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Tour de France tech: Time trial gear, part 1

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Team Sky's Pinarello Bolide comes with these specific electronic shifters and brake levers built in to the bars, leaving the team mechanics to strip the standard Di2 components of their workings and reattach to the bike - not a job for your average home mechanic!

Team Sky's Pinarello Bolide comes with these specific electronic shifters and brake levers built in to the bars, leaving the team mechanics to strip the standard Di2 components of their workings and reattach to the bike - not a job for your average home mechanic!
(Image credit: Robin Wilmott / Immediate Media)
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Geraint Thomas's Stages badged Garmin head unit and a blacked out K-Edge TT bar clamp

Geraint Thomas's Stages badged Garmin head unit and a blacked out K-Edge TT bar clamp
(Image credit: Robin Wilmott / Immediate Media)
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AG2R's GC contenders Bardet and Peraud would be attacking the long time trial on the Focus Izalco Chrono

AG2R's GC contenders Bardet and Peraud would be attacking the long time trial on the Focus Izalco Chrono
(Image credit: Robin Wilmott / Immediate Media)
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This machine featured a Bryton badged SRM head unit, Profile TT bars and Campagnolo Record EPS TT shifters

This machine featured a Bryton badged SRM head unit, Profile TT bars and Campagnolo Record EPS TT shifters
(Image credit: Robin Wilmott / Immediate Media)
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Christophe Riblon's spare bike was last year's Focus Chrono

Christophe Riblon's spare bike was last year's Focus Chrono
(Image credit: Robin Wilmott / Immediate Media)
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Team Giant Shimano were all equipped with the Giant Trinity, and running old 5-arm Dura-Ace cranks

Team Giant Shimano were all equipped with the Giant Trinity, and running old 5-arm Dura-Ace cranks
(Image credit: Robin Wilmott / Immediate Media)
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A well-used PRO Aerofuel TT saddle on one of Giant Shimano's machines

A well-used PRO Aerofuel TT saddle on one of Giant Shimano's machines
(Image credit: Robin Wilmott / Immediate Media)
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The front brake noodle on the Trinity takes a slightly awkward route, and the wrapped-up Di2 cables sit extremely close to the front tyre

The front brake noodle on the Trinity takes a slightly awkward route, and the wrapped-up Di2 cables sit extremely close to the front tyre
(Image credit: Robin Wilmott / Immediate Media)
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his Europcar Colnage K-Zero doesn't have the tidiest cockpit arrangement

his Europcar Colnage K-Zero doesn't have the tidiest cockpit arrangement
(Image credit: Robin Wilmott / Immediate Media)
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But it does feature Campagnolo's fantastic Bora Ultra carbon TT crank

But it does feature Campagnolo's fantastic Bora Ultra carbon TT crank
(Image credit: Robin Wilmott / Immediate Media)
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A rusty seat-clamp bolt; Ernesto wouldn't approve

A rusty seat-clamp bolt; Ernesto wouldn't approve
(Image credit: Robin Wilmott / Immediate Media)
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The underside of Michele Scarponi's Specialized Sitero TT saddle

The underside of Michele Scarponi's Specialized Sitero TT saddle
(Image credit: Robin Wilmott / Immediate Media)
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The top view shows the stubby, wide-nosed shape

The top view shows the stubby, wide-nosed shape
(Image credit: Robin Wilmott / Immediate Media)
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Scarponi's spare Shiv was quite unusual with a Corima 4-spoke rear wheel, and 3-spoke front

Scarponi's spare Shiv was quite unusual with a Corima 4-spoke rear wheel, and 3-spoke front
(Image credit: Robin Wilmott / Immediate Media)
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The prototype saddle is based on the Tritone, with the same outline, but a much shallower central channel

The prototype saddle is based on the Tritone, with the same outline, but a much shallower central channel
(Image credit: Robin Wilmott / Immediate Media)
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Richie Porte was using a prototype Fizik TT saddle on both of his TT race bikes

Richie Porte was using a prototype Fizik TT saddle on both of his TT race bikes
(Image credit: Robin Wilmott / Immediate Media)
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Direct drive turbo trainers have caught on amongst many of the World Tour teams. Sky use the Wahoo Fitness Kickr

Direct drive turbo trainers have caught on amongst many of the World Tour teams. Sky use the Wahoo Fitness Kickr
(Image credit: Robin Wilmott / Immediate Media)
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Presumably Bernie Eisel was filming the new Jaguar F-Type TT chase car behind him

Presumably Bernie Eisel was filming the new Jaguar F-Type TT chase car behind him
(Image credit: Robin Wilmott / Immediate Media)
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Preparing BMC's TM01 machines and keeping their top tube flags theme going for the time trial

Preparing BMC's TM01 machines and keeping their top tube flags theme going for the time trial
(Image credit: Robin Wilmott / Immediate Media)
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Three bikes, three flags, three very unique setups

Three bikes, three flags, three very unique setups
(Image credit: Robin Wilmott / Immediate Media)
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There were almost as many variants of TT saddle on display as riders. This new Fizik Ares has grippy dots on the forward section

There were almost as many variants of TT saddle on display as riders. This new Fizik Ares has grippy dots on the forward section
(Image credit: Robin Wilmott / Immediate Media)
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Fizik's TT specific Tritone appeared on a few rigs

Fizik's TT specific Tritone appeared on a few rigs
(Image credit: Robin Wilmott / Immediate Media)
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Sky's TT warm up cheat sheet for their riders was taped to the side of the bus in the warm up area

Sky's TT warm up cheat sheet for their riders was taped to the side of the bus in the warm up area
(Image credit: Robin Wilmott / Immediate Media)
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Alongside it were details for the day's schedule and following cars for each rider

Alongside it were details for the day's schedule and following cars for each rider
(Image credit: Robin Wilmott / Immediate Media)
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Three of Sky's Pinarello Bolides had a new tri spoke PRO front wheel. Sky only have 7 of them, and they're so new, they were unsure of the wheel's name

Three of Sky's Pinarello Bolides had a new tri spoke PRO front wheel. Sky only have 7 of them, and they're so new, they were unsure of the wheel's name
(Image credit: Robin Wilmott / Immediate Media)
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The new rim is considerably wider than that of the trispoke HED wheels Sky have use up until now, and we'd say it's similar in width to Zipp's Firecrest. Sky's mechanics had to trim the brake pads down to fit.

The new rim is considerably wider than that of the trispoke HED wheels Sky have use up until now, and we'd say it's similar in width to Zipp's Firecrest. Sky's mechanics had to trim the brake pads down to fit.
(Image credit: Robin Wilmott / Immediate Media)
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Each of the wheels had a hand written number common among prototype equipment

Each of the wheels had a hand written number common among prototype equipment
(Image credit: Robin Wilmott / Immediate Media)
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Geraint Thomas uses some very lengthy arm rests and a pair of single button Di2 shifters that operate the rear mech only

Geraint Thomas uses some very lengthy arm rests and a pair of single button Di2 shifters that operate the rear mech only
(Image credit: Robin Wilmott / Immediate Media)
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The ultra clean lines of the Bolide's cockpit are at odds with the hand cut rubber used for the arm rests

The ultra clean lines of the Bolide's cockpit are at odds with the hand cut rubber used for the arm rests
(Image credit: Robin Wilmott / Immediate Media)
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A very neat setup on Trek Factory Racing's Gregory Rast's Speed Concept, with a single riser supporting the proprietary TT extensions

A very neat setup on Trek Factory Racing's Gregory Rast's Speed Concept, with a single riser supporting the proprietary TT extensions
(Image credit: Robin Wilmott / Immediate Media)
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n equally successful positioning of the Di2 control box behind the riser

n equally successful positioning of the Di2 control box behind the riser
(Image credit: Robin Wilmott / Immediate Media)
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All of the teams have their ways of trying to keep warming up riders as cool as possible, FDJ go for the large fans approach

All of the teams have their ways of trying to keep warming up riders as cool as possible, FDJ go for the large fans approach
(Image credit: Robin Wilmott / Immediate Media)
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Elite's Turbo Muin direct drive turbo trainer is FDJ's warm up tool

Elite's Turbo Muin direct drive turbo trainer is FDJ's warm up tool
(Image credit: Robin Wilmott / Immediate Media)
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This Omega Pharma-Quickstep rider has chosen to have grip tape on the flats as well as the usual hand holds, and surely the only way of fitting a Garmin to that mount is by loosening and rotating it first.

This Omega Pharma-Quickstep rider has chosen to have grip tape on the flats as well as the usual hand holds, and surely the only way of fitting a Garmin to that mount is by loosening and rotating it first.
(Image credit: Robin Wilmott / Immediate Media)
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Time trial stage winner Tony Martin's Specialized Shiv TT makes the most of his World TT Champion status

Time trial stage winner Tony Martin's Specialized Shiv TT makes the most of his World TT Champion status
(Image credit: Robin Wilmott / Immediate Media)
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The S-Works crank includes a Quark power meter and monstrous 58 tooth outer chain ring. That's a long cage SRAM Red rear mech too

The S-Works crank includes a Quark power meter and monstrous 58 tooth outer chain ring. That's a long cage SRAM Red rear mech too
(Image credit: Robin Wilmott / Immediate Media)
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Martin's grip tape has been very carefully applied to the hand holds, which is useful to cope with his power output

Martin's grip tape has been very carefully applied to the hand holds, which is useful to cope with his power output
(Image credit: Robin Wilmott / Immediate Media)
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Specialized Turbo Cotton 24c "for the connoisseur". Or, for the sponsored rider

Specialized Turbo Cotton 24c "for the connoisseur". Or, for the sponsored rider
(Image credit: Robin Wilmott / Immediate Media)
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Anything Katusha's mechanics can do… Fine use of a Specialized bar end plug too, even if it is inverted

Anything Katusha's mechanics can do… Fine use of a Specialized bar end plug too, even if it is inverted
(Image credit: Robin Wilmott / Immediate Media)
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Martin's cockpit setup shows his narrow arm placing and older mechanical shifters, rather than SRAM's return to centre model

Martin's cockpit setup shows his narrow arm placing and older mechanical shifters, rather than SRAM's return to centre model
(Image credit: Robin Wilmott / Immediate Media)
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Martin's customised Specialized saddle has grippy material cut in to the surface. It must suit Tony Martin's phenomenal ability, but it looks like it'd soon wear out an expensive lycra skinsuit

Martin's customised Specialized saddle has grippy material cut in to the surface. It must suit Tony Martin's phenomenal ability, but it looks like it'd soon wear out an expensive lycra skinsuit
(Image credit: Robin Wilmott / Immediate Media)
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The World Champion's Shiv is no ordinary time trial machine, with an 11-32 WiFli cassette fitted along with the long cage Red rear derailleur

The World Champion's Shiv is no ordinary time trial machine, with an 11-32 WiFli cassette fitted along with the long cage Red rear derailleur
(Image credit: Robin Wilmott / Immediate Media)
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Lampre-Merida's riders have the Warp TT machine, and apart from Chris Horner's pink-tipped fork, more uniformity than many team's TT rigs

Lampre-Merida's riders have the Warp TT machine, and apart from Chris Horner's pink-tipped fork, more uniformity than many team's TT rigs
(Image credit: Robin Wilmott / Immediate Media)
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Spare Rotor TT-sized chain rings and Shimano rear cassettes anyone?

Spare Rotor TT-sized chain rings and Shimano rear cassettes anyone?
(Image credit: Robin Wilmott / Immediate Media)
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oaquin Rodriguez even has a personalised name plate on the back of his Selle Italia Kronos

oaquin Rodriguez even has a personalised name plate on the back of his Selle Italia Kronos
(Image credit: Robin Wilmott / Immediate Media)
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The net result is a very smooth looking cockpit, only mildly spoiled by the Di2 control on the inside of the extension

The net result is a very smooth looking cockpit, only mildly spoiled by the Di2 control on the inside of the extension
(Image credit: Robin Wilmott / Immediate Media)
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Garmin Sharp warmed up on their every day race bikes rather than their P5s

Garmin Sharp warmed up on their every day race bikes rather than their P5s
(Image credit: Robin Wilmott / Immediate Media)
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The team use Shimano Di2, but on the P5 time trial bikes, they run Magura's RT8TT hydraulic rim brakes which don't incorporate electric shifters. So the team mechanics stick the shifting buttons from Shimano's TT brake/shift levers to the inside of the Magura brake levers

The team use Shimano Di2, but on the P5 time trial bikes, they run Magura's RT8TT hydraulic rim brakes which don't incorporate electric shifters. So the team mechanics stick the shifting buttons from Shimano's TT brake/shift levers to the inside of the Magura brake levers
(Image credit: Robin Wilmott / Immediate Media)
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This lever has sticky foam pads bonding the shifter in place

This lever has sticky foam pads bonding the shifter in place
(Image credit: Robin Wilmott / Immediate Media)
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Whereas this lever looks to have something like epoxy resin fixing the shifter

Whereas this lever looks to have something like epoxy resin fixing the shifter
(Image credit: Robin Wilmott / Immediate Media)
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A very neat Di2 cable run, control box mount, Garmin mount, and presumably the electrical tape is wrapped around the TT extension tightening nuts to save them from scratching when tightening with a wrench

A very neat Di2 cable run, control box mount, Garmin mount, and presumably the electrical tape is wrapped around the TT extension tightening nuts to save them from scratching when tightening with a wrench
(Image credit: Robin Wilmott / Immediate Media)
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Garmin's Vector pedals were back in use for the TT, here fitted to a Rotor 3D+ crank and Q Rings

Garmin's Vector pedals were back in use for the TT, here fitted to a Rotor 3D+ crank and Q Rings
(Image credit: Robin Wilmott / Immediate Media)
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Super tight front tyre clearance and the Magura brake help the P5's aerodynamics

Super tight front tyre clearance and the Magura brake help the P5's aerodynamics
(Image credit: Robin Wilmott / Immediate Media)
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This Arundel bottle cage shows the remains of some sticky foam that was still on some other bikes to help with bottle retention

This Arundel bottle cage shows the remains of some sticky foam that was still on some other bikes to help with bottle retention
(Image credit: Robin Wilmott / Immediate Media)
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Katusha's mechanics are amongst the most creative, here fitting an SRM mount designed for round bars to a home made clamp

Katusha's mechanics are amongst the most creative, here fitting an SRM mount designed for round bars to a home made clamp
(Image credit: Robin Wilmott / Immediate Media)
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oaquin Rodriguez ran a standard but very clean looking Canyon Speedmax CF with a Mavic Comete disc and CXR80 front wheel

oaquin Rodriguez ran a standard but very clean looking Canyon Speedmax CF with a Mavic Comete disc and CXR80 front wheel
(Image credit: Robin Wilmott / Immediate Media)
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Rodriguez's saddle was a Selle Italia Kronos with carbon tail

Rodriguez's saddle was a Selle Italia Kronos with carbon tail
(Image credit: Robin Wilmott / Immediate Media)
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The Mavic CXR80 wheel is designed to have clip in fairings that fill the gap between tyre and rim, but since these are banned by the UCI, the Katusha mechanics fill the space with black mastic instead

The Mavic CXR80 wheel is designed to have clip in fairings that fill the gap between tyre and rim, but since these are banned by the UCI, the Katusha mechanics fill the space with black mastic instead
(Image credit: Robin Wilmott / Immediate Media)
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Another neat SRM fix accomplished by shaping the mount to fit, and using a single bolt in to the handlebar

Another neat SRM fix accomplished by shaping the mount to fit, and using a single bolt in to the handlebar
(Image credit: Robin Wilmott / Immediate Media)
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Chris Horner's Vision TT extensions, Prologo tape and Dura-Ace Di2 shifters. We're not sure if the spider is UCI-legal though…

Chris Horner's Vision TT extensions, Prologo tape and Dura-Ace Di2 shifters. We're not sure if the spider is UCI-legal though…
(Image credit: Robin Wilmott / Immediate Media)

This article was originally published on BikeRadar.

With just one time trial in the 2014 Tour de France, the teams had only one opportunity to debut and show off their latest speed bikes and kit. We visited each of the 22 teams before to bring you the best of what’s new, exciting and ingenious in the world of time trialing.

In part one of our TT gallery, we look at prototype wheels and saddles, some cunning fixes, and an arachnid passenger…