Seriously? Bike doping…

I sure hope not.  Check out  the video, let us know what you think in the comments. I’m curious to hear what the DC nation has to say about this.

I don’t really know what to make of it. My first instinct is to call bullshit.  But at this point,  nothing would surprise me.

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Here is a another video of Cancellara’s bike after Flanders.

- Cyclingnews.
- NBC Sports.

* Thanks to English Steve for the link.

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About dirty biker

I am a fan of singletrack, singlespeeds, single malt, and single women. Tempe, Arizona, USA

48 thoughts on “Seriously? Bike doping…

  1. I saw this a couple of places. It’s gotta be BS. I own and regularly ride a human-electric hybrid that is among the best ever made from a company in Boulder (http://www.optibike.com) and 1) It weighs 55 lb, 2) makes enough noise to be heard over the peloton, and 3) while it can deliver an absolutely astonishing 650 watts to the road for about 50 min on a full battery charge that’s actually not all that much total work (kilojoules) when you compare to what top pro riders are doing. Lastly to be really useful, it would have to have way more battery than can fit in a road bike frame. Look at the frames Optibike uses — most of that internal volume of the “downtube” part of that frame is packed tight with among the most advanced lithium cobalt batterie anywhere and I’d still loose badly to these riders. I call bullshit.

  2. I don’t buy it. At least not on that bike. There was no mention of exactly how this secret button would be wired to the motor without showing. Maybe if he was running Di2 and a Flight Deck, but with this setup the wires would show.

    Let’s also not forget that when he attacked at Roubaix, the rest of the group was under 30kph. It was not exactly the superhuman stomping that it looked like.

  3. Could the wiring be run inside the downtube, up through the headtube/steerer and on through the bars to the underside of the shifter? The battery could be integrated into the carbon downtube.

    I agree there isn’t going to be an hour of battery power at 650W, but a few minutes of boost at strategic points could make a difference physically and mentally for the rider and those in the chase, as long as the boost is greater than the weight added by the system?

    I would think it would be loud though, loud enough to be heard. I mean jeez, carbon seems to amplify so much as it is.

  4. my instinct at first is BS also … but the hand movements in the video are pretty odd for sure. the one that looks questionable is where he drops Boonen on the climb. Big Tom is going full gas and Cancellara just calmly turns the screws. quite a display of power given the fact that boonen is no weakling and is throwing his bike like crazy.

    Either Boonen bonked and Cancellara sensed it, Cancellara is an absolute beast and should be able to repeat these crushing blows on other climbs, or something fishy is going on.

    jeesh does radio shack sell these things? :)

  5. if you only got a few boosts with this you’d still have to haul around all the extra weight and potential friction for the rest of the race.

    Unless his jersey is photovoltaic and there are electrodes in his saddle to channel this energy into the frame/engine and he can run it throughout entire stages! Now that’d be awesome

  6. Probably bullshit, but in keeping with the conspiracy theory, what about the fact that during Flanders
    Cancellara went to the back to change his bike when everyone else was
    sprinting for position on the climb. Then he powers through what’s
    left of the field, and rides straight off the front! Apparently he
    changed his bike twice during Flanders, and I think he changed it in
    Roubaix as well, but I can’t remember. If he uses the thing to power away on a climb, then boosts his hour-long solo effort by a couple hundred watts, that would definitely do the trick… No, you or I couldn’t win with one of these bikes, but certainly someone like him could.

    As for the noise, this site has a video with sound:

    http://cozybeehive.blogspot.com/2010/05/did-cancellara-use-illegal-motor-power.html

    To me, it sounds like a gentle whirring, which is noticeable by itself, but if you’re on the koppenberg with thousands of screaming fans, no one is likely to hear.

  7. Here in Europe, this is a big stink. Many people believe that this is entirely possible, or even probable. Would hate to think that Cancellara would do such a thing. Check your videos again, however, to seem him pulling away from Boonen so effortlessly when they were hammering at 50 km/h. Pretty suspicious.

  8. Distraction either way.

    Perfect timing with DopeStrong and all his mess.
    No accidents with the Kontrolled Media.

  9. I just don’t see this as conclusive evidence, the mechanism seems to work fine in the stand but under load I doubt that you would get the same pedal turnover. The motor is very small and is not actually affixed to the freewheel, the motor is fixed to the crank and as such if the pedals stopped turning the motor would no longer be powering the bike. I cant think this is anything but a bizarre ploy to cast further doubt on the legitimacy of road cycling victories.

  10. Oh c’mon. Are we seriously debating what should be an Onion headline? It’s not like Cancellara hasn’t been shooting riders out the back door for years.

  11. who cares about cancellara. i just ordered one of those engines, renewed my cat 1 license after not riding for 3 years, and i am opening the woodshed for business. tell snake i will own him at state RR next year.

  12. …to hell w/ spartacus…

    …i need one of these to help me revive my former glory

    …oh, wait, never mind…i never did have any “former glory”

    …barry…the cocaine cowboy admitted he was cramping on that climb when cancellara rode away…but b.s. or not, cassini points out some interesting things on that video that seem “odd” within the context of the race…

    …wouldn’t that be a bitch if “fabian” w/ all those clean blood values was cheating w/ a fucking extra 100 watts when he needed ‘em ???…

    …in one sense; hard to believe cancellara would go that route…in another; look at all the other shit that’s been going down for years in pro cycling…

  13. It could happen. Not saying it did. Just that it could. An easy way for them to deal with the potential problem is the tear down rule from Moto. Tear the bottom bracked out and take off the rear wheel of random and podium racers.

  14. I’ve got a pretty good handle on what an 18 volt battery drill can do and what it weighs. No way in hell that dragging all that around for an entire stage would be worth whagtever help it could give a rider.

    bgw, are you a drinkin’ man? Couple old dogs like us, forget abougt it it.

  15. …joetheelectrician…actually very little what w/ heart health concerns…”a” good beer, “a” good glass a’ wine…very controlled w/ what i see as good reason…

    …i’d like to continue ridin’ bikes n’ carryin’ on for another bunch a’ years…too much enjoyment to piss it all away…

    …but, i “am” an ol’ dog & a sleazy one at that…i’m kind of a healthy, sleazy (& lazy) ol’ ridin’ dog these days…

  16. Hey, did anyone ever check Lance’s bikes?

    For that matter, have these guys ever been x-rayed for bionics?

  17. Hey, maybe we should check the video! Are these guys even for real, or is the whole race just CG for the masses to watch and be distracted over scandals while the Illuminati yank our strings?

  18. I call bullshit… but wonder why all of the competitors go for performance enhancement? My angle back in the racing days was to get as many of the other racers as I could, drunk as hell, the night before a race. Drinking in excess each evening became part of my training regime, thus handi-capping those that didn’t. Simpler times.

  19. I’m with BGW on this. Hard to believe it’s true but it wouldn’t surprise me if it was. So with enough money could you make one of these that didn’t make any noise? How much would that be worth?

    I’m not buying anything about this “debunking.” The guy spent time with a bike that the team said was the bike Fabu rode. How hard would that be to switch that out?

    I think it really brings up a bigger question. How corrupt is this sport when so many people are so quick to believe this based on video of a flick of the fingers, a good performance and a reporter saying that someone told him that it’s been used by some rider in some race? I personally don’t put much faith in anything that comes out of any riders mouth. And is it possible that the UCI is worse?

  20. I concur with what has been said several times already. The motor makes way too much noise to not be found out by one of the other boys in the peleton or the refs, for that matter. Plus, there really isn’t a standard sized seat tube any more. Not at the BB, anyway. I don’t think the roubaix has a round down tube at the BB junction. Does that mean that this motor company makes motors that fit specific frames?

  21. In today’s day and age, you can throw lots of cash for a gizmo like that and make it work. Even if it added a 100 watts of power it is still an advantage over the next guy.

    It is pretty obvious that there are two sports in professional cycling, cycling and cheating.

  22. After watching the video it seems he does blast away from Bonin’ , but aren’t those hand movements consistant with shifting ? And after being at the T.O.C. and watching the peleton go by there is a definate whiring sound anyway. If this could be done wouldn’t the cycling companies go after the retail market , with all the lazy fucks in this country mixing recreation and motors is golden . And Fabian didn’t have shit at the tour of California he bullshitted his way across the finsh line , pissed me off,I drove several hundred miles to see him stomp ass after his earlier perfomances and talked him up well to my friends who I drug along and he saunters in giggling,shit.

  23. WOW….. If he is cheating, are the chicks still going to support him and think he is hawt? It could be very real… Boonen was going all out and Fabian just sat in and hammered a climb in the saddle while most are standing up on and hammering the pedals… Don’t forget some of the best watches are swiss and damn they got a kewl knife…

  24. Oh come the fuck on…

    So, to be clear: we have a conspiracy between Saxo, Specialized, and Cancellera. Because really, excluding one unholy alliance we’re all aware of, it seems entirely credible that the a) a manufacturer, b) team leadership, and c) the rider would work together and risk so much for a couple of classics wins. Also, no one ever shifts their hands on the bars a million times in a race, let alone when they’re about to lay the hammer down. Wheres the video of all the other times Sparty might have ‘hit a button’ and nothing happened? Yeah, I didn’t see on that one minute distillation of a 6 hour race either.

    What the fuck. If the past few weeks (decades) have taught us anything, is that this sport has enough real doping issues without getting distracted with crap like this.

  25. I’m with Matty,
    All along i figured it was bionics for Lancee-poo. Dude was filleted open, how hard would it be to install a twitch-a-matic or two in there? Then someone else could be pushing the button.
    However if this little motor gizmo works,i’m a gettin’ one and am gonna kick ass and take names at the Thursday night Crit, and laugh all the way home. I’m still laughing at the video!

  26. Anyone else notice that when these rumors first popped up last week, they were being pushed heavily by Patrick Lefevere? I’m not saying he’s bitter about cutting Boonen a $2.5million check for getting bitch slapped in the classics, but I sure would be.

  27. Dont drink the koolaid . sparticus is way stronger than that motor. He would
    sheer the gearing and blow that thing to shreds . But for a joke I would like him to show up with a Shanghai bike for tour du suisse for shits and giggles !

  28. It’s Lance’s people whirring up a smoke cloud trying to draw attention away from themselves.

  29. That video is so funny. The only thing that makes it seem remotely believable is because Spartacus drops the hammer so hard it looks like he’s on a motor.

  30. The motor is a stretch, really implausible in my opinion. Now, if you want to talk about the proximity to a guy like Riis and an apparent propensity to, well, dope the living shit out of oneself, that would be another story. I can’t very well look at anything Riis has done, as a rider or team director, and not think, well, that’s what life on the needle will do.

    It’s a shame too. The man they call Spartacus is a hero, those rides this spring were great stuff. I hate seeing asterisks everywhere.

  31. legend! 10 years from now we’ll likely laugh and recall how spartacus simply rode the other hardmen off his wheel. we’ll likely laugh at how such a dominance caused folks to concoct wild theories about motors and batteries in his bike frame’s tubes… 3 weeks; 3 smackdowns, boonen is still trying to get that taste out of his mouth. legend!

  32. http://www.milodesigns.com/~chris/cancellara_bike_chg_2010_RVV.flv

    That is the link to a video of him getting his bike change. It is totally
    planned and he has rehearsed it.

    This does not make him guilty of cheating, but is weird for sure.

    All of the websites and conspiracies are built around the “gruber assist” as if
    a team with several millions of dollars cant hire some out of work engineer to
    re modify things to work exactly how they need to be.

  33. FC motorized cheating?… nah.

    BUT…. What is interesting is in the Specialized video showing off the bike that won TdFl. The bike CPU timer at 6+ hours. With a bike(and CPU) change how do you keep the same time on the bike computer? (fishy)

    Come on, Team GST lawyers, that’s admissable in the Court of Odd.

  34. @ steevo: I don’t think the bike changes are that weird. Broken bikes/wheels happen enough in these races that it would be stupid not to have changes very well rehearsed. Saxo raced on carbon Zipps all spring and have admitted to breaking quite a few rims. They’ve stuck with them because they still hold together long enough with cracks to arrange a switch.

    If there is a chance that this is happening, I think the UCI needs to start doing motorsports style teardown inspections of any bike touched by a top ten finisher, then ban the rider, team, and manufacturer if they find anything.

  35. I know whenever I ride my bike I absolutely never change hand positions. There’s no reason to after all, once you grip the handlebars you’re gripping the bars. So you have to think when a pro, someone who makes a living at riding a bike, changes his hands on the bars, something mighty suspicious is going on.

    Plus, those little battery powered motors are POWERFUL! I sat on my nephew’s radio-remote jeep the other day, being careful not to crush the antenna, and man did that thing rip around the parking lot. It practically threw me off on a couple of turns!

    The UCI really needs to get serious here, otherwise guys lining up at the local crits will be using these things! Investigate NOW!

  36. Eddy M. had an alien implant up his ass, that’s why he won so much. Now send me your money.

  37. The video is quite convincing.. The first time you see it. Then you realize it would be hard to pull off. The other riders would hear the electric motor whine as he took off. No way to hide an electric motor driving a ring and pinion with shitty lash. It would be noisey as hell.

  38. Paul Andrews, you’re full of shit. The whole point of a well-designed bar is to have a variety of hand positions.

  39. Is it possible that the mass production/promotion of such a device to the common rider could result in a more bike-using world that LJ dreams of?
    Such assist might influence the rider who wants to commute, but is on the fence due to distance, hills, age, etc.

  40. patrick #10 lays it out clean and simple. onion headline, dewdz.

    but the radio shack jab in #4 wins.

    i’m with stupid on this one.