7 Awesome Pieces Of Tech & Gear At The Tour De France
The Tour de France is the pinnacle of professional road cycling, and, as such, it’s the prime place for team sponsors to unveil and highlight new products for 21 stages in France. The competitive road cycling market has long been influenced by what World Tour teams use, which created a longstanding top-down consumer model that allowed companies to implicitly tell cyclists what they wanted.
After seeing the gear that the world’s best riders use, consumers convinced themselves that they needed that exact gear to be successful. This is illogical because it is not the gear but the hours and days and years spent training that creates success as grandiose as a Tour de France stage win or overall victory. Great gear and tech help, but so does training for 20+ hours per week for 2 to 20 consecutive years.
People know this. You know this. And that’s why the old model is slowly being turned on its head. Companies that produce road cycling gear are racing to keep up with changing consumer demands, not the other way around. The finest example of this is disc brakes, which debuted in the 2017 Tour. A year later, almost every team has at least one disc brake offering for its riders.
Consumers, and some pros, have come together to destroy almost every stigma that elitists and purists came up with to dismantle disc brakes’ growing popularity. I love all the new product releases every July, but I also love to a see a developing, mutually beneficial relationship between consumers and manufacturers.
All that being said, some illogicalness seems unavoidable with sure-to-be legends like Peter Sagan in the current peloton. His sponsors Specialized and 100% have each made Sagan Edition gear that he’s wearing at this year’s Tour. The products look beautiful, especially when they are the first across the finish line.
I can appreciate my own hypocrisy. I like thinking I’m in charge of my purchasing decisions – buying things I need, not things advertisements tell me I want. But I also like being in awe of professionals who put out monstrous watts at the end of hours long stages – and look good while doing so. Alas, as Joan Didion wrote in her essay Some Dreamers of the Golden Dream, “the revelation (was) that the dream was teaching the dreamers how to live.”
Check out these 7 awesome new pieces of gear and tech from this year’s Tour de France.
1. Fizik Infinito R1 Knit
New colourway of the Fizik Infinito R1 Knit worn by an Ag2r La Mondiale rider. Although this version is not yet available for purchase, Fizik does have a black and red knitted version currently available.
2. 100% Limited Edition Peter Sagan Sunglasses
Peter Sagan wearing 100% limited edition, chromium red S2 Peter Sagan sunglasses. That’s meta. Available in the brand’s S2, Speedcraft, and Speedtrap models.
3. BMC‘s Giro Aether MIPS
Richie Porte and Simon Gerrans relaxing preride in their Giro Aether MIPS helmets. The Aether is Giro’s new high-end racing helmet with MIPS Spherical protection. The Aether is both more aero and more breathable than the Giro Synthe.
RELATED: Peter Sagan’s Beautiful Tour De France S-Works Venge
4. Chris Froome’s Kask Valegro Helmet
Kask released a new color scheme on its Valegro, Utopia, Protone, and Bambino Pro Evo TT helmets for Team Sky. Team Sky is wearing a primarily black and white colour pattern this Tour, which is a step away from the accents of blue by which they’ve been distinguishable in the past.
5. Madone SLR 9 Disc Rear Wheel
Trek released the Madone SLR 9 Disc for Trek Segafredo riders to race during this year’s Tour. The bikes are equipped with Dura-Ace flat-mount hydraulic discs.
6. Rudy Tralyx Fade Sunglasses
Bahrain Merida’s Vincenzo Nibali wearing the all-new Tralyx Fade sunglasses. Team Trek-Segafredo and Lotto Soudal are also wearing the Tralyx Fade shades this Tour but with a red/white colour scheme.
7. BMC Timemachine Road 01 Aero Module
Although the aero module storage box will need to be removed for races to comply with UCI regulations, it is some new tech that the everyday rider can get excited about. The module as a whole was designed to reduce the drag created by traditional bottle cages, the box’s other purpose is to hold some ride essentials like CO2 canisters and a spare tube.
This article originally appeared on bicycling.com.