Tour de France riders get geared up


It's time once again for a look at the tech used by cyclists in this year's Tour de France. This year, riders were able to combine heart-rate monitors, special crankset and wheel taps, and GPRS to send data back to their coaches and the media in real-time. The lightweight equipment added about 9 ounces to the overall weight of (un)wired riders — not nearly enough to slow them down. While biking enthusiasts gush about how the gear allows them to guage riders' pacing and tactics, to improve performance and prepare for possible collapses, we know the real reason for this stuff: to give TV announcers something more to talk about than Lance, Lance, Lance. Next year, with Armstrong out of the race, this gear will probably be the new network star.