Vincenzo Nibali's move from Astana to Bahrain-Merida for this season came with a new bike set up, with the Taiwanese brand Merida now supplying the Giro d'Italia champion's bikes, rather than Specialized. Cyclingnews caught up with Nibali at his first race of the season, the Vuelta a San Juan, to take a look at his new steed.
The Merida sponsorship gives riders a choice between the Scultura and Reacto frames. Nibali rides the Scultura, the ultra-light model that pushes the UCI's weight limit of 6.8kg.
The blue, red and gold colours of the team form the main design for the frame, with Nibali's name the only personalisation after a series of flamboyant, shark-themed designs during his time at Astana.
SRM supplies the team's powermeters, and issued each rider with a special gold coloured SRM PC-8 head unit. As well as the head unit, SRM supplies the eye-catching cranks, developed from existing THM Clavicula cranks and newly branded as SRM.
Shimano supplies the chainrings, brakes and shifting, with all riders running the Dura-Ace Di2 groupset with electronic shifting. The rear break is not in the traditional position but tucked away behind the bottom bracket.
Other components come from FSA and Prologo, with one point of interest being Nibali's adjustable FSA seatpost. The relatively new technology allows the rider to twist the seatpost while riding, which will raise or lower the saddle by a milimetre at a time. Nibali's mechanic noted that he'd set the seatpost at '0' but when he got the bike back to wash it was on '2', proving that the pros often like to tinker with their set-ups.
FSA also supplies the handlebars, with Nibali on Compact 42, while Prologo accounts for contact-point comfort with a Nago C3 saddle and OneTouch handlebar tape.
Nibali and the other Bahrain-Merida riders use Fulcrum Speed 40 tubular wheels - usually switching to 50 on flat stages - paired with Continental Competition 25mm tubular tyres.
The Fulcrum wheels are equipped with CULT bearings. Developed by Campagnolo, CULT bearings' tests claim that when spun to 500rpm, the wheels will continue to spin for nine times longer than wheels with standard bearings.