• Bex

    The backstage passes at the vuelta have been superb. I’ve found it to be as enjoyable as the racing, getting a quick wrap up on results but more a wrap on how the team has planned for and handled the days events. Dan’s work just keeps getting better and better.

    • Michele

      OGE do it very well.

      I’m not the biggest fan of the team, but it doesn’t stop me watching all their backstage passes. Little bit surprised no other team has been as successful with their multi-media output. Probably highlights how good a job Dan does do.

      • Superpilot

        I think there is just that humorous element, like seeing the DS’s going off their rockers at stage wins etc, that the other teams just don’t do, they are all serious and elegant and classical music, more Rapha than Kevin Bloody Wilson, if you get what I mean? The BSP’s are upbeat, fun and they ask non-standard questions, take the piss out of each other and just generally make it interesting. That’s my take. For the record, OGE isn’t my fav either, but these have gotten a soft spot for them now, and I always hope to see them win a stage so I can see the outright emotion in the BSP that night. Like the stage wins for Chaves, and DS is just championing him on over the radio, cutting back and forth, it is really compelling watching to me, better than just seeing the riders ride. Keep it up!

        • Michele

          yeah .. good point about the humour. [Dan has come a long way since he filmed detour de france :) ].

          And I feel exactly the same way towards OGE as you do; clever marketing. It’s so easy watching riders on the box, stamping out a robotic tempo. You can easily forget they’re human too: complete with insecurities, weaknesses, and of course, senses of humour.

          • Dave

            It’s an excellent way of getting good bang/buck ratio, given that Orica-YourNameHere has one of the smallest budgets in the WorldTour and until recently you could be forgiven for thinking they aren’t even there at many of the big televised races.

            Now their on-road performance is improving, the next thing they need to do is break up with Orica. This is holding back their budget, because they cannot secure a secondary naming rights sponsor so long as it would require that company to have their name publicly associated with a dirty name like Orica.

            The ideal blueprint would be to replace Orica as the primary naming rights sponsor ASAP, but keep running the Greenedge placeholder for at least half a season before introducing a secondary sponsor – to retain the brand recognition and avoid the kind of confusion which led to Jules last week getting confused between which of LottoNL-Jumbo and Giant-Alpecin was the former Rabobank team.


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  • velocite

    What a cool guy is Adam Hamsen. Inspiring involvement.

  • Winky

    Who is the lumberjack in the OGE kit?

  • Dave

    Is the 6.8kg weight limit really the biggest issue facing cycling and most worthy target of a high-level commission? Shouldn’t they wait for the three year (and counting) pregnancy of the WorldTour reforms to come to completion first, or even for the current technical trial of disc brakes to be completed?

    I’m in favour of the 6.8kg rule. Yes, it’s an arbitrary line – but that’s how it should be because all sports have arbitrary rules to set a level playing field. Why is a cricket pitch 22 yards long? Why is a basketball ring 3 metres off the ground? Why is a swimming pool 50 metres long? These are all rules which are far more arbitrary than this one, which is quite effective at keeping costs down in the lower ranks of the sport.

    Things you don’t see in other sports:
    Serena Williams demanding tennis courts should be made smaller because she can’t get around the court as fast as many other players.
    Kurt Tippett asking the footy goals to be widened because he can’t kick straight.
    Shane Watson complaining that the LBW rule should be abolished to give him a chance.
    The Socceroos asking for the World Cup to be contested under 3-a-side rules because that’s how many world-class players they have.
    Everyone else asking for the 100 metres to be contested over 60 metres because Usain Bolt has a slow start and a high top speed.

    • jules

      you may be overlooking that the WT is a showcase for bike manufacturers’ products. as they get lighter and lighter, the WT and 6.8kg limit makes it less Formula 1 and more Nascar. and no one wants a bunch of beer swilling rednecks turning up to bike races, getting drunk and assaulting riders. wait..

      • Dave

        And that’s why Wang Wang and Funi should be in charge of the UCI. If your core business is pandering then you may as well be run by actual pandas!

        • jules

          this is how I think about rules: if the rule is restricting something, then it should be justified by the need for that restriction. in other words, the onus is on the rule-maker to justify why the rule should be made, or kept.

          what purpose does the 6.8kg rule serve? CT wrote an article on it, and my assessment can be summarised as – it’s unclear and any original justification is increasingly less relevant with technological progression.

          • Dave

            Regardless of the original intention, the purpose it serves these days is to be a line around the court. It’s a pretty damn good one at that.

            The report should need to be no longer than two sentences.

            • jules

              why do you need a line? it’s not tennis. it’s immediately clear why tennis courts have boundaries. it’s much less clear why this line (weight limit) is needed in cycling.

              • Dave

                Cycling is an equipment sport. The equipment rules are the lines on the metaphorical court.

                The UCI needs to stop following and start leading. There’s a guy of “real action” who just became available a couple of days ago and might be able to lend a hand.

                • Michele

                  But where do we draw the line in the sand when it comes to the evolution of equipment?

                  22 speed? Or do we revert back to something else? 10 speed?

                  At the end of the day … if bike manufacturers are sponsoring teams, then I think they should be allow to control some of the narrative with regards to innovation and evolution in the pro ranks.

                  The guy I work in the office with is a hard nut golf and tennis fan. A tragic in more ways than one if you ask me :)

                  Now, I know what brand of bike every rider uses; because I know what team they ride for.

                  I just ask my mate what racquet the top 10 male tennis players use, and what clubs the top 10 male golfers use.

                  He got 7/10 for tennis and 6/10 for the clubs. He even admitted he guessed a couple of those correct answers. And he’s a hardcore fan – I would say he likes his golf and tennis as much as I do my cycling.

                  Of course, the above is nothing more than a straw poll with one person, but the link between cyclist and their major piece of equipment is probably more tangible than most other sports.

              • AC

                Agree with Dave on this. Surely you need to define a weight limit to have any hope of achieving a level playing field. Some bikes will need to add ballast to reach that limit regardless of where it is set. If this wasn’t the case then it would be impossible for bikes ridden by larger riders to achieve the same weights as those ridden by smaller riders.

                As it stands now most aero road bikes used in the peleton don’t quite meet the limit and TT bikes generally don’t even get close… Tom Dumoulin’s ‘almost-Vuelta-winning’ TT bike weighed 9 kg. That really only makes the rule relevant to climbing bikes and many of the ones used by larger riders struggle to get down to the limit as well. This obviously won’t get any easier once disc brakes become standard throughout the peleton.

                The way I see it is that the biggest beneficiaries from a reduced limit will be manufacturers (who coincidently make up the WFSGI) rather than athletes or fans. A lowered limit will allow manufacturers to more clearly define the climbing and aero bike categories in order to convince us all that we really do need to add that extra bike to the quiver.

                • jules

                  interesting points AC. I wasn’t aware that teams were struggling to get road bikes down to the weight limit. are there any links for that? I’d be interested to read.

                  TT bikes are different – yes, they’re heavier. there’s no obvious reason why the weight limit needs to be the same as for road bikes.

                  I don’t really buy the argument about how manufacturers would use a reduced limit to sell more bikes. actually I do, but I don’t see it as a problem. no one’s forcing customers to buy more bikes. it’s a free country. well most of them..

                  • AC

                    There’s not a lot published about it because it’s not the sort of thing sponsors want to shout about. If they were really struggling to fit enough lead into crank axles to get up to the limit then I’m sure we’d hear about it.

                    It is mostly the teams without superlight frame offerings that struggle, i.e. Colnago, Pinarello and Specialized rather than Trek, Cannondale, Merida, Scott and Canyon. It’s not that it can’t be done, rather that it isn’t easy and requires non-sponsored and often exotic components. Many weight weenie parts are fine, but some compromise the performance or reliability of bikes. Pro teams value reliability above all else so you don’t see them using the ultralight skewers, stems, rims, seatposts, brakes, steerer expanders, pedals, etc that might get specced on the the lightest Scultura 9000 LTD and Emonda SLR10 superbikes.

                    Like you I’m more than happy for manufacturers to try to sell me another bike. I was just trying to identify the real motivation for the shift as I don’t see a compelling argument for it.

                    To answer your question, I don’t have a single source for you, but here are a few:
                    – Van Garderen’s Teammachine: 7.59 kg (mid-section wheels):
                    – Porte’s Dogma: 7.16 kg (small frame, climbing wheels):
                    – Dumoulin’s TCR: 7.4 kg (mid-section wheels):

                    There are a lot more videos in GCN’s pro bike playlist though weights aren’t always reported.

    • Michele

      You make some good points Dave, but I see cycling as slightly different to those sports you’ve mentioned.

      In some instances you’re comparing equipment (the bike) with the playing conditions (size if tennis courts).

      Most sports have allowed evolution to take place with their equipment: I’m sure Serena would hit her serves so fast, do consistently sweet if she was using a wooden ‘undersized’ racquet. How will Adam Scott go using a non broomstick putter?

      I agree that the UCI have bigger issues to deal with.

      Maybe they’re like me – put the harder projects at the bottom of the in-tray. Or maybe this is really being pushed by bike manufacturers, who are dangling some $$$$ in front of the UCI?

      • Dave

        “I’m sure Serena wouldn’t hit her serves so fast, do consistently sweet, if she was using a wooden ‘undersized’ racquet.”

        Of course not. That would take women’s tennis back to the days when it was about skill rather than errors.

    • Peter

      I’m in favour of the 6.8kg rule. It should allow other technological advancements to be made e.g. real time cameras/telemetry etc. to be attached to the bike.

      • Michele

        The cameras and telemetry stuff would weigh next to nothing in comparison to how far under the existing weight rules some manufacturers can get their bikes; and do so safely.

        I don’t think the bike manufacturers – nor the teams – would complain if they got told these forms of technology must be on their bikes.

        Each year RIDE magazine bring out their Road Bikes Tested issue – at the TDU they weigh each of the WT’s teams bikes in their review. Each year a bike has fallen under the 6.8 kg weight rule [I assume they use ballast whilst racing]. Some bikes are nearly 2 kgs heavier than the lightest.

        So it’s not like the bikes are all of an level playing field now.

    • Sean Doyle

      I am a big fan of the 6.8kg limit. There are a lot of manufacturers already cutting corners to get the weight of frames and components down. The further corners cut are going to produce some scarily fragile parts in common circulation. If they lowered the limit don’t be surprised if every component on your bike has to be certified before it’s allowed on sanctioned racing. Making bikes lighter does nothing to improve a bike really. If everybody has a minimum weight limit they are working to then there should be no real call to make it lighter. It’s lazy engineering and marketing.

      • John_Irvine

        Agreed. I’m not so worried about top-tier manufacturers: they’ll make high-priced, safe and light bikes. It’s the off-brand competitors, who will try to match that weight with inferior frame-making methods, and you will see some dangerous bikes on the road.

        Personally I’d like to see the weight limit raised. Bring back the possibility of steel bikes in the peloton. I think the best sports equipment analogy is baseball, where the Major Leagues still swing wooden bats, even though aluminum bats are stronger and lighter. Keeps things in touch with the sport’s history and tradition. Change for chage’s sake (or for marketing) is a disservice to that tradition.

        • Rodrigo Diaz

          I love baseball. Do you remember the issues going from ash to maple bats? The standards used to certify them were inadequate, resulting in many incidences of javelins from shattered bats flying all over the place. So they needed to review that.

          You can race a steel bike if so you want. Condor did that until very recently. RS team does it still for CX.

          Weight is a suboptimal proxy for what you really need to measure on a bike: strength, resistance to shattering, thermal stability for some parts (e.g. brakes/tubulars/rims), etc.

      • Derek Maher

        Maybe have a minimum weight limit for riders ?. Regarding ultra light bike frames they may prove a problem for the big riders of the peloton and get a bit dodgy in full on sprints or bad road surfaces.Although I am all for making things easier for myself climbing hills.

      • Rodrigo Diaz

        So your 6.8 kg rule is a proxy but what you should be measuring: strength, resistance.

        I can make a 25 kg bike from plumbing pipe. It doesn’t make it safe. And I don’t think adding 400 g of ballast to the bottom bracket of a bike makes it safer.

        As for certifying bikes – newsflash: it’s already reauired. It’s called a UCI sticker that every bike in sanctioned competition needs. And being expanded to wheels as well (not just for crash testing where nothing would resemble a spear) So now instead of measuring whether the bike needs 2 or 3 paperweights, you actually measure the parameters you need to determine a bike performs safely and acceptably. So now it just becomes an issue of ensuring the panel chooses the right standards. Like for your helmet.

        There’s nothing lazier than saying “6.8 kg, the bike is good”.

        • Sean Doyle

          It’s a good point and yes the 6.8kg rule is a ‘lazy’ one but without testing every product used on a bike it’s a difficult position. I am a part time frame builder so I am aware of all the issues here. The reason the UCI brought in the frame and wheel certification was because some manufacturers were pushing the limits, so instead of the blanket 6.8 there was some substance for it. I honestly don’t believe we need lighter bikes. I don’t believe the pro’s need lighter bikes but if they suddenly dropped the weight to say 5.0kg (it will only drop a few hundred grams at most if they do drop it) it is inevitable that each component will need certs. There are only a handful of manufacturers who are able to make sub 700 grams frames with any sort of reliability. Even those frames are ‘fragile’ race day only equipment anyway. Can you imagine the same sort of trimming done to handle bars and stems? It would be carnage.
          This is a big push from the industry and I understand they need to sell stuff to make money and new stuff always sells. Weight and aero is easy to sell as they are things that are easy for the punters to understand. It’s very difficult to sell feel and ride and handling because everyone is different. How can you make adds for bikes that are built for the average body dimensions. “Oh we have this size but we’d have to put a different length stem on it and you’ll need a straight seat post instead of the offset one we designed for so it means your weight balance is off and the front center doesn’t really work for you but hey……..its 273 grams lighter than last year and will save you 4 seconds in a 40km TT so long as you wear this helmet and jersey and have the wind at your back.” Lazy.

          • Rodrigo Diaz

            I’m not a framebuilder, but participated in the design of some OEM frames by our LBS – as well as the “sticker” process with the UCI. We grandfathered as much as we could. And now we’re trying to determine if we can afford the certification for our OEM wheels.

            I hope this doesn’t come out as condescendent, but pretty much everything you describe already has happened in some way. Small selection of bike sizes that need different stems or seatposts? That’s Giant when they stated the TCR line for team ONCE. It was comical. And they didn’t have any worse fate than most contemporary frames (although very odd to look at). Pantani rode in a bike lighter than 6.8 kg – a year before the limit was enacted. Drillium components (ask Merckx). Paper-thin Al frame walls that dinged when you looked at them wrong.

            We don’t “need” most of anything bike related. Old TdF riders were going up the cols in a fixed gear. With leather-pad brakes and toe straps. So cap it at 8 speed cassettes and 42 tooth chainrings minimum?

            The rules already specify “no alterations” to equipment. Which leads to the silly things where you can’t file down the dropouts, and that your helmet can’t have a tack-on shell for rain nor you can put grip tape in your saddle to avoid shifting. So don’t worry, the “trimming” of equipment is long past in the time of drillium. On the other hand, properly trimming the extra extension length on an aerobar does nothing to detract from a bike’s safety. Why would you mandate to keep it? You create a separate perverse incentive – to have “custom” pro bikes done perfectly to their specification. Very cool, but you can’t compete as a second-tier rider against that. (I lodged a complaint against the now gone UCI technical director because GB and Team Sky were using stuff not really available to the public, like the Kask helmets they had exclusively for a year +)

            Your safety concerns are legitimate. So test bikes (either complete, or by component) based on those relevant parameters. Weight is not one – to wit (again) – putting ballast on a Pinarello (Giant, Cervelo, etc.) does nothing to improve this. Set reasonable safety parameters and tests for equipment. Heck, if you put these with enough margin maybe every bike needs to be 8 kg. Otherwise, it’s a bad proxy.

            • Sean Doyle

              I agree with what you have said but in lieu of testing every component which in reality is prohibitively expensive what else would you put in place. Manufacturers are still pushing for the lighter bikes as we have seen in the last couple of product seasons bikes and hell, my current lugged steel road bike is at 7.1kg with out any attempt to weight save and it certainly is no where near being a fragile bike, so the reality is that we should be able to have a lighter limit but it does come with a caution.

              My comment on the stock sizes was to satire the situation in the marketing departments. If the big bike companies wanted to really make in roads to the punters they would make more effort into having a way of better fitting more people without compromising on the riders position on a bike. That would eat into my market though so double edge sword there for me.

              Just to clarify I din’t mean trimming off extra length like cutting aero bars etc. I have no issue with that and as you said that sort of thing while probably has good intention and cover a lot of scenarios is just over regulating. I was referring to manufacturers paring down the wall thickness and carbon layers and using aluminium where they should be using steel etc.

              Maybe they need a Pro use only rule or something but then I am sure the guys tearing up the roads in at the elite level want their bikes failing beneath them with 100 guys lining up behind them.

              Good conversation. :-)

              • Rodrigo Diaz

                yeah, this is a good discussion :)

                I’m all for clear rules, and good rules. I’m an engineer by trade so I prefer to measure the critical variables as opposed to using surrogates. That’s why I definitely agree there should be tests for bikes, but not using one-thing-for-another.

                Some components we already need to check or are easy to understand as critical. Wheels are already being certified for failure (not strength yet, though). Frames could be easily considered as critical as well and tested for things such as resistance to typical potholes and road conditions, etc. Nothing is going to survive running straight into a wall at 60 km/h – I have seen a steel frame that had that “experience” -the forks were bent backwards 3-4 cm. No one should ride that.

                Derailleur failure? no big safety deal. Ask A. Schleck. Brakes yes, but even that runs into things like cables as opposed to calipers. Handlebars definitely yes. Water bottles and clips are trivial. And so on. Not every component is critical for safety.

                Take a look at the recalls issued by the CPSC for bicycle forks, handlebars, frames, etc. – by definition all these products all comply with the weight restriction. If you test them for performance instead you actually have a better idea of the failure modes and integrity.

                • Sean Doyle

                  Ahh, for sure we are only talking critical components that affect control of before and after a component has ‘failed’. So frame and forks, wheels, complete brake system, cranks, pedals, bars, stem, seat and seat post. Frame, fork and wheels are the obvious ones but anything that bears a riders weight that has a failure is going to shift the riders weight.

                  Also work in engineering so understand and definitely work to the proper procedures and protocol’and correct data. Ask anyone about my opinion on rock climbing anchors and what’s used in Australia today in sandstone and…..well…..I don’t want to get wound up…….

                  I thinks it’s a case of not everyone understanding the ramifications and the things that really need addressing. The technology has moved on a lot and new materials are being used. It’s a case of the over seeing body not keeping up but then then one of the mandates of the UCI is for the equipment to not determine the result. I’m all for innovation and development, god knows all the drawings and modelling I’ve done over the years of ideas, but unless there is a real improvement in the product them I’m not interested. Give me a product with backed up hard independent data and you’l have me sold.

              • AC

                I don’t want to steer the topic away from your conversation, but do you mind sharing details of your 7.1 kg lugged build? I ask b/c mine weighs a LOT more and, unlike you, I have made serious attempts to shed weight :(

                • Sean Doyle

                  Yeah no worries. It’s 550 effective TT Columbus Spirit lugged frame with SL fork blades I built. It has 7970 external. Syntace 26.0 aluminium bars and stem. Ultegra pedals. SLR Monolink saddle and PRC seatpost. Velocity wheels pretty sure they are just Aerohead rims. 28/24 on Velocity hubs. DA cassette. Bontrager plastic cages and had Veloflex Corsa 23mm on it when I weighed it. it was actually 7.16kg from memory. So nothing outrageous. The wheels are a nice weight and the seat/seat post is bloody light but I got them from a mate for cheap so no effort there really. I’m actually running a Fizik Aliante and an FSA seatpost and Bontrager 25mm training tires and it is still under 7.5kg. Best bike I have ever owned but them I am biased.

                  • AC

                    I think your bias is
                    justified, that’s an amazing achievement with a 55 cm frame! Like you said, nothing outrageous in there although the SLR monolink certainly helps. Must be all the chrome weighing mine down ;)

                    • Sean Doyle

                      What size frame and what is it? What tubing if you know. Depending on how much is chrome you can be adding up to 200-300 grams just in that.

                    • AC

                      Also a 55cm and I’m sure the chromed rear triangle and forks add up to
                      quite a bit. Heavier Columbus Genius O/S tubing as well so 2.6 kg for
                      frame+fork isn’t too bad. Total build is 8.7 kg with DA 7800 though with
                      7700 octalink crank/BB. Wheelset is ~100?150 g porkier than your
                      velocities and I’m running much heavier quill stem, saddle and alloy
                      seat post but remaining components would be similar.

                    • Sean Doyle

                      Ahh…. yeah it adds up quick. I never weighed the frame and fork by themselves after I built them but the frame would be pretty close to 1500-1550g with the fork around the 600g mark, it’s a 1″ steerer as well so you are giving up 500g straight away.
                      The frame I am building for a 6’5″ dude at 100kg weighs 2250g without paint and I’ve built a MAX fork for it. I am only weighing them now as customers are asking for roughs weights. Better to have an informed answer than telling bluntly that weight doesn’t matter.

                      This is my bike here with the SLR but not the Veloflex…….



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