Motor doping thread

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Jul 5, 2009
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sniper said:
John, great post. But please specify 'hidden motors'.
Varjas has shown how to fit an old model crank assist motor nicely into a 1998 Trek bike.
And we have the first crank assist bike on youtube from 1979.
The only problem there was the big visible battery pack.
But the battery problem for crank assist would have been solved by the late 80s/early 90s already. Not 2007.
I think ~1996 is when the appropriate batteries were generally available. Before that, the existing battery tech wouldn't have fit inside a frame. Around the same time, when my friends and I were working at Moli Energy, we would scrounge for rejected cells and stuff them into water bottles. Coupled with a DC-DC converter, they were perfect for running insanely bright halogen lights for night riding. Charging was dead simple too. Just connect to a constant voltage source (i.e., the variable power supplies in our lab) and limit the current to an amp. Let sit for a few hours and away you go.

John Swanson
 
May 26, 2010
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jmdirt said:
Benotti69 said:
jmdirt said:
Craigee said:
Hard to fathom people saying there can't be motor doping because the riders don't talk about it or that no one has owned up to it. For starters drug doping has long been accepted as normal because everyone did it but wouldn't admitting to using motors be the lowest of the low? A new low anyway. There is no pressure from the UCI or anyone else for that matter regarding motors either. If it wasn't for WADA the UCI would totally turn a blind eye to doping and we all know it. I can see why it hasn't broken out as a big thing in cycling. When you have so many drug cheats still in the pro ranks and in team management we would have to all be dreaming to think the culture has changed at all. It's called Omerta and cycling is infamous for it. Nothing changes in sport.
I won't speak for others, but I'm not saying that because we haven't heard much from the platoon, there isn't motor use. I'm just saying that its odd that we haven't heard more (assuming that motor use is as bad as some here think). Plus, I wonder why the guys who have admitted to doping wouldn't also admit to using a motor (assuming that they had). The example used this week being LA.
We have a pro caught using a motor. We have amatuers caught using them. It aint hard to make the leap to the peloton using them!!

Cassani spoke about it, Gilbert's agent spoke about it, plenty have mentioned it. Heck the UCI pretend to test for it. There have been at least 2 tv programmes made about it.

This is a thing, make no mistake about it.
I know you have seen my (way too many) posts above, I have no doubt that motors have been used in the pro platoon. However, I don't think that its like doping where 98% of the platoon is/was in on it. Plus, I am very skeptical of some of the 'magic' motor designs (ie: I've yet to see a hub motor that would actually be raceable...that's not to say that there isn't a one that I just haven't seen).

In this latest discussion, I'm just wondering why someone like LA wouldn't admit to using a motor if he had.
I dont think it is in every bike in the peloton. They dont need to be. Only leaders and lieutenants bikes and ohters on certain stages for GTs.

LA doped with chemicals and in the sporting world that is ok. Cheating with a motor is not ok. Armstrong still has some cred amongst his sporting peers. To admit to a motor, well that is a whole different ballgame.
 
Re: Re:

jmdirt said:
In this latest discussion, I'm just wondering why someone like LA wouldn't admit to using a motor if he had.
Admitting to doping can easily be muddied by the level playing field, the athlete still had to train and race.
Sure it was technically cheating, but to the mind of some people in that era it truly wasn't.


Motor bike racing is a whole different sport. Even Lance knows it would kill his reputation even further, and may add fuel to the various legal rumblings.
 
Oct 16, 2010
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ScienceIsCool said:
sniper said:
John, great post. But please specify 'hidden motors'.
Varjas has shown how to fit an old model crank assist motor nicely into a 1998 Trek bike.
And we have the first crank assist bike on youtube from 1979.
The only problem there was the big visible battery pack.
But the battery problem for crank assist would have been solved by the late 80s/early 90s already. Not 2007.
I think ~1996 is when the appropriate batteries were generally available. Before that, the existing battery tech wouldn't have fit inside a frame. Around the same time, when my friends and I were working at Moli Energy, we would scrounge for rejected cells and stuff them into water bottles. Coupled with a DC-DC converter, they were perfect for running insanely bright halogen lights for night riding. Charging was dead simple too. Just connect to a constant voltage source (i.e., the variable power supplies in our lab) and limit the current to an amp. Let sit for a few hours and away you go.

John Swanson
Thanks. Makes sense.
Some TT frames were huge though in the early 90s. Just look at Boardman s Lotus.
Also interesting to note the involvement of a sponsor like Motorola in the early 90s. And Gewiss of course.
 
Oct 16, 2010
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I wonder why someone *would* be willing. I can't think of a single incentive.
Also, how exactly would you 'blow the top off'?
 
Oct 16, 2010
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Craigee said:
The weirdest thing of all is that anyone would think that a sport famous for cheating was too stupid to think of cheating with mechanical doping before 2008. Really? Common sense please.
Indeed.
You look at Boardman and Lotus getting involved. I would eat my hat if they weren't thinking about building a motor in his bike to ensure a top result. Its what prosport is all about. Get results no matter how.

I'm not surprised at all that Boardman subsequently became BC's top bike designer.
 
Re:

sniper said:
The only odd thing about motors in cycling is that *so much* has come out already.

Blood doping in tennis goes back to the 70s and virtually nothing has come out.
Seb Coe and many of his contemporaries probably blood doped but virtually nothing has come out apart from some rumors.
Or have a look at soccer and about how little has come out, with stories about doping in the 70s only coming out very recently, in many cases more than 30 years after the act.
etc.

In pro-cycling, the only reason we know so much about the regular doping is because of a historical event known as the Festina-scandal, and everything that happened afterwards. It's a historical coincidence and an anomaly in comparison to most other professional sports, where the historical norm is omerta.
Blood doping from the 1970's is irrelevant seeing it wasn't considered doping at that time - Yes it's worthy of discussion, and it's no surprise a variety of sports undertook this process - But it's not doping per se.
 
Oct 16, 2010
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There you go. It wasn't even illegal and yet we haven't heard anything about it;)

But as you wish, we can look at blood doping since 1986 when it became illegal and the thrust of my argument remains roughly the same.
 
Re:

sniper said:
There you go. It wasn't even illegal and yet we haven't heard anything about it;)

But as you wish, we can look at blood doping since 1986 when it became illegal and the thrust of my argument remains roughly the same.
Do you expect sports-people to admit to doping ? That's the crux of your problem !
 
Re: Re:

sniper said:
Craigee said:
The weirdest thing of all is that anyone would think that a sport famous for cheating was too stupid to think of cheating with mechanical doping before 2008. Really? Common sense please.
Indeed.
You look at Boardman and Lotus getting involved. I would eat my hat if they weren't thinking about building a motor in his bike to ensure a top result. Its what prosport is all about. Get results no matter how.

I'm not surprised at all that Boardman subsequently became BC's top bike designer.
Considering some were using their 2004 UKSI bikes Boardman helped design back in 2002, last year in Rio, they must be 15 years ahead of the game at least lol!
 
Jan 4, 2013
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sniper said:
I wonder why someone *would* be willing. I can't think of a single incentive.
Also, how exactly would you 'blow the top off'?
Offer money to a retired mechanic or ask the tea leafs who have stolen pro-peloton team bikes in the past.
The fact remains there isn't a shred of evidence, that would stand up in a court using beyond reasonable doubt proof, of top teams having used motors recently.
 
Oct 16, 2010
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adamfo said:
sniper said:
I wonder why someone *would* be willing. I can't think of a single incentive.
Also, how exactly would you 'blow the top off'?
Offer money to a retired mechanic or ask the tea leafs who have stolen pro-peloton team bikes in the past.
Which retired mechanic? Many mechanics who were there in the early 2000s are in fact still in the game. I do know that mechanic Faustino just retired together with his protege Contador. How much were you thinking of offering him? :lol:

But seriously, those are two great ideas, and you're not the first to think of it, rest assured.
Now go find a journalist who is not part of the omerta, has appetite and time to investigate this, will not be intimidated or bribed, and who gets the budget from his employer to even start scratching the surface.

Also remember this is still a very young topic. Although Vildary and Bonnarrigo have already done a great deal of pioneering journalism on the topic, they can only do so much and guys like them are simply in very short supply atm. I do hope some journalists will stand up and prove me wrong. Meanwhile, this from Thijs Zonneveld is the sad norm:
https://www.ad.nl/sport/motortjes-in-de-fiets-het-is-allemaal-een-broodjeaapverhaal~a1d82c9a/
"Motors in bicycles? It's just an urban legend"

The fact remains there isn't a shred of evidence, that would stand up in a court using beyond reasonable doubt proof, of top teams having used motors recently.
To be fair, the only fact is if such evidence exists you haven't been privy to it.
 
Re: Re:

adamfo said:
sniper said:
I wonder why someone *would* be willing. I can't think of a single incentive.
Also, how exactly would you 'blow the top off'?
Offer money to a retired mechanic or ask the tea leafs who have stolen pro-peloton team bikes in the past.
The fact remains there isn't a shred of evidence, that would stand up in a court using beyond reasonable doubt proof, of top teams having used motors recently.
True Very true just like there was no proof that Lance Armstrong doped. Good point.
 
Oct 16, 2010
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Craigee said:
adamfo said:
sniper said:
I wonder why someone *would* be willing. I can't think of a single incentive.
Also, how exactly would you 'blow the top off'?
Offer money to a retired mechanic or ask the tea leafs who have stolen pro-peloton team bikes in the past.
The fact remains there isn't a shred of evidence, that would stand up in a court using beyond reasonable doubt proof, of top teams having used motors recently.
True Very true just like there was no proof that Lance Armstrong doped. Good point.
Exactly. The "theres no proof" argument is so pointless to this debate it's not even funny.

As for Lance, did someone upthread seriously ask why he hasn't spoken out about motors? Wow.
Lance has not yet spoken about the full extent of his normal doping, still pretending to have been clean pre-cancer and during his comeback 2.0. But we should expect him to speak out about motors? Right.
Why in the name of the good Lord Jesus and the holy Mother of God would he do that? All whilst embroiled in a whistleblower case that could cost him a fortune and whilst trying to rebrand himself doing podcasts and what not.

I think we can all see Lance sitting on Oprah s sofa going "hold it, Oprah, you only asked me bout the doping. Now ask me about motors please cuz I really wanna get this off my chest".

Jesus.
 
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sniper said:
18-Valve. (pithy) said:
^ So I guess Nibali on Hautacam can't have been moto-doping?

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=eofJgcSH_24

1:55 onwards
Haven't seen this one get posted yet:
https://www.matosvelo.fr/index.php?post/1938/quand-holtz-insinue-que-nibali-utilise-un-moteur-astana-repond-en-partie-avec-humour

Have a look at the footage. Nibali's wheel actually accelerates.
Certainly fishy, but its not the worst like that I've seen, and not one you should bank your case on.
 
Jul 5, 2009
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jmdirt said:
sniper said:
18-Valve. (pithy) said:
^ So I guess Nibali on Hautacam can't have been moto-doping?

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=eofJgcSH_24

1:55 onwards
Haven't seen this one get posted yet:
https://www.matosvelo.fr/index.php?post/1938/quand-holtz-insinue-que-nibali-utilise-un-moteur-astana-repond-en-partie-avec-humour

Have a look at the footage. Nibali's wheel actually accelerates.
Certainly fishy, but its not the worst like that I've seen, and not one you should bank your case on.
That would be Hesjedal's hub motor... Given the speeds involved, the rear wheel *theoretically* had just the right amount of energy to accelerate the bike around its pivot point in the way that it did. Assuming no losses due to friction, etc. The problem is that the video showed that the rear wheel touched the ground three times before the bike went ZOOM! That, and the velocity profile was whacked.

If you have a spinning wheel there's an amount of energy there, but the amount of power it can deliver declines as it donates that energy to accelerate the bike. This would look like a big initial impulse to get the bike moving and then it would spin until friction slowed it down. Unfortunately the video shows steady acceleration and no slowing due to friction. It keeps zooming until it hits Ryder and flips in the air. This suggests that it was being driven. And there's your smoking gun.

John Swanson
 
Oct 16, 2010
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Re: Re:

ScienceIsCool said:
jmdirt said:
sniper said:
18-Valve. (pithy) said:
^ So I guess Nibali on Hautacam can't have been moto-doping?

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=eofJgcSH_24

1:55 onwards
Haven't seen this one get posted yet:
https://www.matosvelo.fr/index.php?post/1938/quand-holtz-insinue-que-nibali-utilise-un-moteur-astana-repond-en-partie-avec-humour

Have a look at the footage. Nibali's wheel actually accelerates.
Certainly fishy, but its not the worst like that I've seen, and not one you should bank your case on.
That would be Hesjedal's hub motor... Given the speeds involved, the rear wheel *theoretically* had just the right amount of energy to accelerate the bike around its pivot point in the way that it did. Assuming no losses due to friction, etc. The problem is that the video showed that the rear wheel touched the ground three times before the bike went ZOOM! That, and the velocity profile was whacked.

If you have a spinning wheel there's an amount of energy there, but the amount of power it can deliver declines as it donates that energy to accelerate the bike. This would look like a big initial impulse to get the bike moving and then it would spin until friction slowed it down. Unfortunately the video shows steady acceleration and no slowing due to friction. It keeps zooming until it hits Ryder and flips in the air. This suggests that it was being driven. And there's your smoking gun.

John Swanson
Agreed.

Nibali's wheel is dodgy only if it can be seen to accelerate.
I believe to have seen a slight acceleration shortly before the mechanic picks up the bike.
But if that's not the case, then i agree there's nothing suspicious there.

Still, interesting to hear Holtz calling him out ("la, la, la, la, la, la, la, la"), something I doubt he would do if he didn't think motors are common place in the peloton.

Also interesting is Astana's official reaction. Typical trolling from Vino:
http://www.astanaproteam.kz/modules.php?name=astana&page=news&id=229
 
Re:

samhocking said:
There's no masking agent or technique to hiding a motor like there is for doping. Not comparable. One exists physically 24 hours a day, one exists invisibly and has half life and mostly doesn't exist 24 hours a day.
Just because UCU are not looking for motors does not mean they don't exist. They do. We know that
 
Jan 30, 2016
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Someone posted that MvdP and others had been using bottles in the early part of the season clearly insinuating that it was a battery for their motor. I did not see Koksijde, but none of the photos show the top guys with bottles...where is the battery now?
 
Re:

jmdirt said:
Someone posted that MvdP and others had been using bottles in the early part of the season clearly insinuating that it was a battery for their motor. I did not see Koksijde, but none of the photos show the top guys with bottles...where is the battery now?
the bottles were used in the American world cup races, the weather was hot and riders suffered a lot.
if they use motors, it would be too dumb to use bottle batteries nowadays with the level of attention
 

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