Regarding whether Fabian Cancellara cheated by using a battery-propelled crank-assist mechanism in his bike, no one seems to have addressed an obvious question: Aren’t the bikes in pro races certified? They have to meet exacting specifications regarding structure and weight. Wouldn’t abnormalities turn up in inspection?
Tour de France coverage last year featured a segment on how time-trial bikes undergo rigorous inspections before the race.
We’re squarely in the camp that sniffs a hoax. Remember that at full output this unit only produces 100 watts, or a fraction of what a human produces at full sprint. This little unit might be able to power a freewheel raised off the ground, as the video shows. But it has far too little oomph to help a world-class cyclist, either over a long haul or in a short burst.
We doubt it can even propel forward a bike carrying a non-pedaling adult.
A nice publicity stunt for the perpetrators, but there are far better ways to spend our precious time than arguing this one.
See the original videos here.
BikeHugger too is skeptical.
Cancellara says, Who, me?
Cozy Beehive has engineering chops to provide a colorful discussion which, like laying all the economists in the world end to end, does not reach a conclusion.
Bicycle.net: Team Saxo Bank vehemently denies monkeying with bikes.