Wednesday, December 13, 2017

"They Froomey Under The Bus!"

Well, it was bound to happen:


Yes, noted asthmatic and four-time Tour de France winner Chris Froome appears to have taken one huff too many:



The cycling world woke up to a bombshell Wednesday: Cycling superstar Chris Froome could be facing a racing ban after urine tests revealed elevated levels of Salbutamol during the 2017 Vuelta a EspaƱa.

Details were confirmed by Team Sky and later the UCI ahead of reports from The Guardian and Le Monde.

Of course the performance-enhancing benefits of Salbutamol are debatable, which means this isn't nearly as bad as the situation with his fellow "asthmatic" Bradley Wiggins, who was getting injections right before Grand Tours:


("Athsma" my asth.)

But it still doesn't look good.  Here's Froome's explanation:

“My asthma got worse at the Vuelta so I followed the team doctor’s advice to increase my Salbutamol dosage,” Froome said in a statement. “As always, I took the greatest care to ensure that I did not use more than the permissible dose.”

Though Vincenzo Nibali says Froome's full of it:

Well, if nothing else, this is more proof (as if you needed it) that the sport of cycling is merely a series of blood tests and that any riding of bicycles that may occur in between said tests is merely incidental.

Speaking of cheating and people who ride Pinarellos, Cyclingtips has a review of the new Nytro ebike:



I came for the bike but I stayed for the accent.  And it was worth it.

Anyway, you'll no doubt recognize this as the bike that Pinarello launched with a very poorly-received marketing campaign:


While the outrage was certainly justified, it's sort of remarkable how everyone piled on Pinarello until they withdrew the ad, yet somehow the entire self-lubricating Cipollini empire continues on unchecked:


Or to put it in more visual terms:


In any case the video is intriguing and so is the accompanying article--and not only because, in the age of ebikes, bottom brackets have gone from "beefy" to "vast:"


But also because it addresses the implications of ebikes:

The more I think and write about the road e-bike market the more it makes me think it’s a great idea. I’ll admit I was biased before — I was in the camp of “Pahh, e-bikes! They’re not proper bikes — they’re just mild motorbikes!” But after riding the Nytro, I’ve changed my mind. It’s a bike to help people get out and enjoy that feeling of riding further and faster than they may have been able to before.

Yep, I have about as much interest in an electric Fred bike as I do in an electric nose picker.  Nevertheless, these things are gonna be huge, no question about it.

I do, however, have a certain amount of interest in e-bikes for city use, specifically with regard to child-hauling, so I was curious about this:



While the phrase "British engineer" is almost as disconcerting as the phrase "midwestern bagel shop," he could be on to something with this, who knows?

And finally:
Sounds great, where do I sign up?

50 comments:

Jason Mason said...

Wha?

Jason Mason said...

Po=diddley?

N/A said...

I can't wait to see what kind of disaster occurs when Motodoping Freds add the weight and power of an electric motor and its battery to their gray market crabon Fred Sleds of questionable lateral stiffness and vertical whatever. Ain't no way anything could go wrong there!

Bryan Bracy said...

podium and read it? please!

Bryan Bracy said...

podium and read it and then got the identify myself screen and didn't get podium, bummer?

Isambard Kingdom Brunel FRS said...

Bloody right "British engineer". We basically invented modern engineering. Including developing most of the engineering that made possible the vintage infrastructure in and around NYC you are always blogging about.

bcstractor said...

That's a definite North of England "class" accent.

Lieutenant Oblivious said...

Taking today as a recovery day after yesterday's 1-2, I don't want WADA coming to check me! Froome should say don't look at me, investigate "Crooked Lance!"

Unknown said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
wishiwasmerckx said...

Wow is Emma hot!

Wasn't the fetching lass who would ride to you and fix your flat also named Emma?

Seems there's something about that name...

Anonymous said...

snozzberries

Hee Haw the barista said...

Fundamentalism ... putting the fun in fun kill.

ricochet said...

DONGS

Anonymous said...

Using an ebeik is exercise masturbation- sure, you can get your heart rate going, but dont think for a second youre actually getting laid

BikeSnobNYC said...

Isambard Kingdom Brunel FRS,

Forgive my wiseassery, as a Brompton rider I of course owe British engineering a debt of gratitude.

--Wildcat Etc.

Clever Internet Name said...

The more I read about the technology the more certain I become that an electrified Big Dummy is in my future somewhere. The benefits for utility cycling are hard to overstate.

Pist Off said...

I know a Scottish engineer who could MacGyver a nuclear reactor out of two crock pots and a wristwatch. He would not appreciate being associated with “British” engineering. Only English people call themselves British.

leroy said...

Oh great.

This year's Festivus Airing of Grievances will doubtless include my dog's disquisition of disappointment detailing how I didn't get us mountain bikes and sign us up for NICA.

Of course when I explain we're not students, he'll interrupt by declaring it's time for the Feats of Strength.

I hate the Feats of Strength.

Bluezurich said...

The transgendered mountain biking community will soon need marketing specific saddles! Ka-Ching!

Cat 404 e-Racer said...

Oh man! I was hoping Snobbi would've bit on the Vylyv shorts today. Especially in a column where he covers Cipollini and Pinarello.

Pist Off said...

In support of Neil’s sentiments, WTB is now marketing a “woman focused” MTB seat called the Koda with crossover male intent. It’s a unisex seat. I gotta say though, MTB as a sport is so Brocentric it makes snowboarding seem inclusive and LGBTQ conscious.

mattoidbunko said...

If anyone needs any further clarification around what Neil has on his mind and/or would like to get chummy with him: https://www.facebook.com/nmasseyjr

JLRB said...

Lots of gold in today's blog-treat

Pretending to put people to shame - if only that was the case with the guy you labeled Cipolini

SWYTCH BITCH (extra knuckles required)

Let me fix your button for you said...

I

AM

AN IDIOT

Anonymous said...

Froome and sky have always been sketchy.. Froome is a phony everyone thinks is a schoolboy...

HDEB said...

Powered by albuterol : )

Anonymous said...

I frequently pass my local high school mtb team. I more wonder what the social dynamic is between the kids riding $4500 bikes and kids riding $500 bikes. At least it's heartening to see the latter having fun.

Anonymous said...

e bikes, not for me, but if it reduces car rides it is a good thing. Although the e bike delivery guys are pretty dangerous here, riding the wrong way and overtaking you in a narrow bike lane. I hate to say it, but not sure i like sharing the few bike lanes we have here in NYC with them. Particularly after one right hooked me last year and banged both me and my bike up. driver error i suppose and did much less damage than a car, but the thing with a car is that they are not sharing the bike lane with you, unless they are parked there.

Anonymous said...

Et tu, Froome?

Olle Nilsson said...

Isn't it cute that people think the Italians should be PC.

Anonymous said...

It seems awful interesting to me the number of Pro's who have Asthma!? Who knew?Maybe, we are not asking the right questions? Do they just take the rider's (or the riders doctor's word) that they do indeed have Asthma? Because if they do, Fine I guess; But if they really don't then it sounds like a handy way to take performance enhancing drugs and get away with it!

I don't have Asthma, but I have used an inhaler before to counter allergy systems that had left it difficult to breath and the results were pretty amazing! One could really feel sorry for those poor Non-asthmatic riders who have to get by with their normal old lungs! - masmojo

Anonymous said...

I rely on my e-bike to get just about everywhere. I've gone on "rides" on my $1500 ebike (with kid on back) and had no problem keeping up with the roadie Freds in my party. The Nytro won't go any faster than my e-bike because its power, like all e-bikes, must cut out at 20mph. Expensive, fragile, lightweight parts aren't useful on an e-bike because the extra weight of cheap, durable, slightly heavier parts is easily compensated for by the motor.

All I can say, the Nytro looks like a waste of at least $4000. It won't go any faster than my e-bike, but will almost certainly get more flats. Unless you're still suffering from teenage insecurity in middle age and just HAVE to fit in an look like the other roadie Freds out there, I just don't see the point.

Anyway, if you're actually riding for FUN, an e-bike is a pretty boring way to do it. It's kind of like cruising the Interstates for fun at 55mph. On the rare occasion I ride for fun, I take my Brompton or Bianchi.

> e bikes, not for me, but if it reduces car rides it is a good thing.

The Nytro is unlikely to do that. More likely, it will INCREASE car rides, as Nytro owners drive their e-bike to the starting point for their "rides." The Nytro is nothing more than an overpriced toy.

Olle Nilsson said...

If the Swytch moved the battery off the handlebar and down to the head tube, ala Brompton bag, it would be a pretty nice design, but having battery weight attached to the handlebars? No thanks. Too floppy.

JLRB said...

Nytro - $7,000?

Swytch - $600 for a complete bike - kits as low as $350 - you can spend more and get a bamboo version ...I wonder if they will actually produce or just take the money and fold like a Brompton

https://www.indiegogo.com/projects/swytch-convert-any-bike-into-an-ebike-electric#/

wishiwasmerckx said...

Anonymous @ 4:31, I hate to break it to you, but you have Asthma.

McFly said...

Emma, 24, has got a little April Ludgate thing going on....me likey.

Dooth said...

Sucks that Nibali was robbed of the emotions of the Madrid podium. Vincenzo, should give a try to the BSNYC podium. Same thing, no?

bad boy of the south said...

i thought for a moment that in the swytch ad,that riders would pop out ala "pee wee's big adventure" cycling scene.

Bogusboy said...

Neil Massey, it must be great to be THAT sure that you're ALWAYS right about EVERYTHING.

Anonymous said...

What a wally of an "engineer" to slam a heavy weight as high as possible on the handlebars!

Give us lots of dosh and we shall send you our hub laced to any random rim we choose!? Thinks, I do not...

Not sure that I can even watch TdeF for the Chateau any more.

nater said...

Bah. Too many ebike scams.

My advice is to ignore the big-name bicycle vendors with their big expensive e-mountain bikes with mediocre performance and range and the hipster inspired kickstarter scams.

If you want a good e-bike with good range and is cheap and easy to deal with... Then pick out one of your existing bicycles and convert it with a front wheel hub motor.

Get a ebike kit from Ebikes.ca, Grin Technologies out of Canada. The Ezee hub motor is top of the range stuff. They have some 'stokemonkey' kits that will fit certain types of cargo bikes that will result in something very reliable. Also they have a small range of cargo electric bikes and kits that fit folding bikes like Bromptom or Bike Friday.

JLRB said...

Must not give into the eBike temptation ...at least not until I reach retirement age

Freddy Murcks said...

Professional road racing is so stupid. I would almost rather watch Harvey Weinstein jack off, and, just for the record, I REALLY don't want to watch Harvey Weinstein 'fertilize' the plants.

dancesonpedals said...

Salbutamol. Meh.

Clenbuterol? Ooh la la.

Porteur icycle said...

All you people claimer a heavy weight in front of the handle bars has a negative effect on bike handling should try riding:

a bike like this

or like this

or this

or even this

bad boy of the south said...

I went on my first mtb jaunt in a really really really long time.in order to do this,i bought a nearly new t**k on c-list since i had passed my old t**k to my former neighbor.
So,the stable was now mtb vacant.
Now the t**k resides and abides.
27.5 is a lot of fun i just found out.i`m tired but planning to go back within a day or two.
I took the trail that's within 5 miles of home a beautiful park.
It ain`t the sprain run or the oca to croton,but you guys and gals would really like it.
Also,seeing games at unc and duke isn't too far away.at least I've got that.

Anonymous said...

Great pictures, Porteur icycle. Thanks.

Anonymous said...

I was diagnosed with mild asthma ten years ago, but have had it all my life. It used to be painful to walk in cold weather. Since I started biking to work two and a half years ago, and started taking mild medication (albuterol before intense exercise, montelukast each night) my asthma symptoms have become much less of an issue -- no more chest tightness when walking outside in the cold, even without albuterol.

On the topic of albuterol, it turns me into superman. It also seems to have a much longer lasting effect if I take it right before intense exercise, such as riding a heavy bike over the Manhattan Bridge: I feel even stronger on the return trip eight or nine hours later. In August I went in for a pulmonary function test. I had taken albuterol about 27 hours before the test, and my small airway lung capacity appeared to have increased by 150%. (I go in for another test on Monday, and am curious what that will show.)

I suspect that the best way to promote cycling in the US is to focus on the health benefits. When I was a kid all restaurants were full of cigarette smoke. This has completely changed over the last 20 years. It may take another 20 before people come to see exhaust pipes the same way we think about cigarettes today, but public health based regulation is probably the way for us to get there.

Pronounced "Beggle" said...


Peter Bock
November 21, 2017


If you have friends who are NYC bagel snobs take em here and they won't be disappointed. My friend who is a bagel snob: "These bagels are as good as NYC bagels".

Anonymous said...

E-bikes - I fucking hate when they zoom past in the bike lane, but my wife is partially disabled and that swytch thingie might allow us to do some riding together...