There have been more than a couple of cold, grey mornings at the Giro d’Italia so far this year. Luckily though there are several bikes in the peloton that have brightened up the days. And custom paint jobs are just a fraction of the tech on offer at the start line for the keen-eyed.
Back on stage 2 Svein Tuft had been well and truly looked after by his mechanics. A pink Scott Foil had been built up ready to match the Canadian’s leaders jersey, which he’d taken in the stage 1 TTT.
Orica-GreenEDGE mechanics had stayed up till 3am building the frame that had just arrived at the team’s hotel at 9pm the night before. I’m guessing Svein had to buy a few pints of Guinness for the mechanics to say thanks.
Alongside Tuft’s pink Foil was Ivan Santaromita’s Italian champion Foil, equally as fetching in its green and red paint scheme.
Over at Katusha Luca Paolini has a Ducati-red Canyon with gold inlays on the forks which looks understated yet very cool. And as we all know, red is fastest.
While we’re on the subject of custom paint jobs the one that had everyone snapping a photo was the bike of Omega Pharma-QuickStep leader Rigoberto Uran. The multi-coloured affair stood out a mile. Even the guys from Specialized said it’s that garish it’s cool. Looking beyond the colour scheme you’d notice it was a whole new model, a prototype Specialized.
The Giro’s not usually the place you see major product launches or the tease of a product launch. This is usually reserved for the Tour, but for this year Specialized have kitted out every team they sponsor with the 2015 Tarmac (not named SL5 as many people first assumed).
Tinkoff-Saxo, Omega Pharma-QuickStep and Astana had most of their riders using this bike, but some were still on the Venge.
The 2015 Tarmac is said to be more than an evolution of the SL4. For this bike Specialized has reportedly gone back to the drawing board and every size is now designed to meet the needs of a rider (in terms of compliance – geometry hasn’t changed from the previous Tarmac editions). Rather than designing a bike that works for everyone across all the sizes they have approached the project by looking at the needs of the riders at each size.
Small guys wouldn’t want a frame as stiff as the guys on the 62cm version. Steerer tube sizing changes throughout the different sized frames too. With the smaller version frames using a simple 1 1/4 inch, through to the larger size frames using tapered steerers.
FDJ.fr riders were on the new Lapierre Aircode frames. These along with the new frame they had at Paris-Roubaix are all new bikes. As with many frames emerging now huge amounts of detail have been placed on how aero it is. Unlike a lot of the current frames designed to cheat the wind, the rear brakes are still in the traditional place, though on a very aero looking brake bridge not under the chain stays. The front brake is slightly integrated in to the fork.
Every area that could be made aero has been, all this to try and help the up-and-coming FDJ.fr sprinter Nacer Bouhanni (who took out stage 4). The FSA stem he uses too clearly isn’t in the catalogue — like many professionals he gets custom stem lengths. FSA had made Bouhanni a rather industrial-looking 140mm SLK stem with a negative drop.
One item that did catch the eye — and not for how pretty it looked — was the computer mount on the stems of the Colombia teams bikes. The FSA stems had huge almost-industrial-looking mounts to fit the team’s sponsored power meters which are made by iBike.
While I’m being geeky and on the subject of computer mounts, the other team with a sponsor from South America, Androni Giocattoli-Venezuela, had their computer mounts detailed up. It’s a small place to stick a sponsor’s name but as the team jersey shows there is always room for one more sponsor’s name.
And finally, the item that was a tough one to get a shot of: the all new Campagnolo groupset. My first attempt to get some spy shots of the groupset were scuppered when the Europcar mechanic grabbed Maxime Mederel’s bike away from me as I tried to get a good look. His stern “non photo” and harsh look had me searching the pits to see if there was any other rider testing the new kit.
Luckily the mechanics at Italian squad Bardiani-CSF were a little less secure with the one bike in the team’s fleet that had the new kit on, but only just.
The levers and callipers are exactly the same as the current Record model, the new items were the chainset and derailleurs. The new chain set is a huge departure form the look of the current model. The carbon is heavily sculpted and flows in to the new chainrings, which also look to have had some serious redesigning done. The chainrings clearly bolt from behind on to the four-arm spider which is integrated in to the cranks.
The rear derailleur too has had a large overhaul from the current model. A much curvier parallelogram was the obvious difference. The front derailleur had a much longer arm too — Campagnolo has clearly taken a leaf out of both Shimano and SRAM’s books in this department.
I won’t claim to know much more than this. Speculation would be easy at this point but with only getting this quick glimpse and Campagnolo not releasing any information on the product we will just have to wait to see exactly what is in store for the next generation Record.