New Tech at the Tour de France 2017

New Tech at The Tour De France 2017

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New Tech at The Tour De France 2017

Apart from the Tour De France itself, another thing most anticipated by us cycling ‘nerds’ is the revel of New Tech at the Tour. We have compiled a list of tech that was unveiled at this year’s Tour De France, which caught our eyes. 

The new Specialized Tarmac uses a proprietary D-shaped seat post (the previous-generation SL5 Tarmac used a round 27.2mm post). The proprietary post means riders can’t just grab an off-the-shelf post to address fitting needs. Specialized has addressed this by making a zero-offset posts. 

Some of Team Sky’s bicycles were equipped with a new K-Edge Garmin mount that cleanly mounts to the Team’s PRO Vibe stems. 

Cannondale-Drapac’s mechanics excised the shifter buttons from a Shimano Dura-Ace Di2 TT/Triathlon Dual Control lever and glued them to the side of a TRP brake lever.  

New Tech at The Tour De France 2017 - Specialised Tarmac
New Tech at The Tour De France 2017 - UFO Chains

Ceramic Speed’s teams used the company’s Teflon-coated UFO chains. It is claimed that these chains save two to five watts (compared to the same chain without the treatment). That advantage lasts 370 miles before the coating wears off. 

Lotto Soudal rider's Campagnolo rim brakes were jazzed up with Tune’s carbon pad holders, which are handmade in Germany and dressed up with titanium and aluminium hardware. Newer versions of the holder have a unidirectional carbon finish. 

Campagnolo offers its high-end rear brake callipers in two styles: a lighter, single-pivot calliper, or a two-pivot calliper that’s 25 grams heavier, but offers better power and modulation. 

Most of Katusha-Alpecin’s road bicycles were equipped with SRAM’s longer-cage Red eTap WiFLi rear derailleurs. While the riders would use SRAM’s 11-28 or 11-26 cassettes most often, the longer-cage rear derailleur gave the mechanics the option to install SRAM’s wider-range 11-32 cassette when the riders requested it. 

SRAM does not make a direct-mount rim brake, so SRAM-sponsored Katusha-Alpecin used Shimano Dura-Ace callipers (with the logos removed) on the team’s Canyon Aero road frames. 

While most of the Shimano components in the Tour are Dura-Ace level, there were numerous Ultegra Cassettes in use. Few reasons cited for this were: The Ultegra cassette is heavier than a Dura Ace cassette, and some teams are looking to add weight to their bicycles to make the UCI’s 6.8kg weight limit, The Ultegra cassette shifts just as well as Dura Ace, but is more than $100 cheaper, finally, the Ultegra cassette’s largest cogs are steel, and last longer than the titanium used for the Dura Ace cassette’s five-largest cogs. 

New Tech at The Tour De France 2017 - SRAM
New Tech at The Tour De France 2017 - Giant Propel Disc

Giant revealed a disc version of its Propel aero bicycle unveiled during the tour. The Propel Disc's stem encases the Shimano Dura-Ace Di2 wires and hydraulic lines and is unmarked alloy.  

Mavic supplied Cannondale-Drapac a fresh batch of Yksion tubulars with a new compound that, according to a Mavic representative, offered improved traction, especially on damp and wet roads. 

Also unveiled, was the SRAM Force 1 X-Sync Chainring said to provide the highest level of performance and durability. It’s wide-tooth, narrow-tooth chainring technology is claimed to provide maximum chain control. Additionally, the sharp and narrow tooth profile as well as rounded chamfer edges is said to help manage a deflected chain. 

Conclusion

Whether it is a small modification to an existing bicycle, or introducing custom made bicycles for teams, the Tour De France sees it all. Brands coming up with new tech to enhance rider’s performance is what paves way for new bicycles and components that reach the markets too. That is what the Tour De France is about. Do let us know what your favourites were.

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