Bikes of the 2017 WorldTour
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.
UAE Abu Dhabi
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.