More Useful Stuff
Cadel Evans – BMC Racing
A time trial bike differs from a road bike in that it’s built for pure straight-line speed, with aero shaping (athletes ride solo and no drafting is allowed, so aerodynamics is a priority).
Swiss bike manufacturer BMC’s VMax pushes the limit of the strict UCI (Union Cycliste Internationale) regulations, while still keeping Evans in an optimal riding position for maximum sustained power output. Wind cheating features include highly profiled tubing of the full carbon fibre monocoque frame and brakes that are hidden from the wind. The front callipers are actually integrated into the carbon fork. The VMax will be available from next year, and is expected to cost 3500 Euro, just for the frameset.
Fabian Cancellara, Fränk and Andy Schleck – Leopard Trek
Trek Speed Concept
Fabian Cancellara is now riding a Trek after being with Specialized for years. The US company is one of his new team’s title sponsors and after years of success with Lance Armstrong. The Speed Concept also has the brakes hidden away in the fork as well as several other tweaks to keep it slippery. A ‘disc’ wheel at the back has two advantages. It’s more aero, and also a little heavier than the types that scale the high mountains. It acts as a flywheel, keeping the momentum going.
Rigoberto Uran – Team Sky
Uran is one of the young revelations of the Tour lying inside in the top 10 at only 24 and holds the best young rider’s leader jersey. Team Sky riders are aboard Pinarello’s Graal time trial bike. This is usually painted blue, but their Tour bikes are green, doing their bit for their chosen charity. Only the best carbon materials are used – Torayca 60HM and their tube surface shaping on the downtube makes for a sharktooth-like appearance. This disrupts the airflow and is said to lower drag, contrary to intuition. It’s surely the most exotic bike in the peloton.
Samuel Sanchez – Team Euskaltel-Euskadi
Apart from the radically shaped tubes and junctions, this bike features electronic shifting. Each gear change is instantaneous and deadly accurate. It even adjusts itself when the chain line is a little skew.
Thomas Voeckler – Team Europcar
Ernesto Colnago built bikes for the legendary 70s cycling superstar Eddy Merckx, but the Italian company are not resting on their laurels. They still make fine bikes and this year the brand is the official supplier to French team Europcar.
Ivan Basso – Liquigas
LIGHTEST AERO FRAME
At 1290 grams, Cannondale claim that Basso’s Hi-MOD frame is the world’s lightest production aero frame in the world. For hilly courses, this offers a significant advantage. The Slice also features built in micro suspension called SAVE which deflects vertically to absorb road shock and reduce fatigue.