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Nearly two years have passed since Chris Froome’s life altering crash on a recon ride at the 2019 Dauphiné. Since then, he has worked doggedly to scratch back the form that saw him win four Tour de France titles, a Giro and a pair of Vuelta victories. Froome even pulled off a grand tour double in 2017. Despite that very recent legacy, Froome will pedal off from Brest in Brittany, as an underdog for this year’s GC given the magnitude of the injuries he suffered. The comeback has been an intense effort. Froome’s YouTube channel has chronicled his efforts and comeback and gives viewers and insight into his training and focus. Froome is also thinking about life off the bike, and has become a significant investor in the company Hammerhead, producers of the Karoo bicycle computer, and the newly released Karoo 2.
“I’m in the latter part of my career and I’ve always loved the sport, and all the equipment that comes with it,” Froome explained as he spoke about his involvement in Hammerhead and how technology has shaped today’s modern peloton. “I do a lot of work on my own bicycle. The technology has moved quickly. When I think back to 2008 you basically just had a speedo, which gave you your speed and the kilometers. Now with power data, you’re able to use that both for racing and training. For an amateur or a young rider you can get a power meter that’s reasonably inexpensive, and so you have access to the tools that the pros are using at a young age. There is likely a direct correlation between the ability to use these tools, and see what the pros are doing (through platforms like Strava) and the fact that kids are basically turning pro, and they’re winning races right away.”
Froome’s involvement with Hammerhead goes beyond just attending quarterly board meetings. He and his teammates at Israel Start-Up Nation are a prime source of data for the engineers at Hammerhead. “The emphasis on data analysis working with the guys at Hammerhead is exciting,” says Froome. “I will provide feedback and then in a week or two there are updates made based on what I’ve shared. It certainly makes me feel heard.”
“We’ll get a text, or a phone video from one of the riders and then we will set up an interview or a zoom call to get further details for them so we can see if it’s something we can do,” says Hammerhead’s head of marketing Ross McGraw.
For Froome the folks at Hammerhead have made the Karoo 2 a tremendous difference maker in his recovery. “The big difference is being able to see left-leg, right-leg data isolated. That’s a specific training and strength development I need to go to get back to my race form.” This was a data set Hammerhead added at Froome’s request. “If I want to do say 300 watts, I want to force my right leg to do about 75 percent of the workload. I need to see that data, otherwise I’m guessing. The Karoo 2 though can show me exactly where I am on these efforts.”
All riders, not just the World Tour pros have an ability to offer their feedback to the Karoo 2 team, and updates come out just about weekly, with a corresponding email that explains the new changes.
The Karoo 2’s screen is its biggest differentiator between it and other head units I’ve seen. Its resolution and clarity are nearly beyond belief with twice the pixel density of most other cycling computers. The set up is intuitive and the mapping detail is a step above much of the competition.
More at: hammerhead.io