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Mechanical Doping – How Does A Road Bike With A Hidden Motor Ride?

Mechanical Doping – How Does A Road Bike With A Hidden Motor Ride?


– [Dan] Road bikes with hidden motors are
not exactly new, but given that a pro rider has just been caught with one in
competition, we thought that the time is right now, for us to have a go on one
ourselves. Just what does a road bike with a hidden motor feel like, and
how fast can we go on one? ♪ [music] ♪ – [Si] What we have actually got here
then? Well this is one of the first production bikes here in the UK to be
fitted with a hidden motor. It’s kept there, in the seat tube, and it
drives the bottom bracket axel by a pinion gear and then Dan can switch it
on and off via the handlebars. – The battery is located here, in the
bottle, you can apparently get some batteries which are hidden down here in
the seat tube on top of the motor itself but being much smaller, it’s got
a far shorter run or ride time. – So we’re at the burning question then.
How much power, it feels quite dangerous as we stood here, how much power is this
going to contribute? Apparently between one to 200 watts for an hour. – Yeah, I think our decent group ride is
just about to become a lot harder. ♪ [music] ♪ – Out on the open road then, what does it
feel like? Well to start with, we’re cruising along now at 25, 30k an
hour. And it’s not on. I can’t feel any resistance coming from the motor, except
when I backpedal, which is a bit weird. And then, what happens when we
switch it on then? Right here we go. – I’ll let you go in front now Si. – Okay, okay mate. Now it’s a really
strange sensation because the motor’s actually has got a limit as to
how fast it’ll turn the cranks, which at 86 rpm, so that’s quite slow but
then, it’s just there in the background, just taking over so I can…well, what I
mean, I’m in like 50-11, I’m not doing very much. Dan, are you
doing much back there? – Not too bad. – So the fact that I can’t peddle any
quicker with the motor is a bit weird but we’re going pretty swiftly. ♪ [music] ♪ – It’s very different to any electric bike
I’ve ridden in the past where you pedal and you can kind of just feel the motor
giving a little bit back whereas this, it literally feels like something else
is turning the pedals for me. – I can keep up with 200 watts,
– Just having a little stretch. – Right, well it’s now my turn to inflict
a little pain on the side and I’m loving it already. The question is though, do
I think that this particular system has been used previously in the Pro Pedalthon.
Well I guess the fact it has been now seen in competition at a very big race, it has
changed and skewed my opinion somewhat, but thinking about this particular one, I
still find it reasonably hard to believe so I can very much hear this next to me
now and I think that would be the same case in the middle of a pedalthon. So you
might just get a slightly quieter ones, they might be slightly more sophisticated
now in 2016 but the rumor was first started quite a few years ago now, so
presumably, this thing would have been state of the art back at that time. Now as Si already mention, this one is
also a climbing model, which means that the power only kicks in at cadences
of below 86. Now apparently, you can get one which is for flat terrain,
which means that cadences of up to a hundred, it’ll still provide you with
some power. Now that would make more sense if you were racing, because actually my
preferred cadence going higher for climb like this one, would be
90 or perhaps even a hundred. So my hunch is still no,
at least that’s my hope. – One last question to answer is how
effective can this motor really be? Now we know it’s putting about 150 watts,
we were measuring it with a power tap back wheel, but we’ve come to a particularly
nasty climb in the south of England. A nasty climb that a certain Mr. Lloyd
actually has the king of the mountains on, something he set in the 2011 Tour of
Britain. So here we are, five years later, three years into retirement.
Can Dan break his KOM? – Let’s find out. So it’s the moment of
truth, in about 100 meters, I’m going to turn left, I’m going to
activate my motor and see if I can beat my former self. ♪ [music] ♪ So we’re not too far from the top now,
Steve is there. He’s all over that now. Oh, I can see it. I remember
how hard this was in the race. ♪ [music] ♪ And we’re there, I think. – Right, it’s time for the results. Dan,
how’re you feeling? – Slightly recovered but I was very puffed
out. I guess it does go to show that starting doesn’t get any easier, you just
go faster and that’s the same for a motor as it is with getting fitter. – Right well the results. So fit Dan,
racing Dan, did 7:02. Retired Dan with a motor, was still one minute
and 14 seconds slower. – So they don’t turn a donkey
into a racehorse then. – And you used to be quiet good.
– Yeah. – Right, I guess the question is then,
should our viewers head out and buy themselves a road bike with a hidden
motor? Oh and also, is the pedalthon going to get lots and lots of motor doping
over the next few years? – Yeah well, the first question, I guess a
little bit depends on why you ride your bike in the first place. I mean if you
love the feeling of going fast or every time you go out, you struggle to keep up
with your riding mates who might be younger or faster or have more time to
train than you, then yeah, I guess it kind of makes sense. – It could work the other way around
though. So if you’ve got a work colleague or friend who’s just got into cycling or
maybe a spouse who’s not quite as fit as you or maybe even a teenage son or
daughter that wouldn’t normally be able to keep up, then giving them a bike with a
hidden motor inside is a great way for you both to get something out of the
ride, with a fairly equal effort, nice and social, they can keep up fine. – But what about a sense of accomplishment
though? Now that is something that’s going to be important to all of us at some time
or another and let’s face it, when you’ve got a motor, it’s no longer
your KOM that you’re getting or not getting. You’re not the one conquering
mountains or bossing the local bunch ride. So, especially in accomplishment,
it’s kind of important to all of us, at some time or another,
when you ride a bike isn’t it? And that’s now completely gone. – Yeah and let’s face it, anyone that
wants to go really fast, can just head out and buy a proper motor
bike rather than one with a hidden motor inside like this, so I don’t think we
necessarily need to be too worried even if these do become slightly more commonplace
in society over the next few years, just so long as they are kept
away from any kind of competition. – Yeah, but if they help more people cycle
to work or school, then that’s a good thing. Or indeed, if it helps more people
just get out and ride and enjoy it, then that is also a good thing. And I
don’t think many people are going to turn up with a hidden motor to their local
bunch race or local bunch ride, although there will always
be one or two idiots in there. – The strange thing is Si, and quite
frustrating is that ride actually did get flagged down sort of
by somebody. – I don’t know who would have done that. – Anyways, if you would like to see the
full Col de la Madone done with an electric bike with by yours truly,
you can find it, just up there. – Or if you want to catch the latest GCN
show where we keep you up to date with everything Top Gun in cycling, then
you can click just down there. – We’ve got two things that you might want
to do before you head to either of those videos. The first one is subscribe by
clicking that button, if you haven’t done so already. And the second
one is to give us a thumbs up, if you’ve enjoyed this video.

100 comments on “Mechanical Doping – How Does A Road Bike With A Hidden Motor Ride?

  1. I am considering an electric bike, in common with many of the others I am getting on in years and my knees aren't as keen as the rest of me. Can't see the point of an hidden motor apart from it would look like a less attractive target for a thief.

  2. Isn't the noise produced by the electric engine quite loud? I think that coul be easily noticed by others during a real race…

  3. Cheater hidden motor. Nothing good to say about them. Astronomical price for weak motor. I also doubt their reliability for the long haul. Such small parts are more likely to break.
    I ride ebikes every day on my commuter bikes. Nothing is hidden. Much more powerful and much more range. I'm old but because of it I still get good exercise. Any positive comments about the hidden motor apply to real ebikes, but not the hidden weakling motor.

  4. So let me get this straight… When i go and look for a electric bike.. why do they look like shit, and have giant boxes where i would normally put the stuff i need to carry along when i bike…

    Yet pro cycelists can have everything hidden inside the frame… Why man, WHY arnt this accessable to the public! heck id invest in one!

  5. Not my cup of tea as a relatively new novice rider enjoying the sense of accomplishment at the end of each ride but as a commuter bike I could see this type of motor providing a faster trip to work for the time poor or a greater threshold for those who live a greater distance away from work/school.

  6. I think you should be allowed to use a motor but only if the battery is flat when you begin and you have to charge it mechanically before you can use it

  7. I think the best way to prevent mechanical doping is to have a separate racing series for electric bicycles. I really wish they would do this as a support race for Tour de France, because electric bikes are awesome, and having an actual e-bike racing series would improve the technology for the road bikes, for example it would force increased battery capacity and range.

  8. Yeah the whole thing with e-bikes and motorized cycles just doesn't make any sense to me. Yeah sure they are cool looking and yeah you can go faster and and stuff. But like if the goal is to go fast and look cool why not go all the way and buy a motorcycle that can easily beat a bike hands down. At some point you will see a failure in logic, some seemingly counter productive, and contradictory reasoning that the more you think about it the more you will realize that the purpose and value of a bicycle doesn't necessarily lay in it's ability to go fast and look cool. I had a bicycle in grade school and high school. I gave up riding it when I grew out of it. I just now purchased a new bicycle recently and the reasons I purchased it wasn't so that I could get to one place or another at light speed or so that i could look cool at all. The reason I purchased it was a list of things including. Losing weight, saving gas money, reducing harm on my environment, exploration, getting more out door time to help me with depression, allowing me to easily visit my family without sitting in traffic for an extra 20 minutes every day, and one of the big ones was so that i can still feel like I'm accomplishing something my self without relying on motors and batteries. If I were somehow alone in this line of thinking I would believe that bicycles would have been lost to history and replaced entirely with scouters and motorbikes. But just like I think many know, bicycles haven't gone away completely and are making a comeback in many areas. I for one live in Minnesota and go to school in Minneapolis. The city has invested so much money in new bicycle paths and services for bicycle commuters that it is extraordinary.

    The only things I can think of for e-bikes is that they are just another ridiculous way for people to cheat themselves and others. it's basically like replacing the tip of a real feather ink quill with a ballpoint ink tip from a modern day pen, It's just super ridiculous and it kinda defeats the purpose of having something like that. it's like going to a concert and standing outside the stadium to watch it all on a small monitor in front of the doors. it's taking something that has value and merit on it's own and modifying it in such a way that It no longer makes you feel good about yourself. It's essentially you ignoring everything except the end result. In a world with so many technologies and possibilities, you would think that we would use them to better benefit ourselves and our happiness instead of using them to render what we love meaningless.

  9. I don't ride bicycles to race, so for me, no reason to hide the electric motor. I just use a 750 watt pedal assist bicycle.

  10. What we need to see is retired Dan vs retired Dan + motor. It would be more instructive! Thanks for the video tho

  11. But where do you put your water bottle? 😉
    Why hide the motor and battery? Better to design for function and ease of assembly. Bullshitting is the only reason not to that I can think of.

  12. This seems like a great idea. Perhaps it could be combined with EPO and blood doping to go super fast. It looks like a winner. I’ll be getting one for my next road race.

  13. This is totally different than what has been used even 5+ years ago. This is nowhere near as sophisticated as what racers use

  14. Cyclists should have to pay taxes for the privilege of sharing the road paid for by motor vehicle taxes. Taxes would be used to build wider, safer roads for the cyclists and those of us already paying taxes for privilege of driving on the roads

  15. Once when I was younger in a very good shape. I was cut along in a biathlon riding about 40mph in a flat no wind road. This reporter on a motorcycle who used to cover all bike racing on that state came close and yelled at me " Wow, what kind of doping you injected young man??? It made me mad and pressure on the pedals even more. I was too poor back then to use drugs but I think it's in your moral and work ethic. I did make it to Pro and still think the same way; I won't use drugs. Never did, never will.

  16. I just realized with this supposed new tech, that I have never ever heard the word cheater, cheating, or cheated ever used to describe what these cowards do….never heard that word used either..buuuuuut. Cheating cowards!

  17. I really like this idea. Those who have trouble with their legs, can still continue to ride with ease. Whoopeee

  18. Professional riders are sneaking them.
    The risk factor is so extreme if caught,
    that you can be assured, it works.
    Not rocket science.

  19. I have more respect for people doping than using a motor.
    At least the dopers still have to personally put in all the effort and suffering. Not so much for the motor users.
    Haters gonna hate.

    For recreational use I don't see why anyone would hate a motor or e-bike, it keeps people on their bike and maintains the fun.
    You don't like it? Simple, don't use it, but don't judge other who do.

  20. I recently got a job that is a 40 mile commute each day,and pretty hilly too. I alternate 1 day on my road bike,the next day on my e- bike. I am actually faster on my road bike by an average of 12 mins each way. But I don't sweat so much on the e-bike. The biggest difference I love the e-bike for,is when I ride into a head wind. As any cyclist can tell you that can be soul destroying,and even a strong rider won't enjoy it. The e- bike battery gets zapped,but I don't.

  21. Ive said this too lots of people who talk about sense of accomplishment etc. When your older or your ex military and your knees are shagged and/or your stamina is diminishing then electric bikes will probably be for you. My question is what would happen if you put lance Armstrong on a doped bike!!!!

  22. wont be possible to make a higher efficiency bike? i mean, you cannot recharge it, but it stores your moving energy (downhill, braking), and it gives back to you later (uphill). practically this is not cheating, just you have a more efficient bike. with small batteries and engines… maybe the weight penalty is not too big.

  23. A tiny 150watt pinion gear stem motor is weaker than the shitty 250watt hub motors you find on legal eBikes.. The extra weight of the motor and the bottle full of dense Panasonic 18650 batteries would negate the tiny gains made by the motor..

  24. It's a great idea for riding to work. Hopefully no one will know that it's an electric bike and try to nick it.
    How much does it cost?

  25. I think bikes with motors are great .
    I'm 72 [270 lbs] and cycle my mountain bike to keep fit.
    When I'm out on my bike a lot of other cyclists overtake me, but they are cheating because they have a hidden motor on theirs [I presume]

  26. This would be great for all the cyclist that ride on the road with cars.. power up the hills and keep up with traffic more consistently. When I watch the electric bikes in the city they definitely flow better with traffic.

  27. I just don't find references to doping, funny. Did you know that Maurice Garin was the first doper in 1903? It took till Lance Armstrong to perfect it though. Oh wait I guess Maurice didn't dope. Dang, I got my history wrong. And even Lance wasn't the best doper? I beg to differ. Nobody ever doped better than Lance, even with electric motors. Cheaters cheat, competitors compete. You are right I have no sense of humor about it. None. Not even a little bit.

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