Tech of the Week: Tour de France bikes, unique shoes, and more

Our round up of the biggest tech stories from the last seven days

Tour bikes galore

After this weekend’s events in the Pyrenées the Tour de France is well and truly on, which means that it’s time to take a look at the best bikes the race has to offer.

Chris Froome’s Pinarello Dogma F8

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Chris Froome enjoyed a very successful first few stages in the mountains this weekend, picking up a stage win and the yellow jersey through some aggressive riding and interesting descending.

The bike he was riding was the new Pinarello Dogma F8 XLight, a marginally lighter model of the normal F8 that you can take a nice close look at above.

Mark Cavendish’s Cervelo S5

mark cavendish tdf bike 2016 (15)

One man who might not have enjoyed the mountains as much as Chris Froome is Mark Cavendish, although, to be fair, Cav must certainly have enjoyed the first week of the race where he seemed to be back to his best in picking up three impressive stage wins.

The aero bike that helped the Manxman along to those victory was this Cervelo S5 with its radical cut out seat tube, rather lovely Enve wheels, and an interesting choice of handlebars.

Peter Sagan’s Specialized S-Works Venge ViAS

Mark Cavendish’s closest rival for the green jersey is Peter Sagan, with the Slovak picking up just the one stage victory, but also never finishing outside of the top six on any of the flat stages in the first week.

Sagan is actually riding the same bike that Cav was on last year at Etixx-Quick Step, a Specialized S-Works Venge ViAS, albeit with a special paint job to help him enjoy his year in the rainbow bands of the world champion.

Bryan Coquard’s shoes

bryan coquard dmt shoes

Bryan Coquard almost gave France it’s first victory of this year’s Tour on stage four but was edged out by just 2.8cm by Marcel Kittel. But once the dust had settled on the result, the next question everyone was asking was how Coquard had managed to pull of such a great sprint wearing what looked like trainers.

Of course Coquard wasn’t actually wearing trainers, but instead custom shoes made by Italian brand DMT, which also makes cycling shoes for Nike among others.

Rapha goes reflective with new Climber’s shoes

rapha reflective climber's shoes

The other shoes that piqued our interest this week were these new Rapha Reflective Climber’s shoes, which come hot on the heels of the reflective Giro Empires that were released last year.

These shoes are basically the same as the standard Rapha Climber’s shoes, which means they are lightweight (215g per shoe) and have a perforated upper for good breathability on hot days in the mountain, but are made of a synthetic reflective leather that should light up when illuminated by headlights after dark.

First Ride: Shimano Dura-Ace R9100 groupset

shimano dura-ace r9000 drivetrain

We were also able to go for a brief first spin on the new Shimano Dura-Ace groupset. Unfortunately Shimano only had mechanical versions of its new groupset available to test, so no chance to test out the Synchronized Shift of the electronic Di2 version.

You can read our initial thoughts on the new groupset here.

Ridley Helium gets more affordable

ridley helium sla

Finally, we always like a good bargain, which is why we were please to see Ridley announcing a new aluminium version of its lightweight Helium climbing bike currently being ridden by Lotto-Soudal at the Tour.

It’s not quite as lights as the carbon Helium, with the frameset apparently weighing 1200g, but is guaranteed to stay in one piece if you crash and will be much more affordable too.