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by David Rome
January 16, 2017
TECH NEWS BROUGHT TO YOU BY BIKEEXCHANGE
The 2017 WorldTour has arrived and its first race, the Santos Tour Down Under, is the perfect chance to see all the new team bikes in one place. Much like we did in 2016, here are the WorldTour bikes we’ll see in action throughout 2017.
While the re-trial period for disc brakes is now underway, no disc brake bikes are currently in use at this year’s Tour Down Under. It’s expected they will appear when races land closer to team service courses in Europe. The difficult travel logistics associated with the Tour Down Under, let alone the typically dry conditions, is reason enough not to complicate things further with the additional equipment requirements (extra frames, components, wheels, tools, etc). However, a few exceptions do apply, such as Peter Sagan’s Venge ViAS Disc being used by the world champion in training.
Even though it launched many months ago, new Shimano Dura-Ace still isn’t found on many pro bikes at this year’s Tour Down Under. Team Sky has the latest Di2 R9150 fitted to its new Pinarello F10s, Merida-Bahrain has a few random pieces, while the likes of FDJ have the new power meter in use. We’re told all sponsored teams should be fully fitted out with the new groupsets by March.
Proving Shimano’s dominance, those without a drivetrain sponsor or ready option are using Dura-Ace Di2. The Japanese company officially sponsors Sky, FDJ, Orica-Scott, LottoNL-Jumbo, BMC, Trek-Segafredo, Bora-Hansgrphe and Sunweb. Astana, Dimension Data, QuickStep Floors, Ag2r La Mondiale, Bahrain-Merida and Cannondale-Drapac also choose to ride Dura-Ace too. Campagnolo features on bikes of three teams and SRAM is seen with just Katusha for 2017.
Moving from Focus to Factor Bikes for 2017, the Ag2r team is riding what are arguably the most exclusive bikes in the WorldTour. Factor made its appearance in cycling just over a year ago with the sponsorship of Pro-Conti outfit ONE Pro Cycling. We managed to speak to Factor Bikes’ owners Rob Gitelis and former Tour de France green jersey winner Baden Cook about the team bikes.
We were told that the brand’s One aero bike, a model they effectively inherited when they bought the company, is back in development to better suit the GC-focused French team. The biggest change will be to bring the geometry more closely inline with the manufacturer’s lightweight 02 model which should ease riders transferring between the two bikes.
Other technical changes will happen too, with Cooke giving the example of moving the back brake to a seatstay position so that it’s accessible while riding – something he used to rely on to open the brakes when racing toward the finish line.
This means Ag2r starts the season on the lightweight and versatile 02. This frame is claimed to weigh just 740g, features subtle aerodynamic design and can accommodate 28mm rubber.
A new bike brand is not the only technical change for Ag2r, with the team moving from SRAM to Shimano groupsets. With such a change, the Zipp wheels are replaced by Mavic, the Zipp cockpit gets swapped for Black Inc components (same ownership as Factor) and the Quarq powermeters are replaced with SRM. A few pieces from CeramicSpeed hide wherever bearings sit.
Like Merida-Bahrain, the Ag2r team will use the new ultralight SRM carbon powermeter this season, although they hadn’t yet been installed on the team bikes when we took our photos.
Colnago sees a return to the sport’s top ranks with UAE Abu Dhabi. While the name is new, it’s much the same team as the former Italian Lampre-Merida team, and it’s a return to Colnago for this team.
Riding on bikes with unquestionable Italian heritage, the team is expected to spend much of the season on the lug-constructed, Italian-made C60. Although the brand’s aero bike, the Concept, could make an appearance on flatter race days too.
The Italian theme continues beyond the frame, with the team moving from Shimano (drivetrain), Rotor (cranks) and Fulcrum (wheels) to complete Campagnolo builds. Deda supplies cockpit components, Selle Italia for saddles and Vittoria for tyres. German power2max powermeters and French Look pedals spoil the Italian theme, but are at least from the right continent.
With two-time consecutive road world champion Peter Sagan on the roster, the Bora-Hansgrohe team has seen plenty of time in the spotlight of late. Now sponsored by Specialized, the team will use a mix of the versatile S-Works Tarmac and aero Venge ViAS, with the new Roubaix likely to make a showing come the cobbled classics.
Shimano and PRO provide components (except for on the Venge), with the team rolling on Specialized’s own Roval wheels. Specialized also provides its tyres and saddles, with bartape from American brand Supacaz.
The difficulty of getting Shimano’s latest Dura-Ace groupset is perhaps most apparent when even Peter Sagan is racing the old 9070 Di2 group. The team is using 4iiii powermeters on Shimano Dura-Ace cranks.
The only WorldTour team riding SRAM for 2017, Katusha continues with its Canyon bikes mostly unchanged from the 2016 season. Here, the team rides a mix of the Ultimate CF SLX and Aeroad CF SLX, with updated team colours, kitted out with SRAM eTap wireless shifting.
As part of the SRAM sponsorship, the now Swiss-registered team is using Zipp wheels and Quarq powermeters (not pictured). Canyon provides its own cockpit components.
SRAM still doesn’t offer a direct-mount brake to suit the Aeroad frames, and so Katusha is using unbranded Shimano Dura-Ace brake calipers on these aero bikes.
With Specialized moving its funding to the Bora-Hansgrohe team to keep Peter Sagan on its bikes, Canadian brand Argon-18 has remained in the WorldTour by partnering with Astana.
The Kazakhstan-registered team is riding the lightweight Gallium Pro (pictured) and aero Nitrogen Pro road bike models.
Sponsored by FSA, the team is likely to move from using Shimano shifting components to FSA once the designs become more finalised. In the meantime, FSA supplies the cockpit and crankset, with wheels coming from FSA’s Vision brand.
Calliper brakes on the Gallium Pro are from FSA too, with TRP brakes found on other models due to fitment issues.
Although not pictured, powermeters are the spider-based system from Power2max.
Merida has jumped from the former Lampre-Merida team to help create the new and bigger-budget Bahrain-Merida team. The new team is riding both the Merida Scultura Team and Reacto Team.
The Scultura is the Taiwanese company’s impressively lightweight grand-tour contender, which has claimed frame weights at 850g. Still below 1kg for the frame, the Reacto is Merida’s versatile aero bike.
Shimano Dura-Ace 9070 Di2 is seen on the current team bikes, with new R9150 expected in a few months. Much like what Merida had with Lampre-Merida, Fulcrum continues as the wheel sponsor. Cockpit components are supplied by FSA.
All team bikes are fitted with SRM’s new ultra-light powermeter with Shimano 9000 chainrings.
BMC team bikes haven’t changed much over the past few seasons, and beyond a new lick of paint, the same mostly holds true for 2017. The Swiss-company’s Teammachine SLR01 is the only model in use at this year’s Tour Down Under.
Shimano remains as the drivetrain and wheel sponsor, with 3T still found at the cockpit. No new Dura-Ace for BMC just yet, with older 9070 Di2 still in use currently.
The only technical change to this year’s BMC bikes is seen with a move to Vittoria tyres from Continental.
The South-African registered Dimension Data team continues into 2017 without major technical changes.
Cervelo remains as the bike sponsor and provides its lightweight R5 and aero S5, the latter being the pick for most of the team racing in Australia.
Rotor is the official drivetrain sponsor along with KMC for chains, however, the team is expected to continue racing on Shimano Dura-Ace Di2 while Rotor’s Uno hydraulic groupset remains in development. There’s currently no word on when we’ll see the team change its Dura-Ace shifting to the new Rotor group. In the meantime, Rotor supplies its powermeter cranksets.
Wheels and cockpit components come from American brand and carbon composite specialist, Enve. Further finer details are seen with CeramicSpeed bearings throughout.
French outfit FDJ currently has the longest standing partnership with a single bike brand in the WorldTour. 2017 marks the 15th year for fellow French company Lapierre as the supporting bike sponsor.
Where previously the team has had both the aero Aircode SL and lightweight Xelius SL at the Tour Down Under, it’s just the Xelius SL found this year. Similar to Sunweb and its Propel, it’s possible the French team is awaiting an updated version of its aero bike.
Following in similar vein to Lapierre, Shimano is another long-term supporter of the team and has been known to work closely in testing of early products. For example, the Shimano Dura-Ace powermeter was spotted in its early stages on FDJ bikes and they’re the only team racing with the new product too.
FDJ continues to ride with Shimano wheels and PRO cockpit in 2017.
It’s mostly business as usual for Lotto Soudal in 2017, with the Belgian team seeing no major changes to its technical partners.
Most team riders continue to use the lightweight Helium, with the Noah SL aero bike being used by sprinters on faster and flatter days.
An update on the Helium, there’s a new SLX version lurking beneath the riders. The new frame notably features internal cable routing and a straight bladed fork. The tube shapes are smoother than the previous generation, with frame stiffness said to be 15% higher.
Campagnolo Super Record EPS components cover the bikes, with a selection of wheels from the Italian brand in use too. Deda continues to supply cockpit components, with SRM taking care of power measurement. Vittoria takes over from Continental as the tyre sponsor.
Making its race debut at this year’s Tour Down Under, Sky will spend the 2017 season riding the new Dogma F10.
Beyond the new frame, Team Sky is the only team at the Tour Down Under with the new Dura-Ace Di2 R9150 groupset. However, a small delay in having the Stages Cycling powermeters assembled to the new R9100 cranks means that Sky is currently riding with the previous generation 9000 cranks.
New generation C40 and C60 wheels haven’t arrived yet, so the team, like all other Shimano teams, is still rolling on a mix of C35 and C50 tubulars.
PRO continue on as the cockpit sponsor, with new Di2-integrated handlebars expected in the coming few months to further clean up the already-slick F10.
With Cannondale and Pro-Conti team Drapac merging during the 2016 season, it’s mostly the splash of red that’s new in tech for this team.
Just over a year from its complete redesign, the Cannondale SuperSix Evo framesets remain the pick. As do the Mavic wheels, FSA components and team-supplied Shimano Dura-Ace groupsets.
Cannondale SISL2 cranks feature on most of the team bikes we saw, with a few using a SRM powermeter.
CeramicSpeed is a new sponsor for 2017, supplying the team with a few sneaky watt savings, such as the Oversized Pulley Wheel (OSPW) system at the rear derailleur. Spinning the cranks on these bikes is noticeably free from drag.
Scott had two WorldTour teams in 2016, and now with one for 2017, the Swiss-based company steps up to title sponsor of the Australian outfit (previously Orica-BikeExchange). Scott has provided bikes to the only Australian WorldTour team since its inception in 2012 and the relationship doesn’t appear to be slowing.
The team is set to start the new season on the Foil, with even the likes of Esteban Chaves on the aero bike. It’s a bike that broke expectation of what an aero bike is suitable for when Matthew Hayman rode it to win the 2016 Paris-Roubaix. With no lightweight Addicts to be seen, we speculate a revamp could be seen later in the year.
Components remain similar, with Shimano supplying groupsets and wheels. Touch points and cockpit parts have changed to Scott’s own Syncros brand, having previously been PRO and Prologo.
Flaér (trading name of Scottoiler Sport Solutions) has sponsored ORICA-Scott with its automated Revo Via chain lubers fitted. With the promise of watts saved through a perfectly lubed chain when the finish line approaches, it has potential to be a competitive advantage.
Previously known as Giant-Alpecin, Sunweb has taken over as naming sponsor from Alpecin (which moved to Katusha). In addition to the stark change from blue to red paintwork, the team’s equipment sees a few subtle changes in 2017.
Sunweb riders start the season with only the well-rounded Giant TCR Advanced SL in their quiver. It’s a surprising change from the team’s common use of the aero Propel, and perhaps hints at a new version to come. The endurance-focused Defy Advanced SL is expected to appear come the Classics.
Shimano remains as the drivetrain and wheel sponsor, but its component brand PRO is now replaced by Giant’s own offerings. This includes the saddle, bar, stem and most surprisingly, computer too.
The team is still using Pioneer powermeters, but we’re told that the team will switch over to Shimano Dura-Ace units in the coming months.
Continuing into 2017 with little change, the Netherlands-registered team continues to ride celeste-coloured Bianchi bikes.
LottoNL-Jumbo riders have a choice between three road bike Bianchi models, all featuring the historic company’s Countervail viscoelastic carbon material which aims to reduce vibration without performance trade-off. These models include the aerodynamic Oltre XR4, the lightweight Specialissima and the more endurance-focused Infinito CV that is expected to appear during the Classics.
It’s the newest Oltre XR4, which first appeared at the 2016 Tour de France, that sees use at this year’s Tour Down Under.
Shimano remains as the supplier of groupset and wheels, with Pioneer continuing its powermeter sponsorship too.
FSA finishes off the bikes with supply of the cockpit components, including the new Vision Metron 5D carbon one-piece handlebar and stem found on the majority of rider bikes.
The Trek-Segafredo team historically brings a little tech excitement to each Tour Down Under, such as its custom painted Project One bikes for all of its riders in 2016. However, this year’s race sees the team bring a mix of 2016 and 2017 team bikes.
We’re told that the bikes won’t see much change for 2017, with some minor updates to the paint and new Shimano Dura-Ace componens all that’s expected. The team will continue to predominately ride the versatile Madone aero bike, with the super-light Emonda being used too. Come the Classics, it’s likely much of the team will switch to the new Domane endurance bike that first saw use at last year’s Tour of Flanders.
Trek-owned Bontrager continue to provide the wheels, cockpit and touch points. Shimano Dura-Ace Di2 9070 components remain in use currently, but expect to see the team switch to R9150 once they return from Australia. The Madone frame is setup to receive the new Di2 junction box in its downtube, something that can be seen in use already on the new Pinarello F10. SRM continues as the powermeter supplier.
Another Canyon-sponsored team, Movistar is a team that’s more GrandTour focused than the Katusha outfit and so its regular bike choice sits with the Ultimate CF SLX over the more aggressive Aeroad sprinter’s bike. Still, a few of the Spanish team’s riders will use the Aeroad during the season.
It’s much the same bike as 2016 for the Spanish team, with a new lick of gloss paint replacing the previous matte finish. Movistar continues with Campagnolo components and wheels, along with power2max powermeters for 2017. Like other Campagnolo-sponsored teams, it seems Super Record EPS electronic gearing is near standard.
Previously known as Ettix-Quickstep, the QuickStep Floors Cycling Team continues without any major bike setup changes in 2017, with riders continuing to pick from Specialized’s S-Works range.
Most team riders are likely to spend time on the brand’s well-rounded Tarmac, with specialist sprinters likely to use the Venge ViAS on suitable days. The new Roubaix will most certainly make an appearance during the Classics on this team’s home turf. Specialized also supplies its Roval wheels, saddles and tyres. Interestingly, we’re told the team is likely to use 26mm tubulars for the whole season.
The team is without a groupset sponsor, with Specialized providing Shimano groupsets for the team. Powermeter pods from 4iiii are added to the Dura-Ace cranks.