Raymond Poulidor, race bikes, and Shimano 9000 arrives

Yet another chapter of our Back In The Day Tech from the Tour de France…this one from a day in the pits and Village Depart back in 2013. Did you say you missed the previous BITD episodes…start looking back here…Tour de France Back In The Day


Despite never winning the Tour in his 14 attempts, Raymond Poulidor remains both a French cycling icon and a fixture at the race. He and his wife show up every morning in the Village to meet old friends, sign autographs and pose for photos. Raymond finished as high as 2nd  place three times.


Prior to these days of 11 speed, electronic drivetrains, the running gear used back in the 50’s  were a far simpler equation,,,except for drilling out the big rings.


Marcel Kittel is one of those super-strong sprinters that needs everything on his bike to be as stiff as possible. Three years ago the Pro carbon stem was a Cavendish signature item, but no more.



The seatstays on the Orbea Orca remain among the most uniquely shaped on the market.


French National Champ Arthur Vichot’s LaPierre is an exceptionally clean looking bike. He’s still running the old Shimano Dura-Ace crank because SRM only has a handful of units available for the new 9000 crank (see below).


Mavic completely redesigned the upper of their high-end Zxellium racing shoe to not only add comfort by using more flexible and breathable material, but along the way the shoes have also lost 50 grams in the process to now hit the scale at 500 grams (pair). The 5.5mm-thin Energy Full Carbon SLR outsole with titanium cleat insert has not changed, but the heel counter has been improved for more comfort.


When you win the Giro d’Italia good things happen for you…like getting some personalized shoes from Shimano. Ryder Hesjedal has always been proud to fly the Canadian colors and that’s just what Shimano set him up with their R320B shoes. Shimano’s new racing shoe features their own Custom Fit upper with offset straps and toe box ventilation mated to the proven Dynalast carbon sole.


These are few shoes that won the Tour de France as many times as Sidi and that’s just what Chris Froome did this year with his $499 Sidi Wire is also one of the most popular shoes in the pro peloton. From the Tecno 3 buckles to the adjustable heel retention, it’s loaded with a variety of features to help ensure both comfort and performance. Look for three color combos (but not this one) and a wide selection of sizes.


The trend for super-lightweight and sheer uniforms now includes the socks used by Katusha which use a built-up heel with an added traction design to better prevent slippage.


Hoping to best exploit his TT talents and the aero design of his Cervelo S5, David Millar was running the Rotor Flow aero crank that was designed primarily for the TT bikes.


By virtue of being the UCI’s #1 ranked rider, Joaqim “Purito” Rodriguez gets some special treatment…like this custom screened Selle Italia SLR saddle.


While cruising the pits at the TTT in Nice, I ran into Daniel and Uli from SRM. Uli is of course the founder and mad genius that created the SRM power meter which is the #1 relied upon power meter by the majority of teams (16) and riders in the Tour de France. I hadn’t seen either of them since they came out to pedal along on Road Bike Action industry ride at the Tour of California. As I pressed for some info on SRM’s new PC8 head unit and their timeline for their Shimano 9000 Dura-Ace compatible unit, for some reason, Uli saw fit to ignore my tech queries and instead try his best to stick his finger through what some see as a big hole in my left ear. Uli is that way, and following his days at the Tour he took a short break to go ride E’ Tape de Tour in Annecy.

In between Uli fiddling with my ear lobe, Daniel proceeded to tell me that there were a handful of teams that were able to get their mitts on some prototype Dua-Ace 9000 power units. Daniel did let slip a few details about the new PC8: That they have been testing new circuit boards with longer batter life as well as new strain gages that use less battery power. Additionally, the 2014 unit will feature GPS and more viewing options.


In case you were wondering why the Cofidis team would not be using Look’s radical Zed 2 crank on their team bikes, it’s because they are not SRM compatible so FSA cranks were used instead.


While SRM’s Daniel Gillespie and I were looking over the Cannondale team bikes, he mentioned that they were looking at building a special stripped-down, race specific model with far less data (just power, heart rate, and speed) available since the Pro riders need so much less information than when they’re training.

As for availability of the new PC8 unit, Daniel said they most be making their public outing at the upcoming Eurobike show in late August so stay tuned for RBA tech reports then.

Canadian David Villeux was riding in a new one-piece skin suit from Louis Garneau.


It was evident early on in the three week suffer-fest what kind of race Tom Danielson was having.


Team Lampre Merida Scultura SL


Team Sojasun BH Ultralight


Team Argos/Shimano Felt F1


Team Movistar Pinarello Dogma 65.1 Think 2


Team Katusha Canyon Ultimate CF


Team Katusha Canyon Aeroad



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