The Tech on the Tour
The modern Tour de France is a tech tour de force. High performance, lightweight components can add up to seconds over a stage of the tour, so pro cyclists – and well-heeled enthusiasts – can give themselves an edge by using the right gear. Here’s How to Live It’s dream kitlist.
If you want a heads-up-display that delivers directions, records photos and videos, and lets you listen to music, all while cycling – the Recon Instruments Recon Jet is for you. The sunglasses pack a dual-core 1GHz A9 processor, 1GB RAM, 8GB flash storage and 720p camera. And – deep breath – an accelerometer, gyroscope, magnetometer, altimeter, barometer and ambient temperature sensor. Plus a custom version of Android, all for US$500 (£335) if you pre-order between now and July 21st, for delivery by Christmas. Anyone else think these look cooler than Google Glass?
Shimano’s Dura-Ace Di2 (around £1600) electronic gears are the most state-of-the-art kit you’ll find attached to a bike. They’re good enough for the pros, which means they’re more than good enough for the likes of you – assuming your wallet is stacked enough. Thanks to electronic shifting gears change first time, every time, but you can also have satellite shifters so you don’t have to move position to change gear – so you’ll be just like Mark Cavendish in his sprints. Except slower.
The official Tour de France 2013 helmet as adopted by Team Sky and called Kask Mojito can be yours. This £120 helmet is Italian designed and made with 26 large air vents, a reinforced frame and removable, washable pads. Ideal for warm weather rides then.
You can actually buy the Pinarello Dogma 2 that was used by Team Sky to win last year’s Tour and by Bradley Wiggins to take gold at the Olympics. We say you can, but only if you’ve got £4000 to spare for the frameset alone. Not bad for a 54cm frame that weighs just 920g though.
One piece of kit you won’t see members of the Tour using are the Bont Crono shoes. That’s because they’re banned for being too quick. These offer pure aerodynamics with not so much as a stitch to interrupt the smooth flow of the design from front to back. They’re made with time-trialing in mind so you know they’ll get you flying along. At the cost of a hefty £435.
Team Garmin-Sharp, Liquigas-Cannondale, and Katusha use Mavic’s Cosmic CXR80 wheel and tire combo (£2,000 for a pair). The tire features a textured tread on the sides, which doesn’t just add grip but creates a more slippery boundary layer for air to pass over more easily.
These Nike Tailwind 12 glasses are fitted with Nike’s Flying lens technology that reduces fogging for precise visuals at all angles of view and, hopefully, less chance of a spectacular off. Yours for £155.
Luke Edwards is the multimedia journalist for Stuff magazine
Follow the Tour de France via LG’s Smart TVs. For the full range, see here