Giro d’Italia – Tech News Extra


I’m pleased to be able to say that we’re joined here today for a special tech extra by Caley Fretz of Velo News. Caley is normally based in Boulder, Colorado, but spends most of the summer in Europe with his ear to the ground, going to the races and finding out the latest tech news. Caley, how’s it going here at the Giro, there’s not too many new products, but you have found some interesting stuff. It’s a little early for most of the new stuff, we’re going to see a whole lot rolled out shortly before the Tour, usually the Dauphine, Tour de Suisse. But we have seen a couple of new things, we’ve seen brand new wheels from Mavic, Cadel Evans on a new frame, we’ve seen Bradley Wiggins training on a new TT bike. Let’s start with Bradley’s TT bike, shall we? What were your first reactions to it?
I’m sure they’re pushing the boundaries of the 3:1 ratio it honestly looks like maybe a collaborative project with some of the team GB engineers because a lot of the features, particularly on the front end and aero-bar region look a lot like Bradley’s TT bike from the Olympics last year. Other than that – integrated brakes, they say it’s about 15% stiffer, and significantly faster against the wind, so it should be a good improvement for him if he chooses to ride it or can ride it in the upcoming time trial. Interestingly the only size that is UCI approved so far is Wiggins’ size. It’s a 55, so obviously he will be the only one riding it at the next time trial I think. That is quite a special advantage for him potentially. You mentioned as well about Cadel Evans’ new BMC. It’s interesting that it’s clearly designed for light weight and nothing to do with aerodynamics. No, definitely not. BMC has their TMR-01, their aero machine which couple of their riders are on, generally the guys that are either going to be sprinting on a flat stage or are going to be pulling all day, but Cadel is stuck with their light climbing bike. The new one is even wider at the bottom bracket, it’s really quite big and chunky, apparently it’s lighter than the last version. There’s not a whole lot of changes from the old
model, it looks a little bit lighter, probably a little bit
stiffer, probably the next version of the team machine SL-01 which they’ve had for couple of years now. Let’s talk a little bit about rider preference with these bikes, because unlike a few years ago where teams had one stock frame for each rider, theres a selection now – they’ve got their classics bikes, they’ve got their light, climbing bikes and they’ve got their aero bikes. But it’s very interesting to see who chooses what, because there’s a real disparity, even within individual teams. Absolutely. I think most of the teams now
have some sort of option. Most of the bike
manufacturers have some sort of aero bike at this point, most riders, particularly most GC riders are still sticking with the lightweight bikes. It doesn’t make a whole lot of sense if you
look at the math, but it’s it’s perhaps what they’re used
to, and they don’t spend a whole lot of time alone in the wind until the very end of the races anyway, so perhaps they go for ride quality and light weight
over the aerodynamic benefits. These guys have a
different set of considerations than your average rider, I would say. They also have quite a bit of history with
whatever bike that they’ve chosen to ride. A lot of the aero bikes have funky brake designs that they maybe
don’t trust as much as they would trust a traditional break. For your average rider who’s
going to go out and just wants to hammer the hour at lunch or the hour before work in the
morning and wants to do it a little bit faster, aero bikes are a great option. Let’s go to wheels now. You mentioned that there are riders here on a new Mavic wheel and also Zipp testing out a new hub, I believe, under Mark Cavendish. Both of these are the wider aerodynamic rims that’s reflecting a trend everywhere now. Absolutely. Cavendish is on… they won’t really say…but it looks to me like it’s similar to their new disc hub, which tells me it’s probably from
their latest group with some extra spokes for extra stiffness. The rim is the same, it’s a traditional 808 or a 404. Mavic has brought out a shallower version of their CXR-80 which they debuted mid-summer last year and that’s a a wider rim at the brake track than they’ve done in the past it doesn’t have the same toroidal shape as a Zipp or a HED or an Envy. These wider rims are also giving us this new trend of wider tyres as well, now
you picked up on this last summer I believe? Sure, I’d say that probably 95% of the field are now on 25cc, 25mm tyres. It was started a couple of years ago with the wider rims, the wide tyre interfaces a little bit better. It’s not necessarily more aerodynamic than a 23 but it’s less of a disadvantage than it used
to be. A 25 with a narrow rim was a significant aero disadvantage but a 25 with a wide rim is is less so. With the increase in traction and comfort and decreases in rolling resistance it’s become a much better option. On top of that, companies like Shimano which have really
gotten into the wheel business in the last couple of years, pushing their wheels really hard at the pro
tour level, I think there are 4 or 5 teams here all riding
Shimano, they actually told mechanics not to run anything lower than a 25
last year, and so all those teams have been on a 25 for about a year now. Great stuff, thanks for joining us Caley. And obviously if you want any more super in-depth tech news then head over to Velo News.

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32 thoughts on “Giro d’Italia – Tech News Extra

  1. have you got any Tech that would help a rider stay upright on wet descents, & build confidence ? Aah stabilizers, do they come in carbon fiber ? After watching today's stage Wiggo need's some !

  2. It's pretty complicated, but it is all to do with the contact patch of the tyre. A large volume tyre has a shorter contact patch, which to cut a long story short, means it'll have less rolling resistance. The trade off with larger tyres is the weight of course, but a 25 makes sense.

  3. Oh, i understand the contact patch but i thought a narrower tire would give a smaller contact patch but i was wrong i guess. Yes, i do see the weight penalty with a wider tire– I have a 2007 system six with Rolf TDF4SL tubular wheels and running Conti sprinter 22, i did try 19 cm on the old wheels and the handling was very twitchy

    Thanks for the personal reply, great channel

  4. Inrng Blog did a piece on 25MM tires and why fatter tires are better.

    In short, fat or thin tires have the same size contact area, but narrow tires have a long thin contact area, whereas wider tires have a shorter, fatter (more circular) contact area.

    ie the thin tire is flattened down it's length and stays in contact with ground longer, whereas the fat tire is flattened across the width of the tire and is in contact for less time.

    Same grip, less rolling resistance.

  5. can you explain why a rider would choose a lighter frame over an aero frame because you can't go any lighter than the UCI limit and riders add heavier parts to their bike. couldn't you just get an aero bike at the weight limit and it would be best of both worlds?

  6. It's because a smaller tire, the rubber tube and sidewalls has more flex/deformation, because contact patch is๏ปฟ smaller = higher surface pressure on a smaller area. Flex/deformation of rubber = higher energy loss, and also, wheel will tend to bounce up off the road more. Larger tire and this happens less, less deformation, less bouncing. That's the idea behind it – I don't know if anyone has been able to show these effects with measured data, but deformation can be see on visual inspection.

  7. astounding depth of coverage we are seeing, both with tech stuff like this then the fly through's and then the insights – big thumbs up.

    Is there a blooper real?

  8. Thanks! There's almost certainly some bloopers kicking around. We might have to put something together when we get a chance to think!

  9. You'd be surprised at how few bikes are at the weight limit. Most are at 7kg+, particularly for the bigger guys. Also, a lot of the aero frames are slightly less stiff than their lighter stablemates.

  10. In terms of aerodynamics you won't really notice the difference. However a 25 is much more comfortable, and has more grip. If you can, why don't you try a 25? At the end of the day, personal preference wins the day every time.

  11. Is there really much difference with aerobikes? Surely the most unaerodynamic part of a bike is the rider himself? I have a Canyon Ultimate AL. It looks like a blade from the front and it's not even an aero bike. If even Nibali is not on an aero bike, I really wonder whether the advantage is debateable.

  12. Yeah funny, my biggest takeaway was the segment on the 25mm tires too. 90 percent of the pro teams are running them? I think it's a topic worthy of its own video….

  13. These lighter bikes usually use higher modulus carbon which makes the bike stiffer for power transfer. Look at the german or taiwanese stiffness tests and you'll see lighter bikes on top.

  14. Only true if the wider tire is at a lower PSI, otherwise the wider tire is stiffer than a narrow tire at the same PSI. Most people fail to mention this. Also a wider tire is heavier rotational mass at the furthest point from the hub, huge drawback for climbers. Finally, wide tires do nothing for you at an indoor velodrome.

  15. YouTube doesn't allow links in the comments. Search these 4 on your browser: "tour qtr 2011" "win with giant" "velocite stiffness" "cozybeehive frame stiffness"

  16. Obviously,all true, I was only explaining the idea. Yes more wght at the outside of the rim will result in more rotational resistnce, but you have to consider the data (when available) and the type of course (flat, mountainous) or race (LBL or Paris-Roubaix, for example): it may be benefit of reduced rolling resistance outweighs increased rotational resistance at 23mm, but not at 25mm, on course X, but not on course Y… and so on…more info, google: "the inner ring reinventing the wheel 25mm"

  17. love hearing from caley. few people know high-end bike tech well enough to really talk about it well, and caley's good at explaining too

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