1. This site uses cookies. By continuing to use this site, you are agreeing to our use of cookies. Learn More.

Mechanical doping

Discussion in 'Pro Cycling (Road and Track Racing)' started by themosquitoking, 11 May 2015.

  1. ColinJ

    ColinJ Hillfinder General

    Ah, ok - yes! I just searched through for the bit I remembered and didn't spot the context.

    Well, it shows that thermal cameras would be good at detecting that kind of cheating so the UCI should be using them.

    As for Ricco ... he WAS that blatant! I remember one race when he romped up a stupidly steep stage finish and leapt off his bike at the top as if he had just been for a pootle round his local park while some of the best pros in the world had got off behind him and were walking their bikes to the finish!
  2. 400bhp

    400bhp Guru

    I mentioned this a long time ago here. Power data should be supplied to the UCI for all pros in each race.

    There must be a way to detect a power motor from the data, irrespective of simply additional power over and above the norm for a rider.. The motor itself will have little to no "white noise"for example. Overall the power graph should be smoother for someone using a motor.
  3. DRM

    DRM Über Member

    West Yorks
    If a motor is in use it shouldn't get hot, only warm,a motor that is hot is one that is failing, ie the brushes or commutator are worn and arcing, bearings starting to collapse etc, the heat detecting cameras are good, I was speaking to a sparky at a site I was working at who was using one to inspect mains distribution boards for iffy connections/mcb's and had found an mcb that was just starting to fail, the heat was there to see, if a pro bike was generating heat at the bottom bracket I would personally be suspicious as the bikes are meticulously maintained and surely would never be allowed to get in such a state, with all those mechanics prepping bikes and having enough parts to sink a battleship, I think the cameras should be used discreetly during races, and anyone found with a motor should be dropped on like a ton of bricks by the UCI.
  4. jarlrmai

    jarlrmai Veteran

    A difference of a few degrees, could be a silvered crank in the sun versus a matt black one in the sun.

    However yeah I think it does need some more scientific investigation, what made me doubtful was the demo they did showed a massive difference in temp and then when they showed the footage of riders apparently using motors, the difference was far less noticeable.
    Hont and Stephen C like this.
  5. Adrian

    Adrian Heed the elf's wisdom

    Perhaps someone could test the detection technology with some real life examples. Set it up, ride a load of bikes past it a load of times, in different conditions, some with and some without and see how effective it is when they don't know up front which is which.
    jarlrmai likes this.
  6. Crackle

    Crackle Pah Staff Member

    I prefer the current witchfinder approach. That way everyone is an expert.
    Mort, rich p, Hont and 1 other person like this.
  7. Oldfentiger

    Oldfentiger Über Member

    Pendle, Lancs
    I confess I haven't read everything in this thread. However if I were to design this I'd use a brushless motor with LiPo battery. These type of motors have high power output for their size and run cooler than old-tech DC motors. 250W is quite a modest output for these motors.
    In fact more heat would be produced by the battery, but then the battery pack could be located anywhere on the bike.
  8. Stephen C

    Stephen C Über Member

    It strikes me that they had reached their conclusions first and then tried to fit what they had when it was obvious nobody was using the BB motors. The warm rims could be, as you suggest, simply be matt black material in the sun!
  9. It seems to me that heat cameras may be a good method of screening or targeting specific bikes for testing, but it's insufficient to actually be used as a test itself. Hot spots may indicate a motor, but equally may be due to other reasons.

    But what is actually going to happen, or is already happening, is that footage that says "this bike may be worth investigating further" will be interpreted as "this rider is most definitely and undeniably a great big cheaty Mc Cheatface". And any bit of footage that is even slightly unusual, if the rider happens to be already under suspicion (justifiably or not), will be taken as solid proof.

    This is going to be fun.
    ColinJ likes this.
  10. OP

    themosquitoking Veteran

    Right, a bicycle frame is made of tubes, carbon tubes usually in the pro peloton. Carbon isn't a great conductor of heat so if a thermal camera several metres away is able to detect a difference of a degree or more in a localised spot within a particular tube i would imagine that would equate to several degrees difference in those specific locations actually inside the frame. A motor would do that.
  11. oldroadman

    oldroadman Veteran

    I fooled 'em all in my race days, motors in each shoe, connected by an under plaster/legwarmer cable to a battery suppository. On off switch in a very odd place. Not very effective but the tingle from the battery was quite nice.... :wacko:
    Smokin Joe, jarlrmai, Scoosh and 2 others like this.
  12. deptfordmarmoset

    deptfordmarmoset Full time tea drinker

    Armonmy Way
    Daft post of the day, I reckon. :laugh:
    BrumJim and oldroadman like this.
  13. oldroadman

    oldroadman Veteran

    Somewhere, there is someone who will believe it...right, shopping done, off for a potter, looks like rain. Lovely.:banghead:
    deptfordmarmoset likes this.
  14. Pale Rider

    Pale Rider Guru

    My ebiking experience suggests heat is not a good way to detect the presence of a motor.

    I've hammered my Bosch ebike a few times - not least when trying to keep up with @ColinJ and pals.

    There is no detectable by hand heat in the casing after a long climb.

    It's a 250w road legal system, but peaks at more than double that when it and me are giving it full beans.

    If 500w or so produces next to no heat, then 50w - all a pro needs to gain an edge - is going to produce even less.

    Not that it follows the bikes on the footage don't have motors, they might or might not.

    Any motor on a bike is easy to detect by inspection.

    To use a police phrase, it is there to be seen, as is the lumpy battery, connecting wires and activation switch.
  15. Foghat

    Foghat Veteran

    All that suggests is that heat detection by hand is not a very effective way to attempt to detect motors....in a certain type of frame/motor combination. The Stade 2 documentary has already shown that infrared detectors are more than capable of detecting the temperature differences (of only a few degrees) in rear hubs where hub motors are suspected. It also showed that the bottom bracket motor it tested produced a significant temperature difference.

    Maybe the detectors need adaptation or refinement for optimal use in the policing of bike racing - but at least these journalists have made the UCI sit up and take notice.

    Inspection is all well and good, but race officials have limited numbers, time and capacity, and hundreds of bikes to check, not to mention some seemingly well-practised evasion, avoidance and diversion tactics employed by team mechanics and riders to counter too. They need devices that will alert them to machines to be suspicious of, in live race situations - so that they can seize the bike immediately after the race, or even during if necessary, and perform the detailed inspection. And since officials won't know which riders could be using motors, or when during the race, the detectors need to cover as much ground with as little effort as possible.

    Heat detectors are not the be-all-and-end-all, and certainly require the corroboration of a visual/manual inspection, but they could be the basis of an effective detection and deterrent system that affords greater capability (against certain types of motor) to the resource-limited UCI.
    Last edited: 23 Apr 2016