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Nothin' but stem
August 15, 2013 4:35 PM   Subscribe

Apparently Chris Froome just rides this way. (SLTumblr)
posted by computech_apolloniajames (19 comments total) 5 users marked this as a favorite

 
Heh, that's hilarious. Some people just obsess over their power data and/or heart rate and end up staring at their bike computer a lot. I've never noticed Froome doing it more than usual, so it could just be selective editing to pick out the images and put them together for the joke. I know I've seen dozens of photos like this of Contador, who always has this pained face looking down when he climbs in the big Tours.
posted by mathowie at 5:02 PM on August 15, 2013


This guy hasn't uploaded his promised Froome imitation yet. I'm waiting.
posted by maudlin at 5:12 PM on August 15, 2013 [1 favorite]


It's because if you're not looking at stems when you're in the peloton, you might be looking at butt.
posted by ardgedee at 5:43 PM on August 15, 2013


And there's nothing wrong with looking at butt, except maybe that gets monotonous.
posted by ardgedee at 5:43 PM on August 15, 2013


Bear in mind that he has a tall weird body that doesn't belong on a bike... he just looks uncomfortable all the time. Even when he's crushing you.

Unlike Nairo Quintana, who is just like "SUP." (I love you Nairo, never change).
posted by selfnoise at 5:53 PM on August 15, 2013 [1 favorite]


is that the guy from the triplets of belleville?
posted by es_de_bah at 5:59 PM on August 15, 2013 [3 favorites]


Fuckin' Quintana.
posted by laconic skeuomorph at 6:16 PM on August 15, 2013 [2 favorites]


(that creep can roll, man.)

(I kept saying that when we were watching the Ventoux this year. Mrs Selfnoise did not understand)
posted by selfnoise at 6:20 PM on August 15, 2013 [2 favorites]


His position on the bike is super aero so it makes sense he's always kind of looking down. Check out the images of him on his TT bike - his back is totally flat and with the aero helmet and his head down he's producing less drag. The more aero you are the less watts it takes to move the bike forward. The biggest issue with Froome is he's so strong he's boring to watch. Richie Porte was way more exciting to watch during the tour and he was Froome's domestique.
posted by photoslob at 6:45 PM on August 15, 2013


This is one of those times when I'm the only one who doesn't understand. Is stem a product? Is it double entendre for something lascivious? Is it a cultural reference? I see nothing in the images to help me. Thus, I am un-clued. Got stemâ„¢?
posted by scamper at 6:48 PM on August 15, 2013


The stem of a bike attaches the handlebars to the steering column of the front fork.
posted by scalespace at 6:51 PM on August 15, 2013


And Froome is more than any other rider found and apparently photographed looking down rather than straight ahead. Guess thats tha advantage of having a steady domestique in front.
posted by bigZLiLk at 7:27 PM on August 15, 2013


It's also possible he may be staring at his power-meter.
posted by Wild_Eep at 7:50 PM on August 15, 2013


The (excellent) commentators on NBC Sports this year seem to think it was for aerodynamic reasons: keep the head down and just peek up occasionally to make sure you're not about to off a cliff.
posted by NailsTheCat at 8:02 PM on August 15, 2013 [1 favorite]


I thought the conventional wisdom was to keep your head up so that your breathing passages were less constricted (besides the usual reasons, like seeing where you're going). Disproven, or not relevant?
posted by ardgedee at 3:19 AM on August 16, 2013


The (excellent) commentators on NBC Sports this year seem to think it was for aerodynamic reasons: keep the head down and just peek up occasionally to make sure you're not about to off a cliff.

Finding out that Phil and co weren't actually working for ITV but were instead working for NBC and we just eavesdrop was an O_o moment on a par with discovering as a kid that Heinz beans and Kellogs Cornflakes weren't British
posted by bonaldi at 4:04 AM on August 16, 2013


I'm not convinced it's for aero reasons. It's just a quirky riding style to do with his physiology. When he works harder, his head goes down further. Cadel Evans is the same, only his head goes sideways. And if anyone remembers Francisco Mancebo, his head used to end up somewhere around his knees.
posted by afx237vi at 5:21 AM on August 16, 2013


How did Chris Froome go from donkey to racehorse in just a couple of years? Some say Badzilla is the disease of champions, but now the truth is revealed.
(never change pro-cycling, never change)
posted by Chuckles at 8:51 AM on August 16, 2013 [1 favorite]


This is one of those times when I'm the only one who doesn't understand. Is stem a product? Is it double entendre for something lascivious? Is it a cultural reference? I see nothing in the images to help me. Thus, I am un-clued. Got stemâ„¢?

As mentioned upthread, yes, he's staring at his power meter. Sky have been criticised for their 'scientific' approach to racing basically tipping over into a 'robotic' approach to racing - Froome knows the watts he can pump out without going into the red, and holds this number til the last few km, where he finally attacks, his teammates having controlled the race til then, having ground down the rest of the field.

This is very successful in Grand Tours, where effort must be carefully apportioned over the 3 weeks. So far it's been completely hopeless in the much less predictable one day races (including the last Olympics, where 4/5 of the British team were Sky riders) where a lot more thinking on your feet is required and you need a plan B or C.
posted by kersplunk at 11:43 AM on August 16, 2013


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