Pro bike: Joaquim Rodriguez's Katusha Canyon Aeroad CF

This article first appeared on BikeRadar.

Only a small handful of riders can rightfully lay claim to saying they're "number one" and Katusha captain Joaquim Rodriguez has more right than most. The Spanish climbing specialist has stood atop the UCI WorldTour rankings in 2010, 2012, and 2013 and given the custom paint job provided to him by Canyon, he wants everyone to know.

Canyon team liaison Andreas Walzer says that 'Purito' picked out the paint scheme himself, which follows the general graphical pattern of stock Aeroad CF frames but with a gloss white base coat, red logos, and giant red 'NO. 1 IN THE WORLD' lettering across the top tube – in two languages, no less. Similar graphics are splashed across the inside of the fork blades, too.

Selle Italia gets into the custom game as well with not only special graphics on the SLR Monolink saddle but also a custom shape, too. While regular SLR Monolink saddles are offered in cutout and non-cutout forms, Rodriguez gets a non-cutout version with a deep channel running the from tip to tail to relieve pressure. To go along with this, Canyon provides a special Monolink-compatible seatpost that uses a standard VCLS Aero carbon shaft but bonded to a custom machined aluminum head.

Otherwise, Rodriguez is on a standard Aeroad CF frame in Canyon extra-small size. Aero tube shapes are used in several areas of the chassis – most notably in the head tube, down tube, and fork blades – and according to Canyon, the general design goal was to minimize the bike's frontal area. As compared to the company's more structurally efficient Ultimate CF SLX model, the Aeroad CF is certainly much narrower in profile along with a more compact rear triangle, a dramatically hourglass-profile head tube surrounding a downsized (for Canyon, that is) 1 1/8-to-1 1/4in steerer, and a more neatly integrated seatpost clamp that in this case also serves double duty as a number plate holder.

One might wonder why a climbing specialist like Rodriguez chooses the Aeroad CF when the Ultimate CF SLX chassis is several hundred grams lighter, not to mention stiffer in both the drivetrain and in torsion. However, like many of the world's best climbers, Rodriguez stands a modest 1.69m (5ft 6.5in) tall and his XS-size bike barely meets UCI minimum weight requirements with a standard Shimano Dura-Ace Di2 9070 group, Mavic Cosmic Carbone Ultimate wheels, and an alloy Ritchey cockpit installed.

In fact, we measured the bike to be slightly below the limit at 6.79kg with the computer head installed.

Given that, there's little reason not to give himself a bit of an aero edge – however slight – and with three podium finishes in his last four Grand Tours plus a strong field at this year's Giro d'Italia, 'Purito' will want any advantage he can get.

Complete bike specifications

Frame: Canyon Aeroad CF, size XS
Fork: Canyon Aeroblade SL
Headset: Acros, 1 1/8-to-1 1/4in tapered
Stem: Ritchey WCS 4-Axis, 100mm x -6°
Handlebar: Ritchey WCS Classic, 40cm (c-c)
Tape: Ritchey Logic EVA
Front brake: Shimano Dura-Ace BR-9000 w/ carbon-specific pads
Rear brake: Shimano Dura-Ace BR-9000 w/ carbon-specific pads
Brake levers: Shimano Dura-Ace Di2 STI Dual Control ST-9070
Front derailleur: Shimano Dura-Ace Di2 FD-9070
Rear derailleur: Shimano Dura-Ace Di2 RD-9070
Shift levers: Shimano Dura-Ace Di2 STI Dual Control ST-9070 w/ SW-R610 shifters mounted on bar tops
Cassette: Shimano Dura-Ace CN-9000, 11-25T
Chain: Shimano Dura-Ace CN-9000
Crankset: Shimano Dura-Ace FC-9000, 170mm, 53/39T
Bottom bracket: CeramicSpeed BB86
Pedals: Shimano Dura-Ace SPD-SL PD-90000
Wheelset: Mavic Cosmic Carbone Ultimate
Front tire: 'Mavic Yksion Grip Link' tubulars, 22mm (likely made by Hutchinson)
Rear tire: 'Mavic Yksion Grip Link' tubulars, 22mm (likely made by Hutchinson)
Saddle: Custom Selle Italia SLR Monolink
Seatpost: Custom Monolink-compatible by Canyon
Bottle cages: Elite Custom Race (2)
Other accessories: SRM PowerControl 7 computer

Critical measurements

Rider's height: 1.69m (5ft 6.5in)
Rider's weight: 58kg (129lb)
Saddle height from BB, c-t: 690mm
Saddle setback: 55mm
Seat tube length (c-t): 489mm
Seat tube length (c-c): 450mm
Tip of saddle nose to center of bars (next to stem): 520mm
Saddle-to-bar drop: 93mm
Head tube length: 109mm
Top tube length (effective): 527mm
Weight: 6.79kg (14.97lb, with computer and cages)

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