Technological 'Doping': The Electromagnetic Wheel
Posted on 19 April 2016
The negative effects of drugs in cycling have been public since 1960 when Danish cyclist 'Knut Jenson' died while competing in the Rome Olympics. In recent years however, a cleaner and safer way of achieving an advantage has emerged.
Technological doping has been rumoured to be around European sportif’s and other events since 2010. In a recent Union Cycliste International (UCI) event, a world champion was caught using mechanical 'doping'.
"Femke Van den Driessche"
A 19-year-old Belgian World Cyclocross Champion was pulled out of the race when caught with a concealed motor in her bike. An Italian magazine, La Gazetta dello Sport, describes this kind of mechanical doping as “doping for the poor”.
However, as technology advances, this cumbersome attempt at gaining an advantage is already very old news. Instead...... enter the electromagnetic wheel.
How Electromagnetic Wheels Work
The "technology" is simple
It uses the same concept as Maglev trains.
The rim of a rear wheel made of special material is embedded with magnets. An overlapping flange, like a mudguard, is fitted with several inductive coils. As the rear wheel turns and the magnet passes through the coils a current is produced. The energy is stored in battery concealed in the downtube. This current can then be redirected back through the coil, thus spinning the wheel.
Why choose Electromagnetic Wheels?
With claims of 500 watts of assistance that can result in speeds of 100kph, who doesn’t like the advantage?
How much does it cost?
For the top of the line discrete electromagnetic back wheel (motors are so old hat) be prepared to fork out up to AUD300,000 - and wait over 6 months.
There are a few more advances ahead for electromagnetic wheels, but as one expert said: “You can do more miracles with electricity than chemistry, it’s also less damaging to your health”.
In a nutshell, if you want to grab your advantages cleanly - with magnets and not drugs - there are options ahead for you.
But if your bike normally hangs on your wall and on the rack outside the Café formally known as Racer, you should be safe from all except the suspicion of your mates (unless their cadence meters on their bikes go ballistic every time they ride next to you!)