KNOXVILLE (WATE) – The USA Cycling Pro Road and Time Trial National Championships arrive in Knoxville two weeks from Saturday and for these competitors, it’s all about being as light as possible.
Like most sports, the lighter the equipment, the more expensive.
“For one rider, on this one day, not including all the clothes he has at his house and things like that, you’re going to be looking at about $15,000,” said USA Cycling announcer Jon Crowson.
For starters, the bikes cost upwards of $12,000.
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“These guys are not on your mom-and-pop beach cruiser bikes. These guys are very high end,” he said.
Next stop is helmets.
“The helmets make, believe it or not, a pretty large difference, especially the more aerodynamic helmets like this one over here. You have a couple of events, but for the most part it’s just a solid shell. So that’s going to make a difference with the wind and save them a lot of energy because that’s the name of the game is just saving energy,” he said. “With that being said, this is Tennessee in June. It’s going to be very hot and humid, so you’re going to see a lot of riders using a vented helmet.”
Shoes are also a crucial part to the entire operation.
“The shoes are designed around pedals. And so these pedals have a cleat that locks them into the shoe. So if you’re one with the bike you have a lot more control over the bike.”
The outfit is both for aerodynamics and comfort.
“You see their seats, they look like they’re really really thin seats and you wonder how they ride those tiny seats a big reason is because of the shorts. The shammies really help the soft tissue in the area,” said Crowson.
If it weren’t for sponsors, the riders wouldn’t be able to afford to participate in this month’s race.