The Best Gear & Custom Equipment Of The Tour de France

From pinstriped shoes to custom aero extensions and frame graphics, here is the coolest tech of the Tour.


Bobby Lea |

The Tour de France is the star around which the rest of the cycling universe revolves. Riders plan their annual training around it, teams build rosters to support their Tour ambitions, sponsorships come and go based on Tour participation, and the bike industry uses the Tour as a showcase for the latest and greatest gear.

While 2018 was undoubtedly the year of the aero bike – we were inundated with new aero road bikes in the days leading up to the Tour and each was touted as faster than the next – this year doesn’t have the same buzz around the space age-looking bikes. But a few brands like Cannondale, Scott, Wilier, and Pinarello updated bikes in their lineups that were previously regarded as climbing bikes.

Following Specialized’s lead, even bikes that are made for the flyweight climbers have some aerodynamic optimization. Generally speaking, we’re seeing a gradual convergence of aero and lightweight bikes. Aero bikes are getting lighter and approaching the UCI-imposed weight limit of 6.8 kg. And with that floor artificially set at 6.8 kg, the climbing bikes are getting more aero as brands learn how to add strength, stiffness, and aero shaping without adding weight.

Disc brakes are also becoming widely accepted. In some cases, it’s an internal decision by the team to keep everyone on disc brakes, and in others it’s forced on teams and riders by the brands. One thing is for certain: The rim-brake-only teams in the WorldTour are a dying breed.

Possibly one of the greatest parts of the Tour de France, from the gear side, is that we get three full weeks to obsess over the minutiae of all the gear being used, and the special hacks and adaptations riders and mechanics make to get their equipment perfect. From custom shoes to mixing Shimano Sprint Shifters with SRAM, and custom aero extensions to duct-taped forearm pads, we’ve combed through hundreds of images from the Tour to not only bring you the highlights, but also to show you where you can buy some of it for yourself (okay, maybe you’ll have to race the Tour to get a polka-dot SRM, but you get the point).

tour de france
Chris Auld

Wend Wax-On Chain Wax

These days, much attention is paid to reducing friction in the drivetrain. This EF-Education First Cannondale SuperSlice has a waxed chain. It doesn’t last very long, but it lasts long enough for a time trial and offers a statistically significant reduction in drag over most standard chain lubricants.

tour de france
Chris Auld

Power2Max NG Road Cannondale Power Meter

While SRAM is trying to convince us that the little/little gear combo is better, this EF-Education First rider isn’t buying it. Lucky for him, he’s on a Shimano team, so he can use this 55t pie plate with his Power2Max power meter.

tour de france
Chris Auld

Shimano Dura-Ace Di2 Remote Sprint Shifters

This Trek-Segafredo bike appears to have Shimano Sprint Shifters paired to SRAM AXS control levers.

tour de france
Chris Auld

100% S3 Peter Sagan LE

Prior to the start of the Tour de France, 100% launched the new Peter Sagan LE Collection, which also includes the S2, Speedcraft, and Speedtrap models, all with the Blue Topaz Multilayer Mirror Lens shown here.

tour de france
Chris Auld

Specialized S-Works Evade with ANGi

Peter Sagan sports his Sagan Collection Specialized S-Works Evade with ANGi crash sensor. While we don’t expect ANGi to be sending alerts to his emergency contacts in the event of a crash, ANGi can alert team medical staff if it detects forces capable of causing a concussion.

tour de france
Chris Auld

Arctic Heat Ice Vest

Properly managing core body temperature is critical to both performance and recovery in warm weather. For that, there is nothing better than an ice vest.

tour de france
Chris Auld

Sidi Wire 2 Air Vent

Look fast, feel fast, go fast. Everyone knows that, and this pair of Wire 2 Air Vent Carbon shoes from Sidi look FAST.

tour de france
Chris Auld

Shimano SH-RC9 S-Phyre

Tour de France gear is equal parts form and function, and these Shimano SH-RC9 S-Phyre shoes are certainly checking both boxes.

tour de france
Chris Auld


Fizik R1 Infinito

The subtle pinstriping on the straps and Boa dials of Alejandro Valverde’s Fizik R1 Infinito shoes is clean and classy. You can’t buy them with the World Champion pinstriping, but Fizik makes a variety of colours that are sure to appeal to most.

tour de france
Chris Auld

Mavic Comete Ultimate

Not to be outdone, this AG2R rider sports a pair of custom Mavic Comete Ultimate shoes, which can be yours for a mere ten grand or so.

tour de france
Chris Auld

Gaerne Carbon Stilo+

André Greipel’s Gaerne Carbon Stilo+ shoes also have some custom features, like Boa dials with the German flag and his trademark Gorilla logo.

tour de france
Chris Auld

Tacx Ciro Carbon Bottle Cage

When the soigneurs prepare hundreds of bottles and they all look the same, a little mark on the cap lets riders and staff know which bottles contain drink mix and which are plain water. EF-Education First uses Tacx bottles and cages, and this rider has opted to start with one bottle of mix and one bottle of water.

tour de france
Chris Auld

Garmin Edge 130

Sometimes less is more. EF-Education First rider Tom Scully may have access to the full menu of Garmin products, but he prefers the Edge 130.

tour de france
Chris Auld

SRM PC8

It’s customary for sponsors to treat riders to some custom gear if they find themselves in a leader’s jersey. In this case, Tim Wellens had the honour of riding a polka-dot Ridley Helium SLX, complete with a polka dot cover on his SRM PC8.

tour de france
Chris Auld

Sigma ROX 12.0 Sport

Team Sunweb uses the Sigma ROX 12.0 Sport computer. Although not as big of a brand as Garmin or Wahoo, these little computers are essentially a miniature android smartphone for your bicycle.

tour de france
Chris Auld

Campagnolo SRM Power Meter

Vincenzo Nibali has a new Shark of Messina logo on his Merida Reacto Team-E. If it’s possible to talk about aero road bikes and old school in the same sentence, we can do it here. Rim brakes are quickly fading from the WorldTour peloton, and especially brakes tucked under the bottom bracket. And in a world flush with power meter options, Nibali’s bike is outfitted with a Campagnolo SRM crank, which was the gold standard for many years.

Chris Auld

Custom Graphics

Custom graphics that go along with a rider’s nickname are very much en vogue. Here we see André Greipel’s BH G7 Disc 6.5 with a fierce-looking gorilla on the head tube.

tour de france
Chris Auld

Bianchi Oltre XR4 frameset

Dylan Groenewegen’s Bianchi Oltre XR4 sports an intricate custom paint job that begins at the head tube and continues back over the top and down tubes.

tour de france
Chris Auld

Custom Aero Extensions

The Mitchelton-Scott time trial bikes are outfitted with a variety of custom aero extensions from Watt Shop, a custom carbon manufacturer in the UK. Extensions like these will set you back about R27,000.

tour de france
Chris Auld


Specialized S-Works Shiv Module

Hydraulic disc brakes might be the greatest thing to happen to time trial bikes since Greg Lemond rolled down the Champs-Élysées with a funny-looking handlebar, so it’s odd to see this S-Works Shiv sporting a cable-actuated rim brake, as both Bora-Hansgrohe and Deceuninck-QuickStep ride the S-Works Shiv Disc.

tour de france
Chris Auld

Custom Stuff

Team Ineos also uses custom aero extensions on its Pinarello Bolide TT bikes. Despite the Most decal, which is Pinarello’s in-house brand, it appears as though the base bar is also custom.

tour de france
Chris Auld

Adjustment Options

A product can test extremely fast in the wind tunnel, but none of that counts if it doesn’t fit for your ideal position. The more adjustment options you have, the faster your gear will be for you.

tour de france
Chris Auld


Duct Tape

Sometimes riders need such a subtle tweak to their position it requires changing the forearm pads. And sometimes Duct Tape is the best way to fix those pads in place.
This article originally appeared on bicycling.com.

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