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Tour de France tech: Liquigas-Cannondale, Saur-Sojasun and Vacansoleil-DCM bikes

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Ivan Basso's Liquigas-Cannondale SuperSix Evo sits safely tucked in between other team bikes - just like how it usually is out on the road.

Ivan Basso's Liquigas-Cannondale SuperSix Evo sits safely tucked in between other team bikes - just like how it usually is out on the road.
(Image credit: Jonny Irick)
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SRM provides the Liquigas-Cannondale team with custom-colored Power Control 7 computer heads.

SRM provides the Liquigas-Cannondale team with custom-colored Power Control 7 computer heads.
(Image credit: Jonny Irick)
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Rotor's 3D+ cranksets are on several teams' bikes this year but the elliptical Q-Rings are much more rare.

Rotor's 3D+ cranksets are on several teams' bikes this year but the elliptical Q-Rings are much more rare.
(Image credit: Jonny Irick)
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Saur-Sojasun's Corima wheels use carbon spokes anchored into carbon hubs.

Saur-Sojasun's Corima wheels use carbon spokes anchored into carbon hubs.
(Image credit: Jonny Irick)
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Saur-Sojasun is using Time's striking RXRS Ulteam frame for road stages in this year's Tour de France.

Saur-Sojasun is using Time's striking RXRS Ulteam frame for road stages in this year's Tour de France.
(Image credit: Jonny Irick)
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Saur-Sojasun's unique Corima carbon wheels use driveside carbon spokes that are angled in just one direction to transmit drive torque.

Saur-Sojasun's unique Corima carbon wheels use driveside carbon spokes that are angled in just one direction to transmit drive torque.
(Image credit: Jonny Irick)
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Corima provides Saur-Sojasun with two different versions of its carbon tubular wheels.

Corima provides Saur-Sojasun with two different versions of its carbon tubular wheels.
(Image credit: Jonny Irick)
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Saur-Sojasun uses Corima's shallow-depth carbon tubular wheels for climbing stages or windier days.

Saur-Sojasun uses Corima's shallow-depth carbon tubular wheels for climbing stages or windier days.
(Image credit: Jonny Irick)
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Vacansoleil-DCM is using Lizard Skins' cushy and grippy DSP bar tape.

Vacansoleil-DCM is using Lizard Skins' cushy and grippy DSP bar tape.
(Image credit: Jonny Irick)
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Vacansoleil-DCM preps its radio system before a stage in this year's Tour de France.

Vacansoleil-DCM preps its radio system before a stage in this year's Tour de France.
(Image credit: Jonny Irick)
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Vacansoleil-DCM's Ridley Noah FB bikes use integrated front and rear brakes that are molded directly into the carbon structure.

Vacansoleil-DCM's Ridley Noah FB bikes use integrated front and rear brakes that are molded directly into the carbon structure.
(Image credit: Jonny Irick)
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Vacansoleil-DCM has a couple of Ridley's new Noah FB bikes at its disposal but they seem to be reserved as spare machines for now.

Vacansoleil-DCM has a couple of Ridley's new Noah FB bikes at its disposal but they seem to be reserved as spare machines for now.
(Image credit: Jonny Irick)
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The unique split-stay arrangement on Vacansoleil-DCM's Ridley Noahs and Noah FBs supposedly pull air out away from the spinning spokes for lower drag.

The unique split-stay arrangement on Vacansoleil-DCM's Ridley Noahs and Noah FBs supposedly pull air out away from the spinning spokes for lower drag.
(Image credit: Jonny Irick)
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Gore's Ride-On sealed cable systems are very popular amongst the pro ranks for the lighter lever feel they provide and their reliable all-weather performance.

Gore's Ride-On sealed cable systems are very popular amongst the pro ranks for the lighter lever feel they provide and their reliable all-weather performance.
(Image credit: Jonny Irick)
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Saur-Sojasun is using TRP's revised R970SL magnesium dual-caliper brakes with a more conventional cam-type quick-release.

Saur-Sojasun is using TRP's revised R970SL magnesium dual-caliper brakes with a more conventional cam-type quick-release.
(Image credit: Jonny Irick)
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Remember that funky height-adjustable seatpost we showed you on Ivan Basso's (Liquigas-Cannondale) Cannondale SuperSix Evo before the start of this year's Tour de France? So far we haven't actually seen him use it in competition.

Remember that funky height-adjustable seatpost we showed you on Ivan Basso's (Liquigas-Cannondale) Cannondale SuperSix Evo before the start of this year's Tour de France? So far we haven't actually seen him use it in competition.
(Image credit: Jonny Irick)
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Sealed Gore Ride-On derailleur cables and housing help maintain good shift performance on the Liquigas-Cannondale team bikes.

Sealed Gore Ride-On derailleur cables and housing help maintain good shift performance on the Liquigas-Cannondale team bikes.
(Image credit: Jonny Irick)
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The flattened chain stays on the new Liquigas-Cannondale SuperSix Evo is designed to provide just a hint of traction and comfort benefit.

The flattened chain stays on the new Liquigas-Cannondale SuperSix Evo is designed to provide just a hint of traction and comfort benefit.
(Image credit: Jonny Irick)
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Liquigas-Cannondale riders have a wide range of Mavic wheels to choose from for each stage of the Tour de France. Most of the time they opt for the versatile Cosmic Carbone Ultimate but wet days can call for aluminum-rimmed models with the new Exalith textured sidewalls for more predictable braking.

Liquigas-Cannondale riders have a wide range of Mavic wheels to choose from for each stage of the Tour de France. Most of the time they opt for the versatile Cosmic Carbone Ultimate but wet days can call for aluminum-rimmed models with the new Exalith textured sidewalls for more predictable braking.
(Image credit: Jonny Irick)
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Cannondale has equipped the Liquigas-Cannondale with a full fleet of new SuperSix Evos, including mains and spares.

Cannondale has equipped the Liquigas-Cannondale with a full fleet of new SuperSix Evos, including mains and spares.
(Image credit: Jonny Irick)
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A few rubber o-rings help keep the rear derailleur housing from marring Liquigas-Cannondale team frames.

A few rubber o-rings help keep the rear derailleur housing from marring Liquigas-Cannondale team frames.
(Image credit: Jonny Irick)
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Cannondale claims the flattened stays on its new SuperSix Evo add a noticeable amount of comfort but it's still no mushy ride.

Cannondale claims the flattened stays on its new SuperSix Evo add a noticeable amount of comfort but it's still no mushy ride.
(Image credit: Jonny Irick)
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The rear brake housing runs through the top tube on Liquigas-Cannondale's new SuperSix Evo.

The rear brake housing runs through the top tube on Liquigas-Cannondale's new SuperSix Evo.
(Image credit: Jonny Irick)
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Mavic's textured Exalith brake surface also uses a special hardening treatment that supposedly wears longer than bare aluminum and provides superior braking, especially in the wet.

Mavic's textured Exalith brake surface also uses a special hardening treatment that supposedly wears longer than bare aluminum and provides superior braking, especially in the wet.
(Image credit: Jonny Irick)
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Saur-Sojasun's Rotor 3D+ cranks can fit in a number of different bottom brackets, including the BB30 ones on the team's Time RXRS Ulteam frames.

Saur-Sojasun's Rotor 3D+ cranks can fit in a number of different bottom brackets, including the BB30 ones on the team's Time RXRS Ulteam frames.
(Image credit: Jonny Irick)
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Vacansoleil-DCM has so far mostly stuck with its standard Ridley Noah machines in this year's Tour de France.

Vacansoleil-DCM has so far mostly stuck with its standard Ridley Noah machines in this year's Tour de France.
(Image credit: Jonny Irick)

New SuperSix Evo models for Ivan Basso and Liquigas-Cannondale

Liquigas-Cannondale is on the Bedford, Connecticut company's latest SuperSix Evo – an ultralight evolution of the previous SuperSix Hi-Mod that reportedly weighs just 695g for the bare frame. Team frames are almost assuredly a fair bit heavier than that, though, given the thick coats of paint comprising the white, light green, and blue livery – paint can easily add a couple hundred grams.

Even so, team mechanics likely have to add some ballast somewhere to meet the UCI's minimum weight of 6.8kg. BikeRadar's recent First Ride test bike came in at just 6.11kg (13.46lb) without pedals and that was with aluminum clinchers fitted instead of the team's more usual ultralight Mavic Cosmic Carbone Ultimate carbon tubulars.

Other aspects of Liquigas-Cannondale's team builds are similarly light, including a complete SRAM Red group – finished in matching accent colors just for the team – Cannondale's own Hollowgram SL BB30 crank with SRM power measuring spiders, fi'zi:k saddles with braided carbon rails, Speedplay Zero Stainless pedals, Elite bottle cages, Gore Ride-On derailleur cables and housing, and FSA bars, stems, and seatposts.

As for that crazy height-adjustable seatpost we showed you on Ivan Basso's machine just prior to the start of this year's Tour de France? Perhaps he's saving it for a special occasion but unless we've missed it, Basso hasn't actually used it during any stage of the race.

Striking Time RXRS Ulteam machines for Saur-Sojasun

Saur-Sojasun is using Time's striking RXRS Ulteam frame for road stages in this year's Tour de France

French cycling team Saur-Sojasun is "keeping it in the family" so to speak with its Time RXRS Ulteam road machines in this year's Tour de France. Time has made some concessions to aerodynamic performance with the frame's deeper-section down tube and seat tube but for the most part, the focus still remains on stiffness, weight, and ride quality.

Key features on Saur-Sojasun's team bikes are the Translink integrated seatmast, the asymmetrical chain stays, tapered front end, nanotube-infused carbon fiber materials that are still woven in-house using Time's RTM process, and so-called Vibraser composite construction to maintain the company's characteristically smooth ride quality.

Saur-Sojasun equips its Time RXRS Ulteam frames with an eclectic mix of components, including a SRAM Red transmission, Rotor 3D+ cranksets (mostly with round chainrings), Corima carbon tubular wheels with carbon hubs and spokes wrapped with Panaracer rubber, FSA bars and stems, TRP R970SL magnesium brake calipers with cam-style quick-release, Gore Ride-On sealed derailleur cables and housing, and – of course – Time iClic pedals.

Aero Ridley Noahs for Vacansoleil-DCM

Dutch cycling team Vacansoleil-DCM – including new hero Johnny Hoogerland – has mostly been using Ridley's aerodynamic Noah to contest road stages in this year's Tour de France. A decidedly unusual machine with its sweeping lines and very deep tube profiles, the Noah's defining features are its uniquely split fork blades and seat stays that are said to help direct air out and away from the wheels' churning spokes to decrease drag.

In addition, roughened surfaces on the outermost edges of key tubes supposedly helps passing air 'stick' to the trailing edges of the frame for cleaner airflow. All told, Ridley claims a 20-watt savings at 40km/h (25mph) as compared to its own round-tubed Helium.

Build kits include SRAM's top-end Red group, Rotor 3D+ cranks and chainrings, FFWD wheels, Look KéO pedals, Deda bars and stems, Selle San Marco saddles, Vredestein tires, Tacx bottles and cages, KMC chains, and grippy Lizard Skins bar tape.

Two Vacansoleil-DCM also have a new Ridley aero bike at their disposal: the even more striking Noah FB, which shares similar split-tube shaping as the standard Noah but with cleverly incorporated linear-pull brakes that are molded directly into the carbon fiber structure. In addition to cleaning up the aerodynamic profile of the bike, the integrated brake calipers drop a substantial amount of weight, they should require less maintenance than conventional calipers, and they still include standard adjustments like pad height and angle and spring tension.

Vacansoleil-DCM's Ridley Noah FB bikes use integrated front and rear brakes that are molded directly into the carbon structure

The R-Surface texturing on Vacansoleil-DCM's standard Noahs also give way to a more pronounced rubber ridge on the Noah FB.

That all being said, though, those new Noah FBs have mostly made it to the finish lines each day atop the team cars as spare bikes. Given the newness of the model, we're guessing team riders are gathering up more test time before committing them to competition.

This article first appeared on BikeRadar