I read with interest the Shane Stokes article on Greg LeMond’s ideas about how we can detect a motor HERE. These are all valid, but for initial identification I’ve a much simpler idea that any commissaire could use, it’s so simple it’ll no doubt be discounted as you’ll not need any special jigs or expense, other than a bit of training. After using this simple method, you can then use Greg LeMond’s ideas about expensive scanners & equipment in his point 4.
The Simple Initial Method
- Lie bike on non-drive side, on a large mat (or 2 yoga mats)
- Commissaire picks up bike, still keeping it on its side
- Commissaire uses training to identify if bike seems “a bit heavy in the wrong place”
- If it seems odd, consider it for further testing, if not, check next bike
Does this seem too simple? As the current rules, most bikes are somewhere around the 6.8kg mark, so if too much weight was focussed on the seat tube, or the rear hub, it would be really easy to detect. This would take 30 seconds tops, if you had 6 yoga mats & 3 commissaires, then you could check every bike in a 180 rider field in half an hour, at sign on. You could also randomly check a 60 rider field in any domestic road race in the same time with the one commissaire who usually does junior gear checks, just to put people off using the motors.
The Gist Of It
Obviously, if there’s anything that looks very dodgy, it’s going to require further analysis, but if you get a ‘suspect’ tick at a domestic race, all eyes are going to be on you & it might put some people off as these motors become cheaper & easier to fit. A motor is going to upset the normal centre of gravity of a race bicycle by some way, especially now that the crank based power meters are so light, it should be very easy to raise a red flag with a little bit of training.