Get ready for the greatest show in the road cycling world! After delay and uncertainty, the Tour de France finally kicked off in Nice on the 29 August, glueing cycling fans around the world to their screens.
As well as an incredible display of athleticism, skill and endurance, Le Tour is also a showcase for cutting edge cycling kit, and even better news for the avid road rider is the fact that a lot of the kit the pros use to train and race in or on is also available for mere mortals...for a price!
If you want to emulate the likes of Peter Sagan, Egan Bernal or Tom Dumoulin without months of extreme training and back-to-back days spent in the saddle, kit yourself up with this selection of products that are designed to perform to the highest level.
Vive Le Tour!
Specialized Tarmac S-Works SL7
Released only a few weeks ahead of the 2020 Tour de France, the new S-Works Tarmac SL7 combines the comfort, handling and race-proven performance of the Tarmac with the aerodynamic properties and out-and-out speed of the Specialized Venge.
You aren't seeing much of the S-Works Tarmac SL7 on the Tour 2020 as this bike is being ridden up mountains and sprinted to fast finishes in a blink of an eye. Peter Sagan is ripping up the roads on it… and if you fancy getting yourself a little Sagan spirit, Specialized have created a limited edition version of the Tarmac SL7 as part of its Sagan Collection with a striking black and yellow/green colourshift. It looks the business.
Abus AirBreaker Helmet
Protect your head with a helmet designed for and worn by the pros. Team Movistar will be wearing the Abus AirBreaker helmet over the 2020 race season, and it’s a helmet that’s been designed to optimise ventilation and reduce drag when needed most.
It consists of a honeycomb structure with 11 air inlets and 3 outlets which channel air in over your head as you ride. The in-mould construction combined with Abus’ ActiCage Lite — a reinforcing structure built in to the EPS foam of the helmet — provides plenty of protection in case of crashes.
And of course the all-important question of keeping your glasses secure is solved with the AirPort glasses holder. AirBreaker is even designed to work well with plaits (or action plaits as we like to call them).
Wattbike Atom smart trainer
When it comes to indoor training, new technology means that the experience is getting closer and closer to feeling like the real thing. Even the pros incorporate indoor training into their training regimes, and the newly updated Wattbike Atom smart trainer is exactly the kind of technology that they benefit from.
Based around an electromagnetic resistance system, it can simulate climbs, provide data on your power output and other performance and health metrics.
The new Atom has a number of upgraded features over earlier Wattbike models, including a wider range of resistance so it can emulate longer or steeper climbs, quicker response to gear changes and rapid reactions to virtual terrain changes when using training apps and programmes.
Add in an app like Zwift or the Sufferfest, and you could almost imagine you’re out on the open road (without the inclement weather, insects and traffic) — perfect for keeping in shape without venturing too far from home, or topping up your performance gains in a data-driven way.
Fizik Adaptive saddle
The Tour is a little like Formula One in that it’s where a lot of cutting-edge technology is designed and used.
One perfect example of this is the Adaptive saddle by Fizik. Modern technology means a saddle can be designed digitally and printed into existence using the latest 3D printing technology. That fine mesh-like structure is crafted using liquid resin and UV light projection, and if you find such things interesting we recommend watching the video of the manufacturing process as it’s just beautiful.
The result is a carbon saddle that’s as light as it’s possible to be while retaining support tuned to the rider; each section of the saddle is designed to provide just the right level of cushioning, built into the structure rather than relying on different foam densities as with other saddles.
Muc-Off Hydrodynamic Lube
An affordable taste of the pro rider setup comes in the form of this Hydrodynamic Lube from Muc-Off, designed specifically for the rigours of elite stage racing where lube needs to last all day, and where weather conditions are consistently inconsistent.
The Hydrodynamic lube uses synthetic polymers but doesn’t use petroleum-based derivatives making it a little easier on the environment. It’s also versatile enough work in a range of conditions from sopping wet to dry and dusty.
The bikes of the pro peloton obviously have staff dedicated to cleaning, repairing and caring for their every mechanical need, and while you might not be able to give your bike that same level of TLC, it’ll certainly thank you for treating the chain to some quality lubricant, and you’ll feel the benefit too.
Wahoo Elemnt Bolt bike computer
Data, data and more data. The pro peloton rely on closely monitoring their individual performances while racing the Tour de France, and that’s where bike computers come in. While for most of us, it’s the navigation and route-guiding properties that make these attractive, for the pros it’s things like cadence, power and time that’s of interest.
The Wahoo Elemnt Bolt is the computer of choice for a number of the top teams including BORA-hansgrohe and Deceuninck – Quickstep, not least because it integrates easily with many on-bike sensor systems.
Part of the reason is of course the functionality, which includes wireless connectivity, GPS, global maps, automatic route downloads and workout uploads, customisable screens, text and email alerts, integration with hardware including muscle oxygen sensors and pedal monitors, and software integration with programmes like Strava and Komoot. Another big plus point for pros where marginal gains make all the difference is the fact the Elemnt Bolt is designed to be aerodynamic with an integrated out-front mount.
T3.com created this content as part of a paid partnership with Wattbike. The contents of this article are entirely independent and solely reflect the editorial opinion of T3.