This article was originally published on BikeRadar
Current UCI world road champion Philippe Gilbert (BMC) showed off a new rainbow-accented BMC TeamMachine SLR01 to the folks of Adelaide, Australia during the People's Choice criterium – the traditional opener to the Tour Down Under. Gilbert didn't win – but then again, he wasn't trying to – but the 30-lap was nonetheless a reasonable test for man and machine for the Belgian's real target, the spring Classics.
Gilbert's custom painted machine stood in stark contrast to the usual black-and-red BMC team livery with big swaths of gloss white paint on the fork legs and seat cluster bracketed by the trademark rainbow stripes he earned in September. Even the traditional-bend handlebar isn't spared the painter's touch with a matching gloss white finish and yet another set of stripes.
Lightening things up further are the white bar tape and matching Elite bottle cages – and just in case it wasn't sufficiently obvious whose bike this is, Gilbert's signature is on the seat tube, too.
We didn't expect to see teams bikes resplendent in the latest kit and despite his title, Gilbert's BMC TeamMachine SLR01 maintains the trend with not only a mostly off-the-shelf build kit but a previous-generation Shimano Dura-Ace Di2 7970 group instead of the new 11-speed 9070 version that Shimano announced back in May.
BMC has made some equipment sponsor changes during the off-season, too, so the long-running Easton wheels and cockpits that we've gotten used to seeing have now been replaced with Shimano wheels – 50mm-deep Dura-Ace tubulars in this case – and 3T bars and stems to accompany the proprietary BMC carbon fiber seatpost.
Actual weight with the SRM PowerControl 7 head unit but without bottles is 7.25kg (16.00lb).
Another common pro trend perpetuated here is the undersized frame. Despite standing 1.79m (5' 10") tall, Gilbert rides a rather diminutive 50cm frame with a 535mm effective top tube length – something no fitter in their right mind would do for a typical cyclist of the same height.
As usual, though, it's all about head tube length for these guys and in this case, the top of Gilbert's bars sit more than 12cm below the top of his saddle. To get the reach he wants, Gilbert then has to run a 140mm-long stem slammed atop the headset.
Sure, the extreme position looks way cool and the 'SLAMYOURSTEM' kids would worship the ground you roll on. But let's be realistic here – you're not Philippe Gilbert and twice-daily Ashtanga yoga sessions and a closet full of Lululemon probably isn't going to get you there, either. But if you're 1.83m tall with a rockin' Euro fauxhawk and still think you can pull this off, go on and try – we dare you.
Let us know how things went after your resultant chiropractor appointment.