FEATURES: TOUR DE FRANCE TIME TRIAL TECH, PART DEUX
July 23, 2010


                                                            Photo:Yuzuru Sunada

Welcome to Part Two of our time trial tech review. In case you missed the first part, head over to RBA TT Tech.


The Felt TT bikes used by the Garmin team are leftovers from last year. New however are the Mavic Cosmic aero wheels.


The Fuji TT weapons used by the Footon-Servetto squad run with Reynolds wheels, SMP saddles, Rotor cranks, Sram Red drivetrains and Oval handlebars.

A TALE OF THREE SHIFTERS

All the Sram sponsored riders run with the purpose designed R2C (return to center) shifters which are as aero as they are efficient.


Per their personal preference, Shimano sponsored riders that run the electronic Di2 drivetrain have the choice of running the push button shifters mounted facing inboard or....


...facing upwards. For that matter, they could also run them facing down, though that option wasn't spotted,


If anyone needs to come up with a svelte, aero TT shifter, it's Campagnolo. These look like re-purposed downtube shifters from the '80s!


The Euskaltel riders were running with both Shimano and Pro Component wheel options.


The Sky team was aboard the radical Pinarello Draal TT Bikes.


Team Sky's back-up TT bikes were the older Pinarello Montello TT bikes.


Here's a close-up view of the backside mounted front brake and molded-in aero "shark fin" enhancements.


Here's the same Pinarello Montello TT bike that acts as the primary bike for the Caisse d' Epargne team.


Fizik offers this Extra-Grip adhesive patch to apply to the saddle to keep riders better in place for their TT effort. You can score a pack of three for about $10.


ProLogo runs a special anti-slip surface on the nose of their TT saddle.


Here's a good example of how drastically different the desired shape of aero handlebars can be.


As for the rest of the RadioShack/Trek Speed Concept, well, here it is.

A TALE OF TWO GIANTS - SPOT THE DIFFERENCE

Here's the Team Rabobank's rack full of their carbon fiber TT bikes which Giant unveiled at the TdF team trial last year. Lo & behold when the UCI came in and started changing the rules for TT frame design with their 3:1 restrictions, Giant, like a handful of other teams had to recalibrate their frame design. What did that involve?


It isn't until you take a closer look (note the straighter seat tube section over the rear wheel) that you realize that other than the two carbon bikes on the rack, all the other black beauties are actually made from this strange frame material - aluminum. With carbon molds being as expensive as they are, Giant took a less expensive route and welded up the TT training bikes - only Gesink and Freire get to keep carbon training bikes. 


Although they had spotty use last year as the production line was ramped up, the entire Cervelo team is now aboard the P4. Zipp wheels, Rotor cranks, Sram drivetrain, Speedplay pedals and 3T handlebars round out the package.


Apparently, oblong is the new round for a growing number of Pro Tour riders. The Spanish company Rotor seem to have been at it the longest - here with a their own chain device (another increasingly popular product) mounted to the front derailleur to accompany the oddly shaped chainring. And yes, that's the new Time I-clip pedal with a carbon spring.


Oh yeah, there's also this on the wearable side of TT product - Giro's special LAX TT helmet that a certain Texan used for his last Tour de France appearance.


Giro sez, "The new helmet will not be sold at retail, but elements of the design will certainly trickle down to future production time trial helmets. “Lance always puts 100-percent into the Tour and for this, his last go at it, he asked us to create something ultra special,” said Giro’s Senior Sports Marketing Manager, Chuck Platt. “The LAX was the first major project for our new Advanced Concepts Group and the challenge pushed our team to use new technology and methods in the hope that we could help Lance win his 8th Tour de France.”

"Giro went to extreme measures to prepare project LAX for this year’s Tour. Considering the six month
development time and Lance’s busy schedule, the Advanced Concepts Group made a laser scan of Armstrong’s
torso while tucked in his time trial position, and separately, scanned his head. The data acquired was used to make
precision headform and torso models that Giro’s Advanced Concepts Group used to aid development in Armstrong’s absence. The torso model was used in a number of sessions to test as many as 100 prototypes in a
variety of wind tunnels."
         

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