better. I've competed at a national level in three different sports and they all required a bucket load of skill to get to that point.
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Old 05-07-12, 01:30 AM
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Originally Posted by abstractform20
i dont even know what "snooker" is.

sounds a bit like the "Guatemalan Eyepatch" to me...
a snooker is a female who plays pool for sex.
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Old 05-07-12, 02:36 AM
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Originally Posted by AddictedToMusic
I guess I can see your friend's point for different sports emphasis on different things. In motor sport, for example, "driving skills" or "car handling skills" would be the determining factor for winning and losing; whereas In road cycling, "bike handling" might not be as critical as motor sport. However, I can imagine that in a time trail, bike handling skills is as important as the physical strength of the cyclist.
Ya I'd say cyclocross would be more difficult than some stupid 100 mile race on a nice smooth road...omfg that's SOOO hard gais! LIKE TOTALLY! No, it's not. Man where do you guys come up with these theories?
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Old 05-07-12, 02:58 AM
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Originally Posted by Snowman219
Ya I'd say cyclocross would be more difficult than some stupid 100 mile race on a nice smooth road...omfg that's SOOO hard gais! LIKE TOTALLY! No, it's not. Man where do you guys come up with these theories?
Sorry, I was referring F1. not the american NASCAR
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Old 05-07-12, 03:18 AM
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Originally Posted by Snowman219
Ya I'd say cyclocross would be more difficult than some stupid 100 mile race on a nice smooth road...omfg that's SOOO hard gais! LIKE TOTALLY! No, it's not. Man where do you guys come up with these theories?
Have you ever watched any "stupid 100 mile race" or are you just a troll?

Originally Posted by Racer Ex
For the OP show your friend the video below, then tell him to go get 3 of his snooker buddies together with their bikes and try this at 40 MPH.
I never even knew that kind of race existed, whoa.
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Old 05-07-12, 03:50 AM
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Professional cycling is not just a sport. Would it be a sport, far fewer riders would win races. Instead 'cheating' in any way or form has been part of this activity since the late 19th century. Many a rider got wealthier from losing races than from winning them.

The Anglosaxon idea of 'fair play' has nothing to do with cycling. That's what makes it so interesting. Far more interesting than any other sport. So, I doubt there would be any activity labeled as sport that requires skills in more fields.

On the other hand, if you read biographies, like the one about Tom Simpson Get Me Back On My Bike, it never ceases to amaze me how stupid everyone in cycling was. Only having two liters to drink during a race, even on very hot days? Relying on pep instead?

Last edited by ijsbrand; 05-07-12 at 06:57 AM.
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Old 05-07-12, 06:17 AM
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Meh. Of course the cycling guys are going to claim that it requires skills.

To a certain degree, that is true: you need to have certain motor skills in order to ride a bike, to ride in a pack, descend (ask Andy Schleck), etc.

But you don't need any special talent - special hand-eye coordination, balance, reflexes, what-have-you: the stuff that separates the gifted from the hard workers. I cannot do the same training as Roger Federer and become as good as him (I know this from hard experience - I used to be a national level junior/collegiate squash player but was just a little bit behind the guys who would go on to become elite pros). I cannot practice more and have the same passing skills/vision as a Forsberg. Or play golf like Tiger Woods. Or drive a F1 car like Raikkonen.

A more talented tennis player may be able to overcome a fitter one based on tennis (John McEnroe made a career out of that) purely on talent and innate ability. That doesn't happen in cycling. While tactics, strategy, descending skills, etc matter, these are qualifiers to the engine: i.e., the best time to use the engine. It is still about the engine.

So from that point of view, yes, cycling is not a skilled sport, as in, one that requires innate talent other than the genetic markers that give you a big engine.

Last edited by guadzilla; 05-07-12 at 06:22 AM.
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Old 05-07-12, 06:47 AM
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Originally Posted by AddictedToMusic
In road cycling, "bike handling" might not be as critical as motor sport.
When racing, "bike handling" can mean the difference between "winning" and "crashing".
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Old 05-07-12, 07:01 AM
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In general, the "skill" involved to be a provicient cyclist is much lower then most other sports. I'm okay with that.

the skill needed to be a great cyclist is limitless and equal to any other sport.

Last edited by Vlaam4ever; 05-07-12 at 08:19 AM.
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Old 05-07-12, 07:04 AM
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Originally Posted by AddictedToMusic
Sorry, I was referring F1. not the american NASCAR
Is that why Kimi is the truck series champion? Oh wait, he isn't...

(by the way, I do like F1)
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Old 05-07-12, 07:22 AM
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Originally Posted by gregf83
I agree that relative to some other sports cycling relies less on skills and more on endurance. There are a number of pro riders who didn't start cycling until their late teens or early 20s. I don't think that is possible in ice hockey or tennis. Consider how much time a pro rider spends per week on skills vs endurance or power.
Agree.
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Old 05-07-12, 07:32 AM
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Cyclist requires skills, which take real practice, but the amount of skill for sure pales compared to almost all ball sports, and even swimming. Ok, maybe BMX type freestyle stunt biking does take extreme skills, but road cycling, not like that.

Road cyclists who think they have tons of skills compared to the sports I mentioned are fooling themselves - the engine plays a much huger role in cycling and de-emphasizes the skills relative to other sports. You do NOT have to start at youth in cycling to build the necessary technique to win, even at the top levels - there are plenty of stories of x-over athletes from other sports who then dominate in cycling even starting as an adult.

You NEVER hear of this happening in swimming, for example. You might be a world-class endurance athlete, but unless you swam a lot in youth, forget it. No amount of endurance with compensate for your lack of technique as an adult-onset swimmer trying to go world-class.
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Old 05-07-12, 08:20 AM
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The kind of cycling that recreational riders enjoy requires a lot of cardio and endurance, some forethought and anticipation (in order to ride safely), and little skill.

Road racing requires inhuman cardio and endurance, strong tactics and anticipation, and considerable skill.
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Old 05-07-12, 08:32 AM
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Originally Posted by MSMechanic
I was talking to my friends about skills require in different sports when we were watching the snooker world championship. One of my friend (who is not a cyclist) said that cycling, as an endurance sport, does not require much skills. Where as football, tennis...etc emphasis much more on skill levels. I didn't know what to say then. Do you think this is true?
Watching stuff doesn't require skills.
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Old 05-07-12, 08:44 AM
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Originally Posted by guadzilla
A more talented tennis player may be able to overcome a fitter one based on tennis (John McEnroe made a career out of that) purely on talent and innate ability. That doesn't happen in cycling. While tactics, strategy, descending skills, etc matter, these are qualifiers to the engine: i.e., the best time to use the engine. It is still about the engine.

So from that point of view, yes, cycling is not a skilled sport, as in, one that requires innate talent other than the genetic markers that give you a big engine.
Did you happen to see the finish to the 2012 Omloop? Sep Vanmarcke feigned exhaustion in the run-in and beat Tom Boonen in the sprint. Pretty damn good skill if ask me...
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Old 05-07-12, 08:49 AM
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Originally Posted by sqharaway
Did you happen to see the finish to the 2012 Omloop? Sep Vanmarcke feigned exhaustion in the run-in and beat Tom Boonen in the sprint. Pretty damn good skill if ask me...
that is not skill; it's tactics. brain power.

skill in cycling:
- descending
- riding in congestion
- avoiding accidents
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Old 05-07-12, 08:56 AM
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Originally Posted by ColinL
The kind of cycling that recreational riders enjoy requires a lot of cardio and endurance, some forethought and anticipation (in order to ride safely), and little skill.

Road racing requires inhuman cardio and endurance, strong tactics and anticipation, and considerable skill.
I'm not sure why this forum has so much focus on racing. Most of the 41 doesn't race. There are a lot of other reasons to enjoy a road bike than racing.

I climbed Mount Baker on mine Saturday. It's one of the switchbackiest roads I've ever been on in my life, in any kind of vehicle. I gained 3,600 feet of elevation in 16 miles, then descended them, without cooking my brakes. I'd say that descending gracefully and not crashing is a skill, and it's one that takes a lot of hard practice to master.
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Old 05-07-12, 08:58 AM
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Originally Posted by Seattle Forrest
I'm not sure why this forum has so much focus on racing.
The OP was referred to watching a high level competition and having someone comment on the lack of skill required in cycling. It isn't a stretch to assume that he was referring to competitive cycling. No one watches television coverage of your local charity ride.

Anyone can play snooker, just like anyone can ride a bike. Doing either competitively requires skill. Attempting to do one at a high level without the skill can lead to painful results for you, and those around you. We'll leave the decision as to which one as an exercise for the reader.
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Old 05-07-12, 09:10 AM
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Every sport requires some skill, from running to football

yes some require more skills then other, biking is most likely on the low end of required skills.

I think golf might require the most skill.
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Old 05-07-12, 09:26 AM
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Originally Posted by Andy Somnifac
The OP was referred to watching a high level competition and having someone comment on the lack of skill required in cycling. It isn't a stretch to assume that he was referring to competitive cycling. No one watches television coverage of your local charity ride.
Well, I don't know what snooker is, but the OP asked whether cycling requires skills, not whether bike racing does. And, outside the context of this thread, the road forum is very racing obsessed.

(Also, it's not like you're either racing or doing a local charity ride, and that's all there is to road riding. Maybe I'm just grumpy this morning, but it feels like the 41 is too myopic.)
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