Tour de France Tech: Time Trial Overview, Part One

July 3, 2011
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Not much as changed with the Giant TT bikes, but lined up in a row they still look spectacular.

David Zabriske plays the game of pin the tail on the U.S. National champ as he prepares for the race.

Garmin-Cervelo team director Jonathan Vaughters was pacing nervously back and forth before the race – it paid off.

The team Astana Shivs looked super fast with their new graphic kit.

One detail on the Specialized Shiv frames was in the head tube design of different sized bikes. The Shiv is available in a whopping five sizes with the S, M, L, and XL all sharing the same head tube/top tube junction with the cut-away stem position.

The XS size frame sits apart from the others dues to changes asked for by Alberto Contador. The Spaniard needed better positioning and to get it they re-designed the front of the bike with the addition of an aero hump. The seat tube is also wider at the bottom bracket for increases stiffness. Specialized’s Chris D’Luisio said that to make the frame fit within the conforms of Specialized’s production requirements that he had to play a game of compromise with Contador, both giving up a few conditions to get the final design.

Specialized also broke out a new helmet for the Tour. The TT3 helmet is narrower and now uses a built-in shield (which can be removed). The TT3 is a race only helmet for now and will not replace the TT2 currently available to the public.

Look closely and you can see that the Liquigas Cannondale’s are running a third brake lever to allow slowing while in the extensions. Except for Ivan Basso, the Cannondale riders have all flipped their SRAM R2C shifters so they can grab them from underneath and pull them back to make a shift.

The Liquigas team was one of a handful that got to use the new Mavic aero front wheel.

Bradley Wiggin’s Pinarello Graal had the look of one of the fastest bikes in the pit. It seems like the Shimano spec bikes have been running  Pro Components “prototype” wheels forever…

…oh wait, a quick trip back into the photo files from last year’s Tour and sure enough – “prototype”.

The Ridley Dean TT bikes  used by Team Vancansoleil still use the unique air foil aided fork and seat stays. The parts kit includes: Fast Forward wheels, Rotor cranks, Deda steam and handlebars, Selle San Marco saddles, Vredestein Fortezza Pro Tri Comp tires, SRAM red drivetrain and a KMC gold chain.

Like the Rabobank Giants, the RadioShack and Leopard Trek Speed Concept bikes have remain unchanged since they were rolled out last year.

The BMC compound was as big as they come…look for another installment from the TT pits, including a close-up of the the new BMC TT bike soon.


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