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Shimano "Neutral Support Vehicle"

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Shimano "Neutral Support Vehicle"

Old 01-23-21, 08:05 AM
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PoorInRichfield
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Shimano "Neutral Support Vehicle"

Tour de France - Shimano Takes Over Neutral Support for the Peloton (bicycling.com)

I bet this is really what Shimano wanted to put on the side of their car...

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Old 01-23-21, 08:13 AM
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LOL! I know it came down to money and all that but I was really surprised it was Mavic all those years. I thought that Shimano and/or Sram should have been supporting their teams all along.
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Old 01-23-21, 10:34 AM
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Originally Posted by sdmc530 View Post
LOL! I know it came down to money and all that but I was really surprised it was Mavic all those years. I thought that Shimano and/or Sram should have been supporting their teams all along.
They do support their teams, but Mavic had the contract for 'on the road' neutral support. No other manufacturer could provide support during the race. SRAM and Shimano have both provided neutral for all of the big races here in the states.
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Old 01-23-21, 11:45 AM
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Originally Posted by PoorInRichfield View Post
Tour de France - Shimano Takes Over Neutral Support for the Peloton (bicycling.com)

I bet this is really what Shimano wanted to put on the side of their car...

That's a neutral as Lindsey Graham at the next impeachment trail.
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Old 01-23-21, 12:16 PM
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Remember that Mavic almost was going to be gone and no more. Perhaps it stands to reason that the new owners don't have or find it beneficial to allocate the capital for continuing Neutral Support of the TdF this year.
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Old 01-23-21, 05:05 PM
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I don't know that Mavic did poorly. It seemed when Salomon changed ownership in a fairly complex deal nobody thought they owned Mavic afterwards, and they got lost in the shuffle. Sponsorships of this magnitude almost certainly require board approval, and without knowing who owns the company or is going to be on the board... can't do it.
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Old 01-27-21, 09:43 AM
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Originally Posted by sfrider View Post
I don't know that Mavic did poorly. It seemed when Salomon changed ownership in a fairly complex deal nobody thought they owned Mavic afterwards, and they got lost in the shuffle. Sponsorships of this magnitude almost certainly require board approval, and without knowing who owns the company or is going to be on the board... can't do it.
They know who owns the company but it has effectively changed hands twice in like 2 years. I wouldn't count them out but there is currently no real product support. if they can rally around their core business again they'll be back. That's my opinion anyway.

FWIW - I remember talking with them at interbike 11 years ago. Met my rep then. Have never seen one since. They wnated to show me all the soft good stuff they had. I told them I was interested in rims and hubs. "Well we kind of have these 3 but none of us could tell you what inventory is going to look like. We are pretty much done supporting wheel builders". Wheels weren't even front and center. They were along the outside. They were way too focused on the softgoods.
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Old 01-27-21, 09:47 AM
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Yes it's sad to see Mavic go but honestly just from a point of romantic nostalgia.

Practically speaking I was always happy to see a neutral support company that wasn't run by a component manufacturer. It helps them be "neutral". While I have witnesses SRAM neutral being actually neutral (only throwing in the occasional "ewww...this bike has wires" comment) I have witnessed Shimano support being anything but neutral many times. I have seen them lacking in the equipment the riders need multiple times and their response is usually "well you should have been on Shimano." That's BS.

I am sure they will be better at the tour level because they have to be. A lot of the drivers and mechanics will be the same people that were doing Mavic support to be honest. That said I truly think it's a step down for support in the tour.
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Old 01-27-21, 01:41 PM
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One of my former co-workers did some neutral service with Shimango at races and got to ride in their tricked out Volvo Station Wagon screaming down American roads hitting speed bumps at speed. He had a blast and luckily he had enough experience to be a bit more neutral but yeah they struggled a bit with the new eTap (was new at the time at least) but they figured it out quickly. They got some nice bikes on top of the car, Moots with DI2.

Yeah Neutral Service should be neutral but alas it is all about sponsorships. Some rando who isn't in bike components probably isn't going to sponsor a race and the big manufacturers aren't coming together to sponsor a collaborative effort that would need to be a stretch limo to fit all the different bikes with different drive trains. At least with 11 speed cassettes didn't matter as much so a wheel was a wheel (minus of course thru axles and such)
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Old 01-28-21, 06:50 PM
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For the TdF, neutral support isn't really an issue with the cars. Froome's jogging was probably the last time someone took a bike from neutral service, and that was such a freak accident it'll probably be 10 years before it happens again. Generally, if the neutral service car is available, there's a team car not far behind.

It's a major issue for the motorcycles. The motorcycles are usually the only ones available on the steep climbs when the race is on. Between front & rear wheels, the various axle standards, and 11 & 12 speeds it's a nightmare. I have a feeling Shimano is going to have just grab a wheel set from the top 3 GC riders, and for everyone else, good luck. If there's some overlap maybe they can support some other common ones.
A motorcycle can carry probably 6 wheels, so that's likely 2 different front-axles options, 4 rear wheels (11-speed x 2-3 rear axles, 12-speed x 1-2 rear axles).

In some ways this is largely inevitable, the diversity of the peloton is shrinking dramatically. Out of 22 teams at the last TdF it was 3 Campy, 2 SRAM, 17 Shimano. Campy will probably get decent neutral support because Pogacar is defending champion. If you're riding for SRAM, keep riding a flat until the team car gets to you.
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Old 01-29-21, 11:42 AM
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Originally Posted by gsa103 View Post
For the TdF, neutral support isn't really an issue with the cars. Froome's jogging was probably the last time someone took a bike from neutral service, and that was such a freak accident it'll probably be 10 years before it happens again. Generally, if the neutral service car is available, there's a team car not far behind.

It's a major issue for the motorcycles. The motorcycles are usually the only ones available on the steep climbs when the race is on. Between front & rear wheels, the various axle standards, and 11 & 12 speeds it's a nightmare. I have a feeling Shimano is going to have just grab a wheel set from the top 3 GC riders, and for everyone else, good luck. If there's some overlap maybe they can support some other common ones.
A motorcycle can carry probably 6 wheels, so that's likely 2 different front-axles options, 4 rear wheels (11-speed x 2-3 rear axles, 12-speed x 1-2 rear axles).

In some ways this is largely inevitable, the diversity of the peloton is shrinking dramatically. Out of 22 teams at the last TdF it was 3 Campy, 2 SRAM, 17 Shimano. Campy will probably get decent neutral support because Pogacar is defending champion. If you're riding for SRAM, keep riding a flat until the team car gets to you.
The technical issues involved with neutral support have absolutely changed the game for those of us doing it. The old SRAM NRS/Look crew wouldn't bother ever handing out any wheels and would just hand people bikes. They felt it was all they could do and every rider kinda got screwed. They would have been better off with a wheels in/out wheel truck.

As for no one using Mavic - the top guys don't but mavic provided a lot of support to the rest of the guys...the ones that make up the rest of the race. Good teams have multiple cars but some teams don't and sometimes the cars are busy elsewhere in the race. Those riders need bikes too.
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Old 01-29-21, 12:30 PM
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How about simplifying things by not allowing whole bike changes, only wheels. If your bikes crocks, you are out of the race, period. In some automobile and maybe other races, you are not allowed to switch to a second vehicle, only switch part of them and that probably also only limited times. Like Dakar or those American car races on circuits, F1... no idea if that would carry over into bike races, probably not.

History in bicycle races was that you got to carry your spare tire(s), and had to work on your bike only yourself (I think), even if you stopped by the roadside workshop of some kind in a town.

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Old 01-29-21, 01:17 PM
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Originally Posted by gsa103 View Post
For the TdF, neutral support isn't really an issue with the cars. Froome's jogging was probably the last time someone took a bike from neutral service, and that was such a freak accident it'll probably be 10 years before it happens again. Generally, if the neutral service car is available, there's a team car not far behind.

It's a major issue for the motorcycles. The motorcycles are usually the only ones available on the steep climbs when the race is on. Between front & rear wheels, the various axle standards, and 11 & 12 speeds it's a nightmare. I have a feeling Shimano is going to have just grab a wheel set from the top 3 GC riders, and for everyone else, good luck. If there's some overlap maybe they can support some other common ones.
A motorcycle can carry probably 6 wheels, so that's likely 2 different front-axles options, 4 rear wheels (11-speed x 2-3 rear axles, 12-speed x 1-2 rear axles).

In some ways this is largely inevitable, the diversity of the peloton is shrinking dramatically. Out of 22 teams at the last TdF it was 3 Campy, 2 SRAM, 17 Shimano. Campy will probably get decent neutral support because Pogacar is defending champion. If you're riding for SRAM, keep riding a flat until the team car gets to you.
I was thinking the same thing. In the 20+ years I've watched the TdF, I can probably count on both hands how many times I've seen a rider using neutral support. Almost every time they did, they eventually had to stop and wait for their team car.
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Old 01-29-21, 01:18 PM
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Originally Posted by vane171 View Post
How about simplifying things by not allowing whole bike changes, only wheels. If your bikes crocks, you are out of the race, period. In some automobile and maybe other races, you are not allowed to switch to a second vehicle, only switch part of them and that probably also only limited times. Like Dakar or those American car races on circuits, F1... no idea if that would carry over into bike races, probably not.

History in bicycle races was that you got to carry your spare tire(s), and had to work on your bike only yourself (I think), even if you stopped by the roadside workshop of some kind in a town.
That's the same ethos as in mountain biking, at least back in the day. I remember a Swiss fan I met at a NORBA race who tried desperately to help out Frischknecht with a water bottle and got waved off vigorously, because riders couldn't accept help. Or the guy was just being a pain, I dunno. But I remember that if you flatted, you had to fix it yourself, etc.
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Old 01-29-21, 01:21 PM
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Originally Posted by Chinghis View Post
That's the same ethos as in mountain biking, at least back in the day. I remember a Swiss fan I met at a NORBA race who tried desperately to help out Frischknecht with a water bottle and got waved off vigorously, because riders couldn't accept help. Or the guy was just being a pain, I dunno. But I remember that if you flatted, you had to fix it yourself, etc.
I haven't heard NORBA mentioned in quite a while. I remember when NORBA and USCF were sworn enemies.
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