Gizmodo 100 Years of TDF History
Image Credit: Gizmodo

This year, the Tour De France is celebrating a hundred years of racing. This is the event that inspired many of us to ride or race, and despite the recent history, it still continues to excite cyclists and n0n-cyclists alike.

Over the past ten years I’ve been closely following the event, the bikes and equipment have changed dramatically. Looking back over the past century and the evolution of the equipment is even more striking. A hundred years ago, riders rode the grueling (often gravel) stages on bikes without derailleurs! Fast forward to the early 90s and many riders were still charging the alps on steel frames, and it wasn’t until 2003 that a winner rode a carbon bike start-to-finish.

Head over to Gizmodo for an amazing collection of photos and trivia spanning the entire history of the event.


  1. But nobody won the 2003 TDF. “It’s not about the bike” – guess he was right.

    Thinking about how tech has come in a short amount of time, Laurent Fignon did the ’89 final stage time trial in wire rim glasses – and bullhorns with double discs.

  2. I think it would be pretty cool to see the riders do a charity race on bikes from a different era, ie bikes from the early 80s to see who the truly good riders are, and weed out those relying so heavily on the tech of the bike. Just a thought.

  3. @ me. That was already decided years ago. The name is Greg Lemond. First rider to use those “funny” clip – on bars. The first pro roadie to have separate paying equipment contracts (example: first athlete other then MX rider’s to have Oakley contract). He was on the “Z” team like the rider shown on the banner for this post, but BR failed to put this iconic rider that is only American to ever win the Tour multiple times up because they are lazy or don’t know any better. = BR fail.

  4. Hi @G,

    Do you need a hug? The banner image for this post was pulled from Gizmodo, hence the image credit. Don’t worry, everyone here at BikeRumor is well aware of Greg Lemonds legacy.

    – Saris

  5. @Saris,
    If everyone was aware of his legacy, they would list him as the first to win with a carbon frame. The 1990 model TVT frame pictured is carbon. It has alloy lugs, but its carbon. Gizmodo is wrong.

  6. Gizmodo stated, quite specifically, that Lance was the first to ride a carbon bike from start to to finish in the tour. Lemond swapped between a few bikes, opting not to ride the carbon bike on certain stages. I remember reading somewhere that he hated the flex of the glued-together carbon/aluminum bikes, but felt he needed to use them to be competitive in the climbing stages because of the the weight difference.

    So, gizmodo is not wrong (about that, at least. I havent fact-checked the rest), BR is not wrong and you need to read more carefully before you go running your mouth at people on the Internet who are trying to provide you with a bit of light entertainment.

What do you think?