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TECH NEWS

Why the hell are Jumbo-Visma using blue front tyres in the Tour de France?

The idea is to promote bike service Swapfiets and cycling in everyday life

If you’re watching the Tour de France this weekend and find yourself wondering why Team Jumbo-Visma’s bikes are fitted with blue front tyres, it’s because they’re promoting a Dutch bike service called Swapfiets.

With Swapfiets you pay a monthly fee in exchange for use of a bike, and a support team will make sure that it’s always working. The idea is to offer sustainable, environmentally friendly and flexible transportation. Swapfiets bikes are fitted with blue front tyres. It’s their thing.

Jumbo-Visma will use blue tyres for several stages of this year’s Tour, and Vittoria has had to develop them especially for the promotion.

“It was quite a challenge because Vittoria engineers had to remove all black ingredients to create a blue tyre with the same level of performance,” says Jumbo-Visma.

“The solution was to create a new recipe for rubber compounds that uses a specific silica as a filler. The result is a true innovation, that is making the Swapfiets-blue tyre as efficient as the original Vittoria Corsa Graphene tyre.”

It's a pretty clever promotion; it's got us talking about it anyway. And now you can be the most knowledgeable person in front of the TV when the Tour is on! 

While you might not be able to get your hands on Jumbo Visma's blue tyres for your race bike yet, Swapfiets has actually launched in the UK, so you can rock a chunkier colourful tyre on your rented bike a bit more like the ones above. Browsing the Swapfiets UK website, only Londoners can buy at the moment and prices start from £16.90 per month for a singlespeed 'original' Dutch bike. 

A built-in lock and insurance are included, and Swapfiets promise to service and deliver your bike within 48 hours of ordering. 

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. We send him off around the world to get all the news from launches and shows too. 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 pushing 50, he's riding road and gravel bikes most days for fun and fitness rather than training for competitions.

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