What do pros envy hobby riders for?

During our bike fittings we are often asked about our cooperations with pro-riders and -teams. Many of our customers like to compare their values to those of the pros, especially in the force analysis:

• How many watts does a sprinter reach tops?
• How do my force curves compare to those of Fabian Wegmann?
• What is the saddle / handlebar differential of a pro triathlete when competing on the long distance?
• Does a pro always have the optimal pressure distribution on the saddle?

Today, I’d like to turn this question around: What does the hobby rider have that the pros don’t? What is it the pros could even envy? The answer is as short as it is clear: Freedom in the component-choice!
The sponsoring contracts of the team limit the range of materials a pro rider can choose from: The bike producer defines which frameset is used (and from time to time also the frame size, which can cause some trouble), the component producer defines the remaining “ingredients” (such as the groupset, the wheels, the tyres, etc.). From a biomechanical perspective we are obviously most interested in the “ergonomic components” on the points of contact:

Cockpit: form of the handlebar, stem, levers, …
Saddle: Saddle model, seat post,….
Force transmission: pedals, cycling shoe, …

Also the ergonomically important components are determined by the sponsors, and party not even the whole product range of the sponsor is available to the pros! Of course, his muscles – trained over 30,000 to 40,000 yearly kilometres and (hopefully) enough additional stabilizing training – help the pro to better compensate “suboptimal” components than could a less trained rider. But still, one must not forget that every compromise made could lead to a lower performance.
While hobby riders already need to make compromises in their seating position, they still have the big advantage of being able to choose just the best components. And here “best” does not refer to “most expensive” but to “optimal for me”. A different pedalling system fits better to my knee positioning? Do my hip bones really feel comfortable on this saddle model? The current shoe tweaks at the outer forefoot? Different pedalling system, saddle model, other shoe manufacturer – everything goes, as long as it reduces discomforts and thus enhances the own performance. One just needs the proper analysis to identify the individually optimal components.
This free choice is a luxury for which many pros really envy the hobby rider.
And that’s something we know first-hand…!