As Seen on TV – Gear of the Tour

Are you going through Tour withdrawal the way we are? In an effort to distract ourselves from the Tour’s ending, we spent last week delving into the bikes that the pros rode in the 2013 Tour de France. This week, we’ll look at some of the finer details – the components and accessories – that we saw in the Tour that are also available at Higher Gear.

Face it, most of us have already forgotten the names of various stage winners, but we remember what they were riding and wearing. That’s why we’re Gearheads!


Tour de France Saxo Tinkoff Michael Rogers Specialized SWorks EvadeSpecialized S-Works Evade Aero Road Helmet

Let’s start on top – with the one piece of equipment that was turning everyone’s heads, even those of non-Gearheads’. The S-Works Evade helmet looks similar to the McLaren TT helmet in the front, but tapers to a more standard road-helmet shape in the back. We get into more detail about the Specialized Evade here.

Suffice it to say, aero road is here to stay – from aero road bikes like the Specialized Venge are here to stay. (See last week’s feature on Bikes of the Tour.) With Specialized‘s own in-house wind tunnel, we anticipate lots more on the aero front. Afterall, #AeroIsEverything


Tour de France 2013 Specialized OPQS Specialized SWorks ShoesSpecialized S-Works Shoes

From head to toes, Specialized has got you covered! Did you notice how many teams were in Specialized shoes? That’s because of the effort Specialized puts into their Body Geometry products. All Specialized shoes are designed to increase pedaling efficiency and prevent injury in three ways: the varus wedge, the longitudal arch and the metatarsal button.

Specialized S-Works shoes are designed with the lightest and stiffest materials. These shoes offer unprecedented fit, comfort, and efficiency for racers who want to reach the pinnacle of performance. (Learn more about keeping your feet happy with Specialized shoes.)


Tour de France 2013 Team Saxo Tinkoff Alberto Contador TTT bike zipp wheelsZipp Firecrest Wheels

Zipp wheels were the wheel of choice for Team Omega Pharma–Quick-Step and Saxo-Tinkoff.

For those looking for clincher wheels, the technology that has gone into the Zipp Firecrest line makes these clinchers Tour-worthy. The new technology makes these wheels faster, simpler, and more stable. As Zipp technical director Josh Poertner puts it, Firecrest is “lightning in a bottle.”



Tour de France 2013 Mark Cavendish SWorks Venge Quarq ZippSRAM Quarq Power Meter

The Quarq Elsa 10R brings an array of crank lengths, unyielding strength and Power Balance while it shuns weight. Adaptable, lightweight and strong, and complete with the latest Quarq technology, Elsa 10R packs a four-pronged punch to elevate bike and rider performance: the subatomic spider that houses integrated electronics, Power Balance feature, OmniCal and Exogram Hollow Carbon crank arms. (Learn more about the SRAM Quarq Elsa 10R and the Riken 10R power meters.)


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SRAM Red 22 HydroR

According to, both Mark Cavendish and Tony Martin rode SRAM’s new Red 22 with Hydraulic Rim Road (HRR) brakes during the Tour, “but SRAM helped its teams prep full fleets of bikes for the final stage onto the Champs-Elysees,” including Saxo Tinkoff’s bikes.

Some of the pros who rode SRAM’s new technology at the Tour talk about it here in this video.



Tour de France Specialized Romin Sylvain ChavanelSpecialized Romin Saddle

This stiff saddle is the saddle of choice for World Time Trial Champion Tony Martin and Sylvain Chavanel.

It features a FACT carbon fiber shell tuned for racing and contoured to position the rider for optimal power transfer and comfort. Its extra-wide Body Geometry channel maximizes blood flow.


Fi’zi:k Saddles

We know you weren’t trying to look, but, like us, you couldn’t help notice the words printed across the bums (as in a polite way to refer the backside, not any reference to the riders’ characters) of Team Cannondale. “Bull,” “snake” and “chameleon” are Fi’zi:k’s way of describing riding characteristics that determine the best saddle for you.

Tour de France 2013 Fizik saddles


Bulls have less flexibility, which the pelvis at a more dramatically rotated position. Snakes have more flexibility and bend to a greater degree at the lower part of the spine. Chameleons may adjust their position while they ride or find that their ability to flex their spine varies with their fitness level. Higher Gear has Fi’zi:k test saddles in our shops to help you determine which saddle works best for you.


If you missed it last week, check out As Seen on TV – Bikes of the Tour.

If you’re interested in any of the gear here, come on in to Higher Gear. We can set you up. And, remember, just because you don’t see it on display, doesn’t mean we can’t get it for you. Just ask!



Need Help? Have Questions?

Highland Park | 847-433-2453
Wilmette | 847-256-2330

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