Last Updated on August 2, 2023 by Emmanuel
The Tour de France takes place annually to cover over 3,500 kilometers across France and a few surrounding countries; riders compete by tackling grueling terrain.
But do racers in the Tour De France use multiple bikes; how many bicycles does each rider use during this iconic race? Let’s examine the topic deeply for you to understand it better.
Table of Contents
Can cyclists in the Tour De France use multiple bikes?
Each team sets the number of bikes a rider can use, but everyone typically has a road and a time-trial bike.
A team can also bring a spare road bike and an extra time trial bike in anticipation of possible damages.
If the next stage is flat or has lots of climbing, top riders can also have the appropriate bikes set up.
Another scenario is for the team to change the average rider’s primary bike components, like gearing and wheels.
Such changes make the bike versatile for different riding conditions, but the team leader will always have the bikes mentioned before.
Also, when the team leader’s bike has mechanical issues, a support rider gives him his.
It enables the team leader to continue the race without losing time while the support rider waits for the team car to replace the faulty bike.
Furthermore, there is on the TdF a company called “Mavic,” which specializes in cycling parts, including top-quality wheels.
As part of its sponsorship, this brand provides neutral support to all teams by replacing faulty wheels.
Mavic can also give a generic bike to a rider whose bike has issues to enable him to continue the race.
How heavy are Tour De France bikes?
Riders now use heavy bikes more than in the early 2000s when top-tier bikes were more focused on shedding grams.
Most old bikes’ frames weighed below five kg, making adding additional weight compulsory to comply with the UCI’s six point eight kg limit.
Now things have changed because the manufacturers consider aerodynamics to the fore.
Besides, most high-end frames for racing emphasize the aero crowd nowadays.
Other things that make heavy the bikes used on races, like the TdF, are tubeless tires, disc brakes, etc.
To answer this question concretely, we consider five bikes used by the leaders of the TdF two thousand two.
- The Ridley Noah Fast Disc used by Caleb Ewan weighed 7.80 kg.
- Alberto Bettiol’s bike for fast and flat stages was Cannondale SystemSix Hi-Mod weighing 8.16 kg.
- Jasper Stuyven had a Trek Madone SLR weighing 8.26kg; the latest Trek model launched on the eve of the TdF.
- John Degenkolb’s bike was a new Scott Foil RC designed for the pro peloton with a 7.71 kg weight.
- The bike used by Taco van der Hoorn was a Cube Litening C:68X TE weighing 7.87kg, excellent for the pro peloton.
These samples show that the bikes used on the Tour de France now tend to be heavier.
They have technology that empowers riders to stay safe and comfortable on long rides while going as fast as possible.
How many gears does a Tour De France bike have?
Twenty-two TdF teams with eight riders per team, totaling 176 riders, compete in the TdF annually.
The big brands in the bike industry sponsor these teams by providing the best bikes for the riders to compete at their best.
So, the trend is for the bikes used in the most critical racing, like the TdF, to feature 12-speed electronic groupsets.
Besides 12-speed groupsets, these top road bikes have carbon wheels and other high-end components.
Most groupsets are from the Shimano company, but teams like Trek -Selgafredo and Movistar use the SRAM Red eTap AXS groupset.
Furthermore, remember that the pro peloton bikes are equipped with tubeless wheelsets and tires, as outlined before.
Which bike has won the most Tour De France?
The Tour de France was held for the first time 1903, and many brand bikes have won since then.
In the TdF 2002 edition, Jonas Vingegaard won the yellow jersey to succeed Tadej Pogacar using the Cervelo brand bikes.
The previous edition’s winner was Tadej Pogacar, using the Colnago Prototipo bikes.
To ease things, we have compiled the brands who won the TdF from at least two times the start to now in the following table.
The Tour de France brand winners.
|1. Pinarello||16||Bianchi Bikes won the TdF three times, including the 85th edition in 1998 with Marco Pantani.|
|2. Peugeot||10||As a manufacturer of bicycles and cars, Peugeot won its first Tour de France victory in 1905.|
|3. L’Auto||10||– Henri Desgrange, the then editor of the l’Auto newspaper and Geo Lefevre, founded the Tour de France in 1903.|
– Some sources indicate that L’Auto won the TdF 10 times, but we are not sure it was making bikes.
|4. Gitane||9||This French brand has been making bikes since 1925 and has won the Tdf nine times.|
|5. Alcyon||7||Bianchi Bikes won the TdF three times, including the 85th edition in 1998 with Marco Pantani.|
|6. Merckx||5||Eddy Merckx was voted the best cyclist of all time, and his brand bike won the TdF five times.|
|7. Automoto||4||This French brand, founded in 1902, won four consecutive TdF from 1923 to 1926. Peugeot purchased it in 1930.|
|8. La Sportive||3||This brand was among the sponsors of the TdF after the first world war and won it from 1919 to 1921.|
|9. Bianchi||3||Bianchi bikes won the TdF three times, including the 85th edition in 1998 with Marco Pantani.|
|10. Colnago||2||This brand’s bikes won the Tour de France with the two consecutive wins of Tadej Pogacar in 2020 and 2021.|
When did wearing helmets become compulsory in the Tour De France?
First, lack of helmet-wearing is the fundamental cause of most riders’ fatal accidents.
This was the case for many riders on the TdF, including Andrei Kivilev on 12 March at the Paris – Nice stage.
Following this Russian professional cyclist’s death, the Union Cyclists International (UCI) made helmets compulsory.
All riders in all endorsed races must wear helmets and protect their faces and heads from riding safely.
The UCI’s decision was wise because the Tour de France has not registered any other fatal accident since 2003.
To whether racers in the Tour De France use multiple bikes, the answer is that they do.
Besides various bikes, this prestigious racing event requires endurance and physical strength from the start to the end at the Champs Elysées in Paris.
Riders typically switch between road and time-trial bikes; teams can choose specific bike technology to compete better.