Gold wheels, custom SRMs, home made shoes and more - Tour Down Under tech
Gallery: Gear we've spotted on our first day
The 2017 Tour Down Under is about to get underway, and with the teams still arriving, mechanics are frantically prepping bikes for the race. We have been wandering the pits for the past day and have spotted a few interesting bits of tech.
While he has been in Australia, Peter Sagan has been spotted test riding a custom Venge ViAS. We weren't able to confirm whether or not he'll be lining up at any stages in Adelaide aboard the disc roadie, but we did see him ride it on Thursday's Bora-Hansgrohe team training ride.
It's not a lightweight at 8.46kg, by our scales, but even his Venge ViAS with standard calliper brakes weights 8.01kg.
All the cables are hidden inside the frame, and the flat mount disc brakes feature a 160mm rotor at the front and a 140mm rotor at the rear.
With all the hustle and bustle in the pits, everyone stopped and stared when the Bora-Hansgrohe mechanics began glueing a tire on this Gold Roval rim. With no apparent brake track and a centre lock hub, we'd guess it these wheels are for Sagan's Venge ViAS Disc, but mechanic could not confirm whether or not Sagan, or any of the other Bora-Hansgrohe riders would be racing on these wheels.
Revo Via chain performance system
A while back Orica-Scott announced its riders would be lubing as they ride with the Revo Via chain performance system.
The system is powered by two LR1 batteries, and periodically sends lubricant from a frame mounted reservoir to a component that mounts to the lower jockey wheel of the drivetrain, all in an effort to keep efficiency at its max.
The system was only present on Luke Durbridge and Daryl Impey's frames, but the mechanics will still building bikes.
Bahrain Merida's SRM powermeters
While Bahrain Merida's Scultura and Recato frames are not new for 2017, the teams SRM powermeters are.
The spindle mounted powermeters feature carbon cranks claimed to weight 99g per arm. SRM say they are producing the cranks, but they look suspiciously like THM cranks — the two brands have collaborated previously.
Sky's Pinarello F10
Shortly after Pinarello announced its new F10, the bike was at the centre of a patent controversy. Just hours after the news went live Taiwan's Velocite claimed the Italian brand infringed on its patents by using concave downtube on the new bike.
It all kicked off back in May of 2016 when Pinarello used a concave down tube on its Bolide TT bike, and now Velocite say Pinarello have again used its patented design without permission.
Shimano Dura-Ace 9100
Noticeably absent from the majority team bikes is Shimano's Dura-Ace 9100 group set. So far we have only seen the new components on Sky's new Pinarello F10's as well as the front brake on Yukiya Arashiro's Merida Reacto, where he snagged a DA 9100 front brake.
Check out the gallery above for other new, interesting, and amusing bits of gear we have spotted so far, and be sure to check back for more.
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Based on the Gold Coast of Australia, Colin has written tech content for cycling publication for a decade. With hundreds of buyer's guides, reviews and how-tos published in Bike Radar, Cyclingnews, Bike Perfect and Cycling Weekly, as well as in numerous publications dedicated to his other passion, skiing.
Colin was a key contributor to Cyclingnews between 2019 and 2021, during which time he helped build the site's tech coverage from the ground up. Nowadays he works full-time as the news and content editor of Flow MTB magazine.
By Barry Ryan