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Shoud Techy stuff be banned?

jerry3571jerry3571 Posts: 1,532
edited November 2010 in Pro race
Should the likes of Heart rate Monitors, Power Meters and Race Radios be banned?

I read an article where Columbia can catch a breakaways with precision with the aid of Power Meters. Does this knock the guts of the sport? Should bike racing be decided by the riders individually; the bike and the rider, alone?

-Jerry
“Life is like riding a bicycle. To keep your balance you must keep moving”- Albert Einstein

"You can't ride the Tour de France on mineral water."
-Jacques Anquetil
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Posts

  • dealdeal Posts: 857
    Whatever the heart/power meter says, its still the guys on the bikes who have to turn the pedals so I don't care if they use them.

    Race radios - get rid of them.
  • It's a good question.

    While it's true that it's still the guys on the bikes that have to spin the pedals it does seem like that's all they do now, that everything else is decided from above. I'd like to see more racing where the riders make their own decisions, test their legs, check out the opposition etc. It's hard to imagine a rider like, say, Fignon, being allowed to play with the peloton now. The feints wouldn't be efficient riding....

    It does all seem a bit too cold and calculated for my tastes.
    “Road racing was over and the UCI had banned my riding positions on the track, so it was like ‘Jings, crivvens, help ma Boab, what do I do now? I know, I’ll go away and be depressed for 10 years’.”

    @DrHeadgear

    The Vikings are coming!
  • AnonymousAnonymous Posts: 28,799
    Race radios yes, get rid.
  • jerry3571jerry3571 Posts: 1,532
    I think power meters can effect racing a lot now. an example of say Columbia needing to catch a break by calcultaing the power output needed to exactly catch back the break at the 5k mark so they can start thier lead out.
    Also on a mountain stage, a rider who drops out of the front group as he knows that if he goes over a certain wattage he may easily blow. So now you get riders who get dropped and just hang of the back losing a small amount of time. This rider in the past may have rode his heart out and then blown big time.
    The whole dymanic has changed and has now become a mathmatical
    diagnosis of a rider rather than letting a rider make his own mistakes.
    The racing has become calculted and less about passionate.
    I think it should be about the rider and bike and that is it.

    -Jerry
    “Life is like riding a bicycle. To keep your balance you must keep moving”- Albert Einstein

    "You can't ride the Tour de France on mineral water."
    -Jacques Anquetil
  • Mr DogMr Dog Posts: 643
    Radios get rid.. they transfer time sensitive info that aid a team, coupled with other devices then racing begins to mirror Formula 1, ( which is mind numbing ). The problem with HRM and power meters is once used by a rider they begin to depend on them for feedback. 8)
    I'm with Jerry.. ban the lot whilst racing.
    Why tidy the house when you can clean your bike?
  • ddraverddraver Posts: 19,581
    Presumably using a powermeter to catch breaks is just and extension of using a speedo, you have to be this far away (where the break will be at 5km to go) at this time (when you forcast the break will be there based on the time gap) and it takes riderX Ywatts to do that speed

    it would be interesting to know where this is calculated - presumably cav is bashing numbers into a calculator at 50km - banning the radios would solve the problem in one stroke I would imagine
    We're in danger of confusing passion with incompetence
    - @ddraver
  • Tom ButcherTom Butcher Posts: 7,137
    I'd ban the lot for racing - I can't see why not - ban bike computers too except for amateurs as it helps to know if you've got another 5 miles or 15 to go.

    it's a hard life if you don't weaken.
  • Seems to be a fairly broad consensus, is anyone going to give us a counter argument, even if just playing devil's advocate?
    “Road racing was over and the UCI had banned my riding positions on the track, so it was like ‘Jings, crivvens, help ma Boab, what do I do now? I know, I’ll go away and be depressed for 10 years’.”

    @DrHeadgear

    The Vikings are coming!
  • AnonymousAnonymous Posts: 28,799
    Because it's seen as a retrograde step?

    Pro cycling relies on the public spending money on sponsored goods the pros use. The more kit they use the more the public buys.

    Plus, like an arms race, if one team uses it and gets benefit, they'll all want to.
  • I'd ban the lot for racing - I can't see why not - ban bike computers too except for amateurs as it helps to know if you've got another 5 miles or 15 to go.

    +1 I agree.

    I've nothing against power meters, HRM, computers etc for training, but road racing is essentially a simple sport. Young riders are now growing dependant on a computers and radios telling them what to do and when.

    Radios should be banned.
    CAAD9
    Kona Jake the Snake
    Merlin Malt 4
  • I'd have to disagree with banning radios, they've been with the sport for a few years now and it hasn't made it boring to watch - did it allow any riders to keep up with Schleck and Contador on their duel up the mountain in this year's TdF? Did it help any riders match Cancellara's pacing in the World TT, or get Boonen after him in Paris-Roubaix?

    If anything, the reliance on science has made it even more about the rider than the bike technology (what Deal said). No matter how many supercomputers are in the team car telling you push X watts for Y kilometres, the athlete is the one who has to actually do it.
  • It is certainly more romantic or emotional for riders to ride on feel and do away with all aids. Sometimes it shows when a rider does that and it looks good. Sometimes it shows when a rider doesn't and it isn't great to watch.

    But if you were riders, wouldn't you want to use a power metre or whatever would give you a legal advantage? It is an increidbly tough sport and very difficult to win so anything to increase your chances and lessen your suffering are normal to be adpoted.

    That being said, no power metre, no hrm, no radio, etc, is going to turn an also ran into a tp performer.


    Dan Martin is one who I have seen quoted as saying he climbs on feel. Contador, Voeckler, Gilbert, Boonen, Evans and Chavanel among others are probably similar. It would be interesting to know how much or little certain riders rely on this stuff.
    Contador is the Greatest
  • "Bicycles may change, but cycling is timeless."
    -Sapata Epinoza

    "We have to free ourselves from history but not lose the mind behind the Italian bike. The Japanese could make a bike that pedals itself and we'd still sell our share of Italian bike."
    -Romano Pisa

    "The longer you've been racing, the less importantance you place on equipment. Someone who's a new racer finds the bicycle a real attraction - all the new equipment and all that. But it gets kind of old after a while. You want just a good, working bike that's gonna be strong and lightweight."
    -Tom Shuler

    "Bikes don't win race. Racers do."
    -Steve Hegg

    Then

    "When you get to top level racing, the difference in equipment can make a difference between winning and losing."
    -Greg LeMond

    "Pros regard their bikes as tools, not as objets d'art."
    -Fred Matheny


    On a slight tangent but a flavour nonetheless.
    Contador is the Greatest
  • One thing that race radios help with is knowing where people are when the field splits etc although the riders not knowing this does add to the drama. Another thing it helps with is when an emergency vehicle has to use the same road - although i am pretty sure there are other effective ways of getting people to do this, ie telling them.

    Race radios do enable riders to get a better idea of how fast they have to go to catch the breakaway but this is a fairly simple calculation isnt it? The standard rule of thumb seems to be that 1 minute can be brought back per 10km on the flat. If it is a large breakaway, one that has escaped relatively late in the stage or its downhill to the finish then you might be struggling to get back a minute; if its a small breakaway, ie 1 or 2 people, or if there are some climbs towards the end then you can take back more than a minute. Even without speedometers the guys should be able to go hard at the front and see how quickly the gap falls. I suppose that one point though is that the time gaps wouldnt come through as quickly/often as they wouldnt have someone in the back of the car watching the telly and having continuous access to the gaps. This could actually make the sprinters teams try to catch them earlier - or at least get them within sight. The breakaway also wouldnt know what the gap is but then they should be going as hard as they can anyway.

    As for powermeters making things boring - wasnt there that stage in the Vuelta where Rodriguez, Mosquera and Nibali all raced off at the start of the final climb only to blow up and slow down allowing Anton the win? After that though i seem to remember that Nibali decided to be paced from the car?

    FWIW i think racing would be better without techy stuff, hopefully make it more uncertain but then the story of the hare and the tortoise was written long before the advent of powermeters...
  • DaveyLDaveyL Posts: 5,167
    I find it extremely odd that any article is saying a team uses powermeters to catch a break. How does this work?

    If you know the break has a certain time gap, then to catch them within a certain distance, you will know what speed you need to do. Surely powermeters only add additional complexity to this situation, as you will need to take into account the terrain, wind conditions, etc. in order to work out the power requirements. And at the end of the day, if you can't ride fast enough to catch the break, you won't catch the break.

    It might be that the riders use their powermeter when on the front, chasing the break down, to make sure their effort is even, but I would imagine their power is being dictated by the speed they need to ride to catch the break, not vice versa.
    Le Blaireau (1)
  • DaveyL wrote:
    I find it extremely odd that any article is saying a team uses powermeters to catch a break. How does this work?

    If you know the break has a certain time gap, then to catch them within a certain distance, you will know what speed you need to do. Surely powermeters only add additional complexity to this situation, as you will need to take into account the terrain, wind conditions, etc. in order to work out the power requirements. And at the end of the day, if you can't ride fast enough to catch the break, you won't catch the break.

    It might be that the riders use their powermeter when on the front, chasing the break down, to make sure their effort is even, but I would imagine their power is being dictated by the speed they need to ride to catch the break, not vice versa.

    +1 also would they not need to know the power the break is doing which i doubt they would know, i don't see any problem with hrm or powermeters but i think they should make race radios only for rider to team car(incase of mechanical) and commisers car to all riders to warn of any upcoming danger
  • Tom ButcherTom Butcher Posts: 7,137
    Zachariah wrote:
    IDid it help any riders match Cancellara's pacing in the World TT, or get Boonen after him in Paris-Roubaix?
    .

    No but it may well have helped Cancellera pace his TT perfectly or stop him going too far into the red when he escaped in PR.

    Pacing an effort is part of the sport - the gamble where you are on the edge of going too hard and blowing up - power meters take that away.

    it's a hard life if you don't weaken.
  • This is a self perpetuating argument.

    Surley if you ban some of the things mentioned in this thread you would have to look at the advantage that bike building materials and processes give to a rider/team.

    If a smaller manufacturer cannot aford the R&D costs for new frame materials or frame manufacturing processes then that is also surely and unfare advantage (Quoting what currently happens in F1 and MotoGP).

    If we ban some do we need to ban all? where do you draw the line?

    Personally, i like this sort of thing in racing as previously mentioned someone has to turn the pedals for 150+ km's a day.

    Time marches on, cycling should embrace the technology and move forward with it, not fight it.

    I remember seeing Boardmans bike at the Barca olympics, it was a real wow moment.

    Long live technology.... :D
  • ddraverddraver Posts: 19,581
    I maintain that the all the "good things" about radios could be solved by having one open channel where everyone can hear everyone....

    that way someone could shout SAXOBANK PUNCTURE to get the team car up, times could be given on the breakaway (which they get off the board anyway - would that be allowed under the new regime?) and any tactical discussions would be open for everyone to hear and thus not really tactical anymore....

    The powermeter thing is a bit vaguer, not sure if the same self pacing could nt be achieved with a speedo either really and presumable for the guy in front he needs to keep the time gap 9which he has anyway) the same.....?
    We're in danger of confusing passion with incompetence
    - @ddraver
  • Surley if you ban some of the things mentioned in this thread you would have to look at the advantage that bike building materials and processes give to a rider/team.

    If a smaller manufacturer cannot aford the R&D costs for new frame materials or frame manufacturing processes then that is also surely and unfare advantage (Quoting what currently happens in F1 and MotoGP).

    i don't think there is anywhere near the difference in bicycles that are powered by the RIDER as opposed to F1 and moto gp where they have motors, tyres and suspension all making much more difference. I am pretty sure Cav would win a bunch kick on any teams bike, Cancellara would win a tt on any teams bike and Contador would still have won the tour on any teams bike
  • This is a self perpetuating argument.

    Surley if you ban some of the things mentioned in this thread you would have to look at the advantage that bike building materials and processes give to a rider/team.

    If a smaller manufacturer cannot aford the R&D costs for new frame materials or frame manufacturing processes then that is also surely and unfare advantage (Quoting what currently happens in F1 and MotoGP).

    If we ban some do we need to ban all? where do you draw the line?

    Personally, i like this sort of thing in racing as previously mentioned someone has to turn the pedals for 150+ km's a day.

    Time marches on, cycling should embrace the technology and move forward with it, not fight it.

    I remember seeing Boardmans bike at the Barca olympics, it was a real wow moment.

    Long live technology.... :D

    It isn't about banning radios etc because they offer a competitive advantage, it's about banning them because they change the way races are ridden. It's about favouring intuitive rider decisions over calculated instructions from the team car.
    “Road racing was over and the UCI had banned my riding positions on the track, so it was like ‘Jings, crivvens, help ma Boab, what do I do now? I know, I’ll go away and be depressed for 10 years’.”

    @DrHeadgear

    The Vikings are coming!
  • Mr DogMr Dog Posts: 643
    +1, well put No tA Doctor, distance runners don't use them. :)
    Why tidy the house when you can clean your bike?
  • DaveyLDaveyL Posts: 5,167
    I would suggest distance running is massively less complex, tactically, due to there being virtually no benefit from drafting another competitor (this is essentially what makes road racing such a complicated sport).
    Le Blaireau (1)
  • RichN95.RichN95. Posts: 22,902
    Mr Dog wrote:
    +1, well put No tA Doctor, distance runners don't use them. :)

    In distance running the competitors don't get so far ahead that you can't see them.
    Twitter: @RichN95
  • RichN95 wrote:
    Mr Dog wrote:
    +1, well put No tA Doctor, distance runners don't use them. :)

    In distance running the competitors don't get so far ahead that you can't see them.

    They can do in a marathon.
    “Road racing was over and the UCI had banned my riding positions on the track, so it was like ‘Jings, crivvens, help ma Boab, what do I do now? I know, I’ll go away and be depressed for 10 years’.”

    @DrHeadgear

    The Vikings are coming!
  • DaveyL wrote:
    I would suggest distance running is massively less complex, tactically, due to there being virtually no benefit from drafting another competitor (this is essentially what makes road racing such a complicated sport).

    No, but when and where to make a break, whether to try and keep pace with the front runner or claw him back later, how to sap your opponents strength while maintaining your own - they're all things that could benefit from a power meter of some sort.
    “Road racing was over and the UCI had banned my riding positions on the track, so it was like ‘Jings, crivvens, help ma Boab, what do I do now? I know, I’ll go away and be depressed for 10 years’.”

    @DrHeadgear

    The Vikings are coming!
  • RichN95.RichN95. Posts: 22,902
    RichN95 wrote:
    Mr Dog wrote:
    +1, well put No tA Doctor, distance runners don't use them. :)

    In distance running the competitors don't get so far ahead that you can't see them.

    They can do in a marathon.

    Not often (marathons tend to use fairly long straight roads) and if they do they never get caught - they go on to win. You don't see competitors disappear from view only to be caught later, as happens in almost every bike race.
    Twitter: @RichN95
  • RichN95 wrote:
    RichN95 wrote:
    Mr Dog wrote:
    +1, well put No tA Doctor, distance runners don't use them. :)

    In distance running the competitors don't get so far ahead that you can't see them.

    They can do in a marathon.

    Not often (marathons tend to use fairly long straight roads) and if they do they never get caught - they go on to win. You don't see competitors disappear from view only to be caught later, as happens in almost every bike race.

    you can not use marathon running as a comparison to cycle racing for this
  • RichN95 wrote:
    RichN95 wrote:
    Mr Dog wrote:
    +1, well put No tA Doctor, distance runners don't use them. :)

    In distance running the competitors don't get so far ahead that you can't see them.

    They can do in a marathon.

    Not often (marathons tend to use fairly long straight roads) and if they do they never get caught - they go on to win. You don't see competitors disappear from view only to be caught later, as happens in almost every bike race.

    True enough.

    There is clearly still a potential use for power meters in distance running though. After all, the big meets will sometimes employ a pace setter if they think there might be a WR in the offing.
    “Road racing was over and the UCI had banned my riding positions on the track, so it was like ‘Jings, crivvens, help ma Boab, what do I do now? I know, I’ll go away and be depressed for 10 years’.”

    @DrHeadgear

    The Vikings are coming!
  • rick_chaseyrick_chasey Posts: 46,686 Lives Here
    All the cycling gear/technology is largely over-rated, especially for road bikes. Pros have to say how much difference it makes because the sponsors pay their wages.

    It makes very very marginal difference.
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