The tours the place for shiny new toys, and this year like every other tour there was some fancy kit adorned on the bikes of the pros.
Some custom goodies, some top secret bits and some stuff that will be winging its way in to the shops real soon. All of it on show and all of it being gazed at by the fans with envy.
So what did little old me notice while walking around the pits at the Annecy time trial stage.
With loads of time on my hands and a yellow band ,no not a Livestrong one but a pass for the village and pits I was in my element. Bothering riders, mechanics and generally geeking out.
First up screaming from the top of one of the Garmin team cars was a bike that looked ready for action for Captain America himself. Now I’m not a massive fan of the felts really but the Dave Zabriskie bike looked kinda cool. With the rear zip wheel stickered up with a huge US flag and the argyle on the wheel in matching colors, they’d even touched the frame up with a few stars and strips for the US national time trial champ. Very cool indeed.
Then out walks the man himself, skinsuit to match but what’s this! It looked like Mr Zabriskie was kitted up as if he was ready for a spill in to Lake Annecy.
But no the item in question was not a life jacket but an ice jacket. I’d heard about Garmin working on keeping the riders body temperature down while warming up and this was what they had been using to accomplish that.
A vest that you wear while warming up thats packed with ice or ice water and this lowers the body temperature. As we all know throwing a bottle of cold water (or coke as Charlie Wegelius did in on Giro) over yourself helps a huge amount when racing. This obviously is just the next step for the pros. Very “COOL” indeed, but will we ever see it down at our local club 10. I wouldn’t be too surprised at all!
The new Shimano Dura-Ace Di2 is out in the shops and yep its a pricey upgrade to any bike. But boy oh boy was there a good few of the group sets kicking about on the time trial bikes, thats a big yes. It looks like the pro peloton have taken to the new electronic groupset. With a lot of the top guys sponsored by shimano using it. Not just on there first bike but also on the spare bike too. Looks like its a hit with the TT bikes then.
While still hanging around the Garmin team truck i noticed that Wiggins bike was sporting a O’Symetric chain ring. From the pictures you can see it’s one crazy shape. Like the old shimano oval rings its suppose to eliminate the “dead spot” while pedaling. It looked a massive size, but from a quick count I think it must have been a 53 tooth chain ring. Just the shape making it look abnormally big.
A wander over to the Rabobank team truck lead to a few more new bits rearing there head.
For starters Rabobank were not sporting the Shimano sponsored brake calipers. Na these guys were rocking some funky looking orange and blue calipers. Machined alloy with an anodized orange caliper and a bright blue brake block. All tucked neatly behind the fork. Very swish indeed. Unfortunately I didn’t get close enough or at a good enough angle to catch who made them. But yet again a very smart piece of kit, which I’m guessing is just pro team issue.
I could be wrong here but Im sure I spotted a new aero lid atop one of the Rabobank guys noggin too.
This new Giro aero helmet looked to have a new lower end faring where it meets the back, plus it was boxed in at the back too. This could very well be a one off for the rider, he might have an odd position on the bike so his helmet might have been modified. But it looked pretty tidy and well thought out. So keep an eye out, it just might be the next generation Giro aero helmet.
Custom paint jobs were everywhere you looked from Cadel’s kangaroo and Australian flag Canyon road bike to the cannondale with its polka dot pain job. Not forgetting a certain Mr Armstrong who had a gaggle of fancy pain jobs on a number of bikes. Apparently Trek had commissioned 7 different artists to design paint jobs for 7 different bikes for the man himself.
There was even a cool cartoon on one of his disc wheels, and not even in his black and yellow but a pale blue and white.
Contador wasn’t to be out done. As he had a few steeds with a few neat paint jobs. One of his race bikes had a very nice and understated paint job. You had to look real close as they’d even put a slight leaf pattern under the paint where the carbon showed.
Bike’s weren’t the only thing to be custom. With Giro and Oakley throwing out some cool colors in there shades that us mere mortals cant get our hands on.
Contador had a few cool shades, lets hope that Giro see the light and release the colors that they were showcasing at the tour. The Astana blue Giro havik shades were a particular favorite. There even looked to be a few new flavors with the lenses too.
Some crazy mirrored lenses, that i have yet seen for sale. I wouldn’t be surprised to see these available soon.
Oh and if Giro happen to be reading this (well you never know) I spotted a Caisse D’Epargne rider in the Flanders cafe in Belgium on the monday before Wevelgem sporting a very cool pair of fluro orange Haviks, please, please make these available. These are absolutely the dogs ………(you know what). Oh and when are the Havik’s going to be available with the smart Giro writing on the frame.
Keep an eye out (no pun intended there) for a review on the Giro Haviks real soon on here.
Oakley were showing off there new Jawbone glasses too, again a crazy amount of colors in them too. Theses all so look to be the next big thing.
It also looked as if Oakley had a new lens shape out for the Radars too.
And while we’re on the subject of glasses Rudy project had a few riders sporting there various glasses in fluro yellow.
Oh dear oh dear, I am a sucker for shades!
Right lets move on from the glasses to shoes. Again custom paint jobs splashed across the feet of a few pros. Cadel had an australian inspired pair on while I noticed a cool green pair of Sidi’s shoved in the window of the Liquigas team truck. Yep! Liked them too.
Rotator who are partners of the Cervelo test team had a few different cranks on show. Including a very trick black and pink alloy chainset with there rotator rings for Carlos Sastre. How’d I know they were for him, well yet again they had his name on them. I’m guessing there’s are a pair that were used at the Giro Italia, what with them being pink n all. Again like Wiggins O’Sysmetric chain ring the Rotator rings are designed to eliminate that dreaded “dead spot”
On another Cervelo was yet another pair of Rotator cranks. this time, a normal circular chain ring but with what looked like a crank set you could move, I presume again to help loose that dead spot. And again with a nifty pain job.
By now I’m getting dizzy looking at new stuff, but not dizzy enough not to notice Mavic’s new wheel set. Now these baby’s are gonna cost the earth when they are released I’m guessing. The top of the tree R-SYS wheel set. Full on carbon. Every thing from the rims to the spokes to the hub. And all in matt black carbon. These things are gonna be light. I’m not sure how light as they were under the eye of a Mavic rep and attached to a stand in the Tour Village. There seemed to be no alloy nipple heads or bonding areas, just carbon to carbon. They take the Mavic Cosmic Carbon Ultimas to the next level.
If you watched the tour you will have defiantly seen the team kit of Columbia, what with the Cav man notching up 6 wins. And yep they have a new sub sponsor too. HTC, a mobile phone manufacture. So the kits changed a bit, a splash of green in there and them Abs have been altered to allow room for the new sponsors name. Im not even at work but I guess theirs an order been placed with Moa sports for this new kit. Im sure Probikekit will be getting it in. I bet the columbia kits been flying off the shelf what with every one wanting to support Cav and his super team.
And finally what about that crisp and clean looking Cervelo kit, all in white. Have they been sneaking a peek at probikekits designs and taking a leaf from our books!!! Well we can dream.
Will this flash looking jersey and shorts be released to us fans.? I don’t know but I’m sure that Fatty’s chatting to Castelli already so that Probikekit.com can bring it to you.
There we go then people, thats thats for the tour tech.
I’m sure I missed loads of cool stuff. But the sun was shining I was trying to hurrass riders for their signatures, I was filming for the blogs and trying to take the race in too. I tell you it was a tough day!