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TECH NEWS

Tour Tech 2016: Strange setups

Unusual equipment from the Tour de France

All of the bikes and components used in the Tour de France are fairly remarkable, but some are more unusual than other. We went visiting the various teams to look for some of the stranger setups out there.

 

Bar tape on the pedals

Bar tape on pedal - 1.jpg

Several Lotto Soudal riders have Lizard Skins handlebar tape across the middle of the central stainless steel plate. We’re not totally sure why they do this, but we guess it must be to reduce cleat/foot movement on the pedal or to avoid the possibility of any play.

Dan Martin's tri bars on road bike

Dan Martin TT bars road bike (1).jpg

We spotted Dan Martin riding with tri bars on his road bike before the start of the Tour de France. That might seem an odd combination be we guess this is a setup he's considering for the hilly/mountain time trial on stage 18, finishing at Megève.

Dimension Data’s Arctic Heat cooling vest

Arctic Heat cooling vest - 1.jpg

This body cooling vest is used by Dimension Data to pre-cool riders before racing. The idea is that it stabilises the core body temperatures and reduces sweat rates while allowing riders to warm up before the start.

Andre Greipel’s cutaway shoes

Greipel shoes - 1.jpg

These look like Gaerne Chrono shoes on Andre Greipel’s feet, but look closely and you’ll see a cutaway circle in the upper of his left shoe. Although you can’t see it in this pic, his right shoe is the same. Although we’re not certain, we presume this is pressure relieving measure.

Chris Froome’s Osymetric chainrings

pinarello chris froome 2016 1.JPG

​Team Sky’s Chris Froome is still using bi-cam Osymetric chainrings. Osymetric claims the rings allow you to achieve 7-10% more power than standard round rings for a given amount of work. 

When we visited Team Sky’s service course earlier in the year we learnt that the Team Sky powers that be aren't convinced by the evidence used to support these claims, but Froome wants to stick with something he has used for his two previous Tour de France victories.

FDJ’s Shimano Dura-Ace power meter

FDJ Shimano Dura-Ace power meter - 1.jpg

Shimano officially announced last week that the next generation Dura-Ace groupset would feature a power meter and FDJ riders are currently using a prototype. You can see the unit between the arms of the spider on the chainset above. 

Small Look 795

Bruce Feillu small bike - 1.jpg

Brice Feillu (we're pretty sure it's him) of Fortuneo-Vital Concept rides a Look 795 Light that looks very small considering his 1.88m height. We see many pro riders on bikes that are smaller than you might expect. They usually cite weight and manoeuvrability as reasons for sizing down. 

Team Katusha mudguard

Alexander Kristoff Canyon Aeroad13.JPG

Alexander Kristoff’s bike had a Team Katusha splash guard fixed to the saddle when we photographed it. These are available from http://sencillobikes.com/en/

Peter Sagan’s gold coloured jockey wheels

Peter Sagan Specialized Venge TdF 5.JPG

Peter Sagan has gold coloured CeramicSpeed jockey wheels on his Dura-Ace rear derailleur. His Terminator nickname is printed on the side.

Cavendish’s red jockey wheels and gold chain

Mark Cavendish Cervelo S5 TdF 22.JPG

Mark Cavendish goes for gold too, this time with his chain. His CeramicSpeed jockey wheels are red.

Adam Hansen’s bespoke shoes

Today I will be wearing shoes I made over two years ago. Classics and I like the old fashion bikes on them.  4 pic.twitter.com/wZ6r32bQGj

We caught sight of Adam Hansen’s minimalist bespoke carbon-fibre shoes but our pictures weren’t great so here’s one from his Twitter feed. They apparently take over 42hrs to make and weigh under 95g. http://hanseeno.myshopify.com/

 

Sky’s Ford Mustang team car

Team Sky Ford Mustang  - 1.jpg

Ford has taken over form Jaguar as provider of the support vehicles for Team Sky. Most of the cars it supplies are Mondeos but this is a 435bhp Mustang 5.0 V8. It’s certainly eye-catching.

 

Mat has been in cycling media since 1996, on titles including BikeRadar, Total Bike, Total Mountain Bike, What Mountain Bike and Mountain Biking UK, and he has been editor of 220 Triathlon and Cycling Plus. Mat has been road.cc technical editor for over a decade, testing bikes, fettling the latest kit, and trying out the most up-to-the-minute clothing. He has won his category in Ironman UK 70.3 and finished on the podium in both marathons he has run. Mat is a Cambridge graduate who did a post-grad in magazine journalism, and he is a winner of the Cycling Media Award for Specialist Online Writer. Now over 50, he's riding road and gravel bikes most days for fun and fitness rather than training for competitions.

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16 comments

Avatar
dafyddp | 8 years ago
6 likes

I wish rules required teams to drive electric or hybrid vehicles instead of knob-compensating Mustangs. They symbolise the very worst type of driver that cyclists have to deal with - gas-guzzling-im-more-important-road-thugs. 

Avatar
Langsam replied to dafyddp | 8 years ago
2 likes
dafyddp wrote:

I wish rules required teams to drive electric or hybrid vehicles instead of knob-compensating Mustangs. They symbolise the very worst type of driver that cyclists have to deal with - gas-guzzling-im-more-important-road-thugs. 

 

according to you. I think they're pretty cool, myself.

I heard a new-shape Mustang V8 the other day, they make a bloody awesome noise.

Avatar
madcarew replied to dafyddp | 8 years ago
0 likes
dafyddp wrote:

I wish rules required teams to drive electric or hybrid vehicles instead of knob-compensating Mustangs. They symbolise the very worst type of driver that cyclists have to deal with - gas-guzzling-im-more-important-road-thugs. 

Is it the gas gussling you object to, or the image?
The lifetime energy use of a hybrid (including construction) and a mustang (or most other guzzlers) is pretty darn similar due to the energy cost of producing extra motors, high use of plastics and carrying around batteries made from rare earth metals.

As for image, the worst cycling behaviour I see comes from MAMILs and other lycra clad carbon humping riders... which would mean on the basis of image the peloton ought to start dressing like Raymon Poulidor et al 

Avatar
charliepalooza replied to dafyddp | 8 years ago
1 like
dafyddp wrote:

I wish rules required teams to drive electric or hybrid vehicles instead of knob-compensating Mustangs. They symbolise the very worst type of driver that cyclists have to deal with - gas-guzzling-im-more-important-road-thugs. 

 

One day, in the distant future, I wonder if there will be a thread without an inane and unnecessary car drivers vs cyclists comment. 

Avatar
monkeytrousers | 8 years ago
2 likes

I love the idea of wearing a vest thing to keep you cool while warming up.

Is there one that's heated for cooling down?

Avatar
handlebarcam | 8 years ago
2 likes

People may scoff at those Osymetric chainrings, but their shape was meticulously determined using the latest scientific techniques for optimal performance.

Avatar
Al__S | 8 years ago
0 likes

Presumably the Mustang will be used, like the F-Type before it, for TTs? Or is it just for Sir Dave to razz around?

Avatar
nathanrford | 8 years ago
2 likes

The bar tape on the pedals is a fantastic idea. I guarantee that it is to make those pedals stop making noise! The Blades are fantastic pedals except for the fact that they are incredibly loud with new cleats. I rememdied by putting some wax lub on the metal plate, but bar tap is pretty clever.

Avatar
therevokid | 8 years ago
2 likes

i suspect the lotto soudal bar tape idea is to shut up those bloody pedals  3

Avatar
tritecommentbot | 8 years ago
0 likes

Hansen trying to flog his dodgy shoes for 2000 Euros 

 

 

Avatar
steffUK replied to tritecommentbot | 8 years ago
3 likes
unconstituted wrote:

Hansen trying to flog his dodgy shoes for 2000 Euros 

 

 

 

Adam does NOT want to "flog" his shoes. Under UCI rules he can not race with them unless they are made available to buy to the public, so he made them available but at a price no one wants them and he does not have to make them and can continue to race istead of becoming a cobbler.

 

Avatar
Bmblbzzz replied to steffUK | 8 years ago
2 likes
steffUK wrote:
unconstituted wrote:

Hansen trying to flog his dodgy shoes for 2000 Euros 

 

 

 

Adam does NOT want to "flog" his shoes. Under UCI rules he can not race with them unless they are made available to buy to the public, so he made them available but at a price no one wants them and he does not have to make them and can continue to race istead of becoming a cobbler.

 

Becoming a cobbler is the last thing he'd want to do, he's quite happy for his to be the sole pair in existence. 

 

Avatar
J90 replied to steffUK | 7 years ago
0 likes
steffUK wrote:
unconstituted wrote:

Hansen trying to flog his dodgy shoes for 2000 Euros 

 

 

 

Adam does NOT want to "flog" his shoes. Under UCI rules he can not race with them unless they are made available to buy to the public, so he made them available but at a price no one wants them and he does not have to make them and can continue to race istead of becoming a cobbler.

 

They're never actually available as such. You can't really buy them, it just looks like you can.

Avatar
nadsta | 8 years ago
2 likes

Hansen's shoes are 25g? My socks weigh more that than. 

Avatar
daccordimark replied to nadsta | 8 years ago
1 like
nadsta wrote:

Hansen's shoes are 25g? My socks weigh more that than. 

Article error - they're a hefty 95g!

Avatar
Mat Brett replied to nadsta | 8 years ago
1 like

nadsta wrote:

Hansen's shoes are 25g? My socks weigh more that than. 

 

Apologies. It's 95g. That's just me being a klutz at the keyboard. Still comfortably the lightest cycling shoes I've ever heard of.

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