Lance Armstrong interview with Peter Attia

Call him what you want, but the man is a legend


Will have a look a the video.

Somehow I’m more annoyed about the accusations of having a motor inside the bike than him recurring to illegal substances.

What’s the consensus on his use of an e-bike?

e-bike? for Lance? :slight_smile: You gotta be kidding… there was no e-bikes back then. I think the first time people started talking about e-bike cheating was when Cancellara won Paris Rroubaix.


Nope, you should check again. There were indeed rumours about that and the technology was available.

Hint: check also his hand movement under the saddle.

It was never confirmed though whether he actually made use of that technology.


There were during his “comeback”….and there have always been rumors that he used one.

Not to mention AICAR.

Interesting. I never heard about it. I only listened for the first 40 minutes of the interview. Maybe they are talking about it in the later part…

1 Like

60 Minutes did a segment on the e-bike motors that were supposedly developed for their bikes, and the “manufacturer” claims that someone came to him and purchased them. I’m not 100% sold on this just yet, need more confirmation before falling on one side or the other.

Always rumors

1 Like

I just looked at those vids. In the pic, hes just doing a quick top, so the controller would be pretty visible on the bottom of the saddle side or in his suit. This looks like hes adjusting his number, which has the corner poking him. He doesn’t even have a water bottle on the bike in those vids, so the batteries would need to be mounted internal. You’ve got to remember, this wasn’t the era of Li-Ion batteries in any shape you want being readily available. You’d need a big honking battery to dispense anything meaningful (lets say 100w output for 15min)

The off the shelf system quotes 200w (motor) for 1.5 hours at 9wh battery size for a motor that fits in a 30.9mm seat tube motor. Looking around, the high performance motors that can output 200w for a 30mm diameter run around 16000rpm, so you’d need a reduction gearbox to get down to 100rpm. These are about 75% efficient. So, the off-the-shelf system would be ~150w output net.

The bikes in the vid are trek 5500 & Madone, which used a 27.2 post. The TT bike had even narrower tube profiles - they would need a smaller motor & gearbox. Sub 27mm motors similar to the 30mm motors are 120w (so 90w output).
The problem with the custom solution is the gearbox. A standard gearbox that mounts to a matched motor go from 120w @ 32mm diameter to 40w @ 22mm in their catalog. These are just catalog specs for a swiss brand. In any case, getting the gearbox that fits this motor at this output would be a HASSLE. The higher load gears are also louder.

On the battery end… (not really knowledgeable, so just using basic math)
To get 120w for 15min back then you’d need about: (taking into account output loss as they drain - rough estimated need - note these are sized for capacity and watt output)
4 x good non-rechargeable c-cells (26.5mm x 50mm ), but max amp/voltage output is an issue as well as output drop off.
2 x Li-IOn 26650 (close to c-cell size, these are higher watt output than the above
8-10 x NICD rechargeable batteries (low power density, total output, and output dropoff)

Anyway, I dont see this happening within reason due to the expense of the one-off custom gearbox alone. Hiding c-cells in road bike down tube is feasible if the bottle cage riv-nuts allow room and the diameter is big enough (big maybe for the TT bike). Then you have the issue of the wire connectors between the seat post and saddle on a heavily photographed bike.


The motor tech may have existed. The battery tech definitely did not. Not enough juice for more than a brief effort…and then you gotta carry the extra weight of the battery & motor for the other 98% of the race.

So, as a practical matter, did not happen.


This interview is old news.

My take is that Armstrong would have never won a Tour had he ridden in the prior era without EPO. He just wasn’t a natural high VO2max rider like a Lemond. EPO really works wonders on those middling VO2max riders. Cortisone allowed him to lean out to unnaturally low percentages of body fat. And he had one of the best doping doctors.

What else can you say? Had Armstrong not been a bully and arsehole, he would still be in cycling like all the other old dopers riding around in team cars. Had he gracefully stayed retired after his 5 wins, he would probably still have those wins.


But would he have won if everyone else was also without epo, blood transfusions, etc?

I definitely agree with your other point that it was his behavior towards others and not his PED use that really led to his downfall

1 Like

He raised a really good point several years ago on Joe Rogans show… “you agree that cheating is altering your body for performance gain, yes? So if Tiger Woods got LASIK, would that be cheating?” He’s got a good point with that… his ability to see and judge distance would give an advantage he didn’t already have, similar to injecting the cocktails Lance did to give him an advantage. That said, I agree with Phil Gaimon, that Lance and his era destroyed the credibility of the sport and the ability of the next gen to make a good living off it.

I said I don’t think he would have won the Tour. Had he raced against Lemond, Hinault, or Fignon in the generation before Armstrong would have never been a Tour contender. IMO, of course.

I don’t doubt Armstrong could have been a pro in cycling or triathlon. I just think he would have been decent but not a once in a generation talent.

That’s not a good point. That is just Armstrong BS. First, getting lasik is not cheating. EPO was and still is cheating. Lasik gives you 20/20 vision so you don’t have to wear glasses. Woods could have also just worn glasses or contacts. It also doesn’t explain all of Wood’s wins prior to Lasik.


Those two together pretty much sums it up for me…:roll_eyes:

No, he really doesn’t. His very definition is suspect - “cheating is altering your body for performance gain” It fits a convenient narrative that suits him.

Leaving aside the suspect nature of his agreement, here’s the major difference - LASIK is not banned or against the rules.


It’s an argument… But not a very good one.

You need to draw the line somewhere. We’ve chosen drugs to be one of the lines.

In Lance’s argument someone who has a surgery to repair a defect is the same as doping? That’s a silly argument.

Maybe if Tiger had Lasik that also gave him a range-finder in his eyes then it could be similar.


That’s only a valid point if correcting your vision is against the rules, like all the many ways of cheating that Armstrong and the rest of the peleton were doing back then. It might be fun to see what golf would be like if glasses, contacts, and lasik were outlawed, but they’re not.

It’s a pretty massive assumption to make that those guys were all clean.

I don’t know that Armstrong would, or wouldn’t have won against his peers if they were all playing by the same rules, but I doubt that carries across to other eras either (both directions).


To be clear, everything I hear about the guy leads me to believe he was a massive scumbag back then, possibly now? I don’t say that bc he cheated, but bc of how he allegedly treated those that wouldn’t join him or spoke up against him, and that he used cancer as a way of saying “why would I do this to myself”

LASIK vs drugs is absolutely an argument to fit his narrative and it’s not the same, but is an interesting comparison none the less. Similar to why is Percocet (heroin in pill form) legal but marijuana isn’t, at least not everywhere and until recently.

Regarding the motor accusations, obviously can’t say for certain but I have a decent enough knowledge base on this to say it’s highly unlikely. Hiding enough power to be useful in a bike would have been next to impossible, and even if it were, it would give such little power and short duration that pulling the extra weight once the batteries were dead would have long cancelled out the positive of the motor. Also, has anyone been on a ride with someone on a e-bike? Even the best ones now have an obvious hum, very audible over the drivetrain and road noise. I just can’t see it going undetected


There is no longer anything “alleged”. It is a matter of fact now.