Does the pro peloton smell bad?

doctornige

Well-Known Member
This may seem an odd question, but let me explain. I went for a ride today. A punishing 30-miler through the Peak with a wee respite on the Cheshire Plain. As I was recovering from my first climb, I ran up behind another weekend warrior: carbon bike, team Lycra - the usual deal. I decided to hang off his wheel for a moment before making the effort to pass him, and this is where I noticed it. Man, this guy was stinking. In fact, he was smelling so bad, I had to call him on it and ask if this was the beginning or the end of his ride. It turned out he had put in about 40 climber miles in before I met his wasted body crawling along the leafy lane. I quickly passed him and made a joke about a sweat wake. And yes, I am fully aware that 20 miles later, I probably smelled just the same. My jersey was rank when I took it off back at home.

While I was riding along afterwards, it occurred to me. If that one dude on his own could be nasally discerned from a range of 5 metres, with pong levels reaching nauseating at one bike length, then what the actual heck must the pro peloton smell like when it's four abreast and slaving away up a sunny alpine pass?

Has anyone here got close enough to cop a sniff?
 

lukesdad

Guest
The smell normally comes from a different oraffice in the pro peloton...in any peloton frankly. ^_^
 
From the number of grooming products, shampoos, and shaving foams allegedly used by Team GB in the current adverts, they must be the best smelling of the lot

victoriapendletonpantene.jpg
 

Rob3rt

Man or Moose!
Location
Manchester
Fresh sweat doesn't smell particularly bad, but stale sweat stinks. So my guess is that he doesn't wash his kit often enough! Although some cheap kit can make you pong when you sweat.
 

Octet

Über Member
Fresh sweat doesn't smell, it is mainly water and has small amounts of oils and the such which have been pushed out of the pores. As mentioned, old sweat smells because of the friendly bacteria which has been allowed to multiply. When washing, you control this bacteria but otherwise it multiplies and multiplies until you can smell it.
My guess would be that this has happened due to a lack of either personal hygiene or kit washing.
 
I didn't notice any particularly whiffy riders climbing in France and the temps where well into the 100's, I think you just got a ripe onexx(
 

perplexed

Legendary Member
Location
Sheffield
I came up behind a group of about 10-12 riders the other week, and all I could smell was fresh lube.
I didn't think that KY had much of an odour...:whistle:
 

dellzeqq

pre-talced and mighty
Location
SW2
I've stood right by the barriers on the Champs Elysees, and felt the draught of the peleton as they rush up the granite gutter strip, and I was struck by the fact that they didn't smell. There was a wave of warm, moist air, but it wasn't stale or acrid.
 

asterix

Comrade Member
Location
Limoges or York
New sweat is clean and smell-free. Old sweat attracts bacteria and smells.

OOps.. Just noticed this:

Fresh sweat doesn't smell, it is mainly water and has small amounts of oils and the such which have been pushed out of the pores. As mentioned, old sweat smells because of the friendly bacteria which has been allowed to multiply. When washing, you control this bacteria but otherwise it multiplies and multiplies until you can smell it.
My guess would be that this has happened due to a lack of either personal hygiene or kit washing.
 
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