This 2014 Tour de France marks the one hundred and first occasion that has been held since its creation in 1903. It’s unimaginable how far know-how has superior over the previous century of exhilarating races. This yr, the Tour de France has confirmed to be extra brutal than ever, because the unfavorable climate circumstances proceed to trigger horrible crashes alongside every leg of the race. Coincidentally, it’s also the primary yr in historical past that riders are legally allowed to have video cameras onboard their bikes, so viewers are getting a firsthand peek contained in the expertise to witness simply how brutal the Tour de France may be.
There are 9 groups utilizing the bike-mounted video cameras this Tour de France. A Japanese firm that has dominated the bicycle elements business, Shimano, has jumped on this chance and offered eight of the groups with Shimano CM-one thousand cameras that may be hooked up to every bike, both hanging from the handlebars or the saddle. These groups utilizing Shimano motion cameras this yr embrace Bianchi, Lampre-Merida, Orica-GreenEdge and Giant-Shimano. You possibly can take a look at a few of this superior footage from Group Giant-Shimano of their ninth stage of Le Tour de France. As Giant-Shimano’s Koen de Kort informed The New York Occasions, “From the helicopter, it seems to be hectic, however it’s nothing in contrast with what we truly undergo and what we see from the bike digital camera… Everyone can see what we see.”
Some thrilling options the CM-one thousand supplies embrace an f2.zero lens with 1080 HD recording capabilities and a one hundred eighty-diploma lens choice inbuilt. Additionally it is an ANT+ and WiFi enabled so it might join with smartphones, energy meters, and Shimano’s Di2 transmitter. This enables viewers to see rider knowledge because the race, similar to coronary heart fee once they’re climbing up an impossibly steep hill.
Samsung Electronics additionally took the chance this yr to companion with Trek Bicycle and enhance Tour coaching for firm racing groups with their built-in cellular units. The Trek Manufacturing unit Racing Staff, together with cyclists, coaches and employees, got Samsung Galaxy Gear wearable units that monitor the well being of the athletes. They have been additionally given Samsung cellular and pill units to view this knowledge and improve the biking expertise, with improved methods to speak and work together with the staff.
Apart from these model new additions to Tour de France know-how, there have been main developments in bike and body know-how happening over the previous century. This yr, Trek’s Emonda bike is the lightest body the corporate has ever launched. It’s so mild, the truth is, that Trek had so as to add a 300g lead bar to the bike so it met UCI race laws.
Modern bike frames are constructed with carbon fiber, which additionally occurs to be the simplest materials to restore as properly. Actually, the final bike to win a Tour that wasn’t made from carbon fiber was Marco Pantani’s Bianchi Mega Professional XL Reparto Corse in 1998. This bike was a customized aluminum body, a a lot heavier materials than the modern carbon fiber know-how.
Carbon fiber has the distinctive capacity to be exactly engineered to good racing qualities. The leading edge carbon frames are then fitted with carbon wheels and digital gears to make them as quick as potential. Carbon might be made stronger and lighter than another supplies used on bikes to date, so it’s very best for elements just like the body and rotating wheel rims.
Riders are also sporting new aerodynamic helmets, such because the slicing-edge Bell Star Professional helmet worn by Staff Belkin, which Bell claims is the quickest aero street helmet available on the market. This helmet is manufactured from Lively-Aero Know-how and comes with vents you possibly can open and shut for extra aero effectivity and air flow. This makes it the “first-ever twin-function helmet that gives the journey full authority in maximizing each aerodynamic velocity and ventilating consolation for the street class,” says Bell. When check towards competing aero helmets on the Quicker wind tunnel facility in Scottsdale, Arizona, checks proved the Star Professional is the quickest helmet on the market with when the vents are closed.
Know-how enhancements to gear and attire that make merchandise lighter and extra aerodynamic could make all of the distinction on these steep, inclined levels when each ounce of weight counts. Since 1903, the Tour has continued to evolve from a check of endurance and velocity to a subject dominated by new and innovate know-how as athletes search for any benefit they will get to surpass different rivals.