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47

The simplest answer to your question is that 1) speeds have increased; but 2) speeds would have increased even more except Tour organizers have been consciously making the Tour harder in order to increase the drama, suspense, and entertainment value of the race. That makes comparisons of overall winner's speed quite complex when combined with normal ...


35

There are a few "pseudo-facts" I think might be at play in this graphic: You mentioned 10% of increase, say from 35km/h to 40km/h average speed. That is a VERY significant increase. Anyone well trained can sustain 35km/h average for some time even in a mountain bike, but FORTY km/h is MUCH HARDER to sustain, and that's because aerodynamic drag is ...


17

The Tour de France is primarily an endurance event, where team strategy is more important than outright speed. In addition there are UCI rules for racing bicycles. This includes a 6.8kg weight restriction that has been in place since 2000. If you want to compare outright speeds it would be more interesting to look at how the average speed of the time ...


16

I am not a bike expert, but a computer programmer. The problem with this question is that there is no control to compare it to. Each year the TDF changes. They visit different parts of Europe, yes it is not 100% in France. This means you can't compare times between years. Weather (not climate) is a concern. The temperature, wind and humidity will impact ...


13

I've had good success with the Go Pro cameras for whitewater kayaking. We generally mount them on our helmets. They stand up to quite a beating and you can get more on a card than the camera you ask about above. If you can mount it on your helmet then it will be pointing where you look and I think you'll have better success getting shots of any collision ...


12

Years ago, when my wife and I started riding together, we got a pair of cheap two-way-radios, with headsets that included VOX. This allowed us to talk even when we weren't riding side-by-side. And since we weren't trying to talk from a mile away, it didn't matter how cheap the radios were. Of course, this requires you coordinate with your co-worker, both ...


10

The answer is "both, depending." The majority of current bicycle cyclometers use a reed switch and timer, and measure the time between successive triggerings of the switch as a magnet passes by. An advantage of this method is its simplicity and low cost, though if the magnet is ill-positioned or if the rotational speed of the wheel is too high, the reed ...


10

I'd say the biggest change is the shift from coil and oil shocks to air springs. Even at the cheaper end of the market most bikes designed to go uphill will be using air shock suspension. Air suspension is lighter but in the past has performed less well and been more expensive. Over the years price has fallen and performance has improved. The other big ...


9

What really struck me though was that the average speeds really haven't changed much The chart ranges from about 25km/h to over 40km/h, and that is a big change. As others have mentioned, increasing your average speed requires a non-linear increase in power applied to the pedals. In other words, to increase average speed from 25km/h to 26km/h is easier ...


7

The Rockshox at Paris Roubaix were a Greg LeMond thing. Whatever Greg competed in a few 'out there' cycling innovations came along with him. Remember those tri-bars that gave him the aero tuck position to beat Laurent Fignon in the Tour de France? On that event he also had his own road bars that had an extra position, where the drop handlebar end plugs would ...


7

Last year I plotted average speed versus race distance and there's an incredibly accurate inverse relationship. http:///www.32sixteen.com/2011/07/25/correlation-does-not-equal-causality/ But to add to my chart and flesh out the reason I think it hasn't increased so greatly. The Tour is a stage race. The average speed we have presented is the average ...


6

To me (and for others, I think) the greatest paradigm shift (that should become widespread in the near future, my opinion) is the inertial-controlled compression-lockout valve (Fox Terralogic, Specialized BRAIN). These work as automatic lockouts, which make the bike stable if the rider pushes it down (like pedalling hard on a smoot uphill, or sprinting on ...


5

This question makes a category mistake, I reckon. In that the Tour de France is not a competition done to finish an enormous amounts of kilometers as fast as possible -- as would be the case with a marathon for runners; where they athletes do indeed go faster and faster. The only aim the winner of the Tour has, is to be faster than the number two in the GC. ...


5

Most bluetooth accessories (like headsets) expect to pair up with something smarter, like a cellphone or computer. One simple alternative would be to each use a bluetooth headset and cell phone. Start a call at the beginning of the ride and stay connected until you finish or part ways. You will ideally need a cell plan that allows unlimited calling to a ...


4

Suntour makes a significantly different designed road suspension fork I found on Wired Magazine while Googling. Here is the Suntour product page


4

Tapered head tubes are designed to work with tapered steerers, with the steerer designed to be used with a 1.5" headset at the bottom and 1 1/8" at the top. The primary advantages of a tapered headtube are to allow for the greater bearing surface and stiffness of a 1.5" steerer and lower bearing surface while reducing weight (slightly) and allowing the use ...


4

As others have pointed out, The TdF is an endurance race. It's not about all out speed. For a better idea of how bike technology has increased, check out the list of Hour record holders. This is done on an indoor velodrome, with no other people on the track to the person can't draft. The premise is to ride as far as you can in a single hour. The ...


4

I tried the GoPro for a while and there were several things I didn't like about it, or where I felt it fell short. I'm now looking at buying one of the "tough" cameras produced by almost all of the major camera manufacturers which have several advantages over something like the GoPro or the ATC3K. Things I didn't like about the GoPro are... - The weight on ...


4

Think of a cyclocomputer as a hardwired combination of a calculator, a quartz-clock, and a dedicated CPU working with a buffer. EDIT TO A MORE PLAUSIBLE ALGORITHM: Each time the magnet closes the reed-switch, a request is sent to the clock to capture a time-stamp, a time-stamped event is sent to a buffer, and the wheel circumference is added to the current ...


4

They say that this year's Tiagra is generally last year's 105, which is true to an extent. You'll see things like 10 speed cassettes move down the product line at a rate of one series per year or so. It's not entirely true though. Features creep down, but quality stays about the same. The different series will maintain their relative build qualities year ...


3

Two things that must be considered when looking at the average speeds of the Tour de France are strategy and racing dynamics before you look at the numbers. The main strategy objective for any of the teams in the Tour is to go only as fast as you must to achieve a given objective while doing the least amount of work possible. If teams could win the tour ...


3

Wheel locks are an implementation of this idea. They simply prevent the rear wheel from turning, which is effectively the same thing. Again, any thief with large enough bolt cutters will be able to effectively sidestep the problem without hassle. But worse than that, the odds of your bike being stolen while being immobilized like this are still orders of ...


3

Besides all technical aspects race speed is also a question of racing strategy. As long as there is no escape group no team might feel responsible for making pace, so the peleton might ride "slowly". Once there's an escape group the peleton might decide to keep some distance so they can catch up later, while the escapers might safe energy for a final sprint ...


2

Amongst the other factors, the TDF is an outdoor event and therefore subject to climate change. A few kph change in average wind speeds can cause a few kph difference in the achieved average speeds. It is known that wind speeds have been rising by 5-10% over the last quarter-century (thanks to Colin Pickard for the link), and France's climate is dominated ...


2

I have ridden road bikes of all sorts over many years in road races, time trials and over many miles of general riding and club runs. For most of those years the bikes had forks made of Reynolds or Colombus steels but with a reasonable rake. In later years the rake decreased and in some cases disappeared altogether with the result that the front of the bikes ...


2

Raleigh fitted a steering lock to many of their bikes up until the 1970's: I have got a bike with one but I would not use it without a secondary lock to a fixed object. Neither would I use what you are looking for, and for the same reasons! It is a solution looking for a problem that is not practical in the real world. You don't want someone taking you ...


2

The Cardo BK-1 is a new product and first of its kind on the market, Bike to Bike intercom and Bluetooth connection to phone/MP3 player, from the makers of the scala-rider Motorcycle communications systems. Coming soon according to their website. http://www.cardosystems.com/bk-1.html


2

Here's a recent example of why it may be pointless to go through the trouble of maintaining a camera for video evidence. Perfectly good video and even an independent witness who observed the driver intentionally swipe the cyclist: NO CHARGES FILED.


1

In the light of Lance Armstrong's revelations clearly the answer is that doping has played a significant part in race speeds over the last two decades when it was widespread throughout the sport. None of the data during they period can be relied on and indeed the tour has a long history of doping.So much for cyclings healthy reputation.



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