Life Fitness

Saturday 20 September 2014

Le Tour de France: Some of the products you'll find at this year's tour

Asher Senyk

Published 14/07/2014 | 02:30

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Official Le Coq Sportif Polka Dot Jersey, €80, wiggle.co.uk
Fizik Arione R3 K:ium, €210, www.fizik.it
Zipp 303 Fire

Fit Kit: Products on this year's Le Tour de France

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Official Le Coq Sportif Polka Dot Jersey

€80, WIGGLE.CO.UK

One of the biggest prizes awarded to the cyclist who wins the most mountaintop finishes during the Tour De France is the polka dot jersey. This official jersey is made with lightweight fabric which is breathable and comes with three back pockets. As you will find in many high-end jerseys, this model comes complete with silicone around the arm bands and waist to keep it in place.

HIT: The polka dot jersey is a great novelty.

Knock: A good motivational jersey to practice your fitness up the hills.

FIZIK ARIONE R3 K:IUM

€210, WWW.FIZIK.IT

I spoke recently to a veteran cyclist who had spent several years refining his choice of saddles and he said to me, 'I've probably spent more money on saddles than on my first bike.' A successful cycle can be as simple as a comfortable saddle and by fitting yourself using the online 'saddle test' with Fizik, you quickly learn how they design saddles based on your position, flexibility and style of cycling. On offer is the R3 K:ium, a confirmed saddle used by many of cyclists in the Tour De France. It's a firm saddle, requiring breaking in, but the flexible rails make if feel effortless for turning the pedals. The longer than usual nose is to cater for a large range of positions forward and back depending on the conditions.

Pros: Flexible side wings and long nose gives you lots of cycling positions.

Cons: Expensive.

Verdict: A big investment, but if this saddle suits you well, it's durable and good for many, many seasons.

ZIPP 303 FIRECREST WHEELSET

€2,150, ZIPP.COM

Zipp wheels are synonymous with podium finishes at races and you will find their 303 models featured on two of the pro teams in the Tour De France. To properly understand this wheelset, you need to look into the space age technology that goes into the aerodynamics and compounds used for lightness, strength and usability. At first appearance they resemble a golf ball with patented dimples on the carbon fibre surface which aidairflow. The Firecrest design gives the wheels a bulging appearance around the rim surface, but creates a very good airflow from the front and back of the wheels at speed. Using steel bearings made in Switzerland, they are smooth and have a reputation for lasting a long time. And you get Formula 1 developed heat resistance resin featured on the braking surfaces which improves heat dissipation and brake fade. Available in clincher or tubular versions.

Pros: Carbon aerodynamic rim which is fairly resistant to crosswinds.

Cons: A lovely wheelset but might not be my first wheelset for winter training.

Verdict: A good excuse to hide your credit card bill and treat yourself to a super fast, robust and outstanding wheelset.

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