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so is Lance's TT bike really so special?(20 posts)

so is Lance's TT bike really so special?ET
Jul 9, 2002 12:53 PM
He's in the best shape of his life, he's a great TT'er and wanted to win it. But Jalabert was only 2 seconds back, Rumsas 3 (over a 7-kilometer, or 4.34-mile, individual time trial). Maybe it's *their* bikes that ought to be given a closer look.
re: so is Lance's TT bike really so special?brider
Jul 9, 2002 1:19 PM
Actually, Lance did not want to win it, because he didn't want to spend the first week defending the yellow jersey. I guess this was just his idea of "staying in contention." And granted, none of the bikes is really so special that it alone could win. But I'm sure you'd pee your pants to ride any of them.
re: so is Lance's TT bike really so special?skyfallen
Jul 9, 2002 1:31 PM
I totally disagree. If Lance had not wanted to win it, it would have simply required him to let up in the finaly 100 meters. Lance knew exactly how much time he needed, and maxed out his HR winning the stage.

Having the yellow jersey does NOT mean you are required to defend the yellow jersey. Obviously, USPS has not worked hard to defend the jersey, they've worked hard to not make mistakes. The Tour de France cannot be won in the first week, but it can be lost (see Moreau). USPS won't start defending the jersey until the tour reaches the mountains.

Additionally, it's not the bike. The bike is great and all, but Lance is simply the best (Tour de France) rider of his era.
Thats not truePODIUMBOUNDdotCA
Jul 9, 2002 1:37 PM
In Lance's pre race interview he said he gives 100% every tt and would in this prologue too. So I think your greatly misinformed.

Nick Corcoran
re: so is Lance's TT bike really so special?mackgoo
Jul 9, 2002 4:35 PM
Lance in a short interview said he gave it his all. 197 bpm. He doesn't get much higher than that in his old age.
The rider makes the bikePODIUMBOUNDdotCA
Jul 9, 2002 1:35 PM
From my experience racing I know aero wheels make a friggin huge difference. My event is a sprint event... so 200 m in under 12 seconds and aero wheels can shave off 2 tenths of that.

Now take a tt in the tour where they average over 50 km/h add in aero bars and aero wheels and multiple 200 by 35 to get 7 km and you can save at least 30 seconds.

Does this mean aero setups will make people compete with the pros? Heck no... but it will shave time off a timed event which at higher levels can mean either winning or losing. Ullrich was criticized a year or 2 ago for using a spokes front wheel instead of a three spoke that armstrong used and over the 40+ km time trial this COULD have made the difference. Whether it would have is anyones guess.

Its interesting that the riders use discontinued HED/Specialized 3 spokes. This is probably because they are probably fractionally more aerodynamic than all the other wheels on the market.

Nick Corcoran
Jul 9, 2002 1:44 PM
I think that at this level, unlike most club riders and weekend warriors, the bike DOES make a difference for the simple fact that these races are often decided by seconds and fractions of seconds. Why does Lance obsess about grams and aero positions? To gain advantage, however slight.

Having said this, the bikes being used at the TDF are probably of such a level that, assuming correct fit, lance could ride to a win on most of them. I doubt, however, that he would win on a Huffy.

Hed would know if their wheels were gone, no?TJeanloz
Jul 9, 2002 1:49 PM
Hed tri-spoke wheels, the H3 are not discontinued, but alive and well. And design tweaked a little bit every year since they bought the design from Specialized in 1998.
I didn't know that!PODIUMBOUNDdotCA
Jul 10, 2002 8:22 AM
I ride a corima 4 spoke and thought other than that the Mavic 5 spoke which is $4000 was the only other option out there. But I guess not!

Nick Corcoran
But doesn't every track rider NEED the Mavic IO? (nm)TJeanloz
Jul 10, 2002 8:39 AM
Of course!!!PODIUMBOUNDdotCA
Jul 10, 2002 9:01 AM
But I've only gotten to ride on one once. *pouting*

Then shortly after in a big pileup in the points race last year at Junior Worlds my teammate broke the wheel... along with his collarbone. Not good.

Nimble + HEDTonyR
Jul 10, 2002 12:08 PM
Both these companies make a Tri-spoke. The Nimble is lighter, and claims to be more aero, while the HED is supposed to be stiffer. Both are alot cheaper than the Mavic, thank God.

Jul 9, 2002 9:50 PM
I've actually heard grumblings recently that trispoke wheels aren't as great as everyone makes them out to be. Apparantly most of the aerodynamics testing is done without a fork, so that there is lots of space beside the spoke. When you add a fork into the equation, there is an eggbeater effect created by the thick spoke trying to part the air to the side while the blades of the fork don't want to let it get through. I don't have any hard numbers to back it up though, as most of the numbers I've seen are either old or on corporate sites, which are always suspect.

That in addition to the weight advantage provided by a deep carbon rim and a few bladed or ovalized spokes might be more attractive than a tri-spoke.
Jul 10, 2002 12:50 PM
I'd be curious about the data on this. HED does alot of windtunnel testing and makes disc, tri-spoke and deep-dish wheels with spokes. He's supposed to be a really honest guy, so I don't think that he'd sell/give USPS something that doesn't work.
I did see something on Lew's site regarding deep-dish spoke wheels vs. discs, but they only make one type of wheel, and it's a deep-dish spoke. It smacked of an agenda to me.
It would seem to me that TdF teams want the greatest possible advantage, and test to find it. If someone can point me in the direction of something that informs objectively I'll listen intently though.

Cobb TestingTJeanloz
Jul 10, 2002 1:16 PM
John Cobb did extensive wind tunnel testing on behalf of USPS, and found that the advantage of the H3 wheel was negated by some forks and maximized by others, obviously, USPS uses the latter.

H3 wheels are commonly accepted as the most aerodynamic (shy of a disc) in a headwind or quartering situation.
Cobb TestingTonyR
Jul 10, 2002 1:29 PM
Do you know which forks or can you point me towards the testing data?
I love digging into this stuff.

Jul 11, 2002 6:08 AM

And in the winter time, you can call John and listen to him wax poetic about these matters for hours- but he's usually too busy to do that this time of year.
Thank You Very MuchTonyR
Jul 11, 2002 11:53 AM
bikes are nice, but the position is key.jw25
Jul 10, 2002 5:31 AM
Sure, the TT bikes are nice and aero and all, but the biggest difference is the amount of time spent tweaking the position for maximum aerodynamics and power output. Lance put in hours in a windtunnel dialing his position in, and sadly, unless you can pony up a few hundred $ or more, you can't really do that. At least now you can measure power output fairly cheaply, and tweak that way, but the aerodynamics are left to "eyeballing". Kind of a shame, since the rider position can make a huge difference, but considering how few people like TT's (I'm one of the mutants who loves them), I can't say I'm surprised.
according to Chris Charmichael in Velonews, w/Ullrich out of thebill
Jul 10, 2002 7:11 AM
Tour, they de-emphasized TTing. They trained for the mountains.
I'm sure that Armstrong did max out -- he maxed out for just long enough to win. He did it because he could; intimidation was the goal, probably. I have to think that USPS toyed with the idea of trying to keep the yellow (who wouldn't?), but I also agree that they are out to win the race, not worry about where the yellow is on any given day, and that means no mistakes and that means making sure that they have enough by the time they get to the mountains.
As for the bike, the guy won the race on a bike he likes. What more do you want? I think that the point of bikes as tools are largely to stay out of the way of your body -- the right tool allows you to do what you want. Your body does it, not the bike.