Dave Moulton

Dave's Bike Blog

Award Winning Site

More pictures of my past work can be viewed in the Photo Gallery on the Owner's Registry. A link is in the navigation bar at the top

Bicycle Accident Lawyer






Powered by Squarespace
Search Dave's Bike Blog


 Watch Dave's hilarious Ass Song Video.

Or click here to go direct to YouTube.


A small donation or a purchase from the online store, (See above.) will help towards the upkeep of my blog and registry. No donation is too small.

Thank you.

Join the Registry

If you own a frame or bike built by Dave Moulton, email details to list it on the registry website at www.davemoultonregistry.com

Email (Contact Dave.)

 If you ask me a question in the comments section of old outdated article, you may not get an answer. Unless the article is current I may not even see it. Email me instead. Thanks Dave

« Cleaning water bottles made easy | Main | Season’s Greetings »


Tal-is-man (noun) an object believed to give magical powers to somebody who carries or wears it, e.g. a stone or jewel.

The talisman has been around throughout history, whether it be the Native American medicine bag, or a religious symbol like a Crucifix, or St. Christopher medallion, or something similar. Usually, in these cases the talisman is said to protect the wearer from bodily harm.

For years there have been copper bracelets and others that incorporate magnets said to cure rheumatism. Some eastern philosophies maintain there is a flow of energy throughout the human body and indeed the universe that can somehow be controlled and directed by certain objects.

I remember some years ago helping a female friend move into a new apartment. The first thing she did was to hang a crystal in the widow, and remark, “Can’t you just feel the energy that it draws into the room.” I was thinking, We could use some energy to get the rest of this shit moved in here.

One could accept that a copper or magnetic bracelet might actually do something; copper being an excellent conductor of electricity, and magnets actually producing and electrical or magnetic field.

But how about a plastic bracelet? I find that a stretch. However, since 2007 a group of athletes have managed to sell the “Power Balance” bracelet (Pictured above.) at $30 a pop, said to work with the body’s natural energy field.

Used by certain professional cyclists, and other top athletes, the makers of the Power Balance bracelet claim that it can make you go faster, and of course it can’t be detected in a dope test.  

What supposedly makes this plastic bracelet work is that it incorporates a “Hologram.” I have a hologram of a little bird on my Visa credit and debit cards; it symbolizes my money flying away.

There is also one on my driver’s license; so if I carry these items while riding my bike, I should be covered in the Hologram/Energy field department. There is no need to shell out $30 for a Power Balance bracelet.

Now I read that the Australian government has stepped in to stop the producers of the Power Balance bracelet from claiming that the product does anything except relieve you of $30 and look cool when you are wearing it.

Actually the talisman does work. However, it has nothing to do with the object actually doing anything, but everything to do with the wearer’s belief that it does.  It is the wearer’s mind that cures the rheumatism, or makes him go faster on his bike. The mind is a powerful thing.

People go to Lourdes, France and are cured of all manner of illnesses and diseases; this is well documented. They are not cured by their visit to this one particular place; it is their unshakable faith that such a trip will cure them.

It could be that the Power Balance bracelet actually did help cyclists go faster, although the Australian government has now killed that idea stone dead.

When I ride my bike I have an invisible “Energy Field” that extends three feet all around me. It weighs nothing and it cost me nothing, because it is invisible. It protects me and keeps me safe.

I have completely dispensed with the talisman, and just use my mind. I am currently working to get the energy field to rotate counter clockwise on the left, and clockwise on the right, so it will actually push me along.

You might try it, only please be like me and not tell anyone, or people might think you are loony-tunes. On the other hand, apparently many people thought the Power Balance Bracelet was legit, and a government had to step in to save people from themselves 



Reader Comments (13)

Finnish hockey legend Teemu "The Finnish Flash" Selänne bought PowerBalance bracelets for his whole team quoting to a journalist: "They are awesome. I felt the effect imemdiately." Meanwhile the Finnish Committee for Skeptical Inquiry (my translation of the finnish name) gave their annual nonsense-award for PowerBalance bracelets.

The trick is that the bracelet seems to work in the demonstration given by the salesman is because the subject knows that the salesman is going to give the subject a push.

No offense but athletes are never the brightest minds. They use most of their time doing physical excercises instead of studying complicated things. They are also notoriously superstitious. That is why it is very easy to fool them into buying things like these.

December 30, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterTorben Putkonen

You were on fire in this post, my man. Chapeau on the epic rant.

December 30, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterBig Mikey

Far too eloquent to be described as a rant.
Well written.

December 30, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterJames Hennessy

i find that $1 talismans work as well as $30 talismans.

December 30, 2010 | Unregistered Commenterd2p

Wanna sell a piece of your mind, Dave? ; )

December 30, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterMike

Nice post. Funny and well written.

December 30, 2010 | Unregistered Commenterstephen_mc

Love the symbolism of the money flying away. Just like if you buy one of these.

December 30, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterRalph

I wonder what the placebo effect might contribute in generating the positive outcomes experienced by those who wear/employ what you note are like talismans?

A provocative new study called “Placebos Without Deception,” published on PLoS One today, threatens to make humble sugar pills something they’ve rarely had a chance to be in the history of medicine: a respectable, ethically sound treatment for disease that has been vetted in controlled trials. - Steve Silberman

December 30, 2010 | Unregistered Commenterbystander

Well ok, this is a sign of the times. Plastic is made from petroleum, for which men kill other men, so I can see the energetic rationale behind it...

January 1, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterRobert Graves

As long as there are simple-minded individuals looking for "miracles" there will be someone right around the corner to sell them snake oil. I'd be interested to know if the same people that are skeptical of these "talismans" are also religious. Religion is but another elixir fed to the masses promising the grandiose with zero scientific backing.

January 1, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterGeoff D

Competitors look to talismans to gain an edge. That edge is psychological, either to benifit the competitor or to trump his adversary. Competition is a twofold endeavor. One must be physically inclined but is also in need of the right mental state. Without such, it is difficult to endure the discomfort that comes from competition.

Have you ever wondered why some racers are better time trialers than others? Most are similarly capable of riding X distance in Y time but cannot do so in the time trial. This is a brutal race on the mind. I remember my own experiences well and for the races I lacadasically started, my finish was poor. For those I was worked up for, I did well. The disc wheel helped more to discourage my minuteman without one than it cut time for me. The womp, womp, womp sound of my disced bike catching my minute man usually caused him to ease up on his pedals just a bit in defeat, much like when a breakaway is caught by the peloton. As for the disc, studies done in the late 80's indicated that among equal competitors, a disc would shave 10-20 seconds over the course of a 25 mile TT. My experiences were that my times were bettered by more than double that. That was my talisman, the womp factor.

January 2, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterJim

When someone is espousing on the coolness of something that is 2 grams lighter, and $100 more expensive, and thus much faster. I usually offer them my favorite item to make them faster. I tell them that if they carry it they will be significantly faster then when they don't. I then hand them a penny. (Shiny ones are faster then old tarnished ones.) My belief is that the speed difference between two good quality parts is 99.44% psychology. If you think that you will be faster, you will, at least until the new wears off.
Good rant.

January 2, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterRedtaildd

Great post, Dave. And coincidentally, the BBC has an article about the PB bracelets. Here's the link for anyone who'd like to read "What are Power Balance bands?" by Finlo Rohrer:


January 7, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterTamia Nelson

PostPost a New Comment

Enter your information below to add a new comment.
Author Email (optional):
Author URL (optional):
Some HTML allowed: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <code> <em> <i> <strike> <strong>