Buying Speed? Has Cycling Become An Arms Race? | GCN Show Ep.371

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Buying Speed? Has Cycling Become An Arms Race? | GCN Show Ep.371

Buying Speed? Has Cycling Become An Arms Race? | GCN Show Ep.371


Speaker 1: Here at Newport Velodrome for Ollie’s
Hour Record. Audience: Welcome to GCN show.
Dan: Welcome to the GCN show. Manon: Coming up this week, has cycling become
an arms race with bikes and components out of reach of the average person on the streets?
Dan: We shall discuss. We’re also going to look at how your alarm clock could affect
your cycling performance and a new round-the-world record attempt as Ollie’s attempt to break
Eddy Merckx’s hour record. [chanting]
[music] This week in the world of cycling, we learned
that Nairo Quintana is back to his best. He absolutely annihilated the rest of the field
on stage three of the Tour de la Provence after Chalet Reynard on Mont Ventoux finishing
almost a minute and a half ahead of everybody else.
Manon: We also learned that World Bicycle Relief has now handed out over half a million
bikes to those in need the most over the last 15 years.
Dan: They have. What a milestone that is for them. As you know, World Bicycle is a charity
very close to our hearts. I’ve been over to see first-hand the work that they do and the
positive effect those bikes have on the recipients. We really couldn’t be happier for them.
Manon: Finally, this week we learned that with the best that modern technology has to
offer, Ollie didn’t break- Dan: Smashed.
Manon: -Eddy Merckx’s hour record. Dan: We don’t actually know yet, do we? He’s
not even started his attempt as we record this week’s GCN show. What we do know is that
even if he doesn’t beat Eddy’s mark, he should get reasonably close.
Manon: Since not even Ollie would compare his athletic ability to Merckx’s, it is proof
you can buy yourself a lot of speed. Dan: It is. Although he wouldn’t compare himself
to Merckx though, it does appear, Manon, that he does consider himself an elite athlete.
Ollie: When you’ve worked with other top athletes, other top athletes, other top athletes–
Dan: So many comments about that line only in the last week’s GCN show. Anyway, you are
right Manon in that you can buy speed, but it costs a lot of money. Doesn’t it? Cycling
has never been cheap if you want to buy a top-end bike. It feels like in 2020, those
top-end bikes are costing more than they ever have.
Manon: The question is, has it become too expensive and therefore unaffordable for the
average man, woman or child in the streets? Dan: I think if you look specifically at the
top-end bikes, the answer is probably yes in some ways. I was thinking back to 1995
when I was 15 and you were almost born Manon. I used to lust after a bike from Trek called
The OCLV 9000. A beautiful carbon mountain bike. At the time, it retailed for about £2,500.
When you take into account inflation, that’s the equivalent in 2020 of £5,000. That was
way out of reach for me and my parents really. Manon: Now, you can get off the peg bikes
for over £10,000. Dan: Which is the most I’ve ever spent on
a car. Manon: Me too. Anyway, effectively top-end
bikes have doubled in price over the last 25 years.
Dan: They have. The question is though, are they twice as good? Actually, that’s a really
difficult one to answer. What I would say is that a £1,500 bike in 2020 is better than
a $3,000 bike was back in the day. Manon: Trickled-down technology.
Dan: Exactly, yes. Manon: Due to the UCI equipment rules, you
can now ride a bike that is better than a professional bike rider which probably wasn’t
the case in your day, Dan. Dan: All right, no. You’re right though. It
wasn’t because until quite recently, pro riders often used custom equipment that neither you
just couldn’t get your hands on if you’re a member of the public. That has changed recently.
In 2020, a bike manufacturer sponsoring a big pro team wants those riders on bikes that
the public can buy, which makes complete sense. Dare I say it, this trend started with the
Cervélo TestTeam. I know. I’m sorry, but it’s true. We had to ride bikes that were
available to buy in your local bike shop. In fact, unless you’re a leader on that team,
you had to use an S2 and not an S3 frameset. Manon: I presume you’re on an S2.
Dan: Yes, you presume right, Manon. Manon: That continues to this day. Last year,
AG2R were spotted using Shimano Ultegra on their Eddy Merckx race bikes. In 2018, the
Axeon development team were using, wait for it, aluminum specialized bikes.
Dan: No. Aluminum? That was supposed to be dead when carbon came along, but they were
still very successful on them, weren’t they? Manon: Yes.
Dan: The question then, are you losing out on a bit of speed if you don’t have a really
top-end bike? Undoubtedly, you are. A little bit. To go with that assumption, it’s not
all about the bike. In fact, if you plunk Egan Bernal or Nairo Quintana on a £300 road
bike, they’re still going to out climb every armature out there-
Manon: -and most pros. You don’t need to spend a load of money to enjoy riding your bike.
You might not be able to afford to or you just might not want to.
Dan: Exactly. I guess there are other, let’s say more affluent members of the cycling community
who might get enjoyment from having the best that money can buy just in the same way that
other people are like that with cars or clothing. Manon: -or watches.
Dan: Precisely. They will tell the time. Don’t they?
Manon: Yes. Dan: I guess where this can become a bit more
controversial is when you start talking about children’s bikes. I’m going to be quite hypocritical
on this because where I’m within the cycling industry, my youngest son, Jude is fortunate
enough to have a top-end cyclist bike which costs way in excess of £1,000 retail.
I know that most parents out there are not going to be willing to or be able to afford
to buy a bike of that nature. Especially when they’re going to outgrow it in a case of,
years, maybe even months. Whilst he’s fortunate from that point of view, he’s also unfortunate
too, because he’s got my genes, so he is regularly beaten by other children on bikes that cost
a fraction of the price. Manon: It’s an interesting topic, but we’d
like to throw it out to you at home. Do you ever get annoyed with how much bikes cost?
Do you wish you could spend more? Dan: Could you not care less? Are you happy
to just go out riding on whatever you can afford? As ever, you can let us know in the
comments section down below. I think it’s going to be quite a big debate about that
one. We are now going to hand over to Ollie who I doubt ever wants to see a pair of wheels
again in his life if he’s gone deep enough in his hour record. Here is his last blog.
[music] Ollie: Just done the hour record. I’m absolutely
wrecked. I don’t feel like I could walk upstairs. [chuckles] It’s the hardest thing I’ve done
on a bike by an absolute mile. Absolutely savage. It feels like nothing else. That is
so unrelenting compared to anything else you do on a bike. You don’t realize on the road,
those little rests you get, how much they count for.
My legs are just wrecked. I’ve not beaten Eddy Merckx but I feel massively proud because
I just gave up everything. I have destroyed myself. [laughs] I need like to two years
disabled access. Interviewer: To lie down. You need it.
Ollie: [laughs] Yes, I do. I need to lie down. [sighs] Let me go get some food and a massage.
I’m wrecked. [sighs] All right. Good day. [music]
Dan: It is now time for your weekly GCN inspiration. This being where you submit your inspiration
cycling photos and videos to the GCN app which you have to download if you haven’t done so
already. We pick out our favorite three each week and they all win a prize. Without further
ado, winning a stainless steel bottle in black as third place this week is
Manon: Miltonlahoz on his Trek Madone last morning ride before the snow in Toronto.
Dan: That looks stunning, doesn’t it? Manon: Very nice, yes.
Dan: Although I’m imagining very cold. Can is always telling us how harsh their winters
are. To be honest I’m sick of winter. We’ve had two storms over the last two weekends
here in the UK. We’re looking forward to warmer sunshine, which is why we’ve chosen these
top two. Well onto you, that bottle is on its way, but in second place this week and
receiving a striped T-shirt bundle is Manon: EDU.QB in sunny Chile, best way to
do a 33K up Hill Road and it’s always awesome to get out here in the mountains.
Dan: Yes. No matter how many times you’ve done it and I would agree. If we had anything
like that near us I’d be doing it pretty much- Manon: It looks lovely.
Dan: -every day. It looks lovely and it looks warm as well.
Manon: It has some snow in the background. Dan: True but I’m betting that that is shorts
and short sleeves weather right there which I’m dying for I know-
Manon: It’s been a while. Dan: -and can’t wait for GCN event in New
York in late March. Hopefully, the weather will be good there. Anyway, top prize this
week and winner of a [unintelligible 00:08:20] t-sweatshirt and a baseball cap is Tecnociclista
who’s been exploring a new area for gravel riding and a little more than an hour ride
from the busy center of Madrid, Laguna del Campillo. Which makes you feel very close
to nature. How stunning is that? I tell you what, that must have been a still day, mustn’t
it? Manon: Yes.
Dan: There’s not a ripple in that lake. Manon: Look at the reflection on the water.
Dan: Absolutely brilliant. Another bucket list ride I think there. All right. Thanks
again for all of you who submitted your photos over the last week. Don’t forget to get involved
over on the GCN app. [music]
Speaker 4: It’s now time for cycling shorts. Manon: Cycling shorts now. We’ll start with
the news that the type of alarm you wake up to could affect your riding. What alarm do
you use, Dan? Dan: At home, I’ve got a radio alarm clock
that I use to wake me up. Manon: Radio 1?
Dan: No, I’m bit too old for that. It was radio two actually I’ve synced for Chris Evans
Breakfast Show over to Virgin Radio. When I’m not home though, I use my phone.
Manon: Oh yes. What alarm you do have? Dan: You mean ringtone?
Manon: Yes. Dan: [unintelligible 00:09:23] I’ve got my
phone just down here. It is Cold Spring. [phone alarm]
Manon: Quite melodic, isn’t it? Dan: Not too bad.
Manon: This is mine. [phone alarm]
Dan: No. Manon: Yes.
Dan: That’s harsh. Don’t keep it going. Manon: Sorry. [laughs] It wakes me up though.
At least I thought it did. A recent study from the Royal Melbourne Institute of Technology
found that a melodic alarm was a lot more effective at waking you up than an abrupt
alarm. Dan: It sounds like you better change yours.
Manon: I better. Dan: It was just the most abrupt alarm I’ve
ever heard in my life. Worth taking into consideration though because apparently, the melodica will
see you fully awake a bit earlier. Therefore if you’re doing an early morning training
session, it’s going to be more effective. Although I have to say, it doesn’t matter
how melodic and tuneful your alarm is when you first hear it, there comes a point when
you’ve had one too many early wake-up calls that you hate it.
Manon: Very true. Dan: It is. Moving on. Do you ever use your
phone whilst you’re out cycling? Manon: Yes, I do. I’ve been known to take
the odd selfie when I’m out on my bike. When I’ve stopped though.
Dan: Good. Glad to hear it. Some of you who watched the GCN show regularly might remember
that last year in July the Dutch bought in a new law which bans cyclists from using their
mobile phones whilst they were cycling. Since then they have handed out 21,000 fines to
cyclists caught breaking that law and each of those got a fine of up to €95 plus costs.
Manon: That’s an expensive selfie. Dan: It is. Moral of the story being don’t
use your phone when you’re riding a bike. Manon: Moving on. How long would it take you
to ride around the world? Dan: [unintelligible 00:10:55], that was a
change of subject. Not really considered it before. Probably would never do it but in
answer to that, I would say it would take me a very, very long time.
Manon: Likewise, but Scottish cyclist Helen Langridge is attempting to break the women’s
world record for riding around the world. She’s attempting to do it in less than 124
days. That record is held by a friend of the channel, Jenny Graham.
Dan: It is indeed and in fact Helen is hoping to do it in 110 days. That journey is 18,000
miles so she’s reckoning an average of 15 to 16 hours on the bike every single day.
Although that said, it sounds odd, but she has actually done this before. She has already
ridden around the world, hasn’t she? Manon: She has. In 2016 Helen went on a Tinder
date with Mike and on their second date, they decided they’re going to ride around the world
together and on the journey, they got married. Dan: If you’re ever wondering what to do for
your first date, just ride around the world together. That really would be make or break
for a relationship, wouldn’t it? Manon: Dan, have you ever wondered if you
could power a gym using nothing but a gym bike and your very own hard work?
Dan: Not really. This is another question in life that I haven’t pondered much. Although
it was clearly on the minds of researchers Mustafa Ihsan and Vimal Viswanathan because
they have produced a paper on this very topic. Basically, they set up an indoor static bike
and tried to harness the energy from it. Manon: They found that you had to ride at
300 watts to harvest 22% of the energy and that’s around 66 watts.
Dan: Which they reckon is enough to power 20% of an American college gym, don’t they?
Manon: They are planning to carry out more research on the topic, but it does raise the
question if one day gyms will be partially powered by gym-goers.
Dan: You’d hope so wouldn’t you? Manon: Yes.
Dan: In fact, I’m probably surprised no one’s managed to do that already. Also, imagine
if somehow you are able to harvest a percentage of the energy produced by Zwifters each time
of the day. I bet there’s a lot there. We shall finish cycling shorts with a real-feel
good story that we saw over on bicycling.com. Charity over in Indianapolis which is called
Kids Building Bikes, which is doing exactly what the title suggests really. It is teaching
children how to build bikes, how to maintain a bike, the anatomy of a bike, how to be safe
and be seen on bikes amongst many other things. That is over a course which consists of eight
two-hour lessons. Manon: If the child passes they get to have
their very own brand new bike. Dan: At the end.
Manon: How cool is that? Dan: Really cool and also that bike they get
given they built themselves and of course, know how to maintain that bike as well. Brilliant
stuff. [buzz]
Next up it is Hack/bodge of the Week. First show and first go. I don’t know. This is the
point at which you submit your hacks and bodges over on the GCN app ready for next week show
because you’ve already been voting on the previous week’s hacks and bodges and that’s
what we’re going to go through now. First up, we’ve got this one from-
Manon: Kevc. “Couldn’t find a bike stand anywhere in Abu Dhabi. Not sure if anyone does their
own maintenance here so I improvised with some bamboo and some para-chord. Saved a fortune
and worked a treat.” Dan: I don’t know what to say on this one.
Needs must and if he couldn’t find a bike stand anywhere, that’s probably the best that
he could do over there. Manon: It doesn’t look very stable. If you’re
doing maintenance to your bike, it’s just going to be rocking around.
Dan: To be fair, he doesn’t look like he’s got particularly far with his bike build there,
is he? Manon: A lot of work to do.
Dan: He still needed it. I’m going to go hack. What do you say?
Manon: Bodge. Dan: Really?
Manon: Yes. Dan: Harsh. First hack or bodge, Manon is
saying bodge. Public is saying hack. 57% said hack, 43% said bodge.
Manon: Was it close? Dan: It was close, yes. All right, moving
on, we had this one from Josh7, kind of a tool bike really. A lot going on in that photo.
My question with all of these things is why? Anyway, bike-scooter hybrid, “Came across
this unique design in Vancouver. Must be interesting at traffic lights.” You’d want to be track
stand master coming towards a set of traffic lights with that.
Manon: That’s a bike for Conor? Dan: [chuckles] Yes. I suppose he could put
the saddle up a little bit- Manon: Yes, the saddle has to go up.
Dan: -more than just about 15 there. What you’re saying on that one?
Manon: Bodge, I just don’t understand why. Dan: No, it looks like he’s got steps there
to get up to the saddle, but, yes, why? The public are in agreement with you this time.
70% said bodge. Right, up next. Manon: Theprettyvisitor.
Dan: Skelo-velo. Manon: [laughs] This one in from Theprettyvisitor,
“Krakow seems to becoming the unofficial home of Hack or Bodge. Skelo-bike, anyone?”
Dan: It’s another one where you just think, “Why?” In fact when you zoom in and look a
bit closer, although it looks neat from far away, it looks more like, well-done paper-mache.
Manon: It’s a good effort. I’d struggle to make anything like that.
Dan: You’re saying hack then, are you? Manon: Yes, there must be a reason behind
it. Dan: I’m going to say-
Manon: Fancy dressed. Dan: [chuckles] It’s certainly a head-turner
as you ride through the street, isn’t it? Anyway, you at home have deemed it a hack?
Just 52% of you voted hack, 48% voted bodge. I like the comment from James actually, “A
real boneshaker.” Just the kind of level of pun that we like here on the GCN Show. All
right, next up, we had this from Eyerluke, so he wrote, “My friend Jo’s poor broken bike
on the Tour Aotearoa right at the start of the sea to mountains trail to the bridge to
nowhere. 55k is are very wet and slippery single track with a derailleur cage broken.
Repairs made with a borrowed tent peg, managed to get to Whanganui on this total distance
of around 130 kilometers.” That actually, I think is the definition of
a hack really when you’re out in the wilderness in the middle of nowhere, no shops anywhere
nearby. That is exactly the hack and maintenance that you need to do out on the trail to get
you home again. Manon: Yes, that’s a very good hack.
Dan: Wow, it’s reasonably close actually at home. 59% saying hack and 41% saying bodge.
Finally this week. Manon: Ron_Alfonso, “Cleaning the chain hack.”
Dan: Simple one. You’re new to GCN, Manon. Presumably, you’ve watched most of the previous
360 episodes of the GCN show. Manon: I’m working my way through them.
Dan: Yes, I thought you might be. Anyway, I am a big fan of a chain keeper and that
is exactly what that is. Just far easier when you get your bike in a box down, you want
to degrease your chain. Not sure what your thoughts are on-chain keepers.
Manon: I don’t own one. Dan: No?
Manon: No. Dan: I’ve got plenty that I can say you want
to trade for as we’re both within the industry. You recommend hack or bodge for a chain keeper?
Manon: It doesn’t make sense, so a hack, yes. Dan: Well done Manon. Yes, I completely disagree
with Sai who hates. Manon: Does he?
Dan: He hates chain keepers, yes. Partly because we had one every week for about a year, I
think. I’m definitely going hack and so are 54% of you. Brilliant, well-done Ron. Well
done to all of you who have posted your hacks and bodges over to the GCN app, don’t forget
to get involved ready for next week’s show so that people can get voting for the following
week’s show. [music]
Manon: Next up, caption competition. We give you a photo and you leave your best captions
in the comment section below or on the app. The winner which we will pick will receive
an elite water bottle. Dan: They will indeed. Last week’s photo was
this one of Óscar Sevilla over at the presentation of the Tour Columbia 2.1 and our winner is
BassSlaughter who put a caption, “Team Bahrain-Merino reveals new kit.” I see what you did there.
Bass get in touch on Facebook with your address and we’ll get that elite water bottles sent
out to you. This week’s caption photo for you to get your teeth stuck into is this one
of Adam de Vos, the Canadian national champion from Rally Cycling over the end of the finish
line of the Vuelta a Murcia stage one. I can only get people started, Manon. “Someone get
some help. We need the melodic alarms to wake this man up.” Sorry, so nobody loves a little
bit that one. Manon: He’s clearly a better actor than I
am. [chuckles] Dan: Yes, leave your best captions in the
comment section below. [music]
This is the part of the show were we’re about to tell you what’s coming up on GCN over the
next week. Before we do so, five this week of our favorite comments from the previous
videos. First up underneath, we need to talk about concussion brought to you by Conor over
the weekend. This is from Brian Messemer, ” ‘We need to have a discussion about concussion’,
was clearly a missed opportunity.” We’re not clever enough to think of titles like that.
Not appropriate but- Manon: No, we’re being the good one.
Dan: -we might change it on your suggestion, Brian.
Manon: Next up, underneath Ollie’s fastest hour upgrade video from the Artful Bodger.
“Katie’s earned her money that day. Apparently, she’s now in therapy.”
Dan: [chuckles] You’re close to being the needing therapy because you watched that video
early on this morning, didn’t you? Manon: Yes, no one needs to see that.
Dan: Yes, Ollie strutting his stuff in his bib shorts. Yes, get well soon Katie, sorry
about that. Under that same video, Paul Corby says, “Ollie says you get scanned in your
pants then proceeds to wear a set of bib shorts. Is it fair to assume Ollie wears bib shorts
as underwear at all times? Could well be. Manon: I really hope not.
Dan: No, I do as well but- Manon: It’s a lot of “show-me” time.
Dan: -would not put it past him. Manon: Yes, true.
Dan: Now that he’s, actually, at this point probably finished his hour record, we need
to find out how he’s got on. Ollie: I’ve not beaten Eddy Merckx.
Dan: Maybe he’ll get back to a normal underwear. Under the top 10 places to ride before you
die, Susek wrote, “Jeremy Powers was in Los Angeles, which is most definitely not Northern
California.” Whoops, yet another mistake we’ve made here at GCN to add to the growing list.
Manon: Who’s that? Ollie and Hank, I think. Did that video?
Dan: Probably yes. Manon: Whooping on them.
Dan: Yes, it wasn’t us. Manon: Underneath last week’s show, from Scott
Bolton, “I’d like to see my fitness making a comeback.”
Dan: We were asking you what you would like to see making a comeback in the world of cycling
last week. I think a lot of us would be in agreement with you there Scott. Coming up
on GCN over the next week, which we’d start with Wednesday where we’re going to teach
you how to do a swift race. Worry me because I’ve never actually raced on the swift-
Manon: No? Dan: -in my life. I’m getting more motivated
on the bike though, so I’m going to watch that, in case I want to do one, once it got
me into a setup there again. Thursday, we have got our top 10 cycling Instagram accounts,
which you wrote and presented, Manon. Manon: I did, yes.
Dan: Presumably I’m in there. If you will follow us on Instagram, the next week on Saturday,
Jerry Powers goes fat biking with Ted King. Manon: On Saturday, it’s for mental or physical,
Conor looks into what one might be holding us back. On Sunday, we find out if Ollie broke
Eddy Merckx’s record. Dan: Hopefully, we’ll manage to keep that
quiet. I know there are a lot of paparazzi outside so it might reach the tabloids here
in the UK before Sunday. Ollie: I’ve not beaten Eddy Merckx.
Dan: Regardless, it should be a very interesting video. Monday, of course, it’s the racing
new show over on the GCN racing channel. Speaking of which, two big races go on this week, and
we’ve got worldwide highlights of both, the Volta ao Algarve and the Vuelta a Andalucía.
Amongst the names taking part are Remco Evenepoel, Mathieu van der Poel, Mikel Landa and a whole
host of others, so make sure you don’t miss that.
[music] Almost the end of the show, which means it’s
time now for Extreme Corner, which this week is the first lap of Ollie’s hour record.
[music] Start of an hour of pain there. You’re experienced
on the track Manon, judging by that first lap, what do you reckon?
Manon: I think it’ll be very close. I think he’ll do it, yes.
Dan: You reckon he’ll do it? Manon: Yes.
Dan: Confidence in Ollie Bridgewood. Make sure you tune in to find out on Sunday.
Ollie: I’ve not beaten Eddy Merckx- Dan: Anyway, I hope you’ve enjoyed this week’s
show. Thanks for joining us, Manon. It’d be your first-ever GCN show.
Manon: That’s so great. Thanks for having me.
Dan: It’s been brilliant. We’ll see you next week.
[00:22:52] [END OF AUDIO]

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