Can you believe it?! Yes, it’s that time again; the greatest sporting spectacle on earth is about to get under way on Saturday 26th of July, as the world’s best professional road cyclists prepare to take on the annual Tour De France. It was late last year, taking place in September due to the Coronavirus and this year it’s starting a week early to accommodate the Olympics so we’ve not had as long to wait between tours as we would normally have but that’s done nothing to diminish our excitement for Le Grand Boucle!
As a group of certified bike geeks all of us here at Wheelbase like to pay special attention to the bikes that the pros are riding and are always on the lookout for any new products and developments in technology. All the major bike and equipment brands involved in the biggest bike race in the world are pretty savvy and will no-doubt use the Tour De France to showcase some brand new bikes and equipment. As we all know, as soon as we see that new kit in the Tour it is usually very quickly available to the public too, hence our excitement to see what the pros roll out on from the starting town of Brest in the cycling heartland of Brittany on Saturday.
As well as some new products it will also be the case that many teams will be on bikes and equipment that are already on sale now; what we saw for the first time at the Tour last year has quickly become subsumed within the bike ranges of our favourite brands and are enhancing the riding enjoyment of amateur road cyclists all over the world. With that in mind we thought it would be good to look at some of the ultimate road bikes that will appear in the Tour De France; these stunning bikes have been featured in our weekly ‘Fast Bike Friday’ and OK, in some cases the specifications may be different to the exact bikes ridden by the pros, but they’ve all benefitted significantly from the rigorous testing and product development that takes place as part of each bike brand’s partnership with their chosen Pro Team.
Check out the bikes that will been seen in this year’s Tour De France and click the links to read a full review….
Trek Project One Emonda SLR 9 eTap
Back in January we looked at this stunning Trek Project One road bike – an Emonda SLR 9 eTap featuring the team colours of the Trek Segafredo professional cycling team. This lust-worthy ultralight road bike featured SRAM’s flagship electronic wireless groupset, featherweight Bontrager Aeolus RSL 37 carbon wheels and some great finishing kit including Bontrager Aelous RSL carbon integrated aero handle bar and stem. Launched in the middle of 2020 while the world was coping with the Coronavirus pandemic the all-new Trek Emonda wasn’t revealed in the usual way that Trek typically showcase their flagship road bike. Rather than its debut being assigned to the Tour De France as previous incarnations have, the Emonda was revealed to the public first, with Trek’s professional riders having to wait until later in the year to prove exactly what this cutting edge road bike could do within road racing at the highest level. Happily when last year’s Tour De France did eventually take place in September we saw Trek Segafredo professional Richie Porte take a very well deserved 3rd place podium spot in Paris onboard the next-generation Trek Emonda.
Cannondale SuperSix EVO Hi-Mod Disc Ultegra
This Cannondale SuperSix EVO Hi-Mod Disc Ultegra road bike just happens to feature exactly the same stunning paintjob found on the SuperSix EVO Hi-Mod bikes that are currently being piloted by the EF-Education Nippo pro-cycling team. Although the spec of the Pro team bikes may be a little different, this is the very same Hi-Mod BallisTec carbon frameset that the team are racing on; during the past few seasons we’ve seen bike brands taking what they’ve learnt in the development of their super-aerodynamic road bikes and using that knowledge to influence how their more general, lightweight climbing road bikes perform. Cannondale are no different in this regard and have produced an ultralight Hi-Mod BallisTec carbon frameset that also happens to have low-drag properties thanks to its highly truncated airfoil tube shapes which offer the same light weight and equal or better stiffness than the traditional round tubes found on the previous generation SuperSix.
Trek Madone SLR 7 Project One eTap AXS
During its relatively short lifespan the Trek Madone has quickly proven itself as a race-winning bike at the highest levels of international professional road racing; Trek can be very proud of the fact that the Madone has already won the World Road Race Championships, piloted by Trek Segafredo pro rider Mads Pederson. The aerodynamic profile of each tube and of the bike as a whole helps riders onboard the Madone to cut through the air more efficiently; saving small amounts of energy as they race, over long distances these gains in aero-efficiency quickly multiply, leaving racers fresher for the all-important crunch-point of the race.
BMC Roadmachine 01 Three
Within the extensive range of BMC road bikes the Roadmachine is billed as BMC’s ‘One Bike Collection’, a true all-rounder that’s built for epic all-day rides with a frame developed specifically to offer more compliance and comfort, helping to reduce body fatigue and keep riders feeling fresher for longer. You may not see this particular of model at the Tour as it’s more suited to the rough cobbles of Paris Roubaix, but you never know, depending on rider preference and their need for a more comfortable ride it may feature in the bunch thanks to its enhanced compliance and spritely feel.
Cannondale SystemSix Fat Creations Custom Paint Job
Back in January, for our first Fast Bike Friday feature of the year we took a look at something VERY special! A unique custom build from our road bike department – a Cannondale Systemsix aero road bike complete with a Fat Creations custom paint job. The Systemsix ticks all of the boxes of what is expected from a modern aero road bike; namely an aerodynamically profiled carbon frame, internal brake & gear cables, neat flat-mount disc brakes and fully-integrated handlebar and stem which features internal cables that run seamlessly into the frame, all helping to make this bike efficient at cutting through the wind.
BMC Teammachine SLR01 LTD
The Teammachine SLR01 One LTD is BMC’s stunning all-round road bike which is a lightweight & spritely climber that also happens to be brilliantly aerodynamic with a beautifully shaped frame-profile featuring a fully integrated cockpit that includes an aero bar & stem combo and internal cable routing. Sitting very near the top of the Teammachine SLR range the SLR01 One LTD is packed full of cutting-edge technology; while the aerodynamic fully-integrated frame and fork stands out for all its innovation and aesthetic qualities there’s also SRAM’s brilliant 12-Speed wireless Red eTap AXS groupset and some fantastically lightweight, aero carbon wheels from Zipp.
Written by Johnny Dodgin
Photos by James Vincent
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