Tech of the week: Tour de France special

With the cycling world gripped with Tour de France fever, we take a look at some of the best bikes and tech the race has offered up so far.

Tony Martin’s Specialized Shiv

After its owner crashed out while wearing yellow stage six, this rather special Shiv TT bike was only able to see action once in this year’s Tour.

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The bike features a raging bull paintjob, and comes with a whopping 58 tooth big ring, Vision Metron wheels (interestingly clad with clincher tyres), and grip tape on the saddle to keep Martin’s backside in the optimal position.

Alex Dowsett’s Canyon Speedmax CF

Another man who’s been on the floor this week is Alex Dowsett. Before crashing on the cobbles of stage four, the national time trial champion had a chance to ride for himself, finishing a credible 13th in the opening time trial.

This result was achieved aboard his Canyon Speedmax CF, which unlike Peter Kennaugh’s Dogma F8 hadn’t been painted up in red white and blue, and came with Campagnolo Super Record EPS shifiting, Campagnolo wheels and Canyon’s neat integrated aero bars with a sizeable stack at the front end.

Chris Froome’s Pinarello Dogma F8


While many teams will have different bikes for the flat stages and mountain stages, Team Sky will be riding the Pinarello Dogma F8 on all but one road stage (the only exception being the cobbles of stage four where the suspension-equipped Dogma K8-S was called into action).

However Chris Froome’s Dogma F8 came with a pretty non-standard setup. The Team Sky leader is using Osymetric rings, as he did on his way to victory in the 2013 Tour, and a stripped down Di2 climbing shifter to allow him to get better feel of the shifting buttons.

Peter Sagan’s Specialized S-Works Shiv

As he did in 2014, Peter Sagan has somehow managed to make it through the first week of the Tour without picking up a stage win, something that he’s “achieved” aboard his new Specialized S-Works Venge ViAS.

The bike is the same one that Mark Cavendish has been riding for most of the opening week, but with a few modifications, such as a custom Prologo saddle and a Vision alloy TT front ring.

New helmets

giro time trial helmet

IAM Cycling were also using Giro’s new time trial helmet

There were a number of new helmets on show at the Grand Depart at Utrecht. LottoNL-Jumbo were using the new Bell Gage with MIPS technology and Louis Garneau was also showing of its new aero road lid which was used by Europcar throughout the first week.

However the most successful new helmet was undoubtedly Giro’s new time trial lid, ridden to the stage victory and the yellow jersey by BMC’s Rohan Dennis. The design features a cut-off tail and a visor which is attached using magnets along its edge.

Snazzy shoes

specialized s-works 5 road shoes

Plenty of riders have been using these new shoes from Specialized

As well as having three teams riding its bikes at the Tour, Specialized is also dominating in the shoe department. Plenty of riders were spotted wearing the American company’s new S-Works road shoes, even if Tinkoff-Saxo generally stuck with the luminous yellow of the old design.

Another popular choice was the limited edition Shimano R321B model, which comes in a snazzy blue and yellow design, although the ratchet design meant its wearers weren’t able to make use of Boas special yellow dials.

Aero numbers

LottoNL-Jumbo had a little trick up their sleeves, or skinsuits, at the two time trials at this year’s Tour. The Dutch outfit have teamed up with British company NoPinz whose system fits your number into a pocket that is built into the back of your skinsuit.

We headed down to Newport Velodrome to put the sytem to the test, and found that it could save you up to 20 seconds on a 25 mile time trial compared to a number pinned on in the traditional manner.