Despite a steady rain falling on pit row during the Tour de France prologue in Rotterdam, it was readily apparent that the go-fast world of time trial technology is not slowing down one bit. Here is part one of two in our coverage of the bikes and parts that are designed to cheat the wind. And yes, the UCI actually followed through with their recent warning and had a scanning device that was used to check bikes for any outside performance aids - as in a hidden motor.
Stay tuned for the next chapter where we will also be showing off some really trick TT components as well.
Beyond the aero seatstays and fork blades, the Wilier TT bikes used by Lampre are pretty basic compared to many of their competitors.
Despite lacking any fancy graphics, the Specialized Shiv still looks downright sinister. Fabian Cancellara proved that even with its nose cone removed (per UCI regulations), the bike is one of the fastest on the planet.
If you look closely at the seat stays and fork blades on the Ridley TT bikes used by the Katusha squad, you'll see thin aero slots along their length to help pass the air along,
The paint schemes used on the Orbeas of the Euskaltel-Euskadi team really make the bikes stand out.
With their furious eagle head tube graphics, the LaPierre's used by the Francaise des Jeux team are easily the most striking bikes in the pits.
Check out the cut-away head tube that allows for an even lower stem position. This is a much simpler approach to to the radical version that Cadel Evan's used last year on his Canyon. That's the Shimano Di2 unit strapped on the underside of the stem.
I'm not really sure I understand what's going on with the frame design in back, but it is definitely on the interesting side.
Here's Lance Armstrong's Trek Speed Concept bike outfitted with all the latest in Bontrager TT components. Like Fabian, Lance used a 54x11 Sram Red drivetrain. Be sure to check back in for part two of my Rotterdam TT coverage for a fabulous behind-the-scenes story that involves Lance, his TT bike and the actor Ben Stiller.