Welcome to the second part of our time trial tech coverage from the first week of the Tour de France. In part one, I covered a number of bikes (including a few unreleased ones) and teased a few wheel setups. In this second part I continue with a look at fast wheels before diving into the smaller details that make these machines so fast.
Stage 5 was like Christmas morning for time trial fans with new frames, new tyres, and of course new wheels. Here is a selection of new and unreleased wheels on show.
Perhaps most interestingly, some Cofidis riders had an as-yet-unannounced Fulcrum disc brake disc wheel, which is seemingly tubeless compatible. If anything like the Campagnolo Bora Ultra, this Fulcrum should be quite lightweight also.
That’s a lot of wheels. My head was spinning trying to catch every wheel zooming past, but I did still manage to spot a few interesting tyre selections.
Time trial bars used to be simple, round, ski-pole-style extensions; now it seems they are getting more elaborate by the day. We spotted a host of new bars on show at the stage 5 time trial. Everything from carbon fibre to 3D-printed, from stock sizes to fully customisable. I didn’t dare ask for prices.