You’re looking at the 2012 Edition of Bikes of the Pros. If you want the latest pro bike news click here.
Being the bike geek that I am, the annual “Bikes of the Pros” article is always one of my favorites to do. 2012 sees some new team names for existing organizations (like Garmin-Barracuda and Lotto-Belisol), some mergers (Omega Pharma-Quick Step, Radioshack Nissan Trek) and some all new organizations (GreenEDGE).
As far as manufacturers lending their support to the Pro Tour, there is a good deal of diversity, with only Pinarello and Specialized sponsoring multiple teams. For componentry, Shimano and SRAM rule the roost with eight teams on Dura Ace or Di2 and seven on SRAM RED. Just three teams are using Campagnolo components, with Movistar and Lotto-Belisol likely riding the company’s new electronic gruppo.
AG2R – La Mondiale | Astana | BMC Racing Team | Euskaltel – Euskadi | FDJ-Bigmat | Garmin – Barracuda | GreenEDGE | Katusha | Lampre – ISD | Liquigas – Cannondale | Lotto-Belisol | Movistar | Omega Pharma – Quick Step | Rabobank | Radioshack Nissan Trek | Team Saxo Bank | Team Sky |Vacansoleil-DCM |
2012 will once again see the AG2R – La Mondiale team on the latest edition of the Kuota KOM: The Evo. The KOM Evo features a one piece monocoque front triangle with a tapered headtube (1.5″ to 1.125″) and a BB30 bottom bracket. Progressive tube dimensioning ensures the same ride across all frame sizes. Asymetrical chainstays provide the best comfort and power transfer. The KOM Evo has a slightly sloping top tube and comes in six sizes from XXS to XL. A size M frameset weighs just over 1 kg.
Alexandre Vinokourov and the rest of Astana is slated to continue with Specialized frames, forks, cranks, and helmets in 2012, which includes the Tour-winning Tarmac SL4 and Venge bikes and the all-new S-Works Prevail helmet.
Whether it’s winning the Tour de France or a local crit, the next generation of Tarmac—the SL4—was born to race, with head-snapping acceleration and razor-sharp handling. The S-Works model features Specialized’s lightest and stiffest frame ever, and the team will continue to use SRAM for their drivetrain this year.
While the Specialized Venge, the result of the company’s collaboration with McLaren, was exclusive to HTC-Columbia in 2011, it’s likely that all of their sponsored teams will get a chance to use it in 2012. The S-Works Venge combines Tarmac-inspired stiffness with Shiv-inspired aerodynamics to create the next generation pure race bike.
In 2012, Cadel Evans, Phillipe Gilbert and the rest of the BMC Racing Team will have four road bikes at their disposal:
The latest edition to the BMC line is the 2013 granfondo GF01. Designed for the big, powerful BMC team riders who race on the batter- ing cobblestones of Paris-Roubaix, this bike is also a perfect match for riders enjoying the recreational side of cycling. The optimized compliance and stable characteristics lets them ride for longer distances without getting fatigued and attack the trickiest de- scents with confidence. The beefy headtube, downtube, chainstays and fork crown are the solid foundation of this frame. Together with the stable geometry, this bike will always go where you want it to.
The Impec: Raising the bar. Redesigning the wheel. Optimizing the genetic code. That was BMC’s brief. The result: load specific weave (lsw) and shell node concept (snc). Both technologies are BMC proprietary developments, which they have implemented exclusively for the impec. No bicycle has ever been designed with such a consistently futuristic approach. The impec was ridden to victory in the 2011 Tour de France by Cadel Evans and will be the team bike fo choice for 2012.
The new teammachine SLR01 is a racing bike made without compromise, which achieves the seemingly impossible: maximum stiffness with the greatest possible comfort. The Tuned Compliance Concept applied to the chainstays, seatstays and forkblades provides vertical flexibility and thus a tangibly more comfortable ride. Meanwhile, a stable bottombracket hub and steering head area guarantee propulsion without compromise and incredibly precise handling. Low-vibration brake fundamentals enable quick and controlled braking and ensure safety in all riding conditions.
BMC’s 2011 timemachine TT01 seemed to anger the UCI gods last year, so for 2012, the team will be riding the timemachine TM01. The bike utilizes some new aerodynamic concepts while still allowing compliance with newly implemented UCI regs.
BMC does not have a drivetrain sponsor, but had been using Shimano components on their team bikes.
The Euskaltel-Euskadi squad has been on Orbea bikes since their inception. That relationship will continue on into 2012 and will see the team riding the latest incarnation of the Orca line: the Orca GDi2. The GDi2 continues Orbea’s fine technical tradition and mates that technology with Shimano’s Di2 electronic shifting system. Other sponsors include Vittoria, Polar, Selle Italia and Ozone Elite.
Francaise des Jeux returns as FDJ-Bigmat for 2012 and the team also enters into their 10th year of collaboration with Lapierre. The team will be hitting the roads on Lapierre’s Xelius 400 model. The stiff and lightweight Xelius frame (860g in size 55) was designed for speed. With precise handling and a brand-new, exclusive design, the Xelius responds to every pedal stroke. FDJ-Bigmat’s bikes will be equipped with Shimano drivetrains.
With team leaders Sandy Casar, Frédéric Guesdon, Francis Mourey and Benoit Vaugrenard as a foundation, up-and-coming riders such as Jérémy Roy and Anthony Roux will have to prove that they are the future generation of cycling. Along with newcomers Pierrick Fedrigo and Rémi Pauriol, it’s their turn to give it their all.
Garmin-Cervelo makes a name change to Garmin-Barracuda for 2012, but they will continue on Cervélo bikes in the new year. As with BMC, the riders of Cervelo have the line at their disposal. Two that you’re sure to see are the S5 and the R5ca.
The S5 is the most advanced aerodynamic road bicycle ever developed by Cervélo. Inspired by the demands of the world’s top pro riders, the S5 deploys everything Cervélo has learned in 16 years of aerodynamic design, and combines it with advanced material engineering honed in our Project California facility. Using the latest TrueAeroTM shapes combined with our most advanced lay-up knowledge, the S5 doubles the aerodynamic advantage the S3 had over traditional road bicycles. By adding BBrightTM and SmartwallTM engineering, we maximize energy response, and raise the torsional rigidity a whopping 12% over its highly acclaimed predecessor. The result is a quantifiably faster bicycle, which is also agile and responsive, yet smooth and comfortable on the toughest road surfaces. The S5 Team maintains the same stiffness and strength numbers, but is made 100 grams lighter through further material refinements. This is the bike of choice for Team Garmin-Cervélo.
For several years now, the engineers at Cervelo’s Project California have been developing lay-ups, new production techniques and new test methods. The R5ca is what happens when you put all of that knowledge in a frame and let the engineers build it inside the research facility. While the R5ca was a limited prototype in 2011, it looks to make its debut as a regular part of equipment in 2012. It offers low weight to help with climbing, torsional stiffness for safety and confidence while descending, BB stiffness to not waste any energy and vertical compliance and vibration damping for comfort on long rides & bad roads.
GreenEDGE Cycling just recently made its Pro Tour debut, but they’ve been in the works for quite a while, so we can go all the way back to July when the team announced that they would be riding the Scott Foil Aero Road bike and the Plasma 3 time trial bike in 2012.
A strong Australian flavour comes through in the look of the bike with the famous greenand-gold colours featured on a predominately white frame.
But, according to SCOTT Sports Vice President Pascal Ducrot, it’s the frame design and construction itself rather than the colours that set the bike apart.
“On the bike the elements are always against you with the wind trying to slow you or a climb trying to break you. For many years time trial bikes such as the Plasma 3, have reaped the benefits of aerodynamics to beat the wind and now our SCOTT Foil maximises the use of thattechnology on a road bike to get an advantage against the elements and the competition”, Ducrot says.
Katusha Team begins the season of 2012, its fourth in the World Tour, with absolutely new bicycles from Canyon.
There are two models of bikes, special designed for the riders of Katusha Team: AEROAD CF and ULTIMATE CF SLX. Every model has its own characteristics and is excellent for this or that cycling specialization.
AEROAD CF is the bicycle with improved aerodynamics, which is best for classic races (including cobblestone races) and for mountain stages. This bike is excellent for offensive and aggressive riders, who love to attack and to breakaway.
ULTIMATE CF SLX is more stiff and agile, designed particularly for sprinters and lightweight climbers too.
Canyon bikes have the last generation materials, the product of high technologies. The company preaches the implementation of the newest technological and innovative decisions, which allows creating extra-class bikes.
New Canyon bikes were already tested by Team Katusha’s mechanics and riders. They were both absolutely satisfied about tests and trainings, which were held on.
Besides of the bikes and accessories, in 2012 Canyon will provide the Katusha Team with technical support, will be in the constant contact with the mechanics, riders, administration of the team at any moment to give all necessary help, during training process and races.
Shimano will provide drivetrains while wheels will come from Mavic.
For 2012, Lampre-ISD will be taking to the roads on their Wilier Zero.7 bikes that they took delivery of at the 2011 Tour de France. It weighs in at 12 pounds, 6 ounces, making it one of the lightest production bikes out there.
A frame weighing less than 800 grams, composites technology that takes carbon fiber to the next level, and a new bottom bracket system that maximizes efficiency. The Zero.7 is the lightest bike Wilier Triestina has ever produced, and it was created with one goal in mind: to set a new standard for the most sophisticated race bikes. Zero.7 takes full advantage of BB386EVO, a new integrated bottom bracket designed by Wilier in collaboration with FSA. The box containing the bottom bracket is wider and has a larger diameter than the traditional standards. The result is increased stiffness while enabling weight savings, which equates to better power transfer and efficiency.
Campagnolo will be providing drivetrains, and wheels from their Fulcrum brand.
Cannondale continues their title sponsorship of the Liquigas-Cannondale team in 2012. the ongoing evolution of a partnership that was founded on the tradition of combining world-class cyclists with best-in-class bicycles. The partnership will help in the development of new Cannondale products.
The bike of choice for Liquigas – Cannondale team riders such as Ivan Basso and Vincenzo Nibali will be the all new Cannondale SuperSix Evo Team. Among the lightest bikes in the world at 695 grams for the frame, the stiffness-to-weight ratio is impressive, but the true beauty of the Evo is its balance of lightness with strength and stiffness with smoothness that is efficiency evolved. The bikes will feature an FSA cockpit, Mavic Cosmic Carbone wheels and a SRAM drivetrain.
When Omega Pharma and the Belgian Lottery went their separate ways at the end of 2011, two new teams were formed. The Belgian Lottery partnered with Belisol to form the Lotto-Belisol squad. Keeping with their Belgian focus, the team partnered with Ridley. The team will be riding the Ridley Noah this year.
The Noah incorporates two of Ridley’s FAST-Concept technologies. These combined technologies offer up to 2km/h advantage in the sprint and up to 15 watts less power input needed to average a 50km/h breakaway.
- F-Splitfork reduces drag by 7.5% by drawing turbulent air away from spokes.
- F-Surface paint technology reduces drag by 4.1% by increasing laminar flow.
- Full carbon tapered 1-1/8 1-1/2 headtube with angular contact bearings.
- Internally routed cabling to minimize airflow disturbance.
- Oversized pressfit BB30 bottom bracket and aero downtube.
Pinarello sponsors two team in the Pro Tour peloton, the first of which is the Movistar squad of 2011 Vuelta a Espana winner Juan Jose Cobo. It looks like the Basque squad will continue to ride Pinarello’s newest model – the Dogma 2, in 2012.
The construction technique is the same as last year’s Dogma 60.1: The EPS Wrinkle Free System for the elimination of internal imperfections of the frame, a monocoque rear and finally, bonded material, exclusive only to Pinarello: Carbon 60HM1K by Torayca with Nanoalloy ® ™ technology to prevent sudden breakage.
The cockpit looks to be from Pinarello’s MOST line and they are expected to continue using the Campagnolo EPS drivetrain.
The video shows the first build with the new electronic system. It’s a little hard to tell from the video, but to my eyes, the lever throw looks longer than Shimano’s Di2 system.
The end of 2011 saw the Omega Pharma-Lotto team split up and the subsequent merger of Lotto with Belisol (see above) and the founding a a Belgian superteam: Omega Pharma-Quick Step. Last year’s Canyon and Merckx bikes are gone and Specialized picks up another team after the dissolution of the HTC-Highroad squad.
This isn’t the first time Specialized Founder and President Mike Sinyard and Omega Pharma – Quick-Step Team Manager Patrick Lefevere have partnered; the two joined forces for the 2007-09 seasons, with great results.During the three years that Specialized worked with the team the first time around, the team won more major races than any other team in professional cycling, including the 2007 World Road Race Championships, back-to-back Roubaix/Flanders victories and a Green Jersey at the Tour de France.
The Omega Pharma – Quick-Step riders will have a deep range of advanced bicycles and gear to choose from Specialized’s elite S-Works division. Nothing is lighter and stiffer than the Tarmac SL4, which will be the team’s workhorse bike. The Venge, fresh off its Milan-San Remo and Green Jersey victories in 2011, will be the perfect choice for riders looking to minimize drag. Because smoother is faster, Boonen and company will opt for the S-Works Roubaix SL3 on the cobblestones.
The team will also partner with SRAM RED components, Zipp Wheels and Quarq power meters for the 2012 season. SRAM RED componentry has ridden to wins at every major race, including the past two versions of Paris-Roubaix and Tour of Flanders, annual targets for the team.
Prior to the 2012 edition of the Milan-San Remo, OPQS star Tom Boonen held a press conference at McLaren’s Milan showroom where he was presented with a special edition Venge.
With its winning combination of stiffness, light weight, compliance and sharp handling, the Giant TCR Advanced SL being ridden by Rabobank is often imitated, never duplicated. The all-new TCR Advanced SL shatters the mold of every composite bike that came before it. Using Advanced SL-grade composite and breakthrough manufacturing processes that result in the lightest, stiffest road frame ever produced by Giant. Steering precision is boosted by the new oversize OverDrive 2 headtube/fork combination. The MegaDrive downtube and PowerCore bottom bracket improve power transfer and efficiency. Factor in the integrated seatpost and RideSense ANT+ sensor for wireless data transmission, and it’s clear to see: TCR Advanced SL goes beyond integration.
Update: Just in time for the opening season in Belgium, Team Rabobank picked up some new bikes from Giant. The Giant Defy Advanced SL is the result of eighteen months of development with the Dutch cycling squad. The Rabobank team is the only World tour team sponsored by Giant, therefore it is also the only team with this revolutionary bike available to it. “The tests have delivered good results and the Rabobank riders are really enthusiastic about the Giant Defy”, says Tom Davies, Giant Sports Marketing Manager. He discussed the bike with Lars Boom, who learned about the new bike this week in the run-up to this Flemish opening week, and as a specialist was very impressed with its shock-absorbing capabilities. Davies: “The whole philosophy behind the development of this bike is that we can absorb the vibrations on the cobbles as much as possible, so that the riders waste as little energy as possible on them.”
Grischa Niermann and Maarten Tjallingii were involved in the development process as test riders. Niermann brought the bike home with him to Hannover last year, where he sought and found cobblestone streets. After Nierman’s initial findings, modifications were carried out, after which the bike was passed on to specialist Maarten Tjallingii. “After Maarten’s tests, we actually didn’t need to change anything. Maarten only confirmed what we already knew after Grischa’s tests and the modifications carried out”, said Davies.
For Davies, the advantage of the bike is mainly in the adaptations of the tube system of the frame. “The cohesion and flexibility are improved, which in turn means the vibrations are absorbed better. We have modified the bike on five essential points. Sometimes the changes seem to be very small details, but the effects have turned out to be considerable. We are now sure that they make a lot of difference. So now we are waiting for the results with baited breath”, admits Davies, who is aware that the Omloop is actually not a good indicator. “Rabobank won this last year with Sebastian Langeveld. So it can’t get any better. We hope to see the first results around the time the Tour of Flanders takes place.”
The merger of the Radioshack and Leopard Trek teams into Radioshack Nissan Trek means that Trek moves from two to one team in the Pro Tour peloton, but the combination of two strong teams makes it sure that they will be crossing as many finish lines as they did last year.
A special team requires special gear and for RADIOSHACK NISSAN TREK what better bike for the world’s best cycling team than one that boasts 12 Grand Tour victories in the past 13 years? Handcrafted at Trek’s worldwide headquarters in Waterloo, WI USA, RADIOSHACK NISSAN TREK’s team-issue Madone 6.9 SSL and Speed Concept 9 Series are meticulously designed to carry the world’s best riders to the world’s tallest podiums.
Trek Madone 6.9 SSL
Nine Tour de France victories. Countless stage wins. The Madone has been the standard of excellence in the peloton for almost a decade. Crafted from Trek’s defense-grade HexSL carbon fiber and constructed under the watchful eye of Trek’s engineering team in Waterloo, WI the Madone is built with the same dedication to excellence as those who ride it.
Trek Speed Concept 9 Series
Engineering, design, and aerodynamics in perfect harmony, Trek spent years developing the Speed Concept to allow riders to slice through wind. Speed Concept is the most technologically advanced and seamlessly integrated bike the world has ever known. Hours of wind tunnel testing proven by real world results, the Speed Concept is the new benchmark of fast.
Team Sky continues their relationship with Pinarello in 2011 and will once again be riding the Dogma 60.1 road bike in blue and black livery. One special addition to the team is 2011 World Champion Mark Cavendish, who gets an otherwise “murdered out” Dogma 2 with WC rainbow stripes.
Sky will be using Shimano drivetrains. See Movistar for technical details about the bike.
Vacansoleil, a Dutch team that is British only in their license, is making a move Ridley to the Bianchi Oltre for 2012. Designed for extreme racing conditions, Oltre is one of the best racing machines Bianchi has ever made. X-Tex carbon technology and Bianchi optimized aerodynamic shape give it an incredibly efficient power transmission and stiffness to weight ratio.
Characterized by a very solid outlook and aerodynamic shape, Vacansoleil-DCM’s Oltre enhances Bianchi’s traditional “celeste” color by matching it with blue and white touches – recalling the official outfit of the World Tour team. The Bianchi’s Eagle on the lower part of the down-tube, shaped with elegant dark celeste lines, provides a unique mix of tradition and aggressiveness.
Bianchi’s technical suppliers for 2012 Vacansoleil-DCM team’s Oltre are: FSA, Vision, Fast Forward,Vredestein, Selle San Marco, Elite, KMC, Look, CycleOps Power Tap and Lizard skins.