This article first appeared on BikeRadar.
Vincenzo Nibali and his Bahrain-Merida teammates lined up for stage three of the Tour de France in the team time trial in Cholet aboard new and unseen Merida time trial framesets.
Until today the Merida Time Warp TT hadn't been tested in a race scenario and it is understood it was only very recently approved by the UCI for racing. It doesn't appear on the UCI approved frames and forks list yet either.
The frameset features a complete overhaul of the existing Merida Warp TT frameset design, with the most obvious change being the oversized tubing junctions, which form triangular sections at the seat cluster, head tube cluster and bottom bracket area – a design that shares similarities with Canyon’s Speedmax frameset.
The frameset uses a Vision Metron Trimax carbon cockpit, with Nibali opting to use grip tape rather than handlebar tape on the base bars and handlebar extensions.
Shimano Dura-Ace R9150 components provided the shifting and braking for Nibali’s time trial setup, while an SRM Origin crankset with Shimano Dura-Ace 9000 series chainrings sat at the head of the drivetrain.
Photographed with 56/44 chainrings, like the majority of the peloton, Nibali actually used a 58-tooth outer chainring for the team time trial on stage three of the Tour.
Fulcrum carbon wheels were paired with 25mm Continental Grand Prix ALX tubular tyres and Nibali opted for a Prologo Dimension saddle.
Click or swipe through the gallery above for a closer look at the new time trial frameset from Merida.