By Paul Norman
At last year’s Tour de France, Giant-Alpecin wore bibshorts with increase protection from road rash in the event of a crash, which was provided by the incorporation of panels of Dyneema reinforced fabric.
Well, this year they’re back with an improved design to the fabric in the bibshorts, which Dyneema says will increase protection by around 50%. Giant-Alpecin says that this has been accomplished without sacrificing comfort or performance. There’s a video of the new kit here.
Watch: Tour de France preview - the sprinters
Dyneema fabric is an ultra-high molecular weight polyethylene, which its manufacturer claims offers maximum strength with minimum weight, being up to 15 times stronger than steel on a weight-for-weight basis. As well as cycling kit, it’s incorporated into bullet-resistant armour for police and military use.
>>> How to treat road rash (video)
“We have a lot of crashes in the season. Since last Tour de France we’re always racing in shorts with Dyneema. And I’ve crashed once, and I know a lot of guys who crashed, and we all had nothing on the hips – and we crash a lot on our hips. So you can definitely say Dyneema makes a big difference,” says Tom Dumoulin.
This year, the protection has been extended to the team’s jerseys too, with panels of the fabric incorporated by the team’s kit manufacturer Etxeondo into the areas most vulnerable to injury in a crash.
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