Pro bikes of the 2020 WorldTour: part two
Having already looked at the 2020 race bikes of EF, Ineos, Sunweb, Movistar, and Deceuninck-Quickstep, it’s now time to look at those belonging to Astana, Mitchelton-Scott, Jumbo-Visma, Israel Start-Up Nation, and Groupama-FDJ. And this is certainly a selection of bikes not to miss given they respectively belong to Luis Leon Sanchez, Simon Yates, George Bennett, Andre Greipel… and Marc Sarreau.
If disc brakes are the most common new trend amongst the teams, then the more widely spread acceptance of aerodynamic benefits is arguably the second theme. While many riders still elect for the lighter and more well-rounded frame choices, plenty do so with deep wheels and aero handlebar setups. It’s still somewhat common to find round handlebars, regular stems, and flappy cable, but such things are certainly less prominent than in years past.
FSA is the most dominant brand in the cockpits, and it honestly felt like every second bike has either an FSA or Vision (FSA’s aero division) handlebar/stem combo. And yet, despite such dominance, there are no FSA groupsets to be seen.
Now, onto the next five bikes of the 2020 men’s WorldTour.
The partnership between Astana and Argon 18 only recently ended, and Wilier Triestina was quick to take over the reins. Not unlike Team Ineos and its use of the F12 for all races, Astana will race the entire season on Wilier’s new lightweight and aero Zero SLR.
Astana will use the Turbine for time trials, and so the team is one of many to have committed to disc brakes for the new season.
The Zero SLR is designed for use with Wilier’s own one-piece handlebar and stem, and that’s exactly what Astana are using. This system hides the brake hoses and electric wires while providing an impressively clean look.
If it wasn’t for the unique boxy seat clamp that sits in the corner between the seat tube and top tube, then the Zero SLR’s silhouette would be a tough one to pick against other lightweight and aero race machines.
The Zero SLR frame features the Mavic Speed Release thru-axle system, which uses an open dropout on one side and a stepped-down section on the thru-axle shaft so that the wheel can be removed without completely pulling out the axle as usual.
The team is currently riding on full Shimano Dura-Ace R91070 Di2 groupsets, including the Dura-Ace powermeter. The rear derailleurs are modified with CeramicSpeed oversized pulley wheel systems.
Astana continues its long-standing relationship with French wheel company Corima. From what I’ve seen, the team is running the 47mm-deep WS Black tubular wheels, which feature a unique lacing pattern and an approximate 1,500g paired weight.
Bike pictured: Luis Leon Sanchez’s Wilier Zero SLR.
There’s not much new on the celeste Bianchi bikes belonging to the Dutch outfit. And like last season, the majority of riders are sticking to the historic Italian bike company’s aero model, the Oltre XR4.
Such a bike choice even applies to the lightweight climbers of the team, such as New Zealand rider George Bennett. However, Bennett does prefer to forgo the integrated and aero Vision cockpit in favour of a more traditional two-piece bar and stem.
Jumbo-Visma is sticking to rim brakes, at least for now. It’s quite possible we’ll see this change for the classics, but it’s likely the team will swap back to its lightweight rim brakes during its Grand Tour pursuits.
The team is using a full Shimano Dura-Ace R9150 Di2 groupset, including the matching powermeter and tubular wheels. And yes, the rear derailleur is mounted to a direct-mount hanger (seeing a trend yet?). In the case of Bennett’s bike, Di2 sprint shifters are fitted under the tops of the handlebars, allowing easy shifting while in a comfortable climbing position.
Bike pictured: George Bennett’s Bianchi Oltre XR4.
It’s now 18 years and counting for FDJ on Lapierre bikes. The French outfit has started the season on freshly, and more simply, painted Xelius SL (lightweight) and Aircode SL (aero) bikes.
The team is currently running a mix of rim and disc brakes, but the tide is turning. I was informed that the riders are currently given the choice, and approximately 20 of the team have elected for discs, while roughly eight riders – typically GC contenders and climbers – are sticking with rim brakes, at least for now.
FDJ has a long-standing relationship with Shimano, and surprisingly bucks the widespread trend of direct-mount rear derailleur hangers. Shimano Dura-Ace groupsets, wheels, and powermeters are used across all team bikes, while PRO provides the cockpit pieces. As seen on the bike of French rider Marc Sarreau, the Pro Vibe Aero Superlight handlebar adds an aero flourish to the bike’s frontal profile.
One item I haven’t seen much of is the Shimano SM-AX720 thru-axle, a product that looks just like a Dura-Ace quick release. Interestingly, it felt like the Lapierre bikes had a SpeedRelease-compatible open dropout on one side.
Bike pictured: Marc Sarreau’s Lapierre Xelius SL Disc.
Recent years have seen Mitchelton-Scott transition from a one-day specialist outfit to one with legitimate Grand Tour desires. And while the likes of Ineos and Jumbo-Visma cling to their lighter rim brakes, the Australian team has moved exclusively to disc brakes.
Mitchelton-Scott has run a mix of the lightweight Addict and aero Foil before, but now the whole team is committed to the new aero and lightweight Addict RC. It’s a bike that debuted in time for last year’s Tour de France, and the team bikes have barely changed since then.
The team is using the one-piece Syncros handlebar that was made specifically for the Addict RC, and Syncros components are found at the other touch points, too.
The frame, fork, and one-piece handlebar/stem are all given an impressive glitter paint fade, something often referred to as “Unicorn blood”. It glimmers in the light, and these indoor photos simply don’t do it justice (although the photo of the handlebar comes close).
Compared to this time last year, the team has moved from Elite bidon cages to Tacx. Mitchelton-Scott is sponsored by Garmin, and so the Tacx connection comes through Garmin’s acquisition of the company.
Shimano continues to provide groupsets, wheels, and powermeters to the team, with the rear derailleur hanging from a direct-mount hanger. Pirelli continues as the tyre sponsor.
Bike pictured: Simon Yates’ Scott Addict RC.
Israel Start-Up Nation
As one of the new faces to the WorldTour, the Factor bikes of Israel Start-Up Nation are extremely fresh. As covered in an interview with Factor’s owner, Rob Gitelis, the team will be riding both the aerodynamic One and the lightweight 02 VAM, both with disc brakes only.
Pictured is Andre Greipel’s Factor One, an aero bike with an unmistakable split down tube design. The One keeps cabling tucked away, and it’s easy to see how given the externally reinforced fork design.
Factor’s sister component company, Black Inc, provides the wheels and cockpits, with the former wrapped in Maxxis rubber. This is Maxxis’ debut to the WorldTour, and given the team-issue “Yalla Academy” hot stamp, it’s safe to assume that there are new race-day tyres in the works.
In our earlier interview with Gitelis, it was mentioned that Factor is providing the Shimano shifting and braking components to the team. However, these are far from stock groupsets, with CeramicSpeed OSPW derailleur cages, CeramicSpeed bottom brackets, KMC X11-SL chains*, and SwissStop disc brakes rotors/pads. Power data is from 4iiii, and the team has just taken delivery of Bryton head units.
Selle Italia saddle is the only carryover component from Katusha-Alpecin, the team who Israel Start-Up Nation effectively took over.
Bike pictured: Andre Greipel’s Factor One.
*Please excuse the dirty chain. The team’s cleaning products were stuck in transit at the time of taking these photos.