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« Actually cyclists are treated like this | Main | Louison Bobet: First Three Time TDF Winner »
Friday
Mar202009

Get over it

Reader Comments (13)

Pun fully intended, they have no reason to get bent out of shape. The UCI has altered its rules several times, but never in such a way as to change the nature of what is considered a bike -- not that the 15 pound 6.8kg rule is defensible with that rationale.

March 20, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterChamps

A brave man facing-off the full force of bentist outrage. Good luck on that Dave!

I'm not sure I agree that "the recumbent is unsuitable for any other form of bicycle racing" but I think what bentists are really getting at when they bring up Faure's old record attempt is regret over what might have been. If recumbents had continued to be allowed to race as UCI-approved bicycles (even if only on the velodrome) they would have become somewhat more mainstream, rather than the "fringe oddball" vehicles that they remain today. But, yes, it is a bit late for regrets.

Of course, the UCI is perfectly entitled to set down its own rules about what it's going to accept as a "bicycle", but beyond that if you're pedalling, you're a cyclist and it really doesn't matter what you're riding.

March 20, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterTreadly and Me

Bike Girl is so glad you're back Dave. She missed your witty posts.

March 20, 2009 | Unregistered Commenterbike girl

While I ride a tadpole recumbent, and personally could not care less about any speed racing, there was a time I was involved with sailboats and the thinking is similar. If you are matching personal ability, then you should be having near identical equipment.

However I do think that the people who are putting on the races are missing a huge bet by not having several classes of riders and have recumbent 2 wheel classes and recumbent 3 wheel classes, each competing in their own class.

I would certainly think that racing would have more reach if they went "stock" much the way Nascar does. If one wins because they have cut a few grams off the bike how is that something to crow about?

PS while 2 wheel recumbents may get weird looks, my experience with tadpole 3 wheelers the looks are much more of envy and wonder, often annoying my DF riding companions, who get mostly ignored.

March 24, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterDragon

Dave,

This bent ridden by Faure was called the VeloCar, factory name was "Velo Velo-Car", or V-V. It was designed by Charles Mochet and he hinged on a two wheeler design after 3 wheels and 4 wheels of similar designs failed. By placing Faure on it, it beat many of top French champions on track and road. It also beat the one hour record in 1933 set by Oscar Egg. This development made a lot of beef with not only top contendors, but also manufacturers of conventionally designed bicycles (double diamond). In fact, you could consider them as sort of a conglomerate who didn't like what the outsider was doing and infact pushed the UCI in February 1934 to have Faure's one hour record invalidated. It was after this meeting (and I'm sure a few monies may have been exchanged for this provision), the UCI completely revised its definition for the bicycle.

In one way, that was good, because the UCI set straight what they expected a rider to bring on race day (as opposed to odd looking contraptions that made others look like fools). However, you can also say they robbed the respect Faure deserved for his one hour record. The only problem was that the UCI considered Faure and Moshet as "outsiders". So if there were "insiders" with some money, could they have altered UCI's decision? Or would things have changed if the Velocar was designed years before, maybe at the turn of the 20th century?

Whether he went faster is unimportant. What is important was that UCI cut off the one of the methods by which recumbents could prove themselves. In today's consumerist cycling world, everyone wants to see "how good a product is" by actually witness it being raced. It is sad that recumbents couldn't get their foot in the door so to speak. Today, the HPV races around the world are still not as popular as the Tour de France or other big name races that call for conventional double diamond bicycles.

April 29, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterRon

Sorry for another comment, but its relevant. To highlight how being an insider to the UCI helped in getting "your way", compare Fauvre's story with what happened when Moser "broke" the hour record in 1984 using a disc wheel that clearly violated ICU rules. In that case, Moser was a recognized and established pro rider. More important, both he and the ICU president were Italian and the latter immediately gave a speech lauding Moser's accomplishment, so as to preempt the ICU Technical Commission, who are responsible for rule interpretations. Another factor was that the wheels Moser used were made by Campagnolo, which for many years had been generous in their financial support of the ICU.

Its all about who you know and how much money you have. It has nothing to do with types and geometry of machines. Atleast this is what history tells me.

April 30, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterRon

OK. maybe you are right when you say bent riders should stop regretting about 1934 UCI's decision, although I do not think this is just a matter about which riding position is the "best" or the "worst", but about allowing people choose which of the two better suits them, and in this way the shadow that recumbents were enveloped in by UCI's decision has a great responsablity.

On the other hand I am happy to know that "recumbent is unsuitable for any other form of bicycle racing with the exception of solo record attempts like this one."

I rode almost 30k kilometers on my recumbent running several races with upright bicycles and none, among these races, was on a velodrome track either solo or in a peloton. I suppose you know what you are saying...

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bfnSemX1BtA

maybe there is some kind of trick in this movie?

October 16, 2010 | Unregistered Commenterenrico bonfatti

post scriptum

take a look here:

http://aurelienbonneteau.free.fr/blog/?p=23

it's in french, but with google translator you can roughly understand it

October 16, 2010 | Unregistered Commenterenrico bonfatti

ps2: and who won the solo female RAAM this year? and the 4 men RAAM in 2009?

October 16, 2010 | Unregistered Commenterenrico bonfatti

What I think is lame is the general disdain that most roadies have for recumbents. In the light of the hour-record story above, why wouldn't roadies respect and admire the advantages that recumbents have? It just reminds me of junior high were the kid that was slightly different got laughed at, just because he didn't conform.

November 15, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterNick

"To compare the two and say a recumbent is better or worse than a diamond frame bicycle, is like comparing a skateboard to roller-skates, they are two entirely different animals."

Topologically speaking a recumbent and an upright are not different. Things are just in different places. You seem to want to etch the definition of a bicycle in stone, when that has already been done in its name. Two wheels and you pedal it.

Why the vociferousness in making an arbitrary distinction based on the color of a bicycle's skin? Is a highweel not a bicycle? How about a bike with two different sized wheels?

I've never ridden a recumbent, or a highwheel for that matter, and I have no dog in the fight. I just find it very odd that you want to redefine a word to suit your particular take on things.

RdJ

October 24, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterRicodJ

Bicycle....one frame with two (2) wheels Apparently, some of you cant get that. If you were to say a car isn't a car because it doesn't have a gas engine would cause people to look at you like you're stupid, and rightly so. The UCI's rules about the style of the bike is a ploy of mainstream manufacturers to keep them out just as the Big Three kept out Tucker's car from becoming no.1, because they were afraid of his technical advancements he put into it. Yes, the disc wheel disqualified Francis Faure, but the rules were so tight he couldn't get back in to try with a regular wheel. Forcing bicycle riders to use diamond frames would be like NASCAR forcing drivers to race with T-model Fords! Think of where the automotive industry would be today, if the UCI wrote the rules for them!

December 13, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterSLM

i never rode a recumbent, but regarding "what is a bicycle?", i agree with the one from above that said: "two wheels and you pedal it"..

December 22, 2012 | Unregistered Commentermircea andrei ghinea
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