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I wish commentators would talk about actual bikes more

Old 07-14-21, 03:06 AM
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Lazyass
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I wish commentators would talk about actual bikes more

When you watch races on television there is almost no discussion about the bikes and gear the riders have. I wish they would cover that kind of stuff. For example, most have probably read what Froome said about disc brakes a few months ago and how he didn't like them. On the Ventoux stage a couple of days ago he was seen riding a disc bike but it had Magura calipers. Are they better? Would have been cool if there had been some talk about that. Some guys like flared bars. X rider is using a prototype thingamajiggy. Rider Joe is running the new Campy Super Record. Billy Bob doesn't like electronic shifting. Team Moltini switched to tubeless tires. Ect.

You think there's some reason they never discuss about that kind of stuff? Maybe manufactures don't want things advertised?
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Old 07-14-21, 04:06 AM
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I think the effort to learn and say something accurate and value added at that level of detail, almost inherently about new fangled stuff and often minor nuances, is probably too great for the tiny audience that cares about going down that rabbit hole.

Depending on the commentators, I do hear them talking about stuff in generalities or when there is something of note, particularly when it's sort of meta-commentary about the rider's relationship with the gear (your Froome example, Cav & Dennis about ther compulsions, etc.)

Ultimately, the real gear heads who would want more are not the target audience and they'd still be dissatisfied with anything that the rest of us could tolerate.

GCN has a guy going into recipes (yes, food) who probably plays to a bigger crowd.
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Old 07-14-21, 06:41 AM
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For one thing,. riders are probably not eager to discuss their gear in depth because they don't pick--or pay for--their gear. Pretty sure whoever makes the brakes on Israeli Startup's bikes doesn't want to hear Chris Froome dissing their stuff and promoting a competitor's product.

The announcers do mention when some riders use unusual set-ups--I have heard them discuss how some riders use very narrow bars and extreme angles on their brifters---but they cannot mention a lot of product names unless they mention All the products' names .... NBC doesn't need manufacturers complaining about not getting the same free advertising some of their competitors got.

A lot of it is also what @slcbob mentions:
Originally Posted by slcbob View Post
Ultimately, the real gear heads who would want more are not the target audience and they'd still be dissatisfied with anything that the rest of us could tolerate.
I'd like to see every bike broken down,; I'd like to know what gearing the riders use, what unusual set-up tips or tricks each might use .... I'd bet some folks want to know a lot more. And I imagine most people want to know who is winning.

One final thing--as far as I know, pretty much all the bikes are built to the same standards. Because weight isn't really a "limit" (as I understand it, manufacturers can easily build well below the UCI limit) and because basically bikes are simple, there really isn't any huge advantage or disadvantage for any specific bike or component. It's not like a rider on a Trek will be faster than the same rider on a Giant, or that the guy using Campagnolo would be faster than if he used Shimano. It's not like say, GT auto racing where Porsche and Ferrari fight Lamborghini and BMW. The Pinarello and the Willier are almost exactly the same, functionally, as each other, and as the De Rosa and the Giant and the whatever. And manufacturers don't want that news to be widely publicized.
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Old 07-14-21, 08:58 AM
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Noobs to watching cycling, particularly the TdF always seem to ask this question.

As for disc vs rim, there is plenty of that on BF elsewhere. Why get caught up in something that has already been covered many TdF's ago. And has in fact been briefly mentioned in the NBCSN coverage if you hadn't fast-forwarded through it.
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Old 07-15-21, 02:32 AM
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Originally Posted by Iride01 View Post
Noobs to watching cycling, particularly the TdF always seem to ask this question.
I'm 54 years old and I've been watching it since LeMond was in the peloton. Much longer than you I suspect.

Originally Posted by Iride01 View Post
As for disc vs rim, there is plenty of that on BF elsewhere. Why get caught up in something that has already been covered many TdF's ago. And has in fact been briefly mentioned in the NBCSN coverage if you hadn't fast-forwarded through it.
I wasn't suggesting they should have a rim vs disc brake debate on television. I'm curious about the Magura calipers. There's no need to get snobbish.

I personally think the bikes and gear should get some coverage in the long boring sections of the race when they aren't really racing and there's no action.
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Old 07-15-21, 05:17 AM
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Too much prep work for a broadcast that changes daily. Unless it's something that's easy to see like rim/disc brakes, they won't know till after the days show. Then, it wouldn't even be discussed unless it had an impact on the stage/race.
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Old 07-15-21, 05:26 AM
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I think both Velonews and Cycling News cover the technical features and bikes in their lead-up to the Tour.
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Old 07-15-21, 07:13 AM
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I'm not sure why I want to hear product reviews while watching the TdF. I can get all that and more from the cycling magazines on the web or in my mailbox.

Sure the commentary is sometimes boring or geared toward explaining the same things over and over and over for the new viewers. When I have access to another feed, I'll watch both at the same time and turn the volume up on the feed that is saying something interesting to me.
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Old 07-15-21, 07:25 AM
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Watching TdF is liking watching NASCAR...people only care to see the highlights of crashes, sprints and climbs. Everything inbetween is boring to watch.
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Old 07-15-21, 07:59 AM
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Originally Posted by prj71 View Post
Watching TdF is liking watching NASCAR...people only care to see the highlights of crashes, sprints and climbs. Everything inbetween is boring to watch.
There's lots of castle/scenery porn to look at.
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Old 07-15-21, 11:22 AM
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I second that about scenery watching. Where else would you get such a tour of the countryside with the historic points mentioned along with exclusive detailed overfly by helicopter where you can see down the chimneys. Some people watch the race because of that, not caring much about bike racing.

I think most of those lining around the roads don't care much about the race either, they come in because of the huplaah, its like a circus came to town thing.

I consider myself quite knowledgeable but also miss some info during races, why this or that is done or not done. But there is that problem of repeating which bores those who watch all races and have heard everything there is to hear...

Also some viewers who have one of those expensive bikes and care for it like for a baby think it is the same for these pro riders. But for them, it is just a tool to do the work with. There was this big mountain climber giving a talk and someone asked him, if he got some piece of equipment he cared for and took along on all those big mountain climbs, like a favorite carabine, to which the reply was that there is no 'private' equipment. Even if it often wasn't left behind on the mountain, everything is thrown together and everybody takes what he needs to take. Except that bikes have to be adjusted to the rider size and comfort.
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Old 07-15-21, 11:51 AM
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It's not about the bikes.
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Old 07-15-21, 12:36 PM
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I think you are seeing the difference between sports press (which still has a modicum of professional detachment) and enthusiast press (which is advertising). It's the sports press that blew open the doping scandal, for example. If they were the enthusiast press they'd be telling you which treatment is each rider is doing and could it be the best one for YOU?

I could see them doing something but it wouldn't look like a road bike magazine video. I do see a place for it. TV loves canned segments they can show during boring parts of a live event. It's usually "he rose above the challenge of someone else having cancer" stuff like you see in the Olympics
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Old 07-15-21, 05:20 PM
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Originally Posted by vane171 View Post
I second that about scenery watching. Where else would you get such a tour of the countryside with the historic points mentioned along with exclusive detailed overfly by helicopter where you can see down the chimneys. Some people watch the race because of that, not caring much about bike racing.
That's how Mrs. slcbob got started. She was warm to the concept already from doing weird things like listening to test match special, which the grand tours still dwarf but makes something like Milan-San Remo seem like short track speed skating.

She has warmed further to the grander scheme of things, including the sporting aspect. It didn't hurt that there is no shortage of drama there too with the "who is going to work" angles and such. At the same time, we're listening to the obtuse culture guy Jon on GCN right now wax lyrically about boutique cheese and harshing on one of the roadside displays. It's all part of the hot mess of this grand sport. A movable feast.

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Old 07-15-21, 05:59 PM
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Some other recent coverage like the slopestyle video I posted in another thread did have something about the style of bike and named all the sponsors. But it was Red Bull and not a network so there was a lot of fluff, and events like that where they need to wait for judging and reset the course have a lot of down time.
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Old 07-15-21, 06:03 PM
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Originally Posted by Caretaker View Post
It's not about the bikes.
This

Its frequently said.

You could make everybody switch bikes one day and nothing would change.
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Old 07-17-21, 03:11 PM
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I think the infomercials about bike gear are best left to Robbie Ventura.
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Old 07-17-21, 06:27 PM
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i will agree with the sentiment of more bike & equipment coverage.
There seem to be plenty of times when, for example:
a. short comparisons of gearing on climbs
b. rim depths on those windy stages
c. whose handlebar set-ups are being used in time trials.


and yes - i would like to know what tires & pressures are being used across the teams.
On NBCSN, Bob R & Christian VV should be amply qualified to report this info.

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Old 07-19-21, 07:31 AM
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Originally Posted by USAZorro View Post
I think the infomercials about bike gear are best left to Robbie Ventura.
Actually, Robbie used to host a segment every day of the tour on the technology of the bicycles used in the tour. He would interview several mechanics from different teams and highlight different aspects of the bikes they were using. I enjoyed the segments.
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Old 07-19-21, 08:16 AM
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Originally Posted by Snotrub View Post
Actually, Robbie used to host a segment every day of the tour on the technology of the bicycles used in the tour. He would interview several mechanics from different teams and highlight different aspects of the bikes they were using. I enjoyed the segments.
I remember them well, and enjoyed them also. That said, I believe calling the segments infomercials would be accurate.
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Old 07-19-21, 09:01 AM
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Originally Posted by USAZorro View Post
I remember them well, and enjoyed them also. That said, I believe calling the segments infomercials would be accurate.
Ah. I thought you were referring to Robbie schlepping the Bowflex bike during this Tour.
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Old 07-19-21, 09:06 AM
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Originally Posted by Snotrub View Post
Ah. I thought you were referring to Robbie schlepping the Bowflex bike during this Tour.
That too. It seems to be his niche.
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Old 07-19-21, 09:24 AM
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Bikes are boring.
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Old 07-19-21, 12:59 PM
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I agree with the OP. Most folks I know who don't bike regularly but have some interest in the sport of cycling always focus their questions on the bikes and related gear. These are pretty amazing machines that I think we, as regular cyclists, often take for granted. If you're trying to keep viewers from tuning out or fast forwarding, much less keep the attention of new viewers, I think a few 5-minute segments on each team's bikes, kit, helmet, etc. would really be a wise move. Same with a general segment detailing what it takes for a team to prepare for a grand tour in terms of training, and another in terms of logistics (cars, buses, etc.). Even with the nice scenery, they need to do more to break up the monotony.
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Old 07-19-21, 02:42 PM
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There are several cycling journalism outlets that do very detailed breakdowns of bikes and tech on the Tour de France. This is usually a bigger deal at the beginning of the tour, because teams sometimes show up with bike setups that haven't been previously seen.

Cyclingtips has a bunch of good breakdowns and tech segments on bikes. These videos are usually pretty interesting if you're into bike tech. I wouldn't expect the average TV viewer to care about most of this stuff.

Here's one where they get into details of a few different bikes, they even weigh them:
https://cyclingtips.com/2021/06/bike...sram-and-more/

Also this one: https://cyclingtips.com/2021/06/pro-...ks-tarmac-sl7/
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