Mavic and PRO get rolling at the Giro

New wheels at the Giro d'Italia start

Garmin-Transitions captain Christian Vande Velde departed from the start house of stage one at the Giro d'Italia with an all-new Mavic Comete rear disc, complete with a carbon fiber tubular rim instead of the current version's alloy hoop. According to team mechanic Kris Withington, the rim shape is derived from the company's well-proven Cosmic Carbon Carbone, which is then sandwiched between two sheets of carbon fiber (flat on the driveside, lenticular on the non-driveside).

The carbon rim and lack of a foam core shaves a lot of weight and Withington says the new disc is in fact about 200g lighter than the current version, putting it right around 950g. More importantly, much of that reduction falls out at the rim - where it counts most.

The prologue in Amsterdam also marked another appearance of Mavic's upcoming aggressive 'CC80' carbon tubular –the blacked-out 'Cosmic 80' decal on the side further indicates that this wheel is close to being put into production. The wheels used by Garmin-Transitions also displayed bladed stainless steel spokes and familiar-looking alloy hubs with adjustable bearing preload. Though we don't expect it to be especially light, its aggressive profile likely made it a good choice for today's flat, fast, and relatively calm conditions.

Mavic continues to be tight-lipped on both wheels, however, and declined to provide any further technical details or information. Mavic US marketing director Sean Sullivan would only say that, "the 80mm wheel is one that Garmin-Transitions has been racing and testing in the wind tunnel all spring." Stay tuned.

Prologue winner Team Sky also showed off some new wheels from team sponsor PRO – well, sort of. Scattered throughout the team's pit area were three carbon wheel models – a 90mm-deep tubular, a three-spoke time trial front wheel, and a rear disc – all clearly labeled "PROtotype". Upon closer inspection, it turns out that they were all actually HED products, including the company's Stinger 9, H3, and Stinger Disc.

One crucial difference on the 90mm wheel and disc, however, was that the rims were laced to Shimano Dura-Ace hubs instead of HED's Sonic model. As a result, the disc wheel's bonded-on carbon skins (the Stinger Disc uses the same rim as the Stinger 9) had to be slightly modified to fit around the Dura-Ace hub but the wheel was otherwise a stock item.

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