The Fastest Bikes Of The 2019 Tour de France!
For three weeks in July, the eyes of the cycling world are on the Tour de France, making it a great stage for the cycling industry to show off its latest, lightest, fastest, and lustiest Tour de France bikes.
A few teams get new bikes for the 2019 tour – Michelton gets a colour-changing and sparkly Scott Addict RC, and Total Direct Énergie rides a soulful blue Wilier Zero SLR – and SRAM’s sponsored Katusha and Trek are aboard SRAM’s 12-speed Red eTap AXS group.
But the biggest equipment news seems to be the continued penetration of disc brakes into the peloton with more riders using hydraulic disc brakes more often. Still, expect to see rim brakes widely employed on the toughest climbing stages as riders seek out every advantage, even it it is only in their head. With new disc-brake-only frames regularly coming in under 800 grams, it’s not hard for teams to hit the 6.8kg weight limit even with a disc-equipped bike.
This mix of rim and disc brakes, is probably be a nightmare for team mechanics, and raise a glass to the poor neutral support crews having to sort out rim or disc, 11 or 12 speed, when trying to get a rider a wheel.
Prior to the proliferation of disc brakes and aero road bikes, bike selection during the Tour was pretty cut and dried. Most riders had one style of road bike and a time trial bike.
That relative simplicity has gone by the wayside now as many bike companies supply their athletes with multiple options, depending on the terrain. Ultralight bikes aren’t just reserved for the GC riders, thanks in part to the UCI-mandated 6.8kg minimum weight, and GC riders also want aero road bikes to maximise efficiency on the flat stages.
And we haven’t even broached the topic of the most specialized bikes of all—the time trial bikes. They’ll be used twice at this year’s Tour: for stage two’s team time trial (TTT), and stage 13’s individual TT.
While team mechanics are being inundated with piles of equipment to maintain and new tech to keep up with, we simply see it as more cool stuff to geek out over. Here’s a rundown of the coolest bikes at this years Tour de France.
Bora-Hansgrohe Specialized S-Works Venge
Peter Sagan’s Bora-Hansgrohe team enters the 2019 Tour on much the same equipment it used for the previous edition. Specialized likes to provide its teams with a quiver of bikes from which to choose, and riders on Bora-Hansgrohe will have both the Venge and Tarmac at their disposal. Specialized also provides the team with tyres, saddles, and Roval wheels. The team uses Shimano Dura-Ace Di2 9170 components with Specialized power meter and Wahoo GPS units.
Ag2r La Mondiale Eddy Merckx Stockeu69
Romain Bardet and his teammates will race aboard bikes from new sponsor Eddy Merckx at this year’s Tour. Expect to see riders on the Merckx 525 – named after Eddy’s unparalleled 525 victories – and the new Stockeu69 – named after a notable climb along the Liege-Bastogne-Liege route – shown here. The use of small diameter round tubes says the Stockeu69 is designed to be as light as possible with a high stiffness-to-weight ratio – in other words, it’s a climber’s bike.
Though it has no official drivetrain sponsor, most of Ag2r’s bikes have Shimano bits – Ultegra Di2 on this bike – though Campy drivetrains have been seen on Ag2r bikes also. Either way, the drivetrains get dressed up with parts from sponsors Rotor (cranks), and Ceramic Speed’s OSPW pulley system and UFO treated chains. Other sponsors include Vredestein tyres (though note blacked out front Continental tyre on this bike), Deda Elementi bars, stems, and seatposts, Mavic wheels, Fizik saddles, and Lezyne GPS units.
Movistar Canyon Ultimate CF SLX
Movistar’s riders will use much the same equipment for the 2019 Tour as they did last year, with the exception of Campagnolo’s 12-speed Super Record EPS drivetrain (the team used 11-speed last year). Movistar riders can choose between two models from Canyon, the Aeroad CF SLX and, for when things get climby, the Ultimate CF SLX (pictured here). The bikes sport Canyon’s own bars, stems and seatposts. Longtime team sponsor Campagnolo supplies the team with drivetrain and wheels, and the package is rounded out with Power2Max power meter, Garmin GPS unit, Look pedals, Fizik saddles, Continental tyres, and matching Lizard Skins DSP bar tape.
Mitchelton-Scott Scott Addict RC
Michelton-Scott’s riders are aboard sparkly new bikes for the 2019 Tour. While the glorious chameleon paint steals the show, the bike underneath is impressive also. The new Addict RC is enhanced with improved aerodynamics by hiding the hoses, housing and wires inside the proprietary bar/stem system, as well as dropped seatstay attachment, and aero shaping to the downtube, headtube, seat tube, seatpost, and seatstays. Scott claims the new Addict RC is over 14 percent stiffer than the previous model, and that this disc-brake-only bike hits the UCI minimum weight of 6.8kg in sizes medium and below (with team build).
Other than the new frame, the team’s equipment is similar to last year. Syncros, Scott’s house brand, provides the bars, stems, seatposts, saddles, while Shimano serves up its Dura Ace Di2 drivetrain with power meter, and wheels. Tyres are from Pirelli, and the team will watch its watts on Garmin GPS units.
Total-Direct Énergie Wilier Triestina Zero SLR
Total-Direct Énergie should sail up the climbs on their new Wilier Zero SLR frames, which are dressed in a fetching shade of blue. The disc-only Zero SLR’s frame is made up of simple rounded tube shapes in its quest for low weight – claimed 780 grams – while the integrated bar/stem tidies things up and improves aerodynamics by hiding brake and derailleur lines. The team uses Shimano Dura-Ace Di2 electronic components and FFWD provides wheels shod in Hutchinson rubber. The riders will be pounding on Look pedals and resting atop Prologo saddles as they make their way through the French countryside.
Deceuninck Quick Step Specialized S-Works Tarmac
Other than paint, the Specialized bikes of Deceuninck Quick Step are almost identical to the bikes of Bora Hansgrohe. Its riders also use both the Venge and Tarmac (shown) dressed with Shimano Dura Ace Di2 drivetrain Specialized saddles, and tyres, and Roval wheels. Deceuninck’s Tarmacs are fitted with bars and stems from Shimano’s PRO component line, (the Venge uses the Specialized bar and stem system designed for the bike), while Shimano’s Dura Ace power meter which sends data to Bryton GPS units.
Team Katusha Alpecin Canyon Aeroad CF SLX
The biggest equipment change for Katusha’s riders is the new SRAM Red eTap AXS 12-speed group on their bikes. Otherwise, the team is aboard the same Canyon bikes as Movistar – the Aeroad CF SLX aero bike (shown) and the lighter Ultimate CF SLX. Rounding out the build are Zipp wheels, power meters from Quarq, GPS units from Wahoo, Selle Italia saddles and Continental tyres.
Team Sunweb Cervelo S5
Sunweb’s riders are aboard Cervelo frames for the 2019 Tour. Cervelo was formerly found under Dimension Data’s riders – they now ride BMC – while Sunweb’s former frame sponsor Giant now sponsors the CCC team. Got all that? Good. Sunweb riders will choose from Cervelo’s lightweight R5, or the aerodynamically optimised S5 seen here. The S5’s integrated cockpit means it’s an all-Cervelo affair, while drivetrain and disc brakes are Shimano’s Dura Ace Di2 group with Dura Ace powermeter and wheels. Saddles are from PRO, tyres from Continental, and the GPS units are supplied by Sigma.
An intriguingly nerdy detail is the paint. Developed by Silverstone Paint Technology (SPT), the new finish is said to be over 17 percent lighter than the bike’s previous finish.
UAE Team Emirates Colnago C64
UAE Team Emirates rides the most desirable, and most Italian, bikes in the peloton. Riders can chose from Colnago’s lightweight V2-r, the Concept aero road bike, or the incomparable made-in-Italy C64 seen here. No matter what frame, riders use Campagnolo Super Record 12-speed components, Campagnolo wheels, Deda Elementi bars and stems, Prologo saddles, and Vittoria tyres. UAE apparently employs the best soigneurs – check out the massive saddle-to-bar drop raced by Norway’s Vegard Stake Laengen.
Groupama-FDJ Lapierre Xelius SL
Based on the bike shown here, Groupama-FDJ will use disc brakes for the 2019 Tour. For some stages at least – we’ll see if riders switch to rim brakes for the climbing stages. Shown is the the Lapierre Xelius SL Disc frameset, though some riders may use the French brand’s Aircode aerodynamic frame. FDJ’s long partnership with Shimano continues, with the Japanese brand providing Dura Ace Di2 disc brake groups, the Dura Ace power meter, and Dura Ace wheels. Bars, stems, seatpost come from Shimano’s PRO brand, while other bits include Continental tyres, Prologo saddles, and Garmin GPS units.
CCC Team Giant Propel
Having parted ways with long time partner Team Sunweb, Giant’s bikes are now found under the riders of CCC Team. The team will use either the stiff and light TCR Advanced, or the aerodynamically optimized Propel Disc (a rim-brake version of the new Propel exists on the UCI’s approved equipment list but has not been seen in the wild). Giant recently rolled out a high-end parts brand called Cadex, which supplies wheels and saddles, while Giant-branded parts are used for the bar and stem, and even the bottle cages. CCC uses Shimano Dura Ace drivetrain and brakes, Dura Ace Power meters, Giant GPS units, and Vittoria tyres. Sharp eyes might notice the 26mm Vittoria Corsa tubulars, which is not a size the brand currently offers to the public.