/ Track cycling bikes at the Olympics

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Frank4short - on 01 Aug 2012
Should all be the same. Probably go back to something like a very basic road frame with no additional aero features. As should helmets and any additional aero gear. After all the Olympics is supposed to be about who's the best athlete/s in any given event not who's got the best designers behind them. This is one of the reasons why they got rid of those fancy suits for the swimming and I believe the UCI should do the same for the cyclists.
woolsack - on 01 Aug 2012
In reply to Frank4short: The UCI rules do already serve to ensure bikes are quite bike-like at the moment don't they?

All the bikes would be the same but some bikes would be more the same than others. Imagine the bitchin' and protesting
Liam M - on 01 Aug 2012
In reply to Frank4short: The UCI are fairly strict already on the geometry of bikes and equipment. The track bikes essentially are the same basic form as several decades ago and rather far from the contraptions Obree and Boardman rode. The materials may differ, but short of giving the same bike to everyone it's reasonably well balanced at the moment.

I've seen races held up because stems are slightly too long, and some shorter individuals require special dispensation as they can't fit bikes within the usual UCI rules.
phildavies84 - on 01 Aug 2012
In reply to Frank4short: Have a look at Japaneese Kerin Bikes. They all have to NJS approved parts
Frank4short - on 01 Aug 2012
In reply to Liam M:
> (In reply to Frank4short) The UCI are fairly strict already on the geometry of bikes and equipment. The track bikes essentially are the same basic form as several decades ago and rather far from the contraptions Obree and Boardman rode. The materials may differ, but short of giving the same bike to everyone it's reasonably well balanced at the moment.

Only Obree really. The lotus bike boardman rode wasn't an awful lot different to the track bikes they're on now. Barring possibly the single leg fork and single stay rear arrangement. The point is if you look at for instance the Team GB track cycling bikes, helmets, suits, in fact just about any of the equipment they're using in competition. These are all a part of their "Marginal Gains Programme" all of these things potentially add to an advantage. These may be particularly relevant when races come down to hairsbreadth margins especially on the timed events.

Track cycling is supposed to be about who's fastest in a very controlled environment. Adding advantage in said environment does take away a part of having it like that in the first place.

Sure even if they regulate it significantly more it may be possible to improve the bikes but taking away the aero advantage has to be worth doing to even it out more. After all this is what they do in the sailing events.
nufkin - on 01 Aug 2012
In reply to Frank4short:

This should apply to athletics as well, should it not? Everyone should wear the same shoes/clothes. Or, even better, none at all.
Monk - on 01 Aug 2012
In reply to Frank4short:
> (In reply to Liam M)
> [...]
>
>
> Track cycling is supposed to be about who's fastest in a very controlled environment. Adding advantage in said environment does take away a part of having it like that in the first place.
>
> Sure even if they regulate it significantly more it may be possible to improve the bikes but taking away the aero advantage has to be worth doing to even it out more. After all this is what they do in the sailing events.

I agree to an extent, but one of the biggest factors in the aerodynamics of cycling is the human body, and you can't standardise that.
Liam M - on 01 Aug 2012
In reply to Frank4short: Specifically what sort of rule changes would you invoke? The overall shape is governed, the shape of any tubes is governed, I expect all track bikes will be at the minimum weight and features for purely aerodynamic purposes are prohibited.

There needs to be some scope for geometric alteration otherwise it becomes who has the body shape best fitted to the defined design.
Frank4short - on 01 Aug 2012
In reply to Liam M:
> (In reply to Frank4short) Specifically what sort of rule changes would you invoke? The overall shape is governed, the shape of any tubes is governed, I expect all track bikes will be at the minimum weight and features for purely aerodynamic purposes are prohibited.

You're having a giraffe? Do you actually believe that? Have a look here http://www.bikeradar.com/gallery/article/gallery-olympic-track-bikes-34801

> There needs to be some scope for geometric alteration otherwise it becomes who has the body shape best fitted to the defined design.

I would add 2 very simple rules onto the existing ones, for shapes, weights, etc. -
1. All tubes have to be round, as in fully circular.
2. All tubes have to be straight.

Possibly, though i'm not so sure on this part, have a list of allowed sizes for specific tubes.

In one foul swoop it would take away pretty much all specific aerodynamic advantage available through heavy weight R&D. It would also add enough flexibility into the design criteria to allow for custom frames to accommodate individual riders specific body shapes.

In reply to nufkin: how much advantage do specific types of running shoes actually give? I'd wager less than 0.01% considering nearly all track and field spikes worn at present are actually largely the same as they've been in the last 30/40/50+ years.

In reply to Monk: You can't standardise for the human body but you can sure as hell stop people designing bikes in wind tunnels for individual cyclists to take maximum advantage of a given individuals body shape. And anyway if you standardise the bikes you bring it back to the best athlete. If it so happens that because one particular athlete has a freakish body shape that gives them advantage then that's ok because it's about them entirely as opposed to them and the bike they're on.
Monk - on 01 Aug 2012
In reply to Frank4short:
> (In reply to Liam M)
> [...]

>
> In reply to Monk: You can't standardise for the human body but you can sure as hell stop people designing bikes in wind tunnels for individual cyclists to take maximum advantage of a given individuals body shape.

An alternative view might be that if each riders bike is designed to give them their personal optimum in aerodynamics, you are still coming down to how hard their legs can push, and removing more of the imbalance between body shapes.
Frank4short - on 01 Aug 2012
In reply to Monk:

> An alternative view might be that if each riders bike is designed to give them their personal optimum in aerodynamics, you are still coming down to how hard their legs can push, and removing more of the imbalance between body shapes.

Except and this is a big except only a handful of nations, of which you lot happen to be one, have the resources to develop bikes to this level. There is also the element of whichever country has access to the most talented aerodynamicists and designers has a distinct advantage.
Liam M - on 01 Aug 2012
In reply to Frank4short: Most (all?) of the riders who compete in the Olympics will be riding for pro teams and have little trouble getting access to the sort of facilities and technology you see. Once they've reached an elite level there is little to restrict access to such design.

Of more impact would be the lower level facilities, and at that level it's less likely to be down to fractions of a second and who has access to the designers. Part of British Cycling's recent success has been the ability to identify strong future riders, and focus on them.

Another interesting part of the UCI rules is that any bike used in competition has to be available for any member of the general public to purchase, so it would be difficult to hold onto any 'secret' technology.


Aly - on 01 Aug 2012
In reply to Liam M: Out of interest, does anyone know (or know where to find out) what gearing the team pursuit guys, or the sprinters like Hoy use?

I'd assume that if the team pursuit guys have to average about 60kph they'll be using something in the range of about 50/11 but I'd suspect that the sprinters may have to use bigger gearing than that??
subalpine - on 01 Aug 2012
In reply to Aly: what cadence is that?
Liam M - on 01 Aug 2012
In reply to Aly: I'm not sure about the pursuiters, but a quick search suggests Hoy has often used 51/14 in the past. It doesn't want to be too big as they have to accelerate it rather quickly. He can apparently hit a stupidly high cadence though (c 160).
Aly - on 01 Aug 2012
In reply to subalpine: Actually, 120rpm in 50/11 is 68kph so maybe they use a slightly lower gear (50/12?) as a quick google suggests that pursuiters use a cadence of somewhere in the 120 range.

160 rpm is pretty impressive, I don't think I could get my legs to do that in any gear!
Frank4short - on 01 Aug 2012
In reply to Liam M:
> (In reply to Frank4short) Most (all?) of the riders who compete in the Olympics will be riding for pro teams and have little trouble getting access to the sort of facilities and technology you see. Once they've reached an elite level there is little to restrict access to such design.

You appear to be confusing my original post somewhat. I'm specifically referring in this instance to track riders. Most of the track riders, at least the competitive ones, will be full time track riders. Not pros riding the road circuit.

> Of more impact would be the lower level facilities, and at that level it's less likely to be down to fractions of a second and who has access to the designers. Part of British Cycling's recent success has been the ability to identify strong future riders, and focus on them.

Another part of British cycling's success has been their "Marginal Improvements Programme". This is specifically aimed at gaining any legitimate advantage wherever possible. Whether this be in the field of aerodynamics or little things such as heated trousers the team wear for the small period of time in between their warm up and taking to the track. My point which you seem to be wilfully ignoring is that advantages gained through engineering shouldn't be available to anyone. It should be about who's the best cyclist. Now surely it would be better for you guys if you could dominate the way you did in Beijing without any mechanical advantage?

> Another interesting part of the UCI rules is that any bike used in competition has to be available for any member of the general public to purchase, so it would be difficult to hold onto any 'secret' technology.

If you could provide me with a link to this I'd be happy to believe you. However until such point as I see it you can count me as a doubting Thomas. Especially/specifically with regard to the track bikes. Doubly so with the team GB track bikes that are brandless and designed and built especially for them. As I've yet to see a mention of them being on sale anywhere, ever.

However even to go with the argument you give re: secret technology. One only has to have the advantage once to win. So unless all engineering developments in the design used for track bikes are effectively open source. All it would take would be for a team that came up with a revolutionary development, within the rules, that gave them a major advantage would be to sit on it until such time as it was really needed e.g. the Olympics or the World Champs.
Liam M - on 01 Aug 2012
In reply to Frank4short: http://www.google.co.uk/url?sa=t&source=web&cd=1&ved=0CF0QFjAA&url=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.... Page 2 of this link. They don't have to be for retail, butanyone has to be able to buy one from the manufacturer or their agent.
Chris the Tall - on 01 Aug 2012
woolsack - on 01 Aug 2012
In reply to Chris the Tall:
> (In reply to Frank4short)
> These should be banned - they look completely daft
>
> http://www.bikerumor.com/2012/07/31/poc-sports-tempor-tt-helmet-spotted-debuts-in-olympic-time-trial...

Imagine the piss taking you'd be in for turning up to a club ride in that!
unclesamsauntibess - on 01 Aug 2012
In reply to Frank4short: So they should all just use Halford's bikes then? They would be all the same wouldn't they? Or do like the horse riders do, bring a horse but they never ride their own?
Liam M - on 01 Aug 2012
In reply to unclesamsauntibess: It could be amusing if the omnium was done modern pentathlon style and you only find out your bike shortly before the event!
gethin_allen on 01 Aug 2012
In reply to Chris the Tall:
> (In reply to Frank4short)
> These should be banned - they look completely daft
>
> http://www.bikerumor.com/2012/07/31/poc-sports-tempor-tt-helmet-spotted-debuts-in-olympic-time-trial...

Does anyone else think that from the right angle they resemble a different sort of helmet?
stewieatb on 01 Aug 2012
In reply to Frank4short:

So essentially, you want to set cycling technology back 30 years?
woolsack - on 02 Aug 2012
In reply to Frank4short: I think what is being questioned here is attention to detail

Is any of this beyond any other team that wishes to do well?

http://www.bbc.co.uk/sport/0/olympics/19089259
woolsack - on 02 Aug 2012
In reply to Frank4short: I believe they even take Euros in the online shop :)

http://www.uksport.gov.uk/pages/cycling/

Frank4short - on 02 Aug 2012
In reply to stewieatb:

> So essentially, you want to set cycling technology back 30 years?

Track cycling is not, or at least should not be, about technology. After all they banned super wierd aero bikes ala Obree's so why not continue the theme to it's logical conclusion. Also I've nothing against the technological advances just the aerodynamical ones.
Frank4short - on 02 Aug 2012
In reply to woolsack:

> Is any of this beyond any other team that wishes to do well?
>
> http://www.bbc.co.uk/sport/0/olympics/19089259

As stated several times previously I've no problems with any of the non bike/helmet/aerodynamics related, legal, avenues that are used to improve performances. In fact I think team GB & NI's cycling programme is by the sounds of it probably one of the best Olympic medal winning programmes anywhere. I'm just questioning the fact that it's possible for a relatively rich nation to develop a mechanical advantage over others. In this particular instance there are probably less than half a dozen nations with the resources and the track cyclists to be able to do such.

As to the GB sports bikes and parts being available for sale again as stated above they probably don't have to provide any of said bikes to the public/other manufacturers/nations before the games. Which means they have said advantage till someone gets their hands on one of these bikes and manages to reverse engineer them. Which, as i'm sure you of all people would realise, would be no mean feat in it's own right.
MJH - on 02 Aug 2012
In reply to Frank4short:
> (In reply to Liam M)
> Most of the track riders, at least the competitive ones, will be full time track riders. Not pros riding the road circuit.

Many of the best endurance track riders also ride for pro road teams eg Geraint Thomas, Bobridge etc (Wiggins did as well for a lot of his later track career).

> Another part of British cycling's success has been their "Marginal Improvements Programme". This is specifically aimed at gaining any legitimate advantage wherever possible. Whether this be in the field of aerodynamics or little things such as heated trousers the team wear for the small period of time in between their warm up and taking to the track. My point which you seem to be wilfully ignoring is that advantages gained through engineering shouldn't be available to anyone. It should be about who's the best cyclist. Now surely it would be better for you guys if you could dominate the way you did in Beijing without any mechanical advantage?

Where do you draw the line is the problem. For something like swimming it is much easier to set limits as you only have the swimsuit to worry about. For cycling it is more difficult as there are so many bits of customisation that you could permit or limit. One of the biggest problems of having a standard bike is that different riders have different preferences in terms of set up and position. It isn't just a question of finding the most aero position possible but also balancing that for the individual's body in terms of comfort and power so what suits say Bradley Wiggins doesn't suit Janez Brakovic (as you could see in the TT yesterday).
subalpine - on 02 Aug 2012
In reply to Frank4short: high drama in the velodrome..
ads.ukclimbing.com
JimmyKay - on 02 Aug 2012
In reply to subalpine:

Gutting.
ClimberEd - on 02 Aug 2012
In reply to JimmyKay:

If I understand it correctly it is up to the commissaire how they want to enforce the rules.

In which case he should be strung up by his balls.
Martin W on 02 Aug 2012
In reply to Frank4short:
> nearly all track and field spikes worn at present are actually largely the same as they've been in the last 30/40/50+ years.

Are you sure? http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/science-environment-18735617

Since the 90s lightweight ceramic spikes have replaced the old steel ones.

...

The US firm has worked closely with the Italian track designers, [David Grant, chief executive of Omni-lite Industries] adds.

"We designed a spike to compress the track and hence the energy from that compression returns back to the athlete and is not absorbed by the track."

Since the development of the ceramic spike, the technology has reached the point where specialised spikes made for Olympic athletes are now made from "nano materials".

"Typically these are stronger and more wear resistant than the original lightweight spikes. These spikes were first utilised in Beijing and will be used in London," Mr Grants tells the BBC.
Darren Jackson - on 02 Aug 2012
In reply to Frank4short:

The BBC coverage just mentioned that, if you've got £20k burning a hole in your pocket, you can go out and buy yourself exactly the same bike as Pendleton rides.

Surprised me, but it's essentially off the peg stuff, apparently. That's a fairly level playing field?
ClimberEd - on 02 Aug 2012
In reply to Darren Jackson:
> (In reply to Frank4short)
>
> The BBC coverage just mentioned that, if you've got £20k burning a hole in your pocket, you can go out and buy yourself exactly the same bike as Pendleton rides.
>
> Surprised me, but it's essentially off the peg stuff, apparently. That's a fairly level playing field?

It's not off the peg - but a member of the public has to be able to purchase one.
JimmyKay - on 02 Aug 2012
In reply to ClimberEd:

BOOM. Another WR.
Bean Head - on 02 Aug 2012
In reply to ClimberEd:
> (In reply to Darren Jackson)
> [...]
>
> It's not off the peg - but a member of the public has to be able to purchase one.

And you can do so by starting here:

http://www.uksport.gov.uk/pages/cycling/

Not surprisingly, they've made it a bit of a pain in the arse.

Rob
Frank4short - on 02 Aug 2012
In reply to Frank4short: God there's some awful pedantic gits on this thread. I guess it's like getting turkeys to vote for Christmas mind. Asking British people to potentially agree to throwing a small part of their advantage in your, currently, most successful olympic discipline.

All of that asides fantastic win in the men's team sprint. Wouldn't it taste even better mind if you knew there was no technological advantage employed in the win?
elsewhere on 02 Aug 2012
In reply to Frank4short:
Boardman is retiring from his technical role, there's a good article at
http://www.bbc.co.uk/sport/0/olympics/19089259
Dr.S at work - on 02 Aug 2012
In reply to Frank4short:
If I understand your argument you are againist 'buying' medals with technology, quite a reasonable position. But you can buy medals with better coaches, nutrition, athlete support - so whats the difference?
rmt - on 02 Aug 2012
In reply to Frank4short: They don't agree with you so they must be pedantic gits? There are, most definitely, but I'm not sure many of them have posted in this thread.
Frank4short - on 03 Aug 2012
In reply to rmt: re pedantic gits. So far here are some of the more pedantic come backs i've had:

- I've said most Olympic cycling track athletes, at least in the leading countries, track cycling is their job. MJH came back about a contingent of said riders being pro peleton cyclist. Though as per my post, the majority aren't.
- I've said in track and field disciplines, largely speaking, technology in the trainers they wear hasn't progressed in a long time. Martin W came back about a development in the material the spikes are made. Sure a development but not one that's exclusive to the richer nations as not likely to cost tens of thousands or more at a time.
- I've said that specific aerodynamics should be kept to a minimum, if not gotten rid of at all. To remove any advantage provided by them. Liam M chose to ignore my point and told me UCI has regulated to get bike to have a consistent shape and geometry (unlike in the Boardman Obree days) though it's ignoring the differences/dis/advantages individual bikes can have over one another within the current rules.
- I've said that you only need have an advantageous design once, at an optimum time, numerous people have quoted that the Team GB bikes are technically available to the public. Though this ignores the question about how available they are or mores to the point whether or not you would be able to purchase one even before a major event. If I was say a Tongan track cyclist would I have been able to purchase one of the Team GB bike and additional aero kit (helmet, etc.) for the Olympics to give me the advantage they have.
- I've said with probably a minimum of additional rules that it would be pretty easy to regulate against aerodynamic advantage. MJH has said that it wouldn't be possible to have a standard bike to differentiate for different ride body shapes. I never said to have a single standard body shape. I've nothing against riders have bikes sized precisely to themselves to maximise their efficiency. I'm just against the bikes themselves giving them advantage.

I don't disagree it's possible to hire better coaches, provide better facilities to maximise your chances. I just don't think it should be possible to gain advantage with the bike you're on or the clothing you're wearing. As ultimately the competition is about who's the best cyclist. Not who's nearly the best cyclist with the best gear that gives them 1-3% of an additional advantage that may possibly make them faster than their nearest rival. I've also noted the distinct absence of comment from the usual forum cycling heavyweights round here.
parkovski - on 03 Aug 2012
In reply to Frank4short:

Wow... you sound like Graeme Obree's arch nemesis!

If it helps quell your seething, I won't be pedantic. I just plain disagree with you. As well as being a physical sport, cycling is mechanical. Choosing the right equipment and having the freedom to innovate is/should be part of the game. There's plenty enough silly rules already killing innovation - thank god the Victorians were more open minded... I'd hate to see a big crash if everyone was still riding penny-farthings!

Feel free to carry on trying to talk us all round though. Best bet is to write a detailed report of how you'd change the current regulations.


By the way. I don't think smaller nations are priced out by not being able to fund bespoke wind tunnels and new bikes. I think not having cash to build velodromes, to fund athletes, to employ coaches, to develop talent from grass roots... etc. etc. Is way more important in explaining the gulf between nations. If they can get all that stuff in place, it'd be pretty easy to get a bike manufacturer on board as an equipment sponsor.
a lakeland climber on 03 Aug 2012
In reply to Frank4short:

According to Chris Boardman, everything (bikes & clothing) must be seen and passed by the UCI prior to competition.

Your arguments don't make any engineering sense whatsoever. Short of insisting that all bikes have a vertical shield 1.5metres by 0.75 metres fixed to the front of every bike pretty well any change to a bike is going to have some aerodynamic effect. Your responses about aerodynamics contradict themselves - you can't have personally sized bikes without affecting the aerodynamics. Are only cyclists with a particular build (to the mm) be allowed to ride?

The Australians have built a special wind tunnel for the four man pursuit team - should that be banned as well? Note that it didn't seem to do them much good yesterday in the first round - it's still down to the rider(s) to get the bike round the track in the quickest possible time.

ALC
3leggeddog on 03 Aug 2012
In reply to Frank4short:

I have sympathies in both camps here. A good compromise would be an additional event similar to going to your local kart track; 6 riders, 5 bikes ridden in rotation in a league event.
parkovski - on 03 Aug 2012
In reply to 3leggeddog:

I don't think it would - would seeing which cyclist can cope best with ill fitting bikes really improve the sport?!
Frank4short - on 03 Aug 2012
In reply to a lakeland climber:

> According to Chris Boardman, everything (bikes & clothing) must be seen and passed by the UCI prior to competition.
>
> Your arguments don't make any engineering sense whatsoever.

See phildavies84's response right at the top of the thread. In Japan Keirin bikes are standardised. Keirin is a professional sport there comparable with horse racing here. They seem to make it work all right.
Arms Cliff - on 03 Aug 2012
In reply to Frank4short: Japan Keirin bikes have to have NJS components, there is no standardised bike fit. When Boardman went for the hour record on a steel bike they spent a long time getting his position as aero as possible; should that sort of work be banned too?

Sport is about innovation in every field possible within the rules, as in motorsport the advances in the top end road and track bikes trickle down to entry level machines.

I admire your Olympic mindset though, it wouldn't have been out of place back in Greece when the athletes had to compete naked!
a lakeland climber on 03 Aug 2012
In reply to Frank4short:

Do you actually understand the difference between "standard" and "identical"? All bikes in UCI governed races, which includes the Olympic track events, require that the bikes meet the UCI approved standard. It does not mean that they must be identical. It follows that all the bikes you see are standardised.

The standard actually states that all bikes must be at least 6.8Kg in weight so even though a track bike doesn't have brakes or gears and associated levers, cables and mounts, it must still weigh the same as a road bike!

Horse racing has some handicap races where the weight carried by the horse is adjusted to "level" the field but the majority of races aren't and there isn't, as far as I'm aware, any ruling on the size of the horses.

ALC
toad - on 03 Aug 2012
In reply to Frank4short: I'll lob this in here. When I first heard the interview, I thought "What the...?" esp. after the badminton. I'm not entirely convinced by the explanation, but..

http://www.guardian.co.uk/sport/2012/aug/03/london-2012-philip-hindes-crash-translation
MJH - on 03 Aug 2012
In reply to Frank4short:

There's nothing pedantic about the replies you are getting any more than your original flawed point...

> - I've said most Olympic cycling track athletes, at least in the leading countries, track cycling is their job. MJH came back about a contingent of said riders being pro peleton cyclist. Though as per my post, the majority aren't.

The majority of the *leading* endurance track riders are pro peleton riders - Kennaugh and Thomas from GB's team pursuit, Bobridge from Australia's, Jesse Sargent from NZ and I am sure that there are more I don't know so well.

> - I've said that specific aerodynamics should be kept to a minimum, if not gotten rid of at all. To remove any advantage provided by them. Liam M chose to ignore my point and told me UCI has regulated to get bike to have a consistent shape and geometry (unlike in the Boardman Obree days) though it's ignoring the differences/dis/advantages individual bikes can have over one another within the current rules.
> - I've said with probably a minimum of additional rules that it would be pretty easy to regulate against aerodynamic advantage. MJH has said that it wouldn't be possible to have a standard bike to differentiate for different ride body shapes. I never said to have a single standard body shape. I've nothing against riders have bikes sized precisely to themselves to maximise their efficiency. I'm just against the bikes themselves giving them advantage.

But therein lies the first of your contradictions - by allowing tailoring of the bike sizing then you are going to have an aero effect.

> I just don't think it should be possible to gain advantage with the bike you're on or the clothing you're wearing. As ultimately the competition is about who's the best cyclist. Not who's nearly the best cyclist with the best gear that gives them 1-3% of an additional advantage that may possibly make them faster than their nearest rival.

Where do you get the 1-3% advantage from? It seems like you are saying I have no idea how much benefit is actually gained from these changes so I'll make something up...
MJH - on 03 Aug 2012
In reply to toad: I must confess when he said it I thought he was joking. It certainly didn't look deliberate when he nearly took out Kenny!
Frank4short - on 03 Aug 2012
In reply to a lakeland climber: Are you going out of your way to misunderstand what I'm trying to say or are you just trying to obfuscate my point to make it unintelligible.

I've never said track bikes should be identical. I've said they should be standardised to remove mechanical advantage through design. Which is actually no different to what was done to Obree. As I said way up the thread it would probably relatively easy to do by just initiating 2 rules - that all tubes are round, as in circle in profile and all tubes are straight and parallel. Now with those 2 very simple rules you've standardised the designs to remove aero advantage but you have removed the possibility to adjust bicycle size to accommodate different riders, body shapes, etc.
MJH - on 03 Aug 2012
In reply to Frank4short: You don't get it do you - by allowing tailoring for size and fit you inherently change the aero properties. The aero position of the rider is much more important than the aero properties of the bike.

You won't stop teams spending lots of money on finding the optimum position (and therefore bike design) for each rider (and it will vary for each rider as there is no one single answer).
Arms Cliff - on 03 Aug 2012
In reply to MJH:
> (In reply to Frank4short) You don't get it do you - by allowing tailoring for size and fit you inherently change the aero properties. The aero position of the rider is much more important than the aero properties of the bike.
>
> You won't stop teams spending lots of money on finding the optimum position (and therefore bike design) for each rider (and it will vary for each rider as there is no one single answer).

Agree completely, marginal gains will always be found within the rules, that is the advancement of sport technology.

a lakeland climber on 03 Aug 2012
In reply to Frank4short:

No I'm going out of my way to be accurate and consistent unlike yourself.

ALC
parkovski - on 03 Aug 2012
In reply to Frank4short:

"Are you going out of your way to misunderstand what I'm trying to say or are you just trying to obfuscate my point to make it unintelligible."

You're starting to sound a bit rude. Lets end this and summarise the important points.

1) You put forth an interesting philosophical query as to whether more could be done to standardise bike design. This was stated in very simple terms and belied a probable ignorance of the status quo.

2) Most people disagreed with you. Querying exactly what you want to do in addition to the already strict UCI specifactions, and whetherbike fitting was to be outlawed. Also many valid points were made regarding the many factors which are both more important and more expensive in national track cycling programmes.

3) You seemed to get upset that nobody really agreed with you and everyone started having a jolly time arguing spurious points.

4) You finally stated clearly exactly how you would further tighten restrictions by specifying straight, circular tubing (I'll ignore the parallel part, as some angles are surely needed to allow tubes to meet.)

5) Everyone rolled their eyes a bit as this would be such a ridiculously small change to the existing UCI design specifications.


For point 6 I'd consider some sort of statement that we can all agree to disagree - It's up to you really.

Closing thought regarding the pricing out of less well off nations: The vast amounts of money that team GB and others spend is to modify design within a draconian set of specifications. These specifications were in part made in response to innovative bike designs made with recycled parts by a man in his kitchen. Maybe with not more but LESS restrictions the track cycling team from Benin or somewhere could gain their own advantage with genuine scrapheap challenge innovation....



Frank4short - on 03 Aug 2012
In reply to a lakeland climber:

> No I'm going out of my way to be accurate and consistent unlike yourself.

Where am I being inconsistent?
Phil Payne - on 03 Aug 2012
In reply to Frank4short:

I thought the track cycling would have been completely sold out, but someone that I know just posted on facebook to say that there are loads of empty seats for tomorrow and he can grab some tickets if anyone is interested. Surely this can't be correct as thousands of people were going to miss out on tickets in the ballot.
woolsack - on 03 Aug 2012
In reply to parkovski:

>
> Closing thought regarding the pricing out of less well off nations: The vast amounts of money that team GB and others spend is to modify design within a draconian set of specifications. These specifications were in part made in response to innovative bike designs made with recycled parts by a man in his kitchen. Maybe with not more but LESS restrictions the track cycling team from Benin or somewhere could gain their own advantage with genuine scrapheap challenge innovation....

+1
ClimberEd - on 03 Aug 2012
In reply to Phil Payne:
> (In reply to Frank4short)
>
> I thought the track cycling would have been completely sold out, but someone that I know just posted on facebook to say that there are loads of empty seats for tomorrow and he can grab some tickets if anyone is interested. Surely this can't be correct as thousands of people were going to miss out on tickets in the ballot.

???? really?

Not what the ticket place says. Please email me if you know otherwise!
parkovski - on 03 Aug 2012
In reply to Frank4short:
> (In reply to a lakeland climber)
>
> [...]
>
> Where am I being inconsistent?

OK, so I'm butting in and replying for someone else but here's a quick sketch of some of your apparent inconsistencies.

Your thread title and opening sentence, “Track cycling bikes at the Olympics, Should all be the same” was most parsimoniously interpreted as meaning identical bikes. But then you clarified that your rules would, “allow for custom frames to accommodate individual riders specific body shapes.” Maybe just a lack of clarity on your part – but to many this will appear contradictory.

You said “advantages gained through engineering shouldn't be available to anyone. It should be about who's the best cyclist”, but then you said you are not, “against the technological advances just the aerodynamical ones.” This seems contradictory. One minute you’re only against aerodynamic advantages of the bike – the next you’ve broadened it to mechanical advantages as well. Which is it?! Combine this with the fact that you’re allowing for body position to be changed for aerodynamic advantage, and really your point seems wishy washy, riddled with inconsistency and, to be honest, just a little stupid and ignorant.

You got nicely sidetracked by the debate as to whether track cyclists were ‘pros’ or not – but you then stated that “...most Olympic cycling track athletes, at least in the leading countries, track cycling is their job.” So they’re not professional, but cycling is their job?! Or was your point about whether they ride on the road too? If so WTF has that got to do with anything. Don’t accuse people of pedantry when they’re simply trying to clarify some meaning out of your unintelligible jibber jabber.

If you can’t see the contradiction in real terms in this statement, “I've nothing against riders have bikes sized precisely to themselves to maximise their efficiency. I'm just against the bikes themselves giving them advantage.”... then we are all giving up. You’re against bikes bestowing an advantage, but you don’t mind the bike being designed to maximise the efficiency of the rider, but that means the bike ‘itself’ is giving an advantage by virtue of the riding position.... Can you see our problem?

Now I'm kind of looking forward to seeing your reply, not because I'll learn anything, but because it's starting to get quite amusing. I guess you didn't start this thread to become a tawdry side show in a circus of malcontent though, so perhaps it's time to quit.
Frank4short - on 03 Aug 2012
In reply to parkovski:
> Your thread title and opening sentence, “Track cycling bikes at the Olympics, Should all be the same” was most parsimoniously interpreted as meaning identical bikes. But then you clarified that your rules would, “allow for custom frames to accommodate individual riders specific body shapes.” Maybe just a lack of clarity on your part – but to many this will appear contradictory.

Granted, perhaps not the best worded opening line. However I would like to think throughout the course of the thread so far I've clarified the miscommunication I made in said first sentence.

> You said “advantages gained through engineering shouldn't be available to anyone. It should be about who's the best cyclist”, but then you said you are not, “against the technological advances just the aerodynamical ones.” This seems contradictory. One minute you’re only against aerodynamic advantages of the bike – the next you’ve broadened it to mechanical advantages as well. Which is it?! Combine this with the fact that you’re allowing for body position to be changed for aerodynamic advantage, and really your point seems wishy washy, riddled with inconsistency and, to be honest, just a little stupid and ignorant.

No, not at all. Take 1 rider lets say Chris Hoy for arguments sake give him 2 bikes of identical geometry and dimensions. That are ergonomically optimised for his body shape. One has simple style of construction, round tubes, etc. the other has tube shapes and profiles that have been optimised aerodynamically. Both bikes are in a sense optimised to maximise his latent potential though he'll go faster on the second bike as it has been aerodynamically optimised as well. I would propose to remove the second advantage.

Aerodynamical v mechanical advantage is admittedly a wording inconsistency on my part. In which I mean technological advantage in the construction and design of the bicycle beyond it's ergonomics.

Re: the technology thing it's not realistically feasible to regulate for anything in competitions beyond the equipment the cyclists use and banning drug use which may assist their performance. So if someone develops a new training technique that makes them fitter or faster than their nearest rival then you can't and shouldn't regulate against it. However it is possible to design a faster bicycle/cycle clothing/helmet. That would be what I would propose to regulate for. After all they've all ready done it in swimming.

I think this http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Keirin#Equipment might possibly explain my basic thesis in a clearer fashion.

> You got nicely sidetracked by the debate as to whether track cyclists were ‘pros’ or not – but you then stated that “...most Olympic cycling track athletes, at least in the leading countries, track cycling is their job.” So they’re not professional, but cycling is their job?! Or was your point about whether they ride on the road too? If so WTF has that got to do with anything. Don’t accuse people of pedantry when they’re simply trying to clarify some meaning out of your unintelligible jibber jabber.

The Pro rider thing was in response to something someone else said about most track cyclists being pro peleton/road cyclists so as such having access to all of the high end tech that brings. I don't agree/believe that statement (for the majority of Olympic track cyclists, though there are exceptions) and agree with you that it has brought the thread on something of a side track which doesn't really have anything to do with my original point.

> If you can’t see the contradiction in real terms in this statement, “I've nothing against riders have bikes sized precisely to themselves to maximise their efficiency. I'm just against the bikes themselves giving them advantage.”... then we are all giving up. You’re against bikes bestowing an advantage, but you don’t mind the bike being designed to maximise the efficiency of the rider, but that means the bike ‘itself’ is giving an advantage by virtue of the riding position.... Can you see our problem?

See my earlier point about aerodynamic optimisation v ergonomic optimisation. It may be possible to have later which assists the cyclist (and could ultimately be built in a shed by an obree type) whilst to get the former would require access to lots of high technology, state of the art engineering and have vast costs.

> Now I'm kind of looking forward to seeing your reply, not because I'll learn anything, but because it's starting to get quite amusing. I guess you didn't start this thread to become a tawdry side show in a circus of malcontent though, so perhaps it's time to quit.

<Round of applause> No but then again I did say earlier up it's probably akin to getting turkeys to vote for christmas. Trying to get agreement on a British forum to further regulate a sport such that it takes advantage away from Britain's probable, currently, most successful sport is unlikely.
Dr.S at work - on 03 Aug 2012
In reply to Frank4short:
> Trying to get agreement on a British forum to further regulate a sport >such that it takes advantage away from Britain's probable, currently, >most successful sport is unlikely.

Why not try it on a forum from a crap cycling nation (France maybe?) and see how you get on?

Personally I do not think there would be a big problem with the suggestion of using tubing of a given caliber to design bikes - bit of a non-issue for me, after all its the rider not the bike.
(I will now cut up my passport)
The New NickB - on 03 Aug 2012
In reply to Frank4short:

Careful that chip will give you a bad back.

I suspect the team pursuit boys would have won by a big margin whatever bikes you had given them.
Chris the Tall - on 03 Aug 2012
In reply to Frank4short:
Woo hoooo!
Darren Jackson - on 03 Aug 2012
In reply to Frank4short:

Wot more gold?... It's raining medals mate.
Arms Cliff - on 03 Aug 2012
In reply to Frank4short: I guess we probably only won those medals because of our cheaty bikes, I feel completely cheated of a fair competition...
Henry Iddon - on 03 Aug 2012
In reply to Frank4short:

The bike used for the ultimate UCI hour record has been standardised:

Here we see Chris Boardman in 2000 setting the then record of 49.441km -

http://twitpic.com/af2hhx

Prior to that Obree had adapted within the then regulations eventually resulting in Chris Boardmans 'superman' Ultimate Hour Record - 56.375 km in in 1996

http://twitpic.com/af2l06

Darren Jackson - on 05 Aug 2012
In reply to Frank4short:

<cough>... And yet more gold.

Yes. I'm enjoying it.
Henry Iddon - on 06 Aug 2012
In reply to Darren Jackson:

Graham did a behind closed doors test in 2004 test on the 'standard' UCI set up - he was thinking about a comeback but things didn't work out.

http://twitpic.com/af3htf
subalpine - on 06 Aug 2012
woolsack - on 06 Aug 2012
In reply to subalpine:
> (In reply to Darren Jackson) magic wheels;)
> http://www.guardian.co.uk/sport/2012/aug/05/london-2012-wheels-gb-cycling

Silly Frenchies, thought everyone knew about riding on the ley lines
subalpine - on 06 Aug 2012
In reply to woolsack: funny how you can't buy their wheels though..
Liam M - on 06 Aug 2012
In reply to subalpine:
> (In reply to woolsack) funny how you can't buy their wheels though..

Except through any Mavic stockist!
subalpine - on 06 Aug 2012
In reply to Liam M: isn't that the argument- that they are not using the Mavic wheels?
ClimberEd - on 06 Aug 2012
In reply to subalpine:
> (In reply to Liam M) isn't that the argument- that they are not using the Mavic wheels?

As such the argument is wrong. (if you can buy their wheels through Mavic, which is the suggestion)
Darren Jackson - on 06 Aug 2012
In reply to subalpine:

I read it as the French think that they be using 'magic' wheels, but Mavic and British Cycling insist otherwise; and that is the only reason why the wheels aren't available for sale through the UK Sports Institute website.

... one item does not appear: carbon-fibre disc wheels, indicating that contrary to French doubts, Great Britain could well be using standard kit.

It's obviously preposterous to make the accusation of the use of 'magic' kit to seek to explain the British Cycling gold rush. The real answer obviously lies in eugenics and test tube babies ;-)
Sir Chasm - on 06 Aug 2012
In reply to ClimberEd: If you read the link you'll see that the suggestion is that we're not using mavic wheels.
ClimberEd - on 06 Aug 2012
In reply to Sir Chasm:

I read the link over breakfast, the French suggestion is wrong - due to the fact that you can buy the British wheels straight from Mavic.

As opposed to the rest of their kit which you can due to the rules but have to specially order through BC.
subalpine - on 06 Aug 2012
In reply to ClimberEd: one item does not appear: carbon-fibre disc wheels, indicating that contrary to French doubts, Great Britain could well be using standard kit

my argument is that this statement appears contrary to the marginal gains ethic of team UK
Darren Jackson - on 06 Aug 2012
In reply to ClimberEd:
>
> I read the link over breakfast, the French suggestion is wrong - due to the fact that you can buy the British wheels straight from Mavic.
>
> As opposed to the rest of their kit which you can due to the rules but have to specially order through BC.

Yes, that's my take on it also.
MJH - on 06 Aug 2012
In reply to subalpine:
> my argument is that this statement appears contrary to the marginal gains ethic of team UK

Or just that they couldn't improve on the Mavic wheels?
The New NickB - on 06 Aug 2012
In reply to subalpine:

The ethic also includes staying on the right side of the UCI rules, my understanding is that having alternate wheels that haven't been inspected by the UCI would be breaking the rules.
subalpine - on 06 Aug 2012
In reply to MJH:
> Or just that they couldn't improve on the Mavic wheels?

possible, but unlikely? if there's a loophole then exploit it. isn't that the gb way?
elsewhere on 06 Aug 2012
In reply to MJH:
> Or just that they couldn't improve on the Mavic wheels?

and a big manufacturer like Mavic probably has a bigger R&D budget
subalpine - on 06 Aug 2012
In reply to Darren Jackson: are you suggesting the frenchies are paranoid because they think team gb keep hiding their wheels? maybe we're just keeping them at the right temp like motor racing..?
elsewhere on 06 Aug 2012
In reply to subalpine:
> (In reply to Darren Jackson) are you suggesting the frenchies are paranoid because they think team gb keep hiding their wheels? maybe we're just keeping them at the right temp like motor racing..?

Good point, although they might just be hiding the wheels to give the other competitors something additional to worry about.
subalpine - on 06 Aug 2012
In reply to elsewhere:
>
> and a big manufacturer like Mavic probably has a bigger R&D budget

McLaren even bigger?

Darren Jackson - on 06 Aug 2012
In reply to subalpine:
>
> are you suggesting the frenchies are paranoid because they think team gb keep hiding their wheels? maybe we're just keeping them at the right temp like motor racing..?

I didn't suggest that; the article stated that the French have concerns re. Team GB hiding the wheels.

As you say, they may simply be keeping the tyres at an optimum temperature; a recent piece on the TV mentioned that Team GB now make use of 'hot pants' to keep the cyclists leg muscles warm prior to racing, for example... Then again, they may just keep hiding the wheels because they know that it annoys the French.
subalpine - on 06 Aug 2012
In reply to Darren Jackson: only joking owlboy.
yeah there must be a lot of psychology going on behind the scenes- which breeds paranoia..

anyway, wishing Laura well in the omnium shortly..
The New NickB - on 06 Aug 2012
In reply to Darren Jackson:

Annoying the French may give Team GB a psychological edge, it is also fun.
subalpine - on 06 Aug 2012
In reply to The New NickB: it's more about psychiatry according to Peters..
MJH - on 06 Aug 2012
In reply to subalpine:
> (In reply to MJH)
> [...]
>
> possible, but unlikely? if there's a loophole then exploit it. isn't that the gb way?

Why unlikely? Just because you have money to spend on R&D doesn't mean a) you don't have to prioritise the areas where you can make most gain or b) that someone hasn't already found a very good solution.

It isn't inconceivable that one of the largest wheel manufacturers already has something as good as Team GB could develop. That may change.

You sound as paranoid as the French...with about as much evidence for your suspicions as the French and their belief in "magic wheels". Much easier to try and rationalise by inventing a magic solution than just accept that the British are better...
Arms Cliff - on 06 Aug 2012
In reply to subalpine:

> McLaren even bigger?

Mavic are owned by Amer Sports, biggest sports equipment manufacturer in the world. Reckon they'd have a rather large R&D budget!

Darren Jackson - on 06 Aug 2012
In reply to subalpine:
>
> yeah there must be a lot of psychology going on behind the scenes- which breeds paranoia..

If it was down to me, then there would be a lot of psychowlogy going on behind the scenes. I'd have eagle owls strategically located in the rafters of the velodrome and poised to swoop on rival cyclists.

... That would certainly breed some paranoia. And a fair bit of outright fear and soiled skin suits.
subalpine - on 06 Aug 2012
In reply to Arms Cliff: hmm, ok, but hardly F1 league?
subalpine - on 06 Aug 2012
In reply to Darren Jackson:
> I'd have eagle owls strategically located in the rafters of the velodrome and poised to swoop on rival cyclists.
>
it's called the secret squirrel club!
elsewhere on 06 Aug 2012
In reply to subalpine:
Surely Mclaren spend their money on F1, cycling is just a sideline.
AlisonSmiles - on 06 Aug 2012
In reply to The New NickB: Same wheels since Athens according to Chris Boardman.
subalpine - on 06 Aug 2012
In reply to Darren Jackson: Trott takes the flying lap in the omnium- wow!
Darren Jackson - on 06 Aug 2012
In reply to subalpine:
>
> it's called the secret squirrel club!

My raptor-based approach would be called the Overt Owl Club. Everybody would know that the threat is there; there'd be no secret about it.

... Who amongst us can honestly put their hand on their heart and say that they wouldn't relish the sight of Baugé coming off the last bend pursued by a massive, angry owl?

Arms Cliff - on 06 Aug 2012
In reply to subalpine: I might argue that there are slightly fewer moving parts ;)

The wheels in question

http://www.mavic.com/en/product/wheels/track/wheels
mkean - on 06 Aug 2012
In reply to Darren Jackson:
While I'm not questioning the validity of Eagle Owls as a deterrent for lycra botherers wouldn't a diurnal predator be more suitable in a floodlit velodrome? http://tinyurl.com/ctegwuc A Harpy Eagle would be ideally suited to dealing with cyclists. They normally prey on Sloths and Monkeys which are similar in build to a lot of cyclist although I expect Chris Hoy would probably pose quite a challenge!
Darren Jackson - on 06 Aug 2012
In reply to mkean:

>
> While I'm not questioning the validity of Eagle Owls as a deterrent for lycra botherers wouldn't a diurnal predator be more suitable in a floodlit velodrome? ...

You're right, of course; I obviously hadn't thought it through properly. Probably explains why my email to Team GB went unanswered?
subalpine - on 06 Aug 2012
In reply to Darren Jackson: an owl on a rope would be good replacement for the derny in the keiren- should make them angry..
Darren Jackson - on 06 Aug 2012
In reply to subalpine:

C.. c.. c.. c.. C'mon Kenny!
subalpine - on 06 Aug 2012
In reply to Darren Jackson: another twiglet wins...
AlisonSmiles - on 06 Aug 2012
In reply to Darren Jackson: If it had come to this office it would have got a response. Trust me, I have so little day to day work to do that I'm even responding to questions regarding when men go to pee in the road race.
Darren Jackson - on 06 Aug 2012
In reply to AlisonSmiles:

I'll re-draft it and send it on again... Regarding the point raised earlier on in the thread, I assume that the cyclists would be happy enough to compete with the lights out? Night goggles built in to their visors?

Thank you for making my dreams come true. If I don't see this suggestion implemented during Rio 2016, then I will hold you personally responsible.
jon_nz - on 06 Aug 2012
In reply to Frank4short: I wouldn't compare the sailing to support your argument, or perhaps you could, but not in the way you think. The boats look the same but any sailor could tell you they are not.

there are two types of boats in the olympics (old and slow and older and slower), one designs built to designs with Tolerances (eg 470,finn, star etc), and boats mass produced in different factories around the world (laser, 49er). differences in manufacture mean that there is subtle variation in the stiffness of the later and "tweaking" within the tolerances of the former. Some are faster than others. A result of the restricted hull construction of mass produced boats (apart from being really, really old tech)they go soft really quickly if raced or sailed a lot. you therefore have to buy a new hull regularly to stay competitive, and a second hand one is no use to a serious club sailor as you won't win with one. the laser is a good example. 2 years tops.One designs are not quite as bad for hulls (finns are pretty good as they are really heavy and have an un-stayed rig that does not stress the hull) but 470s go soft very quickly because of the rig tension. This rig tension is used to stretch the sails to shape for given conditions and keep the forestay as straight as possible upwind as you can only measure one set of sails per regatta (and in some classes a certain number per season). this is an interesting contrast as this so called one design class with old technology is more expensive to campaign than a 12 with carbon hulls, 3-4 carbon carbon/fibreglass rigs and and a box rule (or at least it was 5-10 odd years ago). reason? with the right rig and sails in the boat for the weather you don't wreck them, and the tiny rig is hardly used, the full battens support the sail, etc. A result of the restrictions is that a great deal of effort (and money) goes into making sure you measure the fastest standard sail. mmmm
A further quirk of the restrictions is that the boats favour very narrow ranges of body shape and weight. If you are not 6ft and 12 stone you can forget ever bing competitive at the laser. Ben Ainlsie is even more amazing as he is not really big enough for the finn but is too big for the laser, which is why he changed boat. 470 and 49er are similar. very specific weight range, particularly for men (ie small, with a slightly larger preferably lanky crew). In contrast if you can alter the rig significantly to suit your weight then a much greater weight range is possible. (er, 12 anybody? but also restricted classes where you can change the rig but not the hull, beyond the usual tolerance fiddling)

but the biggest expense, and one that seems designed specifically to hinder NZ,other poor countries and to an extent Australia is the traveling to Europe to regattas to get your world ranking up to qualify. If you want to even it out then more ranking events must be outside the northern hemisphere and especially outside europe. this is also not much different for cycling.

rant over.
not like bikes at all except that having all gear the same does not make it equal for all competitors, it merely ensures they are all the same size and shape.

jon_nz - on 07 Aug 2012
In reply to jon_nz: and would you really expect laura trott to have a bike the same as the beast? I think not. use the same strength tube and her bike will be much stiffer. stiffen the larger bike by using a bigger round section and it is less aero. make it ovoid to the same width and the shape has better drag shape....
Start to see the problem? it is not unlike boats really.
colina - on 07 Aug 2012
In reply to Frank4short:

put them all on penny farthings that shd sort the men from the boys.
by the way wot was going on the other day ,
i was watching a race in the veledrome and all riders were riding really slow, being led by some old bloke on a montrocity of a bike.? bizarre
Horse on 07 Aug 2012
In reply to colina:

See

http://www.guardian.co.uk/sport/2012/aug/03/what-is-derny-cycling-keirin

It will on the track again this evening for the Men's Keirin.
Neil Williams - on 07 Aug 2012
In reply to Liam M:

The same bike for everyone would give some an advantage and some a disadvantage, as with any bike, even a used one out of the newspaper to ride to the shops, its effectiveness is massively different depending on how well the rider fits it.

Yet changing e.g. the wheelbase to accommodate a taller person (or just putting the saddle higher!) may give an advantage or disadvantage depending on the event. I was reading the Olympics programme from earlier in the week and one particular fairly short road cyclist (I forget who) actually quoted something like that - along the lines of "because I'm small anyway I don't need to get into such a contorted position as taller people in order to be aerodynamic".

So it is not an easy one to do, really, short of a standard sized cyclist!

Neil
MJH - on 07 Aug 2012
In reply to jon_nz: What I found interesting (knowing b*gger all about life of boats) is that Ben Ainslie said he was still sailing the same boat as 2004...
Chris the Tall - on 07 Aug 2012
In reply to Frank4short:
Sounds like the French are really struggling to cope with GB's dominance

http://www.guardian.co.uk/sport/2012/aug/06/london-2012-olympics-cycling-jason-kenny?newsfeed=true

Or as one of their riders put it

"La sodomie continue."
Frank4short - on 07 Aug 2012
In reply to The New NickB:

> Careful that chip will give you a bad back.
>
> I suspect the team pursuit boys would have won by a big margin whatever bikes you had given them.

I actually think team GB's success is great, a real triumph, though occasionally a little boring in events they're totally dominant at. I just think it would be better if the likes of the french as mentioned elsewhere didn't have anything to complain about.

Re: the research things about the wheels and size of companies. R&D costs a lot of money so for Mavic/Amer sports spending feck loads on bettering their designs may not necessarily pay considering they all ready have commercial industry dominance of track wheels. Whereas team GB are committed to pumping vast sums into maximising their performance. So would it be beyond the pale they'd commission McClaren to see whether or not it would be possible to improve of the current designs. For instance enve (a small US CF manufacturer) seem to think they've bettered the current industry leaders in CF rim design just changing the way they look at aerodynamics. http://www.bikeradar.com/gear/article/enve-wheels-can-aero-get-any-quicker-30331/

Mind in saying that I reckon it is probably just sour grapes on the Frenchies part.
Frank4short - on 07 Aug 2012
In reply to jon_nz: For Olympic qualifying I don't disagree with a word you're saying. However in the Olympics all boats are issued to competitors, and I believe swapped between individual competitors between races.
MJH - on 07 Aug 2012
In reply to Frank4short:
> (In reply to jon_nz) For Olympic qualifying I don't disagree with a word you're saying. However in the Olympics all boats are issued to competitors, and I believe swapped between individual competitors between races.

No they aren't! Ben Ainslie said he is still sailing the same boat as in 2004...
MJH - on 07 Aug 2012
In reply to Frank4short: Well if you are big enough you can spend money on R&D (though not all new ideas have to mean big spending) to stay ahead of the game.

Complaining about bikes isn't that far from complaining about magic wheels....
Jim C - on 07 Aug 2012
In reply to nufkin:
> (In reply to Frank4short)
>
> This should apply to athletics as well, should it not? Everyone should wear the same shoes/clothes. Or, even better, none at all.

What about the horses then ?

If you are a Oil Rich state Prince you can buy several the very best bred horses costing millions, hire the very best trainers to look after it and bring it to a peak performance for the big events (and learn to ride a wee bit) and then win a Gold Medal at the Olympics.

Is that a fair competition with most other riders, it is clearly within the rules, One head, 4 legs and a tail, but is it within the spirit of the fair playing field ?
(I know we have our own royals here too, and I suppose the same applies to us)

Horse on 07 Aug 2012
In reply to MJH:

Did you hear Boardman on the subject of magic wheels last night? "The most important thing about a wheel is that it is round."
Aly - on 07 Aug 2012
In reply to MJH: I think it depends on the class. In the one-design classes such as the Laser/Radial, for large events the sailors are given a new boat/rigging/sail for the event. From memory I think competitors are allowed to bring their own tiller extension, toestrap, control lines and compass (within the rules) but nothing else. I don't know if they're swapped between races or not though (in things like team racing you swap boats between races and you may in match racing too). Thinking about it I think it's unlikely as the boats are all stickered up with bow markings to ease identification on the start line.

In other classes competitors will bring their own boats as these will have been set up differently (You're allowed to use different cleats, fittings, rigging etc. as well as adjusting the positions of certain things to your liking).

I think the OPs point about one-design sailing does stand true, as everybody has to work with the same equipment and in the olympic games there will be very little, if any advantage gained by somebody racing a superior boat. What really matters though is whether or not you are lucky enough to be of the correct body dimensions/height to be competitive in your chosen class, as well benefiting from the huge investment into your countries sailing programme/training/coaches. The advantage team GB have in the velodrome due to their bikes is probably miniscule compared to the advantage they have because of the investment, training and research that they are doing behind the scenes, and this would not be altered by making the bikes 'one design'.

MJH - on 07 Aug 2012
In reply to Horse: Haha - no I missed him. I can't help feeling that all this talk of magic wheels/marginal gains plays right into the hands of GB in terms of psyching out the opposition. I think it was Boardman who said you can tell someone like Jason Kenny he has the best equipment that he can only use once every 4 years and he will believe it, whether it is true or not is irrelevant.

I'd like to hear or read what Bauge actually asked Kenny in the press conference last night as well.

All very reminescent of England completely psyching out France in rugby in years gone by...
Horse on 07 Aug 2012
In reply to MJH:

Some of what was said is included here:

http://www.telegraph.co.uk/sport/olympics/cycling/9457019/Jason-Kenny-wins-gold-in-mens-sprint-as-ri...

I think he was just psyched out and a bit punch drunk.

There was also some interesting insight from Cav on the mindset of the British cycling. Jake the F1 twit asked him some dumb question about how you prepare for what the opposition might do. Cav replied nothing, we worry about ourselves on the basis if we have a plan and execute it correctly we will win no matter what they do. It all sounded like Team Sky in the Le Tour all over again.

jon_nz - on 07 Aug 2012
In reply to MJH: I explained that. the finn is a very old class originally made before modern glues etc. Its minimum weight is very heavy so even in the rather weak solid fibreglass construction it is plenty strong enough (over built even) further it is a cat rig with no stays so you are not winding rig tension on to the hull which is what particularly stuffs up other boats (particularly 470s). It also has a low aspect ration pivoting metal centre plate, so again low stress. As I also stated because of the vagaries of measuring and manufacturing tolerances some hulls are just faster than others or "feel" better. so if you get a good one you wrap it in cotton wool.
gildor - on 10 Aug 2012
In reply to Frank4short: More bike stuff . . . I thought this was a climbing forum?
Monk - on 10 Aug 2012
In reply to gildor:
> (In reply to Frank4short) More bike stuff . . . I thought this was a climbing forum?

Perhaps you ought to turn off the 'Biking Forum' if you don't like it. It happens that a lot of climbers also ride bikes.
deanstonmassif on 10 Aug 2012
In reply to Frank4short:

Are you Australian?

deanstonmassif on 10 Aug 2012
In reply to Frank4short:

Actually I do tend to agree with you.

Perhaps do it like the modern pentathletes with their horses? The horses are randomly allocated from a pool, meaning that the rider's skills are tested (although sometimes with hilarious consequences).

Now, there's an idea. Horses in the velodrome .......
Piers Harley - on 10 Aug 2012
> Should all be the same. Probably go back to something like a very basic road frame with no additional aero features. As should helmets and any additional aero gear. After all the Olympics is supposed to be about who's the best athlete/s in any given event not who's got the best designers behind them. This is one of the reasons why they got rid of those fancy suits for the swimming and I believe the UCI should do the same for the cyclists.

The Bike isn't much good without a rider. Its the rider that makes the difference, not so much the bike. Boardman did win the 1992 Olympic Individual Pursuit on the Lotus but won more Pursuit events and the Hour Record on a Corima framed machine.

subalpine - on 10 Aug 2012
In reply to Horse:
>
> Did you hear Boardman on the subject of magic wheels last night? "The most important thing about a wheel is that it is round."

all joking aside, have Team GB actually confirmed that they are using the standard Mavic wheels?

a lakeland climber on 10 Aug 2012
In reply to subalpine:

Yes. They are the same model as used at Beijing, in some cases the same actual wheels. The wheels are available for sale on pretty well all major bike supplier websites.

I think it was a bit of psychology: let's wind the French up by hiding the wheels in a cover, he, he, he!

ALC
subalpine - on 10 Aug 2012
In reply to a lakeland climber:
>
> Yes. They are the same model as used at Beijing

says who?
Sir Chasm - on 10 Aug 2012
In reply to subalpine: Who would you believe?
subalpine - on 10 Aug 2012
In reply to Sir Chasm: if i were team GB and knew wheels wouldn't be checked too much (if at all?), i'd develop them to the max. i'm sure a lot of marginal gains can be extracted from such a loophole in 4 years (F1 input etc)
a lakeland climber on 10 Aug 2012
In reply to subalpine:

Dave Brailsford said it when interviewed the other night.

LAC
Sir Chasm - on 10 Aug 2012
In reply to subalpine: And it wouldn't matter who told you that hadn't happened because you're a conspiracy nut.
subalpine - on 10 Aug 2012
In reply to a lakeland climber: what did he say exactly? 'same model' doesn't say much..
MJH - on 10 Aug 2012
In reply to subalpine:
> (In reply to a lakeland climber) what did he say exactly? 'same model' doesn't say much..

Don't be ridiculous - they are supplied by a French company and some of them had been used in Athens or Beijing...but if you prefer to believe in magic wheels your loss.
subalpine - on 10 Aug 2012
In reply to MJH: by 'a french company', do you mean Mavic?
a lakeland climber on 10 Aug 2012
In reply to subalpine:

Are you being deliberately thick? Same model means "same model".

ALC
subalpine - on 10 Aug 2012
In reply to a lakeland climber: so same model means exactly the same?
MJH - on 10 Aug 2012
In reply to subalpine: Yes - I am surprised you even have to ask. There is no mystery...
subalpine - on 10 Aug 2012
In reply to MJH: no mystery? there's plenty of mystery, and blind faith in team GB doesn't help..
Darren Jackson - on 10 Aug 2012
In reply to subalpine:

Colonel Mustard in the parlour with the candlestick.
MJH - on 10 Aug 2012
In reply to subalpine:
> (In reply to MJH) no mystery? there's plenty of mystery, and blind faith in team GB doesn't help..

Really - so what is the mystery? A bitter French person has claimed magic wheels (amongst other things) and Britain have said it is nonsense. UCI officials inspect bikes for legality and won't let people ride with bikes (or parts) that don't comply with the rules.

subalpine - on 10 Aug 2012
In reply to MJH: the mystery is why team GB wouldn't exploit a loophole in the regulations?
Sir Chasm - on 10 Aug 2012
In reply to subalpine: What's the loophole?
ads.ukclimbing.com
subalpine - on 10 Aug 2012
In reply to Sir Chasm: the wheels- keep up old boy..
Liam M - on 10 Aug 2012
In reply to subalpine:
> (In reply to Sir Chasm) the wheels- keep up old boy..

I think you'll have more explicitly detail what you think the loophole is. I'm aware of none relating to the wheels.
MJH - on 10 Aug 2012
In reply to subalpine: What is the loophole that you keep banging on about? The wheels like all other kit have to comply with the rules. What is different about the wheels compared to the frame or any other part?
ajsteele - on 10 Aug 2012
In reply to subalpine:
> (In reply to MJH) the mystery is why team GB wouldn't exploit a loophole in the regulations?

Why wouldn't everyone exploit the loophole then if there is indeed a loophole?

It's very easy to dismiss the achievements of the athletes by saying things like they are using magic tyres, or that certain swimmers must be on performance enhancers its not so easy to admit you have been beaten by someone much better than you when you have trained for years.

subalpine - on 10 Aug 2012
In reply to ajsteele: why don't the french use wind tunnels? a sense of fair play?
MJH - on 10 Aug 2012
In reply to subalpine:
> (In reply to ajsteele) why don't the french use wind tunnels? a sense of fair play?

Have they ever said that? People working on the best aero positions isn't exactly new...

Where does fairplay come into it? What is being done that is unfair?

I'm still waiting to hear what this loophole is?
ajsteele - on 10 Aug 2012
In reply to subalpine:

If it is legal within the rules of a sport you can be almost certain everyone with the ability to do it will do it so unless they have no wind tunnels or other way of developing better aerodynamics in France then the French will also have been doing it.
subalpine - on 10 Aug 2012
In reply to MJH:
> What is being done that is unfair?
>
magic wheels?

steve456 on 10 Aug 2012
In reply to MJH:
> I'm still waiting to hear what this loophole is?

Use of magic, witchcraft and string theory to make the wheels warp space and time to shorten how far you actually ride (they're 710cc clockwise but only 690cc anticlockwise).

Rumour is that witchcraft and space-time manipulation will both be explicitly outlawed for next olympics. They're actually made by 'MAGIC', a Cern breakout company, but they put some electrical tape on the G to make them look like normal French wheels.
elsewhere on 10 Aug 2012
In reply to steve456:
and the Team GB cycling helmets are made of tin foil (aluminium honeycomb) for the obvious reasons...
subalpine - on 10 Aug 2012
In reply to MJH:
>
> I'm still waiting to hear what this loophole is?

well let's start with the official wheel regs... anyone?

this sounds like a loophole:

British Cycling's collaboration with UK Sport to produce a range of equipment for the team is widely known. To meet UCI rules, the kit has to be commercially available and the British Cycling kit can be bought through the UK Sports Institute website.

However, while the range of equipment listed on the website includes the distinctive red helmets used by Team GB in the velodrome, and the special aerodynamic wide forks that feature on their track bikes, one item does not appear: carbon-fibre disc wheels

<link above>

ajsteele - on 10 Aug 2012
In reply to subalpine:

They arent provided through the website because they are for sale through the Mavic website, see here... http://www.mavic.com/en/product/wheels/track/wheels
Monk - on 10 Aug 2012
In reply to subalpine:
> (In reply to MJH)
> [...]
>
> well let's start with the official wheel regs... anyone?
>
> this sounds like a loophole:
>
> British Cycling's collaboration with UK Sport to produce a range of equipment for the team is widely known. To meet UCI rules, the kit has to be commercially available and the British Cycling kit can be bought through the UK Sports Institute website.
>
> However, while the range of equipment listed on the website includes the distinctive red helmets used by Team GB in the velodrome, and the special aerodynamic wide forks that feature on their track bikes, one item does not appear: carbon-fibre disc wheels
> <link above>

It's not a loophole. They are Mavic wheels. Available from several high-end bike retailers.

I realise that I have just completely wasted 23 seconds of my life writing this reply.
subalpine - on 10 Aug 2012
In reply to Monk: what if it turned out that they were not Mavic wheels? or is that inconceivable?
Arms Cliff - on 10 Aug 2012
In reply to subalpine: If they weren't Mavic wheels and were special secret squirrel ultra round team GB wind tunnel finite element analysis warlock enhanced four spokes and discs, then they'd have to be on sale like everything else to comply with UCI rules. Not a loophole.
ajsteele - on 10 Aug 2012
In reply to subalpine:

I would say its pretty much inconceivable for the simple reason that they get inspected by UCI so I assume they would have a look and say something along the lines of "these aren't Mavic wheels"
subalpine - on 10 Aug 2012
In reply to Arms Cliff: are you saying that under UCI rules all our cycling medals could be stripped if we were found to be using wheels that were not commercially available?
Monk - on 10 Aug 2012
In reply to subalpine:
> (In reply to Arms Cliff) are you saying that under UCI rules all our cycling medals could be stripped if we were found to be using wheels that were not commercially available?

I believe that is the case.
subalpine - on 10 Aug 2012
In reply to ajsteele:
> (In reply to subalpine)
>
> I would say its pretty much inconceivable for the simple reason that they get inspected by UCI so I assume they would have a look and say something along the lines of "these aren't Mavic wheels"

exactly- as long as they just have a 'look'

woolsack - on 10 Aug 2012
In reply to subalpine:
> (In reply to Monk) what if it turned out that they were not Mavic wheels? or is that inconceivable?

It is not beyond the realms of possibility that they simply have Mavic stickers on to add a bit of bling and they did in fact get them off Ebay from China BUT they'd still need to be passed by scrutineers and be legal

I guess why they are not on the UK Sport website is the same reason that the tubs, chains, front and rear sprockets, headsets and pedals aren't on there: they're sourced elsewhere
Arms Cliff - on 10 Aug 2012
RBK - on 10 Aug 2012
In reply to subalpine: Boardman mentioned that not only are they Mavic wheels but they're of exactly the same design as have been used since 2004.
subalpine - on 10 Aug 2012
In reply to woolsack: lol- surprised at your scepticism- i thought you liked a good conspiracy theory.
remember, some are true- let's wait and see, eh?
woolsack - on 10 Aug 2012
In reply to subalpine: I'm on the straight and narrow since the water boarding!
subalpine - on 10 Aug 2012
In reply to RBK:
> (In reply to subalpine) Boardman mentioned that not only are they Mavic wheels but they're of exactly the same design as have been used since 2004.

ie round?

MJH - on 10 Aug 2012
In reply to subalpine: You are behaving even more irrationally than normal.

The reason they aren't on the UK Sport website is for the simple reason that you can buy them from Mavic suppliers, just like Shimano/Campag/SRAM gear sets won't be on there either.

They are scrutinised by the UCI at every race. I don't know what the sanction is for retrospectively finding out the rules on being commercially available aren't met, but if it happens in advance you just aren't allowed to use the offending part.

I suppose it is theoretically possible that BC have come up with something new and just stuck a Mavic label on, but if that works for GB why wouldn't it for any other team (which also do research on tech and aero positioning)? Though it is pretty trivial to see if the wheels look like Mavic wheels - if they do then even if they are slightly different then the benefit is going to be marginal at best.
subalpine - on 10 Aug 2012
In reply to MJH: ok, time to give this debate a rest- no evidence either way. maybe if team GB could give the french one of their wheels they actually used, it would put and end to all the doubt;)
ajsteele - on 10 Aug 2012
In reply to subalpine:

I have just realised this...good trolling!
MJH - on 10 Aug 2012
In reply to subalpine: Why? If the French have genuine concerns then they should complain to the UCI and let them sort it.

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