Just saw an ad for this on the Tour coverage today, from a company called ProForm.
Anyone ever heard of this?
At $1300 it’s very expensive, but I’m always caught by bells and whistles, so a bike with incline and decline plus the ability to ride courses thanks to Google Maps, neato.
However, “As Seen on TV” on any products sold by a company says to me “a cheap piece of plastic.” As the “official trainer” of the Tour you’d think that they could find at least one tour rider to give a testimony.
Carlton Reid recently revealed that the UCI, the international governing body for most bicycle sport, is reconsidering the 6.8kg (~15 lbs) minimum weight requirement for bikes used in sanctioned competitions. UCI’s technical coordinator Julien Carron was reported to have stated that the UCI would consider relaxing the 6.8kg rule if the resulting bikes could be proven safe by independent lab testing, with protocols stricter than CEN safety standards. Bicycle manufacturers have been lobbying for a review of the rule. The UCI originally enacted the rule as a way to prevent overly light bikes from jeopardizing rider safety and as a way to discourage the higher cost of exotic equipment from denying athletes from less wealthy areas a level field. Certainly there was some merit to these ideas. Back in 1995, the majority of the top pro teams used aluminium or steel bikes with steel steerers, alloy-rimmed wheels, etc. A 6.8kg machine was VERY light back then.
Of course today, anyone feeling a little flush can step into a high-end road bike shop and snap up a bike that’ll beat that 6.8kg limit. If you are a rich man, you can go to someplace like Fair Wheel Bikes to buy a $10,000 plus bike that’ll make any pro bike from the Tour feel like a bloated warthog. There is truth in saying that advances in composite construction techniques have led to frames and forks that are much lighter than fifteen years ago yet do not fail in the middle of races from the cyclical forces of the world’s elite athletes. In the pro ranks, riders are often choosing to use power meter cranks (once a tool strictly used for training) or heavier, deep section aero wheels to bring their bikes up to the weight limit, or team mechanics use heavier water bottle cages, handlebars, or even putting lengths of chain down the seat tube to get individual bikes to the limit. And all this doesn’t take into account the individual rider’s weight, as a 6.8kg bike is relatively heavier to a 55kg climber than it is to a 75kg sprinter.
So surely it’s time to reset the weight limit from the arbitrary 6.8kg rule, or perhaps eliminated the weight limit all together. ….well, why? What does a lower weight limit really bring the sport?