How Much Does A Tour De France Bicycle Weight – Bicycles In Motion

How Much Does A Tour De France Bicycle Weight

How Much Does A Tour De France Bicycle Weight

Although there wasn’t always a minimum weight limit for Tour De France bikes, there is now, which presents a unique challenge for manufacturers. The carbon fiber and high-tech manufacturing processes used in high-end road bikes can drop the overall weight below 2 pounds.

They make up for it with aerodynamic aids and electronic shifters that use batteries. So, how much does a Tour De France Bike weigh?

A Tour De France Bicycle weighs just under 15 pounds (14.99 lbs or 6.8 kg) due to minimum bike weight regulations set by the Union Cycliste Internationale that runs the tour and sets the rules for all the participants. Time trail bikes in the Tour De France tend to be a little heavier at 17.6 – 19.8 lbs (8-9 kg).

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How Much Does A Tour De France Road Bike Weight

Tour De France riders’ road bike frames, pedals, and forks are made from carbon fiber.

The CF is more robust and lighter than aluminum and other materials favored in the past, allowing riders to go faster with less energy expenditure.

Similarly, the wheels, seat posts, and handlebars are created from this dynamic, lightweight composite.

Only the plastic seat, paint, and handlebar covers are mostly acrylic or rubber.

However, Tour De France cyclists are primarily using wider 26 millimeter tires in a surprising turn now because, as Bike Radar explains, “Two years ago Specialized presented their teams with rolling resistance data on various tire widths; wider was faster.”

To bulk up to the necessary weight limit, manufacturers often add electronic shifting systems that use batteries and motors to move the chain from one cog to another without traditional wires.

They also use the extra weight to add aerodynamic aids, but there’s a limit on how ‘aero’ a bicycle can be.

Going overboard on the aerodynamic aids would change the dynamics of how riders work together in groups and could shift the advantages unfairly.

How Much Does A Tour De France Time Trial Bike Weight

Time Trial bikes tend to be heavier than those ridden in the actual Tour De France. Usually, these bikes weigh in at the top end of what a standard TDF bike would weigh, 8 to 10 kg or 17.5 to 22 pounds.

By using a more weighty cycle for qualifying, the participant can guarantee the actual race is likely to be easier, and they’ll move faster. However, that’s the only significant difference between TT and event bikes.

A Time trial bike is made from the same materials. It may have heavier tires or wheels, but they will still be built from carbon fiber and the same rubber.

The time trial bikes may also have more comfortable seats or suspension, though many riders opt for these during the race’s cobblestone stage.

How Much Did Lance Armstrong’s Bike Weigh

Unfortunately, the complete details of every bike ridden by Lance Armstrong in the Tour De France aren’t always published and available.

The materials used by Trek to make most of his bikes were most likely carbon fiber.

However, I have compiled a quick chart to show the weight or fame weight, year, and model of each bicycle he rode in the Tour De France.

Lance Armstrong’s Tour De France Bikes Weight

YearBike ModelAvailable Weight Information
1999Trek 5500Frameset Only: 3.9 lbs
2000Trek 5900Frameset Only: 3.7 lbs
2000Trek 5900 SL15 lbs
2001Trek 5900Frameset Only: 3.5 lbs
2002Trek 590018 lbs
2003Trek Madone 5.915.8 lbs
2003Trek 5900 SL14.5 lbs
2004Trek Madone SL15 lbs
2005Trek Madone SSLx15 lbs

If you’d like a better look at Lance Armstrong’s Tour De France bikes, you can visit Trek and see them in person, where they are displayed in the lobby.

However, for those who can’t make the trip, I recommend checking out this video from OnSight Media that shows the display without comment.

What Is The Minimum Weight Limit For A Tour De France Bicycle

The UCI or Union Cycliste Internationale determines the Tour De France bicycle weight limits. There is a minimum bike weight that applies to all UCI sanctioned events.

A Tour De France bicycle has a minimum weight limit of 6.8kg, which is roughly equal to 14.99 pounds. A rider who is found to have ridden a bike under this limit will be subject to penalties or disqualification.

Although there has never been a restriction on how much the bicycles can weigh above the minimum, the heaviest weigh around 8 to 10 kg. That’s 17.5 to 22 pounds.

A rider can gain speed on hills and flats by choosing a lighter bike, but a heavier one will go downhill faster. More importantly, some riders are taller and need a bigger frame.

What Makes A Tour De France Bike Weigh Less

The reason Tour De France bikes weigh so little is twofold. First and most important, businesses that make ultralight road bikes are constantly striving to build a better, lighter bicycle that is still durable enough for a multi-day ride.

Some engineers and scientists have dedicated their entire careers to shaving a little more weight off a professional cycle.

They achieve the low weights by using top-of-the-line technology and processes to create incredibly slim parts from the toughest and lightest materials around.

Carbon fiber and special alloys make up a Tour De France bike.

Helpful Tips To Know About How Much A Tour De France Bicycle Weighs

Compared to a mountain bike, which often weighs 40 pounds, the slim, aerodynamic Tour De France road bikes weigh almost nothing.

It’s much easier for riders to participate in endurance rides like the multi-day long Tour if the bike they are riding isn’t weighing them down unnecessarily.

Here are more helpful tips to know about how much a Tour De France bicycle weighs.

  • Tour De France riders often change bikes during the race. They may have a mechanical issue and need a quick replacement or decide a different model is better for the upcoming leg of the race. In fact, the team cars usually have a spare bike ready to go at a moments’ notice.
  • Until recently, Tour De France riders and pro cyclists everywhere often chose slimmer tires because of the mistaken belief that they were more aerodynamic and faster. However, it turns out that more surface contact with the road is not only more stable but also faster. As a result of this revelation, TDF riders often sport heavier, wider tires than in years past.
  • Tadej Pogačar won the 2021 Tour De France on a Colnago V3Rs. The frame weight on a size fifty V3R is just 790 grams or 1.74165 lbs.
  • The bicycles aren’t the only lightweight thing in the Tour De France. A Tour De France rider uses up around eight thousand calories per day and eats about ten percent more than they use to avoid accidental weight loss. Being trim is excellent for a pro cyclist, but you don’t want to cut your weight by allowing your body to cannibalize your muscles.

Final Thoughts

Tour De France bikes weigh roughly 15 to 22 pounds. The lightest bicycles can be as low as 14.99 pounds, according to the Union Cycliste Internationale, who oversee the Tour and numerous other events worldwide.

While traditional wisdom holds that a lighter bike is the best option since the rider has to pedal harder to move more weight, sometimes it isn’t practical.

A larger frame may be necessary for a bigger rider. Moreover, modern riders choose a wider tire because, despite its higher weight, the wide tires actually help riders move faster and offer greater stability.

Brian Smith

Brian is the founder of Bicycles In Motion and an avid cyclist for 17 years. On the weekends, he enjoys exploring new bike trails and countryside roads to enjoy the outdoors.

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