Question Should triathletes be allowed on bikes?

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Jun 30, 2012
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Re:

King Boonen said:


Someone said about this they really like the paint scheme... WTF?!?!?! That's not a paint scheme, it's *&£$%^£ black.
Could be worse. They could have said that they like the "colourway".
 
I didn't want to post because I sort of feel like this thread is piling on and snobbish, but so be it. I'll be a snob that piles on too. I'll pile on the truth.

I recently watched the women's Olympic Triathlon. I know, a month after it happened. I know the theory that among triathletes that the bike is the "rest" portion of the event, especially when drafting is allowed. But I was hoping because there was a reasonably sharp climb, and twisting descent, we'd see some attacking on the bike. What was I thinking?!? No one attacked. At least not the way a cyclist attacks. Some of the "better" cyclists did try to pedal a bit harder on the climbs, which did drop a few people at the back on some laps, but no one attacked. It was like no one had an idea it was even possible to do so.

Next, Sarah True reportedly got a "cramp" during the swim, and then during the bike ride it was so bad she had to stop and climb off the bike, and could be seen rubbing it, before dropping out.

In my 30+ years of cycling. Road, mountain, CX, centuries, racing, some track and gravel, and yes, at least one triathlon where I did well. I have never, ever, ever had, or even seen someone cramp or spasm so bad they could no longer pedal a bike. And this is riding in all sorts of weather, including heat and humidity worse than they had in Rio. I've been dehydrated, gotten serious bonks, nausea, exhausted, seen people vomit, even crash from exhaustion. I have had my legs run into full lactate overload and burn, and ridden to total glycogen depletion to where I lost my ability to really accelerate and had to slow. But cramp to the point of stopping and getting off the bike, like the way a track sprinter has to stop when cramping? Not once. And yet, the announcers talked like it was almost normal.

Not to trash Sarah, she was likely to some degree actually injured, not "cramped", and equally likely not trained or prepared for cycling. And she did try to continue. But watching her struggle, and the announcers commentary on it, was a sport I didn't recognize.



http://www.nbcolympics.com/video/triathlete-sarah-true-withdraws-race
 
Re:

Alpe d'Huez said:
In my 30+ years of cycling. Road, mountain, CX, centuries, racing, some track and gravel, and yes, at least one triathlon where I did well. I have never, ever, ever had, or even seen someone cramp or spasm so bad they could no longer pedal a bike. And this is riding in all sorts of weather, including heat and humidity worse than they had in Rio. I've been dehydrated, gotten serious bonks, nausea, exhausted, seen people vomit, even crash from exhaustion. I have had my legs run into full lactate overload and burn, and ridden to total glycogen depletion to where I lost my ability to really accelerate and had to slow. But cramp to the point of stopping and getting off the bike, like the way a track sprinter has to stop when cramping? Not once. And yet, the announcers talked like it was almost normal.
It’s happened to me several times, a couple of times on very long rides, where I had to stop for a while. The first time it happened I was riding in high heat and humidity in the Philippines, and my legs cramped so bad that I could barely get off the bike without falling, and stay standing up. I was in a remote part of the country, where kidnapping of foreigners is not unheard of, and it was a little scary being so helpless. For a while I remained at the side of the road in the half-crouch that was all I could manage, and wasn't sure what I was going to do. The cramps eventually subsided to the point where I could resume riding, though as I recall for quite a while I had to go easy, and favor one leg that was particularly bad. The cramps undoubtedly resulted from dehydration.

Another time, about ten years later, I was in the U.S. riding a century, and again, I was forced to stop, several times. Heat/dehydration was not a problem, and the cramping was not so bad that pedaling was impossible, but I could only do it at such a ridiculously slow speed that I would have never finished the ride. So I got off the bike and eventually the cramps disappeared.
 
Re: Re:

Merckx index said:
Alpe d'Huez said:
In my 30+ years of cycling...
It’s happened to me several times, a couple of times on very long rides, where I had to stop for a while.
Well, you're older than me, so I'll have to defer to your 40+ years of riding and sage wisdom on this one. ;)

Can anyone point to a cycling race where a pro (or amateur) cyclist stopped because of "cramps"?

Trying to keep positive here, here's an article on what cramping really is:

https://bengreenfieldfitness.com/2013/09/ways-to-stop-muscle-cramps/
 
Re:

Alpe d'Huez said:
In my 30+ years of cycling. Road, mountain, CX, centuries, racing, some track and gravel, and yes, at least one triathlon where I did well. I have never, ever, ever had, or even seen someone cramp or spasm so bad they could no longer pedal a bike. And this is riding in all sorts of weather, including heat and humidity worse than they had in Rio. I've been dehydrated, gotten serious bonks, nausea, exhausted, seen people vomit, even crash from exhaustion. I have had my legs run into full lactate overload and burn, and ridden to total glycogen depletion to where I lost my ability to really accelerate and had to slow. But cramp to the point of stopping and getting off the bike, like the way a track sprinter has to stop when cramping? Not once. And yet, the announcers talked like it was almost normal.
I think you're discounting the impact of the swim leg. I have seen swimmers cramp up a couple of times, to the point where lifeguards go get them. I've heard from runners about bailing from races because of cramping as well. I'm no expert, but it looks to me like cramping up to the point of stopping in triathlons is much more common than in cycling (where cramping does happen as well, though seemingly usually in the debilitating but not paralyzing sort).

To add a little anecdata, while at times I've started to cramp up cycling, it has been nowhere near as bad as when I played basketball "competitively'". Both times I had full-on cramps (not the mild ones), my leg would lock up completely. Never mind the excruciating pain, there was just no way to get the leg to bend without prodding it with my hands (also, there's a angle past which the pain comes back with a vengeance). I could't even manage to drive home afterwards; I had to wait almost an hour (my experiment with left-footed driving failed almost catastrophically). No way with that kind of a cramp I was cycling anywhere, much less up any kind of hill.

In fact, I was watching the Spanish announcers go on about an injury (I also caught up with the race about a couple of weeks later), and I thought to myself, nah, those bastards I recognize. Interesting article, though. Seems like the science behind the Hotshot and the pickle juice remedies.
 
Re:

King Boonen said:
I haven't read the thread but there are things that running single chainring enables which can result in quite a few watts saving for those interesting in TT riding. The gains are more to do with being able to narrow Q-factor than the actual removal of a ring from an existing set up, the latter having a very limited benefit - I guess it might cough up a watt or two. Ruin aero? No. Potential tiny gain, yes. Narrowing Q factor though can be somewhat more worthwhile for aero gains.

I'd still run a chain guide for the front though if not riding a fixed gear.
 
Re:

King Boonen said:
Gold...
"Also, it should be noted a rider would likely influence these numbers as the movement of legs, crank, shoes, pedals, etc. would all alter the airflow through the drivetrain area. Still, the results are worthy of further discussion and testing. "
Probably find it to be even more aero without the rider then... ;)
 
Re: Re:

Archibald said:
King Boonen said:
Gold...
"Also, it should be noted a rider would likely influence these numbers as the movement of legs, crank, shoes, pedals, etc. would all alter the airflow through the drivetrain area. Still, the results are worthy of further discussion and testing. "
Probably find it to be even more aero without the rider then... ;)
:D

Alex Simmons/RST said:
I'd still run a chain guide for the front though if not riding a fixed gear.
Really? Why? My Monstercross has no chainguide and a 4 year old, normal, non-single ring specific chainring and a non-clutch, Deore mech on it and I hardly ever drop my chain when riding MTB trails. What are people doing on a TT that's causing them to drop their chain?
 
Re: Re:

King Boonen said:
Archibald said:
King Boonen said:
Gold...
"Also, it should be noted a rider would likely influence these numbers as the movement of legs, crank, shoes, pedals, etc. would all alter the airflow through the drivetrain area. Still, the results are worthy of further discussion and testing. "
Probably find it to be even more aero without the rider then... ;)
:D

Alex Simmons/RST said:
I'd still run a chain guide for the front though if not riding a fixed gear.
Really? Why? My Monstercross has no chainguide and a 4 year old, normal, non-single ring specific chainring and a non-clutch, Deore mech on it and I hardly ever drop my chain when riding MTB trails. What are people doing on a TT that's causing them to drop their chain?
Racing Triathlons :D ;)
 
Re: Re:

King Boonen said:
Alex Simmons/RST said:
I'd still run a chain guide for the front though if not riding a fixed gear.
Really? Why? My Monstercross has no chainguide and a 4 year old, normal, non-single ring specific chainring and a non-clutch, Deore mech on it and I hardly ever drop my chain when riding MTB trails. What are people doing on a TT that's causing them to drop their chain?
Ask David Millar. He ran a naked single ring in 2003 TdF prologue and dropped the chain with 500m to go. Lost by 0.1 sec to Brad McGee:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=U7Tx6MV_XyM
 
Re: Re:

Alex Simmons/RST said:
King Boonen said:
Alex Simmons/RST said:
I'd still run a chain guide for the front though if not riding a fixed gear.
Really? Why? My Monstercross has no chainguide and a 4 year old, normal, non-single ring specific chainring and a non-clutch, Deore mech on it and I hardly ever drop my chain when riding MTB trails. What are people doing on a TT that's causing them to drop their chain?
Ask David Millar. He ran a naked single ring in 2003 TdF prologue and dropped the chain with 500m to go. Lost by 0.1 sec to Brad McGee:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=U7Tx6MV_XyM
So one data point 13 years ago? Doesn't seem very relevant.

42x16ss said:
King Boonen said:
Archibald said:
King Boonen said:
Gold...
"Also, it should be noted a rider would likely influence these numbers as the movement of legs, crank, shoes, pedals, etc. would all alter the airflow through the drivetrain area. Still, the results are worthy of further discussion and testing. "
Probably find it to be even more aero without the rider then... ;)
:D

Alex Simmons/RST said:
I'd still run a chain guide for the front though if not riding a fixed gear.
Really? Why? My Monstercross has no chainguide and a 4 year old, normal, non-single ring specific chainring and a non-clutch, Deore mech on it and I hardly ever drop my chain when riding MTB trails. What are people doing on a TT that's causing them to drop their chain?
Racing Triathlons :D ;)
It's probably this :D
 
Re: Re:

King Boonen said:
Alex Simmons/RST said:
King Boonen said:
Alex Simmons/RST said:
I'd still run a chain guide for the front though if not riding a fixed gear.
Really? Why? My Monstercross has no chainguide and a 4 year old, normal, non-single ring specific chainring and a non-clutch, Deore mech on it and I hardly ever drop my chain when riding MTB trails. What are people doing on a TT that's causing them to drop their chain?
Ask David Millar. He ran a naked single ring in 2003 TdF prologue and dropped the chain with 500m to go. Lost by 0.1 sec to Brad McGee:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=U7Tx6MV_XyM
So one data point 13 years ago? Doesn't seem very relevant.
For a race that significant, I think it is. And if, as people here are so keen to point out, having such a device present no performance disadvantage but may indeed save a race, then why not?
 
Re: Re:

Alex Simmons/RST said:
King Boonen said:
Alex Simmons/RST said:
King Boonen said:
Alex Simmons/RST said:
I'd still run a chain guide for the front though if not riding a fixed gear.
Really? Why? My Monstercross has no chainguide and a 4 year old, normal, non-single ring specific chainring and a non-clutch, Deore mech on it and I hardly ever drop my chain when riding MTB trails. What are people doing on a TT that's causing them to drop their chain?
Ask David Millar. He ran a naked single ring in 2003 TdF prologue and dropped the chain with 500m to go. Lost by 0.1 sec to Brad McGee:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=U7Tx6MV_XyM
So one data point 13 years ago? Doesn't seem very relevant.
For a race that significant, I think it is. And if, as people here are so keen to point out, having such a device present no performance disadvantage but may indeed save a race, then why not?
Not really. Drive-chains have progressed a lot in the last 13 years. If the only occasion that you can mention is 13 years ago I think we can say that it's no longer relevant. I know that single ring set-ups still aren't used that much.

Unsure if we mean the same thing when we say chain guide. I mean something like this:

http://www.tweekscycles.com/Product.do?method=view&n=3511&g=268345&p=268347&d=124&c=4&l=2&utm_source=Google&utm_medium=Base&utm_campaign=Chain%20Guides&gclid=Cj0KEQiA-_HDBRD2lomhoufc1JkBEiQA0TVMmkhE42hOLJu0TmzVOT7X_c9pgShm-mZcbf3v6zPLsDAaAt1W8P8HAQ

I would think that would have enough of an effect to put people off but I don't know.

Anyway this is getting off the actual point that people dropping to 1x because they think that the second ring is going to cause drag is mental.
 

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