Large, rounded stones used in road surfaces

Example usage: The cobbles are always a challenge for riders during the Tour de France.

Most used in: Northern Europe, especially in Belgium and France.

Most used by: Professional cyclists and road racers.

Popularity: 8/10

Comedy Value: 4/10

Also see: Pavé, Bumps, Rouleur, Strade Bianche,


What are Cycling Cobbles?

In the context of cycling, cobbles are a type of road surface made up of small stones that are usually irregularly shaped and often rounded. They are laid in a pattern and usually found in older parts of cities. Cobbles are often seen in professional cycle races such as the Tour de France and Paris–Roubaix, which is known as the ‘Hell of the North’ due to the difficulty of riding over cobbles.

Cobbles can be challenging to ride over and require a lot of strength and skill. They can cause a lot of vibration and can be slippery when wet. This can result in a slower, bumpier ride which can be uncomfortable for riders.

Cobble roads can be dangerous for cyclists as they are less stable than other road surfaces. They can also be slippery in wet weather and can cause riders to lose control. As a result, many cyclists choose to avoid cobbles altogether.

Statistics show that in the Tour de France, cobbles account for only 1.6% of the total route. However, this small section of cobbles can have a huge impact on the race as they can cause riders to lose time and potentially even crash.

Overall, cobbles are a type of road surface that can be challenging and dangerous for cyclists to ride over. While they may not be found on every road, they are an important part of professional cycling and can have a huge impact on the outcome of a race.

The History of the Term 'Cobbles' in Cycling

The term 'cobbles' in the context of cycling was first used in the late 19th century to describe the rough stone roads in northern parts of Europe. The roads were made with cobblestones, rounded stones of different sizes set in sand or mortar. Cobblestones were used to create roads in many parts of Europe, and were especially common in Belgium and Northern France.

The cobblestones were a challenge for cyclists of that time. The riders had to deal with the uneven surface, making it difficult to maintain balance and speed. As a result, the term 'cobbles' was used to describe the roads and the challenge they posed to cyclists. It became a popular term in cycling and is still used to describe rough and challenging roads.

Cobbles have become a popular feature in many cycling races and have become synonymous with the sport. The Paris-Roubaix race, which takes place in Northern France, is known for its cobblestone sections. In modern cycling, cobbles are seen as a challenge and a test of skill, and many riders look forward to the challenge of racing on cobbles.

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