Tuesday, January 29, 2008

Timing chips: your thoughts?

I got an email last night from a concerned racer who disagreed with the notion that the timing chips were the best method of scoring at the races. He was concerned with the fact that, if attached to the bike, a bike swap would eliminate you from the scoring.

I, in fact, had to make a bike swap at the state championship race and didn't for one instant think about my chip. Thankfully I had taken to tucking it in the leg of my shorts, mostly so I wouldn't forget it and take it home by accident. I know other racers who had attached them to their helmets or dropped them in a jersey pocket were not scored correctly because they were too high off the ground. Many found that attaching them to a shoe gave the best results.

While the data is very accurate when done correctly, it should not be considered infallible. A hand count of racers' laps should always accompany the timing system. I haven't heard of any major issues this season, but with the sport growing quickly, the number of participants is only going to grow.

What are your thoughts on the timing chips?


bykviking said...

I am very much opposed to any use of the timing chips as an official means of results, especially for Cross. Final placing should always be done on a visual basis alone, whether it is a judgment call by the official or preferably with video footage. The chips are good for recounting mid-race position and lap times, and maybe even to help sort out lapped riders. The chips also make sense for generating standings on riders out of money or points contention, but never for closely contested results. In an equipment changing sport such as Cyclo-X a standard method of wearing should be enforced... I suggest around the wrist.

darrendowling84 said...

I agree its not the best when attached to the bike... however I did notice in the worlds that riders had them around there ancle... however a nice comfy strap was part of the package. Thats the only way I can see it working.

jimbo said...

Chips can verify that someone passed by the finish line (I was left out of the results of a road race, despite a video camera) and give a general position, but I agree that they shouldn't replace visual scoring.

Anonymous said...

The chip only concludes that the chip went by the scoring table. Not who had the chip.

It's nice for confirming a close race and showing lap splits. The human has to stay in the equation.


Anonymous said...

Around the ankle is best. tri heads have used the system for many years.