Tuesday, June 01, 2010

Mechanical doping and the future of e-bikes | Bicycle Design

From Bicycle Design..
Listening to the May 20th episode of the Velocast podacst, I first heard the term “mechanical doping” used to describe a hidden electric motor in the seat tube of a racing frame. In the podcast, they mentioned that the UCI was investigating allegations that lightweight Gruber Assist motors may have been used in bikes raced at Paris Roubaix and the Tour of Flanders. Over the weekend, an article in Bike Biz discussed the matter further, quoting a former pro who claims to have “ridden a 10 kg pro bike with an electric motor housed in the frame at the crank.” After the Bike Biz story broke and a video surfaced, rumors that Fabian Cancellara may have ridden the Spring Classics with a motor in his bike spread quickly on the web. Today, even Cycling News and VeloNews are addressing the issue. The latter even has a statement from Cancellara about the accusation- “It’s so stupid I’m speechless, I’ve never had batteries on my bike.”