AAA Drafting Blog

A SolidWorks designer talks about stuff related to CAD and mechanical design

Sunday, June 06, 2010

Bike racer Cancellara accused of using an electric bicycle

Fabian Cancellara, a world champion cyclist, has been accused of using a tiny electric assist motor in his racing bicycle. His accusers claim these motors are used by cyclists in many cycling contests to gain an unfair edge over their competition.

This Italian YouTube video, apparently made with the cooperation of the company that makes the motors, shows how it is all accomplished. Notwithstanding all the controversy, its an interesting statement on the state of the art of electric bicycles.

Looking at the video, the builder claims a 50 year old would be able to compete with world class cyclists with one of these motors installed in their bicycles.

The video looks compelling. I can understand using a high current, high torque electric motor for short bursts of extra power. I dont think it could run continuously, because of the need for battery power and with overheating in the enclosed quarters of the bicycle frame.

The video does not show where they hide the batteries and I assume they would have to be installed into the bicycle frame and the frame brazed back together with a battery charger connection hidden somewhere on the bicycle. The batteries and the motor would have to add significant weight to the racing bike.

What do you think. Is this electric assist racing bike possible, or is the video just a very slick attempt at mud-slinging at a world class athlete ?


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