Originally Posted by Tag
Soooo, what would be the result if you took the top pro's in their sports, put them in their top events, but had them use the 'off-the-shelf' equipment that the rest of us put up with?
- Bode on the Olympic Downhill, not in his usual race stock, but a pair of GS 11's fresh off the rack from Joe's Sporting Goods along with pair of G 11 boots (OK, we'll let him have a custom footbed, since we all ski with 'em, right?)
- Roger Federer at Wimbledon not with his usual raquet (sorry, don't know what brand he plays), but a nice 'tweener raquet like the Prince Air Vanquish
- Lance Armstrong at the Tour de France on a top of the line Schwinn
- Tiger Woods at the US Open with a set of Nike Slingshots instead of his blades and a doz. fresh Pinnacles.
Which would have the best shot at a) winning or b) being at least competive?
This is obviously a complicated question. Here's my thoughts.
Bode on stock gear. The experiment in 1996 says enough. Key to anyone's success in sport is knowing the equipment. If we are talking about racing and training on stock gear, I think odd's are pretty good that Bode'd smoke the track still. Taking a racer and then swapping gear at the start from custom/learned/trained to stock would be simply unsafe. Kinda like placing you behind the wheel of your car at 80mph and not telling you the steering had been moved to the rear wheels only.
Tennis guy? Again. If he learned the equipment, maybe good results.
Lance? Im a cyclist, and equipment is important. But lets be fair. The important thing in cycling is that the equipment is safe, light enough to not slow you down, and most importantly, it fits. Are some of you saying that if we took Lance's TREK and swapped it for a top line schwinn set up identically with DuraAce and IDENTICAL FIT that he wouldn't win? If we did that, we'd be talking about maybe a pound. Would that be enough to tip the scales to losing? Maybe, but I doubt it. As long as we let him learn the tire characteristics for a bit, I think it wouldn't really matter. I live in the mountains, fling myself down hills at 50+mph, and do all this on a bike that costs maybe 1/3 of what lance's would. No team mechanic. Safe? I think so.
Tiger. If we let Tiger train with Pinnacles and stock gear, he'd learn it.
The real question is, out of all these athletes, would any of them win if ONLY they were forced to use stock gear? That is, all competitors stay on good stuff. I say Bode- no- boots wouldn't work well enough for him. Custom WC boots and stock skis? Maybe.
Tennis guy, maybe. Lance, YES, as long as it FIT!! Tiger- no- playability of balls is a huge issue. Cheap balls don't spin or stop right. That would kill his game. Stock clubs with good balls? If practiced, I'd say YES.