Double checks get the bikes ready for racing
The bikes the riders use must undergo an inspection before the race gets underway.
Story by Mia Becker
When there is 15 minutes to the start of the race, everything must be clear. The usual double equipment check must be done, enough fluid must be taken, the rider must be focused and the bike set.
There are plenty of rules to get a bike approved for a start. Are people aware, for example, that different bikes are used for time trials and road races, and that there are rules for how far away the handlebars should be from the seat?
Between two hours and 15 minutes before the race starts, the bicycle is checked for errors, correct dimensions and geometry. Team leaders and mechanics then enter a control tent in the starting area, where a commissioner from the UCI inspects whether the bike is within the limits set.
- To do it fair, there has been some limitations on how far the seat should be and how far the handlebars should be from the seat, says Erik Kriek, Commissioner for the UCI in the starting area outside the Grieghallen on the time trials in Bergen.
He says that the seat should initially not be more than five centimeters behind the crank, which means the center or metal arm the pedal is attached to. There will also be 75 centimeters from center crank to the handlebars.
- But it is allowed to give an exception to eveider,” he says. - The option riders get is if he or she wants to set either the handlebar or seat forward. Traditionally the shorter riders choose to take the seat forward, and the tall riders opt to take the handlebars forward, says Kriek.
Extra tall riders, who are over 1.90 meters can get five centimeters extra forward to the handlebars, but then the seat must be completely behind the crank.
The air resistance has a lot to say
Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday during the World Championships, only the time trials are scheduled - where speed, air resistance and small margins have everything to put in play for success. During a time trial, the rider wants to achieve an average speed of approximately 50 kilometers per hour, and the bike is therefore different from the more technical road bike.
The main difference between the bikes is the disc wheel behind, Kriek says.
The rear wheel used in the time trials is more aerodynamic, which helps the riders with air resistance. The front of the handlebars allows the rider to lean on the elbows and contribute to a steady position throughout the ride.
- In the time trials, the battle against the wind and air resistance is the biggest opponent. It is therefore important to have an aerodynamic position and an aerodynamic bike. This is less important at the road race. Then the riders must not use disc wheels and the bikes have drop handlebars.
Find out more about