Will AI ruin cycling as we know it: GCN Tech Show

Should AI be embraced within cycling or do we need to stop it now before it ruins the sport?

Clock22:04, Thursday 18th January 2024

This week Ollie Bridgewood is joined by Simon Richardson, while Alex Paton is away in Australia hunting out all the coolest tech from the Tour Down Under.

In case you missed it earlier this week on the GCN website, it has been reported that in 2020 Shimano initially filed a patent for an AI-controlled suspension and dropper post system. This would use self-learning and data collection to work out and then optimise the suspension of a bike.

AI is often a bit of a divisive topic, however this news seemed to unite the cycling community with an overwhelming majority not keen on the development at all.

In this week's show, we are looking at AI in cycling and where it might be necessary or beneficial. It may come as no surprise that Ollie is up to speed with all the current AI trends but perhaps more of surprise that AI is already fairly well embedded in cycling. For instance route planners, like the ones you use on Strava, already use an AI model for calculating routes and profiles.

In pro cycling AI tools are being used to calculate riders' recovery needs, their fuelling as well as to profile the best riders for a team to take to any given race. So you can see how pro teams are using that to their benefit.

However, there is an area that Ollie touches on that could be the big sticking point for many. The gains it brings to pacing, efficiency recovery and equipment optimisation remove something for our sport. It has the effect of dehumanising some aspects of cycling, which is a large part of why we love it so much.

What do you think? Is it an exciting and valuable development in cycling or should it have no place interfering with the activity we love? Let us know in the comments below.

Hot and spicy tech

We take a look at the best tech news to have come to our attention in the past seven days.

GCN partners with AGU for new kit

In case you missed the news on Tuesday, we are very happy to announce that for 2024 GCN. This is the same kit that Visma-Lease a bike is using and it is available to order from the GCN shop now.

Decathlon enter the smart trainer game with budget-friendly options

Sports retailer Decathlon has dropped a lineup of smart trainers that caught our attention this week. Starting with the most basic model the D100 which retails for £239.99, this trainer is Zwift compatible and can provide a resistance of up to 600 watts. Joining this entry-level trainer are two more options that come with a higher power resistance unit as well as a wider range of gradient simulation.

Bike Vault

There were some corkers submitted to the Bike Vault this week, although as the BMC Timemachine of Domenico proves, it is not just about the bike it is also about the framing of the shot. We don’t need a Pyrenean backdrop but a considered shot is the best way to get a super nice.

BMC Timemachine from Domenico

Randal Gabriel's Bianchi Impulso

Joshuas' B'Twin Ultra CF 900

Scott Mitchell custom painted Giant TCR

If you would like your bike to be featured in the bike vault make sure to submit your entries in to the GCN uploader.

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