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The Placebo Effect

Published January 24, 2012

Editor's Note: John Neugent is the owner of Neuvation Cycling, a purveyor of wheels and bikes. Until recently, the company offered a ceramic bearing upgrade to its wheels.

A normal part of medical testing is to include a placebo – something that is known to have no effect – blindly mixed in with the drug being tested.  Testing has shown that placebos can work 30-90% of the time. 

Here are some quotes from The World Research Foundation (Google this if you find it hard to believe).

“In the 1950’s angina pectoris, recurrent pain in the chest and left arm due to decreased blood flow to the heart, was commonly treated with surgery.  Rather than doing the customary surgery, which involved tying off the mammary artery, some resourceful doctors cut patients open and then simply sewed them back up again.  The patients who received a sham surgery reported as much relief as the patients who had the full surgery.”

“In a recent study of a new kind of chemotherapy, 30 percent of the individuals in the control group, the group given placebos, lost their hair.”

“In a study of a tranquilizer called mephenesin, researchers found that 10-20 percent of the test subjects experience negative side effects – including nausea, itchy rash, and heart palpitations – regardless of whether they were given the actual drug or a placebo.”

Realizing the business potential for this, Neuvation is soon going to be introducing an amazing new bearing that will actually make you go faster.  It does this by storing energy.  Most bearings are uniform in construction.  That is they use one material for the whole thing.  Imagine a bearing that was denser on the outside so that it actually developed more momentum than a standard bearing.  It would store and use this momentum at any point you weren’t pedaling.

In addition, the outside of the bearing would actually be slightly dimpled.  Tests have proven that golf balls go further because of their dimples.  We will be using the same type of aerodynamic technology to improve the internal aerodynamics of bearings.

Preliminary tests in blind studies against standard bearings have shown that over 40 percent of riders actually felt as though they were going faster with the new bearings.

They will be available in both standard chrome steel and ceramic versions.  As an added feature, we have come up with a new patent pending system for bearings sizing that will allow us to introduce a one size fits all bearing.  The first of its kind.


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