The Incredible Tech Behind This Year's Tour de France Bikes

Wired | 7/19/2019 | Staff
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Click For Photo:,c_limit/Gear-TourDeFrance-1162166453.jpg

They also integrate cable routing hidden inside the frame for gears and brakes (more clean lines and less drag) or have done away with cabled gearing completely, switching to systems such as Shimano’s Di2 electronic shifting (featuring a thin wire sending signals from the shifter to the rear mech) or SRAM’s eTap wireless shifting (via their proprietary wireless protocol Airea).

These rides may also "drop" the front end of the bike slightly to put a rider in a more aerodynamic position (bearing in mind the rider will cause "drag" as well and the bike). There’s been a dramatic rise in the popularity of skin-tight aero clothing, too.

Aero - Bikes - Section - Rim - Mm

Aero bikes often feature a "deep section" wheelset where the rim can run between 40–90 mm in depth—the larger, smoother profile aiding smooth air travel over its surface.

The tradeoff for this "aero" build? Aero bikes often weigh more than their featherweight climbing equivalents—and are often less comfortable than regular/all-day/endurance road bikes, as the frames are designed with profile and stiffness for power transfer as a priority.

Riders - Aero - Bike - Races - Tour

Pro riders will use the aero bike in races such as the Tour de France for longer, flatter stages as results show that an aero bike can be up to four minutes faster over a flat 40-km course (if riding conditions are favorable) as well as in sprint stages where the aerodynamic shape and uncompromising stiffness is an asset in getting you over the line in first place.

What do pro riders want when...
(Excerpt) Read more at: Wired
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