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grrr

When did the modern era start FOR YOU?

Bartali's asked the question about pro racing, but what about us as riders?  When did you see a bike and think 'wow - that's going to make a big difference'?

I think for me it was when gear shifters moved from the frame to the bars.

I'm sure if I make this a poll I will miss something obvious, but a start list of potentials would be:
STI gearshifts
Carbon Fibre (or other weight reduction)
Clipless pedals
Lycra
Bike computers
Tri-bars
CapeRoadie

1967.
bbnaz

why 1999 of course.
forza_petacchi

1991 (which, coincidentally, is the year I was born Very Happy)
kellyrocheearly

When i moves to clip less pedals and STI levers back in 1993
Bartali

Clipless pedals for me too!
paperman

I'm thinking in the opposite direction, but  my modern era began when I realised the tour de france was not going to be won by me!!!! It was around this time that I discovered two things  1) my girlfriend does not like me disappearing for hrs on my days off. Thankfully I don't play golf!!!! and 2) a few pints after a meal in a fancy restaurant or an 'ordinary' one does no good when you should be keeping fit. This is especially true as you get older or so I'm told!!

Clipless pedals!!
last km

Clipless pedals for me too
headwind

forza_petacchi wrote:
1991 (which, coincidentally, is the year I was born Very Happy)


god that makes me decrepit.



Basically I see two eras in competitive cycling, perhaps 3 if you really include the first 2 decades of the 1900s.

The plot above shows statistically smoothed average speeds for PR (black), LBL (blue), TdF (red).

There were obviously regular quantum leaps as the sport matured during the war years, and then by 1950 the era of modern cycling began.  It shows that all the tech really did very little to racing except for fine tuning. I suspect modern cycling began when it became a sport where training and perhaps financial gains, and recognition made it professionally viable. Note: fastest speed for PR was 1964 (the year AFTER I was born FP Wink )

Note, the TdF does not show this distinct break around 1950, and that is because the race has changed dramatically over time (a whole nother discussion), making its speeds continue to ramp up through the recent decades.

All the new high viz is just that. The likes of Coppi, Bartali, Anquetil, and Merckx were as hard and fast as anyone today.
chasm

headwind wrote:


All the new high viz is just that. The likes of Coppi, Bartali, Anquetil, and Merckx were as hard and fast as anyone today.


Harder. Look at how often they raced (and in Merckx's case, won) compared with today's GT icons. The modern obsession with weight and gizmos has in fact made a surprisingly small difference to the level of performance. Great analysis, HW.

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