Cancellara’s Bike Doping: Let’s be smart here

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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. Team Saxo Bank vehemently denies monkeying with bikes.


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5 thoughts on “Cancellara’s Bike Doping: Let’s be smart here”

  1. Thank you… Thank you!!! Sanity has returned to the ranks of velopublishing. Like this motor wouldn’t be heard by the riders as FC passes? I can hear another rider’s squeaky chain when on a group ride and the rider is no where near me. These guys are so tuned to the sounds of the peloton and their rigs that there is no way that that sound of something so mechanized would go unnoticed. Just no way.

  2. I’d expect other riders and even spectators would hear an electric motor. They’re usually not that quiet.

  3. Hi, maybe it’s hoax, maybe not. 100W is not nothing! Try to light the 100W bulb using your muscles only. Now reverse it – it’s how much energy you’ll be getting. 100 watts is roughly 0.135 HP it’s not nothing.

  4. Ah, and comment to JonM and gazer. Have you ever heard electric motor? 100W slow RPM one? Obviously you can hear high power motors which produce kilowatts of mechanical energy or ones that run at ridiculous speeds (thousands rpms). 30-90 rpm is very very slow and should not produce anything that goes over the chain sound. Especially when it’s hidden in the frame. Remeber there’s a bearing near by which isn’t silent also…

    I’m not trying to prove that he is definately using engine but that you’re arguments are simply wrong or not backed up by facts also.

  5. The motor on his bike wasn’t in the seat post, it was in the front down tube. Lot’s more room – same mechanics. plenty of room for a very powerful motor and batteries. New motors and Poly lithium batteries – very very little weight to do the job.

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