• Richard Bruton

    Is this why Michael Rasmussen tends to note people who are climbing with 2 bidons? He usually says something along the lines of “throw it away, it’s an extra kilo”

    • Well the article does say that there are models available with it all inside the frame making the two bottle observation irrelevant, or how riders just chuck their bottles away.

  • Cameron Fraser

    Given the frequency that bottles are disposed of by the pros you would think that someone might eventually notice one that was permanently attached.

    • Mellow Jessica


    • Vincent Courcy

      Don’t red the article? It’s says the battery can be inside of the frame.

      • Efried

        the best case would be fresh bottles of energy, if you manage plugging them in during the race

  • Last night Contador’s bike was certainly without a motor.

  • Max

    “OK boys, we’ll do the tour with motors hidden in our bikes – they only check occasionally – we should be ok” said the manager of a pro tour team.

    “And if I’m wrong and we do get checked, you, the mechanics, me and the team owner loses everything”

    “But don’t worry, they don’t check every bike, every day. We’ll be fine.”

    “Who’s in?'”

    Ya think?

    • Stephen Taylor

      Sounds like the conversations that went on/ go on about doping with riders and teams but it still happens so don’t discount it…..

      • tim

        er.. not quite the same.

        Doping tests have been viewed as easy to avoid or pass – but you cant explain away a motor
        Impact of being caught doping is viewed as ‘unfortunate but not devastating” to team – however your team would be seen by UCI and public as being complicit using a motor – that’d be devastating.
        Use of drugs was seen by a portion of the peleton as ‘necessary evil’ – however your team would be seen by peleton as beyond contempt if using a motor

        You don’t need many tests. Caught once is all it would take. What sane person would risk it?

    • velocite

      On the button, I think Max. This is an impressive bit of industrial design, but this carry on about insufficient testing IMHO is a beat up. IMHO a small amount of well publicized testing will eliminate it, if in fact it has ever occurred – which is uncertain AFAIK.

    • Kara Thrace

      Well they keep letting Astana back in for another go so I can’t imagine the penalty being too stiff. The UCI being as strict and as ultimate as they are. :/

  • Jimmy Roohster

    I see the battery, but where is the motor? In the crankset, I presume?

  • Callum Dwyer

    Will be interesting to see how long it will take before motorised bikes to show up in club racing.

  • Mark

    I’d like to see someone actually riding it. Someone riding against someone better and comparing.

  • Neuron1

    Motors can be hidden in the rear wheel hub also. Just “get a flat” at the correct time and dispose of the wheel. Who has been checking the wheels? Nobody!

    Commisars pre race conference:
    Captain Louis Renault: “We are going to check the following bike frames today.”
    Commisar 2: ” What about the wheels ?”
    Captain Louis Renault: You idiot, it’s about making it look good.” Are you trying to make a mockery of the inspections?”

  • martin

    I have a lot of respect for Lemond but he’s losing it fast with all this motor guff. It just seems absurd to me that anyone would risk it given how many people would need to be involved to pull it off. Whilst I can’t condone it, wouldn’t it just be easier and less risky to take drugs?
    Also, given that they’re generally always checking the winners, who would use this? The domestiques?

    • choppy

      “how many people would need to be involved to pull it off”……………think US Postal, motorman, doctors, team coaches, team doctors, team riders…………this is a nonsense argument. It would be pretty easy to replace “motoman with “team mechanic”. I don’t see the difference.

      • martin

        Nonsense is a bit strong of a word I think in this case. We haven’t seen that kind of team wide shenanigans for quite some time (although Astana was looking pretty suspicious for a while there). I think now more than ever it would just be too hard to contain a secret like that given the sheer size of pro teams these days, especially when you consider all the service course staff. On the other side of the coin it’s relatively easy for a rider to cheat with PEDs as all they need is a willing coach or doctor to help them.

    • Callum Dwyer

      I guess you’re right in some respect. Doping is easier and easier to come back from too.

      • martin

        That’s a very good point actually. Plenty of riders (and coaches, DS’s, etc) that have been pinged for doping at the top level right now that still get loads of respect from fans and commentators. I don’t think a rider caught with a motor would ever live it down.

    • Whippet

      I lot of things we think are just not so. It doesn’t seem absurd when you consider that humans will tend to try just about anything to get an advantage over others. Lemond most likely has better insight into the pro peloton than you or I. And like he stated in the article, there is very little risk because the UCI is not really testing. It might be too risky for Froome to use, but what about someone dreaming of a stage win, or a domestique looking to renew a contract, or in smaller races where there is no testing at all?

      • Ringo

        “A domestique looking to renew a contract”? They’d need the implicit co-operation of the team, who would therefore know that they’re cheating. I’m guessing you can see where my argument is going from here…

      • martin

        Some fair points there, it’s interesting that domestiques aren’t being tested considering how critical they are to the GC riders.
        I should have clarified in that first comment that I find it an absurd idea at the highest level of the world tour. I agree with you though that in the smaller unsanctioned races it’s a possibility. We’ve already seen a lot of drug use in the lower rungs of the sport that largely goes unpunished. I still think the time and money would be better spent in testing for drugs however.

        • Whippet

          (replying to both Ringo & martin) I don’t think a GC contender on a top team could use a motor without some cooperation from the team, but they exist and are not illegal and not expensive compared to a doping regime with a highly-qualified and discreet doctor. My point in the comment was that Lemond is not ‘losing it’. If there is no testing, some will ‘motor dope’.

    • pedr09

      I disagree.

    • VT3

      I remember The Secret Pro once saying that there’s probably a great deal of appeal to getting an advantage without health risks for those inclined to cheat.

    • Scott

      Oh wow, isn’t hindsight a bitch

      • martin

        I relation to the discussion back then I was actually referring to use in the pro peloton but I’ve gotta say I’m pretty amazed by the turn of events. What a debacle!

    • gingertart

      So, 6 months later in February 2016 and the first case of a bike with a motor is found in a UCI race – in the 2016 world cycle-cross U23 championships for women. I assume your respect for Lemond has just gone up again? We ignored him when he said LA was doped, we shouldn’t ignore him again!!

      • martin

        I absolutely respect Lemond, he’s actually the catalyst in me getting into cycling in the first place back in the 80’s. As per my comment above though I was actually referring mainly to use in the pro peloton. I’ve gotta say though I’d rather see the money that will no doubt be poured into checking for motors used for anti-doping which I think is a much bigger issue.

    • Dave Nixon

      Do you think Lemond is so stupid now?

      Looks like someone else is losing it fast with debating all this motor guff. (Hint….it isn’t Lemond).

      • martin

        I never had any to begin with so no great loss I guess…

  • Ringo

    Is it just me, or is this ‘motorised doping at pro-level’ thing getting a bit silly? It seems as though after being made to feel like fools for not having picked up the clues that all those guys were on drugs for all those years, we’ve now gone to the other extreme and are willing to give credence to the most crackpot of conspiracy theories. Even with the pretty favourable odds of only 1.3 bike checks per day, I can’t see that the risk would be worth it. I mean, for anyone to even consider riding a motorised bike in a pro race, it would require the implicit co-operation of the team. Could you imagine the consequences for everyone involved if they were ever caught out? Not only the rider, but the mechanics, the team management, the bike manufacturers- they’re all implicitly involved. They’d not only be seen as cheats, but an absolute laughing stock. They’d be seen in the same light as the guys who cheated by sneaking on the train in the early days of the Tour, or the guys that tried to bluff drug tests with fake dicks stuffed down their pants. At least with traditional doping, the blame can usually be left with a rogue rider, a third-party doctor or a dodgy steak; and that’s if they’re even stupid or blatant enough to get caught. Could you ever imagine Michael Rasmussen returning as a commentator or Matt White running a team if they were the guys that were caught out as the cheat who was stupid enough to get caught racing a bike with an electric motor?

    • martin

      spot on.

    • Shane Stokes

      We’ve spoken to several WorldTour mechanics who believe these products have already been used in the past, giving us various reasons for this belief. That’s why regular tests are so important, and that’s the purpose of Greg speaking out on this. He was right about Armstrong and is worth listening to.

      • Colin Rourke

        Ryder Hesjedel for sure a few years back you would of got away with it easily

        • ChuckD59

          I’m glad someone mentioned this. In the famous Hesjedal crash video (which should have raised all manner of red flags) it’s clear that the “motor” was not in the bottom bracket but likely a radial device inside the rear hub. It was the wheel that mysteriously continued spinning, not the cranks. I haven’t heard any mention of this possibility, nor a check for it. That’s the only fault I have with Mr. Lemond on the matter.

          • Shane Stokes

            Chuck, please listen to the audio. He mentions wheels there. There’s a lot more in the audio than in the text.

            • ChuckD59

              Indeed, thanks Shane, my bad. Still, with the evidence we have in video it’s unfortunate they’re not making that connection and mostly talking about cranksets.

              • Winky

                The Hesjedal video simply shows the effect of the angular momentum of a wheel that is still spinning quickly after the crash. No motors needed. You can try it with your own bike. Lift the back wheel and spin it up to speed in a high gear, lay your bike on its side with the wheel still spinning. Then lift the handlebars so the wheel touches the ground. The bike will pivot around the pedal touching the ground. There is simply no room in a regular hub for a motor of any significance.

                • ChuckD59

                  First it’s rotational momentum ala flywheels, and in the case of high performance bicycle wheels we’re talking about “anti-flywheels” (my term). These are hyper designed to be as light as possible in this specific aspect, just the opposite of a flywheel. I don’t believe there’s enough rotational momentum, especially at the speed he went down to propel a bicycle around the way it did without the wheel coming to an abrupt stop.

                  Not buying it. And since this has, and continues to be hashed out in other places on the net I won’t continue the discussion here.

                  • winkybiker

                    Rotational or angular, whatever. For the puposes of this argument, lets just agree the rear wheel wants to keep spinning immediatley after the crash. The wheel is light, yes, but not zero (or negative) mass, and the mass is a fair distance from the centre of rotation. Can the momentum of the spinning wheel be converted into rotation of a bike? Of course. (What’s an “anti-flywheel? What is “hyper design”?)

                    Arguments about vaccination get hashed out indefintely on the net too, but it doesn’t mean that anti-vaxxer kooks are right.

                    • scott

                      Boom, busts Chucks idea.

    • Whippet

      Again, it might not be worth the risk for Contador, Quintana or Froome. But humans tend to take any advantage we think we might get away with. You could have made your exact arguments against team-wide chemical and blood doping a few years ago. Particularly the well-funded and popular teams got away with it, only getting found out long after the acts.

    • Jason

      You were saying??? Hidden Motor Found In Cyclist’s Race Bike: http://news.sky.com/story/1633189/hidden-motor-found-in-cyclists-race-bike

  • Sandra Ni Hodnae

    It’s sad to see some ex professional riders dragging down the sport, publicity to sell their bikes? Come on!!! Talk is cheap, it’s easy to be a critic , what happened to our ambassadors for the sport? No teams are going to risk and loose all their sponsors and bicycle sponsors don’t need this negative publicity.

    • pedr09

      Sad? Talk is cheap? He’s not just talking, he’s showing you how easy it is and how effective it is to have a motorised bike. He’s not the first to demonstrate this of course, but Lemond has credibility in a sport where it can be hard to find and he’s never afraid to speak out (see Armstrong saga) ie. he doesn’t give a toss what you might think of him or his statements. What do you mean “No teams are going to risk and ‘loose’ (sic) all their sponsors…”. Teams have been doing that for decades with drugs. Whether one brings more shame than the other is here not there, the sponsors would be gone in a flash.

  • Sean Doyle

    Given the state of humanity on this planet I will not be surprised if it has been used or continues to be used in racing. People will try anything to win. If it is the case then pro cycling is fu…….screwed completely!!

  • Of course the high place finishers will have their bikes checked, the opportunity to cheat will be with the domestics doing the mid-race pulling.

  • Jim

    So LeMond stealth motor bikes are about to hit the market – that looks pretty much ready for production so what’s the RRP ?

  • Vincent Courcy

    UCI should regularized bike change. Teams should not can change a bike so easilly on race.

  • Derek Maher

    I want one.

  • campirecord

    There will be bike scans in the futur and this be very simple to check. I believe all bikes get a wheel and crankset check. A simple portable tissue scanner will make this very simple so this article is really just hype imo.

  • Puma

    Can’t they put a seal on the bikes? Random bar codes, etc. All the bikes for the stage are coded by UCI. Everyday a different one, different color. Make it hard.

    I don’t think Nibali would use it in a breakaway. But what about a tired domestique, teo weeks into the tour, he has muscle fatigue, can’t climb, any injury. Just take a day “off” in the middle of the peloton or just pulling a bit at an easy part. All he needs is 30-40W in tough places. Nobody will check his bike.

    I so whish this is just conspirancy. But I’d be more satisfied if UCI took this seriously.

  • Mr.iki hoover

    Well many years ago while watching the tour France I saw the cheater from Texas who won. He was going up a steep hill and suddenly flew by his compition. At the end of the race he grabbed his bike threw it into the mobile home and jumped in closed the door. While watching replays I noticed a large rear hub on his bike, unlike all other hubs of riders. I thought what if he had an electric motor in that hub that would give him the energy needed to defeat the compiling when both are totally exhausted. Putting the two incidences together I knew how he defeated the other racer that day. I reported this to the French racing authorities but never heard a response. They too were probably being paid by the American team and never checked the bike of lance whatever hic last name is, the doper.!

  • Mr.iki hoover

    Yes now my brain is working, lance Armstrong the seven time winner and loser. I still ride my bike and when I was in the younger days1956-57-58…
    I raced with Olympic stars, the Trovoni’s brother and sister in Detroit. I had a Rochet that I bought in Paris in 1956 while on leave from the U.S. Army.
    I still have it. Never saw a large rear hub till that race of the Tour.

  • Wouldn’t be worth all the hassle…30 mins of riding pleasure.

  • Iain Clark

    I have no doubt this has been used for years, by sprinters, climbers and every other form of cyclist, if it is so unknown till the last few years. Its interesting that Cav is suddenly winning again and Kittel is not at his best in this year’s TDF also looking forward to seeing how many riders decide to change bikes at the beginning of a climb if its nobody then we can surely just by common sense put 2 and 2 together . Of course this is pure speculation.

  • justifieddoubter

    I find hard to believe many riders would risk a battery operated motor, even if the thermal imaging scans are pretty spotty, but wonder about gear-assisted cranks like with a flywheel/friction motor. I’m not an engineer. From what I understand, they wouldn’t show up suspiciously on thermal imaging


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