Tour tech: GPS guides the way for Christian Vande Velde and Garmin-Chipotle

A supercomputer on the handlebars

Christian Vande Velde and his Garmin-Chipotle teammates have gained more than just a much-welcome wad of cash with their new title sponsor, Garmin.  The GPS giant has also outfitted the entire team with its latest Edge 705 computer and the riders have wasted little time in taking advantages of its packed feature set, which includes the ability to pair up with their PowerTap rear hubs.

In addition, the team has uploaded each day’s course on to each unit so the riders know exactly where they are, where they’re headed and what key markers are coming up.  These not only include sprint and KOM locations but also dangerous areas to pay particularly close attention and even seemingly mundane spots such as feed zones.  In the mountains, detailed course profiles also let the riders know how much climbing is ahead of them and where the road might kick up in pitch or let off a bit. 

According to the team’s physiologist and trainer extraordinaire, Allen Lim, other teams may have similar computers on their bikes but Garmin-Chipotle is supposedly the only squad to have gone to such lengths to upload this much data. 

James Huang

Technical Editor, US
James started as a roadie in 1990 with his high school team but switched to dirt in 1994 and has enjoyed both ever since. Anything that comes through his hands is bound to be taken apart, and those hands still sometimes smell like fork oil even though he retired from shop life in 2007. He prefers manual over automatic, fizzy over still, and the right way over the easy way.
  • Discipline: Mountain, road, cyclocross
  • Preferred Terrain: Up in the Colorado high-country where the singletrack is still single, the dirt is still brown, and the aspens are in full bloom. Also, those perfect stretches of pavement where the road snakes across the mountainside like an artist's paintbrush.
  • Beer of Choice: Mexican Coke
  • Location: Boulder, Colorado, USA

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