Smaller Gears, Slower Riders? Tour de France Gears Explained | Tour de France 2017

Smaller Gears, Slower Riders? Tour de France Gears Explained | Tour de France 2017

Simon takes a look around the Katusha Alpecin mechanics truck to see how cassettes/rear derailleurs have revolutionised to the needs of cyclists.

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What do you think of the SRAM WiFli rear derailleur system? Let us know in the comments below👇 We’d love to know if you have one.

SRAM introduced the WiFLi rear derailleur as a solution to allow a rider to use upto a 32t cassette with ease. Previously it meant having to put a long cage derailleur on a bike, you’d need to put a longer chain on too.

Simon is joined by Jason from SRAM who is the team liaison and finds out how products can be bettered for the professionals, this technology, when implemented, is available for consumer use too. Meaning that everyone can take advantage of advances in technology.

Tony Martin is a classic example of a rider who wants to stay in the big chainring for as long as possible and with a 58t chainring paired up with a 32t sprocket on the cassette means that he can do so by using the WiFLi medium cage rear derailleur.

If you’d like to contribute captions and video info in your language, here’s the link 👍

Watch more on GCN…
Tony Martin’s Kraftwerk Inspired Canyon Speedmax CF SLX | Tour De France 2017 📹
Is A Compact Faster Than A Standard Chainset? GCN Vs. The Mortirolo | Giro D’Italia 2015 📹

Photos: © Bettiniphoto / & ©Tim De Waele /

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  1. Lite Roadie on June 25, 2019 at 6:54 pm

    I don’t think derailleur cage length dictated sprocket size, it was that the cassettes they used didn’t require long cages and therefore they didn’t make them.

  2. Ma Ba on June 25, 2019 at 6:55 pm

    I liked the pun!

  3. George Gilles on June 25, 2019 at 6:57 pm

    👍" a lot of this stuff"? 11/32 sounds like a great friend when going up hill. 58 tooth is massive.

  4. gabebabe1 on June 25, 2019 at 7:04 pm

    This guy is an idiot – power meters have proven that you get more watts over a longer period with less fatigue with a higher cadence than pushing big gears.

  5. Dan Henderson on June 25, 2019 at 7:05 pm

    Spinning = Winning

  6. Kenshien on June 25, 2019 at 7:05 pm

    Mashing is winning

  7. Joe Bramblett on June 25, 2019 at 7:05 pm

    They need the lower gears to drag around all the extra weight from having too damn many cogs on the cassette.

  8. l34052 on June 25, 2019 at 7:05 pm

    I wonder how the Aqua Blue riders are really getting on with their 1x setup when it comes to any kind of mountain stage? On record I’m sure they’ll sing it’s praises but behind closed doors I wonder if opinions are slightly different?

  9. Anthony Larson on June 25, 2019 at 7:07 pm

    just say iy….because they are not on the hot sauce…..

  10. Tim McGHraw on June 25, 2019 at 7:10 pm


  11. #2cyclebiker Aric Street on June 25, 2019 at 7:10 pm

    What is e-tap and what is wifli? I have red 10sp drop bar brifters to replace broken durace. I used a 10sp 11-36 and a 11-28 cassette with an xt shadow long cage 9sp rear derailleur. What sram derailleur do I need to get? And am I limited then to the 11-32 in 10sp? What cassette to get? (Top of the line)

  12. Sue Lee on June 25, 2019 at 7:12 pm

    I think 28t is enough, 32t is over work, to continue speed while up-hill

  13. Sleeve Of Wizard on June 25, 2019 at 7:13 pm

    32/22 front. 12/32 rear. I can watch pornhub on the steepest climb 🤠

  14. Mr. Marian on June 25, 2019 at 7:13 pm

    Katusha is So awesome. Canyon, zipp, oakley, sram, look. Every one knows that Red is faster. And the Best thing is that you wash your ass with alpecin. Love them

  15. Carl Baravelli on June 25, 2019 at 7:15 pm

    I think for teams they spend most of the day in the same gears, but now just have a bigger range because the cassettes are bigger. "Back in the day" when 23 was the usual they had 8 or 9 speed cassettes. Now we have 11-speed. So the space remains the same between gears, but you just have moe gears. I remember when 11-speed came in and 28 speed cassettes became the usual. Before then, 25 was the usual. I guess when 12-speed comes in 30 speed will be the standard. and why not!

  16. Jeremy Rademacher on June 25, 2019 at 7:15 pm

    Do you get more effect out of changing the cassette or the chainring?

  17. kay poly on June 25, 2019 at 7:16 pm

    One sport dominated by whitemen, you can as well bet your life it will be juice-infested like the WWE and Strongmen contest. A whiteman looking like a broomstick pushing 70km/h on sprints or flying up 12% gradient at 49km/h now, either it’s super windy , motorised bike or just plan juicing, no way all these is natural from a whiteman.

  18. Sven Amundsen on June 25, 2019 at 7:16 pm

    Do we know the weight of a complete Canyon TT bike that team Katusha uses?

  19. buddy holland on June 25, 2019 at 7:17 pm


  20. remote control on June 25, 2019 at 7:17 pm

    Ten years ago the riders were riding 11-25 cassettes cos they were heavily doped up opposed to now.

  21. Shubham Verma on June 25, 2019 at 7:19 pm

    Shibham verma Fazilk

  22. Sills71 on June 25, 2019 at 7:19 pm

    The use of smaller gears is down to a move to spinning higher cadences… which is a direct result of increased O2 uptake…. which is a result of EPO/blood doping in the sport. Lance started the high cadence movement and we all know he doped to the gills. Froome is the same….

  23. ふじわら明菜 on June 25, 2019 at 7:19 pm

    My Liv got a 11-50T cassette. 😁

  24. leftymadrid on June 25, 2019 at 7:20 pm

    52/36 and a 11/32 cassette makes for the perfect combination, especially when you live in a hilly area! AND doesn’t drain your gas tank/energy as much at the end of a long day of cycling…

  25. WildPhotoShooter on June 25, 2019 at 7:20 pm

    Another reason the grand tours have had a higher average speeds is the tours have also got shorter. In the 60’s 70’s 80s the tours were aprox 600km longer than they have been in the last two decades.

  26. a s on June 25, 2019 at 7:23 pm

    Pure nonsense, folks.

    When was the last time anyone rode – even uphill – in their small chainring and largest cog? You’d be pedaling rapidly and riding barely fast enough to stay upright. And that’s with 11-21 rear combined with 53/39 front.

    This is yet another ploy by the bicycle industry to take money from its customers… many of whom are uneducated suckers.

  27. George Gilles on June 25, 2019 at 7:24 pm

    58 teeth wow that’s enormous. I totally like the idea of a 32 cassette.

  28. ____________________ on June 25, 2019 at 7:24 pm

    Jason was massively out of his depth here. He’s clearly just a guy selling bits to teams; there’s zero insight into the questions being posed to him.

  29. Greg W on June 25, 2019 at 7:25 pm

    From an amateur point of view living in southeast Tennessee mountains it allows me to use a compact and still have the necessary speed on the flats.

  30. Joe Slater on June 25, 2019 at 7:25 pm

    Would be interesting to see how modern riders would fare on a vintage 42-21. And visa versa, making someone time travel from 1953 to try and ride a modern bike.

  31. carlmons on June 25, 2019 at 7:25 pm

    Watts is watts, and you can push more watts with slower cadence – but for a shorter time with more lactic acid and soreness the next day. Guys in the TDF need to be fresh every day over a weeks long race, so they’re spinning higher cadence with the longer term goal in mind. Just like they said in the video, they’r actually going slower up the hills than they used to, and this is the reason. If you race in a one-day, or even two or three day stage races, you’ll be more competitive pushing higher gears and suffering through it.
    Bottom line, unless and until you’re doing races like the TDF, don’t emulate what they do – train and gear for the types of races or rides you do.

  32. Juan Gutierrez on June 25, 2019 at 7:25 pm

    50/34 with 11/30 cassette is what I ride on. I try to avoid using the 30 cog but when cimbs get super tough I am glad I got that 30 cog.

  33. tosgem on June 25, 2019 at 7:26 pm

    wat a bunch of BS and baloney, i could do the anything with fixed gear when I really start training

  34. Polski Czopek on June 25, 2019 at 7:26 pm

    Lmao I have 11-42

  35. PETER K on June 25, 2019 at 7:27 pm

    that’s like pure porn

  36. chad manfredo on June 25, 2019 at 7:36 pm

    no dope, can’t cope. real riders pushing real gears?

  37. Razer Icon on June 25, 2019 at 7:37 pm

    Donate a bike for me please GCN even if its old i accept it, happy new year GCN

  38. Yard Sale Dale on June 25, 2019 at 7:38 pm

    A tight triple with a 12-23 is nice

  39. Muchere on June 25, 2019 at 7:41 pm

    Do some giveaways from your fans plz

    Ph Fan here

  40. 77MrAH on June 25, 2019 at 7:41 pm

    For me smoothness of cadence is really important so I like small jumps between the cogs.

  41. James Averill on June 25, 2019 at 7:41 pm

    WTF! My head’s spinning from all those gears!!

  42. TheRhodes76 on June 25, 2019 at 7:43 pm

    Great video thanks guys 👍

  43. Hugs on June 25, 2019 at 7:44 pm

    So why didn’t they have 11-32 cassette in the 70’s to 90’s

  44. tosgem on June 25, 2019 at 7:45 pm

    wat a bunch of BS and baloney, i could do the anything with fixed gear when I really start training. i suggestion you to do a poo and die

  45. Vincent Vega on June 25, 2019 at 7:45 pm

    58×32 is abt 47 gear inches. Tony Martin could have achieved a similar ratio with a 42×23 which should give him a better chain line with less friction and better efficiency and put less strain on his legs. Thou I doubt the guy cares as some riders in the peloton just know how to ride their bike well but not very bothered abt the tech side of it.

  46. Quentin UK on June 25, 2019 at 7:47 pm

    The gears are easier.

  47. Hova on June 25, 2019 at 7:48 pm

    What’s the difference between small and big gears

  48. D Bruce on June 25, 2019 at 7:48 pm

    those gears look pathetic

  49. Shemul Hassan on June 25, 2019 at 7:49 pm

    If u cant speak in a low pitch voice..dont do it…speak in ur normal manner…it really feels abnormal and bothers my ears…

  50. faisal al harthy on June 25, 2019 at 7:51 pm

    Didnt know you guys use the word kabat intresting 🙂