We did the Première Manche - the first round - of A Travers riding across France from Dieppe to Marseille in the summer of 2009, and it was the original inspiration for this blog. The plan to put the 'band back together again' for another go in 2013 for the second installment fell on stoney ground, with life just getting in the way for too many of us, much to our disappointment. However, our enthusiasm for the bike remains undimmed, and so I'll keep posting my thoughts on the diverse and beautiful facets of the sport regardless. But there's bound to be another big 'adventure ride' coming soon - quite possibly in Italy - so potentially a name change too: Attraverso l'Italia in Bicicletta anyone?

Monday, 7 May 2012

Electric Gears - Energy Saving? Illegal?

I'm no luddite, but ... isn't electric gear changing via an external power source an artificial aid, and as such shouldn't be permitted? There's a battery strapped to the downtube, in case you were unsure. So where do you draw the line? Electrically aided gear changing is OK, but it's obvious that Fabian Cancellara's motorised bike isn't.

As Fabian himself puts it about this 'doped' bike "It's so stupid I'm speechless," he said. "I've never had batteries on my bike." Never used Di2 then, Fabian? I'd dispute that.

I'm all for technology bringing benefits to bike riders, but surely the whole point in racing is that the person who wins - whether a TT or road race - is the one with the most energy left for racing their bike in the final, as Sean Kelly might say. And that should mean everything on the bike - including gear shifts - being powered by the rider alone.