The Lance Tour Pack

Lance Tour Pack

 

The Nike Lance 4 Titanium Cycling watch is the star of Nike's ACG Oregon outdoor watch collection. Inspired and partially designed by five-time (consecutive) Tour de France winner Lance Armstrong, the Nike Lance 4 packs an impressive set of features into a relatively lightweight and even fairly nice looking (in an outdoor sports watch kind of way) titanium case.

Before I list all the features of the Nike Lance 4, I want to talk about one feature in particular: the altimeter. Since cycling -- and especially the Tour de France -- is so much about ascents and elevation, naturally the Lance 4 contains an altimeter. The problem with most altimeters which are built into watches, however, is that they are barometric altimeters, which means they attempt to measure your altitude by measuring the atmospheric pressure, and in some cases, the temperature. That also means natural changes in atmospheric pressure dramatically influence altitude measurement. Usually the best way to use a barometric altimeter is to calibrate it before you begin your ascent using a GPS, map, or a nearby sign, then to measure your ascent as quickly as you can before the atmospheric pressure changes. Since that obviously won't work for races that span days or weeks and hundreds or thousands of miles, Nike incorporated their patented Zero Drift technology into the Lance 4 cycling watch. Zero Drift technology is apparently able to determine whether a change in atmospheric pressure was caused by changing weather patterns, or by an actual change in altitude. Very clever, assuming it works.