Bikes of the Tour de France 2019
A Closer Look
The world's biggest bike race, the creme de la creme of the sport on the start line, a plethora of new and exciting tech to drool over, the Tour de France brings the best riders and most desirable bikes and kit together. This equipment can seem out of reach for many people’s budgets but the technology used by the likes of Geraint Thomas and Peter Sagan can in fact be more obtainable than you might first have thought.
We have taken a closer at some of the road bikes being ridden at the 2019 Tour de France and how the technology has trickled down.
Deceuninck–Quick-Step - Specialized
One of the most versatile bikes in the professional peloton, the Specialized S-Works Tarmac SL6 Disc Road Bike will be a familiar sight throughout the three-week race. From the short sharp climbs that litter the first week's stages to decisive mountain top finishes of the Alps, the likes of 2018 King of the Mountains winner, Julian Alaphilippe and sprint sensation, Elia Viviani, will be using this machine, alongside the Venge to good effect.
We might not all possess the sheer power of Deceuninck–Quick-Step's roster but that doesn't mean we cannot benefit from some of the same technology as used by the pros. Specialized's Tarmac SL6 Pro Force eTap AXS 12-Speed Road Bike is the perfect example of a race ready machine that boasts a sensational array of components but at a slightly lower price point than the flagship S-Works model. The bike is equipped with SRAM’s wireless Force eTap AXS groupset, Roval CL 50 Disc Wheelset and Specialized S-Works Turbo tyres. Sharing the same FACT carbon fibre technology as used on their pro race ready bikes, FACT 10r, in this case, has been chosen for its compliant yet stiff characteristics, so whether you are sprinting to a stage finish in a Grand Tour or racing your friends to the local cafe you can guarantee the same impressive ride.
Team Sunweb - Cervelo
Although Tom Dumoulin may be sidelined for this year's Tour de France, Team Sunweb will be flying strong with a selection of riders who will be focusing on snatching stage wins. A bike that is at home when it comes to snappy accelerations and aggressive riding is Cervelo's S5 Disc Road Bike. The team will be using this aero road bike, alongside the more climbing focused R5 for their assault on the second Grand Tour of 2019. Redesigned at the back end of 2018, the S5 features an innovative handlebar and stem combination that as well as offering adjustability when it comes to position, is also incredibly aerodynamic. Other advancements, such as the addition of disc brakes ensure the bike is right up to date with rivals such as Specialized's Venge and Cannondale's SystemSix.
Incorporating many of the same features that make the flagship S5 such a formidable road bike, Cervelo's S3 Disc Road Bike, although not as radical on the front end as the S5, comes with an innovative stem which uses a quill-esque attachment to the steerer tube. This ensures adjusting the height of handlebar is a simple task and also keeps cables and the front end clean and more aerodynamic. Unlike the S5 the S3 is available in both rim and disc brake options.
Lighter and stiffer than its predecessor, the use of True Aero technology saves 102 grams, which in performance terms equates to a saving of 13 watts. Slight changes in geometry, compared to the S5, makes for a less aggressive ride. A 16 millimetre higher stack height than the S5 and skinnier seatstays add versatility and add compliance to what is ultimately a high-performance aero road bike.
Team INEOS - Pinarello
As accolades go, Pinarello has, barring 2014 and an assault on yellow from Vincenzo Nibali, dominated the top step of the Tour de France podium since 2012. Under the guidance of what was Team Sky, now Team INEOS, the Italian brand has propelled the Dogma 65.1 up Alpine cols, the F8 across barren Northern French landscapes and the F10 to Welsh dominance in the Pyrenees.
For 2019 the boys in red and black will be racing on the new Pinarello Dogma F12, the latest model in the F series. Total Internal Cable Routing results in a streamlined profile, while the designers went back to the drawing board, designing the disc version from scratch. Doing so they have reduced the drag, compared to the Dogma F10, by 7.3% and increased bottom bracket stiffness by 10%. In regards to the rim brake version, Pinarello has opted for direct mount brake calipers.
Sizing should never be a compromise, with 13 sizes options to choose from, while versatility when it comes to groupsets has been catered for with both electronic and mechanical groupset compatibility.
With Giro d'Italia and Tour de France titles on its palmares to say the Pinarello Dogma F10 is a tried and tested road bike would be an understatement. Sharing the same flat backed seat tube, concave downtube and aerodynamic fork flap fairings that are found on the Dogma F12, the F10 uses the same T1100 1K Dream Carbon Fibre to provide a stiff, lightweight and comfortable ride.
With a vast range of frame sizes available, a heap of different colourways and disc, as well as rim brake options to choose from, designing your dream Dogma F10, could be easier than you think.
Team Jumbo Visma - Bianchi
One of the oldest as well as one of the most instantly recognisable bike brands in the peloton, Bianchi, established in 1885, has been a familiar appearance at the Tour. From Marco Pantani dancing up Alp d'Huez to Primoz Roglic winning stage 19 of the 2018 edition, the iconic celeste colourway is back for 2019, with Jumbo Visma and Dylan Groenewegen lining up in Brussels for the 106th running of the race.
Piloting the Bianchi Oltre XR4 for the fast, flat stages that litter the first week, this aero race bike was put through extensive Flow Visualisation tests, similar to those used in the Formula One industry. Fast without sacrificing comfort, the monocoque hi-modulus frame construction utilises Countervail technology to lessen road vibrations. The material and technology, combined with wind tunnel testing provides a 20 watt saving over the original XR2 frameset.
Practicality has not been ignored either, with a PressFit bottom bracket used, providing a wide range of options when it comes to chainset choice. Tyre clearance allows for 25 millimetre options to be fitted and the Oltre specific seatpost offers offset adjustability of between 25 and -10 millimetres.
Maintaining many of the XR4's aerodynamic characteristics, the Bianchi Oltre XR3 also shares Countervail vibration dampening qualities with its bigger brother as well as proven aerodynamic credentials, which although aren't as impressive as the XR4, still put the XR3 firmly in the mid-range aero road bike category. Although not as light or as stiff as the XR4, additions such as a full carbon seatpost and fork make it a serious contender when it comes to racing.
Trek Segafredo - Trek
One of the first and still one of the best modern aero road bikes, the Trek Madone has gone disc for 2019 and remains a well-used workhorse for the Trek Segafredo men's and women's teams. Incorporating adjustable top tube IsoSpeed technology to lessen road buzz and utilising a 700 Series OCLV frame construction, the Madone SLR 9 Disc will be the choice for the likes of Richie Porte and Bauke Mollema for the flat, fast days when staying out of the wind and out of trouble are a must. A new H1.5 fit has been developed with the help of some of Trek's leading supported athletes to offer the perfect balance between speed and all-day comfort.
Customisation of the position is enhanced with the separate handlebar and stem setup allowing for adjustments of between -5 and +5 degrees when it comes to bar rotation. As well as aerodynamic, the integrated seatmast is also aesthetically pleasing, slotting seamlessly into the seat tube. Keeping the profile of the Madone clean the flat mount disc brakes and invisible cable routing are two welcome additions.
Sharing the same 700 Series OCLV Carbon Fibre frameset and IsoSpeed technology, the Trek Madone SLR 6 Disc Road Bike swaps out the top of the range SRAM RED AXS eTap groupset and Aeolus XXX 6 Carbon Wheels for a Shimano Ultegra 6800 groupset and Bontrager Aeolus Comp 5 Disc Tubeless Ready Wheels. With Project One customisation when it comes to colour scheme, the options are bordering on endless when it comes to designing your very own, unique road bike.
EF Drapac p/b Cannondale - Cannondale
It's not just the pink kit that will be catching the eye of the fans this July. The EF Drapac P/B Cannondale riders will be riding on the all-new Cannondale SuperSix machines on the road stages. New for 2019, the SuperSix EVO boasts dropped seatstays, an integrated handlebar and stem setup and a new frame construction that bridges the gap between the sheer speed of the Cannondale SystemSix with the comfort of the Cannondale Synapse.
Weighing just 866 grams (size 56) in its Hi-Mod version, the SuperSix EVO is one lightweight, aero road bike. Clearance for 30-millimetre tyres makes the bike more versatile than its predecessor and for the pros, the data from engineers showing it is 30 watts faster than the outgoing model at 48km/h will make all the difference over three weeks of racing.
Cannondale did not stop at just a pro spec bike when it came to producing the SuperSix EVO. A range consisting of over a dozen models, when it comes to bang for buck the Cannondale SuperSix EVO Carbon Force eTap Disc Road Bike ticks all the boxes. Using the same innovative geometry and clean aerodynamic lines found on the top of the range EVOs, this SRAM Force AXS eTap equipped model uses Cannondale HollowGram 35 millimetre deep tubeless ready wheels and a Ballistec carbon frame construction, which differs from the Hi-Mod version when it comes to weight and stiffness but still delivers when it comes to out of the saddle efforts and offers a sublime ride over even the roughest of roads.