How do the pro riders do it?

dannyharris
dannyharris Posts: 217
edited July 2013 in Road beginners
Just been watching TDF. Apart from a lot of training what is different about the bikes they use compared to a regular entry bike?

Not sure if its my eyes but froomes front gears looked egged shaped. Never seen that before.
«1

Comments

  • Sprool
    Sprool Posts: 1,022
    you mean o-symetric chain rings?
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pzAZPMEK-tg
  • markos1963
    markos1963 Posts: 3,724
    Very little in terms that affect us. The bikes a a couple of kilos lighter, they use the lightest of tyres as they don't have to worry about wear and punctures. Same for chains and cassettes etc. The main difference in the frame apart from weight will be geometry. Much more aggressive than 80% of bikes we ride.
    So i'm afraid you'll just have to put up with the fact that it's really all about the rider.
  • fwgx
    fwgx Posts: 114
    Are all the riders on the tour riding £9000 bikes? And if not then why are they even for sale ?
  • Schoie81
    Schoie81 Posts: 749
    I was watching today and noticed the egg-shaped chainring too - I couldn't work out if it was just a blur on the video footage....

    I was watching with my 7yr old son. Watching Chris Froome take the stage and the yellow jersey, he said to me "you could do that Dad". I said, "I think I might be a bit behind him mate, if I were doing it". He replied, "Yeah, OK, I bet you'd come third then." Aren't sons great!! :D
    "I look pretty young, but I'm just back-dated"
  • cougie
    cougie Posts: 22,512
    We can buy lighter bikes than they can ride.
    A lot of the time they have to use sponsors kit rather than what we might choose.
    It's really not about the bike - its the riders. They've so many thousands of miles in their legs.
    They're not an ounce overweight.
    They're in supreme shape.
  • cattytown
    cattytown Posts: 647
    Cougle has it. Many hours in the saddle. Experts around to hone technique, nutrition calculated precisely. backside like leather. The bikes will contribute, but by small increments the bike tech will help, but there are improvements available to us but not them - we don't have to bey the UCI limits, rules on saddles etc. We can use disc brakes if we want...

    Paul.
    Giant Defy 2
    Large bloke getting smaller :-)
  • jezzpalmer
    jezzpalmer Posts: 389
    fwgx wrote:
    Are all the riders on the tour riding £9000 bikes? And if not then why are they even for sale ?

    Some less, some more.
    Team issue parts (Cervelo, 3T etc) tend to be heavier/cheaper than the respective companies' lightest offerings.

    You can buy essentially the same bike that Katusha ride for £5k, which is 500g lighter than the UCI min weight limit.
    http://www.canyon.com/_en/roadbikes/bike.html?b=3097

    The frame that Sky & Movistar ride is £4k alone.
  • Monty Dog
    Monty Dog Posts: 20,614
    All the bikes and parts have to commercially available - it just depends on how much you want to spend on pro kit.

    The difference between pros and amateurs is night and day, riding 10,000 miles a years for a number of years builds supreme levels of strength and fitness. Most club riders struggle to ride 25 miles in an hour and yet these guys maintain that average speed for 5 hours a day for three weeks.
    Make mine an Italian, with Campagnolo on the side..
  • dnwhite88
    dnwhite88 Posts: 285
    Schoie81 wrote:
    I was watching today and noticed the egg-shaped chainring too - I couldn't work out if it was just a blur on the video footage....

    I was watching with my 7yr old son. Watching Chris Froome take the stage and the yellow jersey, he said to me "you could do that Dad". I said, "I think I might be a bit behind him mate, if I were doing it". He replied, "Yeah, OK, I bet you'd come third then." Aren't sons great!! :D

    Awesome :D
    "It never gets easier, you just go faster"
  • Jim C
    Jim C Posts: 333
    Many club riders will be doing 10,000mile per year.

    Pro's more like 25 to 30,000. Year on year.
    jc
  • dannyharris
    dannyharris Posts: 217
    So next question do the I symmetric rings make a difference in a ride?
    And I guess the only way to improve average speed is to ride more?
  • Jim C
    Jim C Posts: 333
    Osymmetric rings- some will say yes. Some will say no. They aren't a magic ingredient, that's for sure.

    More time and miles- it is possible to be competitive - and by that I mean a good 1st Cat road racer - on 5 hours a week. But U need really good coaching for this. No time can be wasted. Every second on the bike counts.

    Most good 2nd Cats and above would be doing maybe 10 to 15 hours a week. Still not much room for junk miles though.
    jc
  • Finlaz22
    Finlaz22 Posts: 169
    The better you are the bigger the difference lighter, stiffer equipment brings.
  • IanREmery
    IanREmery Posts: 148
    Look up Laurence ten dam (think that's his name) on strava. He finished fifth on the tdf yesterday. Stats are mind blowing: 20mph+ average and heart rate at an average of 120 ish. Mine jumps up to 130 simply by looking at the bike!
  • ForumNewbie
    ForumNewbie Posts: 1,664
    IanREmery wrote:
    Look up Laurence ten dam (think that's his name) on strava. He finished fifth on the tdf yesterday. Stats are mind blowing: 20mph+ average and heart rate at an average of 120 ish. Mine jumps up to 130 simply by looking at the bike!
    Yes, I've been looking at his stats on Strava as well and his average HR can be quite low on some stages. If the pros are climbing or sprinting their HR obviously goes up a lot but if they are sitting in the pelaton for most of the time on a flattish stage, their HR can be quite low as they benefit from drafting behind all the guys in front and therefore don't have to use nearly as much energy,
  • cattytown
    cattytown Posts: 647
    Indeed.In Wiggo's book last year he made the point that the accepted wisdom of the best training for racing is racing is rubbish, as most of the day isn't that hard cruising along. They are still mighty fit to do that. I also note Laurens has nearly 9,000 miles this year recorded on Strava.

    I still wouldn't keep up.
    Giant Defy 2
    Large bloke getting smaller :-)
  • Shtukka
    Shtukka Posts: 59
    I find such a difference in my pace if I can mange 2 x 3hr rides per week over a month, rather just the usual 1. Imagine how fit you'd get if you were consistently managing 35hrs per week solely focussed on becoming a quicker cyclist.
  • zingaiya
    zingaiya Posts: 52
    cattytown wrote:
    we don't have to bey the UCI limits, rules on saddles etc. We can use disc brakes if we want...

    Paul.

    This may open a can of worms, but I assume the UCI are a bunch of luddites determined to keep things the way they used to be when they were lads (I also assume there's not a single woman in the top tier of the UCI)?
  • cattytown
    cattytown Posts: 647
    There are a lot of grumbles about the UCI. Their premise is that it should be about the rider, not the bike.

    Though with something like disc brakes, I can see why it might not be a good idea for a single team to get them. Imagine the chaos if the guy at the front has the best brakes, and uses them with the peloton immediately behind him...
    Giant Defy 2
    Large bloke getting smaller :-)
  • simon_masterson
    simon_masterson Posts: 2,740
    markos1963 wrote:
    Very little in terms that affect us. The bikes a a couple of kilos lighter, they use the lightest of tyres as they don't have to worry about wear and punctures. Same for chains and cassettes etc. The main difference in the frame apart from weight will be geometry. Much more aggressive than 80% of bikes we ride.
    So i'm afraid you'll just have to put up with the fact that it's really all about the rider.

    Bingo.
  • tlw1
    tlw1 Posts: 21,866
    Schoie81 wrote:
    I was watching today and noticed the egg-shaped chainring too - I couldn't work out if it was just a blur on the video footage....

    I was watching with my 7yr old son. Watching Chris Froome take the stage and the yellow jersey, he said to me "you could do that Dad". I said, "I think I might be a bit behind him mate, if I were doing it". He replied, "Yeah, OK, I bet you'd come third then." Aren't sons great!! :D

    haribo for that boy!
  • markhewitt1978
    markhewitt1978 Posts: 7,614
    Yes, I've been looking at his stats on Strava as well and his average HR can be quite low on some stages. If the pros are climbing or sprinting their HR obviously goes up a lot but if they are sitting in the peloton for most of the time on a flattish stage, their HR can be quite low as they benefit from drafting behind all the guys in front and therefore don't have to use nearly as much energy,

    On ITV4 they were saying that while the guys at the front of the peloton are putting out a lot of power; riders buried deep within the pack on flat terrain can be using no more energy than they would at rest.
  • jgsi
    jgsi Posts: 5,062
    Yes, I've been looking at his stats on Strava as well and his average HR can be quite low on some stages. If the pros are climbing or sprinting their HR obviously goes up a lot but if they are sitting in the peloton for most of the time on a flattish stage, their HR can be quite low as they benefit from drafting behind all the guys in front and therefore don't have to use nearly as much energy,

    On ITV4 they were saying that while the guys at the front of the peloton are putting out a lot of power; riders buried deep within the pack on flat terrain can be using no more energy than they would at rest.

    More so that not that much power is engaged to trundle a bunched up peloton along... however when that peloton gets stringed out.. then you know major watts are being applied and... that applies to those riders 'hanging on' as well.
  • cougie
    cougie Posts: 22,512
    I think its in Cavs autobiography one of his amateur mates asked him how hard it was riding the big tours.
    Cav told him he'd be out of the back as soon as they were out of the neutralised zone.
  • markhewitt1978
    markhewitt1978 Posts: 7,614
    cougie wrote:
    I think its in Cavs autobiography one of his amateur mates asked him how hard it was riding the big tours.
    Cav told him he'd be out of the back as soon as they were out of the neutralised zone.

    Of that there is no doubt.
  • frisbee
    frisbee Posts: 691
    cougie wrote:
    I think its in Cavs autobiography one of his amateur mates asked him how hard it was riding the big tours.
    Cav told him he'd be out of the back as soon as they were out of the neutralised zone.

    I don't think that's true, if you look at the heart rate of a rider for the first 100-ish kms on a stage, its barely above 100. Sat in the bunch you'll just get dragged along, you'll be closer to your threshold than the pros but it'll still be an effort that you can sustain.

    http://app.strava.com/activities/65157191

    Now an amateur would be blown off the back at the end of the stage but then most of the pros are as well (including Cavendish)...
  • lostboysaint
    lostboysaint Posts: 4,250
    frisbee wrote:
    cougie wrote:
    I think its in Cavs autobiography one of his amateur mates asked him how hard it was riding the big tours.
    Cav told him he'd be out of the back as soon as they were out of the neutralised zone.

    I don't think that's true, if you look at the heart rate of a rider for the first 100-ish kms on a stage, its barely above 100. Sat in the bunch you'll just get dragged along, you'll be closer to your threshold than the pros but it'll still be an effort that you can sustain.

    http://app.strava.com/activities/65157191

    Now an amateur would be blown off the back at the end of the stage but then most of the pros are as well (including Cavendish)...

    Hmm, one of you has ridden a few grand tours and one is relying on numbers to clutch those straws. I wonder which one I'll believe?!

    (For what it's worth you're not the first to trot out that sort of nonsense. Someone was banging on last year about how their stats showed that they'd be comfortably in the middle of the peleton based on the figures released daily by one of the pros in the Sky team. Yeah, of course they would.......)
    Trail fun - Transition Bandit
    Road - Wilier Izoard Centaur/Cube Agree C62 Disc
    Allround - Cotic Solaris
  • lockstock666
    lockstock666 Posts: 131
    Schoie81 wrote:
    I was watching today and noticed the egg-shaped chainring too - I couldn't work out if it was just a blur on the video footage....

    I was watching with my 7yr old son. Watching Chris Froome take the stage and the yellow jersey, he said to me "you could do that Dad". I said, "I think I might be a bit behind him mate, if I were doing it". He replied, "Yeah, OK, I bet you'd come third then." Aren't sons great!! :D

    They sure are!

    When I told my 4 year old son to come and watch these people riding bikes fast he said "Wow, which one is you daddy?" :D
  • frisbee
    frisbee Posts: 691
    frisbee wrote:
    cougie wrote:
    I think its in Cavs autobiography one of his amateur mates asked him how hard it was riding the big tours.
    Cav told him he'd be out of the back as soon as they were out of the neutralised zone.

    I don't think that's true, if you look at the heart rate of a rider for the first 100-ish kms on a stage, its barely above 100. Sat in the bunch you'll just get dragged along, you'll be closer to your threshold than the pros but it'll still be an effort that you can sustain.

    http://app.strava.com/activities/65157191

    Now an amateur would be blown off the back at the end of the stage but then most of the pros are as well (including Cavendish)...

    Hmm, one of you has ridden a few grand tours and one is relying on numbers to clutch those straws. I wonder which one I'll believe?!

    (For what it's worth you're not the first to trot out that sort of nonsense. Someone was banging on last year about how their stats showed that they'd be comfortably in the middle of the peloton based on the figures released daily by one of the pros in the Sky team. Yeah, of course they would.......)

    You do realise that a 1.4 Vaxhaull Astra travelling at 60mph is just as fast as a Ferrari travelling at 60mph? :o

    A pro peloton (usually) doesn't go that hard at the start of a stage. Its a fast solo pace but knock off 30-40% energy expenditure from riding in a large bunch and its not out of reach of a decent amateur.
  • cougie
    cougie Posts: 22,512
    Maybe Cav was telling him straight - maybe he was taking the pee ?

    There is a reason that these guys are pros - they're bloody fast. One of my old clubmates is a pro now - even before he turned pro he could turn on the power and go away like he was on a motorbike.

    I dont think the HR of a pro is any guide at all. The pace they put out whilst doing that effort would be far faster than the pace an amateur could do.