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Yet more bikes of the Tour de France – what the pros are riding

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Radioshack team leader Lance Armstrong, of course, gets his own custom rig.

Radioshack team leader Lance Armstrong, of course, gets his own custom rig.
(Image credit: James Huang)
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Team Radioshack is mostly using Bontrager carbon wheels in this year's Tour de France.

Team Radioshack is mostly using Bontrager carbon wheels in this year's Tour de France.
(Image credit: James Huang)
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Team Radioshack handlebar ends are capped with vibration-reducing Bontrager Buzz-Kill plugs.

Team Radioshack handlebar ends are capped with vibration-reducing Bontrager Buzz-Kill plugs.
(Image credit: James Huang)
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Lance Armstrong (Team Radioshack) continues to run his levers very high on the VR-bend Bontrager bars.

Lance Armstrong (Team Radioshack) continues to run his levers very high on the VR-bend Bontrager bars.
(Image credit: James Huang)
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Sky may run a few different makes of wheels but they're all wrapped with Veloflex tires.

Sky may run a few different makes of wheels but they're all wrapped with Veloflex tires.
(Image credit: James Huang)
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Check out the lightweight alloy plug and top cap assemblies on the Sky team bikes.

Check out the lightweight alloy plug and top cap assemblies on the Sky team bikes.
(Image credit: James Huang)
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Sky team bikes feature Deda bars and stems.

Sky team bikes feature Deda bars and stems.
(Image credit: James Huang)
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Prologo saddles are scattered throughout the peloton but this cutout Nago Pas model is still quite rare.

Prologo saddles are scattered throughout the peloton but this cutout Nago Pas model is still quite rare.
(Image credit: James Huang)
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Even without frame labels, the curvy rear stays unmistakably identify this bike as a Pinarello.

Even without frame labels, the curvy rear stays unmistakably identify this bike as a Pinarello.
(Image credit: James Huang)
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UK-sourced pulleys from Ultimate Ceramic Bearings are fitted to the Sky team's Shimano Dura-Ace Di2 rear derailleurs.

UK-sourced pulleys from Ultimate Ceramic Bearings are fitted to the Sky team's Shimano Dura-Ace Di2 rear derailleurs.
(Image credit: James Huang)
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Though this bike isn't fitted as such in this image, Sky team mechanics have nonetheless glued a small magnet to the down tube for use with an SRM power meter.

Though this bike isn't fitted as such in this image, Sky team mechanics have nonetheless glued a small magnet to the down tube for use with an SRM power meter.
(Image credit: James Huang)
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Sky is running Shimano Dura-Ace Di2 across the board.

Sky is running Shimano Dura-Ace Di2 across the board.
(Image credit: James Huang)
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Radioshack bikes are equipped with SRAM Red cranks and some riders opt for the stiffer TT outer ring, too.

Radioshack bikes are equipped with SRAM Red cranks and some riders opt for the stiffer TT outer ring, too.
(Image credit: James Huang)
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Hmm, what's this, you might ask?

Hmm, what's this, you might ask?
(Image credit: James Huang)
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Team mechanics can add or subtract as many weights as needed in order to hit the magical 6.8kg mark. The added mass is low on the bike and it adds virtually zero rotating inertia, too.

Team mechanics can add or subtract as many weights as needed in order to hit the magical 6.8kg mark. The added mass is low on the bike and it adds virtually zero rotating inertia, too.
(Image credit: James Huang)
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Lance Armstrong's wheels are also decaled to match his custom paint job.

Lance Armstrong's wheels are also decaled to match his custom paint job.
(Image credit: James Huang)
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Interestingly, some Team Radioshack riders have opted for Bontrager's Evoke saddle - a model normally intended for mountain bikes.

Interestingly, some Team Radioshack riders have opted for Bontrager's Evoke saddle - a model normally intended for mountain bikes.
(Image credit: James Huang)
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All of Team Radioshack is on Look's K

All of Team Radioshack is on Look's K
(Image credit: James Huang)
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Standard Team Radioshack bikes get this bold red, black and white paint job.

Standard Team Radioshack bikes get this bold red, black and white paint job.
(Image credit: James Huang)
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Lance Armstrong's bike is shown here with SRAM's Red LTE group but he later swapped to a different rear derailleur with an oversized Berner cage.

Lance Armstrong's bike is shown here with SRAM's Red LTE group but he later swapped to a different rear derailleur with an oversized Berner cage.
(Image credit: James Huang)
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A SRAM/SRM power meter is mounted up with Red chainrings on this Team Radioshack bike.

A SRAM/SRM power meter is mounted up with Red chainrings on this Team Radioshack bike.
(Image credit: James Huang)
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Some Team Radioshack riders have decided to run o.symetric chainrings - and check out the homemade chain watcher.

Some Team Radioshack riders have decided to run o.symetric chainrings - and check out the homemade chain watcher.
(Image credit: James Huang)
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This Team Radioshack bike has a Red cassette installed but the team has mostly been using the quieter-running PG-1070 model.

This Team Radioshack bike has a Red cassette installed but the team has mostly been using the quieter-running PG-1070 model.
(Image credit: James Huang)
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Team Radioshack bikes are built with sealed Gore Ride-On cable sets throughout.

Team Radioshack bikes are built with sealed Gore Ride-On cable sets throughout.
(Image credit: James Huang)
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We're not sure this tube sculpting is functional but it's eye-catching nonetheless.

We're not sure this tube sculpting is functional but it's eye-catching nonetheless.
(Image credit: James Huang)
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Sky is running the same Pinarello Dogma frames as Caisse d'Epargne but wrapped in a more subtle black and blue scheme.

Sky is running the same Pinarello Dogma frames as Caisse d'Epargne but wrapped in a more subtle black and blue scheme.
(Image credit: James Huang)
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Wesley Sulzberger's (Francaise des Jeux) Lapierre Xelius is topped with a fi'zi:k Arione saddle.

Wesley Sulzberger's (Francaise des Jeux) Lapierre Xelius is topped with a fi'zi:k Arione saddle.
(Image credit: James Huang)
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The control wire for the Francaise des Jeux team's Shimano Dura-Ace Di2 transmission is fed into the frame on the underside of the down tube.

The control wire for the Francaise des Jeux team's Shimano Dura-Ace Di2 transmission is fed into the frame on the underside of the down tube.
(Image credit: James Huang)
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Francaise des Jeux team Lapierre frames are drilled for internal wire routing, though the exact cable path is somewhat unusual.

Francaise des Jeux team Lapierre frames are drilled for internal wire routing, though the exact cable path is somewhat unusual.
(Image credit: James Huang)
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Lapierre's top-end machine features an integrated seatmast.

Lapierre's top-end machine features an integrated seatmast.
(Image credit: James Huang)
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Shimano Dura-Ace Di2 levers are clamped around traditional-profile PRO handlebars on this Francaise des Jeux machine.

Shimano Dura-Ace Di2 levers are clamped around traditional-profile PRO handlebars on this Francaise des Jeux machine.
(Image credit: James Huang)
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Australian Francaise des Jeux rider Wesley Sulzberger sported this playful decal on his non-driveside chain stay.

Australian Francaise des Jeux rider Wesley Sulzberger sported this playful decal on his non-driveside chain stay.
(Image credit: James Huang)
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Francaise des Jeux is using Lapierre's latest Xelius carbon frames in this year's Tour de France.

Francaise des Jeux is using Lapierre's latest Xelius carbon frames in this year's Tour de France.
(Image credit: James Huang)
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Francaise des Jeux bikes are equipped with Shimano Dura-Ace cranks and pedals.

Francaise des Jeux bikes are equipped with Shimano Dura-Ace cranks and pedals.
(Image credit: James Huang)
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PRO handlebars and stems are clamped on to Easton forks on the Francaise des Jeux bikes.

PRO handlebars and stems are clamped on to Easton forks on the Francaise des Jeux bikes.
(Image credit: James Huang)
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Chain stays on Francaise des Jeux's Lapierre Xelius frames are tall but angled inwards towards the bottom.

Chain stays on Francaise des Jeux's Lapierre Xelius frames are tall but angled inwards towards the bottom.
(Image credit: James Huang)
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This isn't an attempt by Francaise des Jeux mechanics to scrape off a tire label - it's simply the result of very aggressive cornering.

This isn't an attempt by Francaise des Jeux mechanics to scrape off a tire label - it's simply the result of very aggressive cornering.
(Image credit: James Huang)
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Francaise des Jeux mechanics were trying to figure out a way to secure attach a telemetry transmitter prior to the start of the stage.

Francaise des Jeux mechanics were trying to figure out a way to secure attach a telemetry transmitter prior to the start of the stage.
(Image credit: James Huang)
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Zip-ties didn't seem too effective at first so maybe this toe strap will work better?

Zip-ties didn't seem too effective at first so maybe this toe strap will work better?
(Image credit: James Huang)
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Like HTC-Columbia, Sky doesn't limit itself to one manufacturer's wheel offerings, preferring here to lace up Shimano hubs to rims of its own choosing - these look like HEDs to us.

Like HTC-Columbia, Sky doesn't limit itself to one manufacturer's wheel offerings, preferring here to lace up Shimano hubs to rims of its own choosing - these look like HEDs to us.
(Image credit: James Huang)
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Juan Antonio Flecha (Sky) is apparently doing some saddle testing with Prologo given the 'Flecha, medium' badging beneath the shell.

Juan Antonio Flecha (Sky) is apparently doing some saddle testing with Prologo given the 'Flecha, medium' badging beneath the shell.
(Image credit: James Huang)
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And the rest choosing o.symetric's radical harmonic chainrings.

And the rest choosing o.symetric's radical harmonic chainrings.
(Image credit: James Huang)
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Sky team riders are split roughly in half over chainring preferences, with some opting for the standard Shimano rings.

Sky team riders are split roughly in half over chainring preferences, with some opting for the standard Shimano rings.
(Image credit: James Huang)
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The chain watchers on the Sky team bikes not only offer a bit of insurance against a dropped chain but also a handy strapping point for the Shimano Dura-Ace Di2 wire.

The chain watchers on the Sky team bikes not only offer a bit of insurance against a dropped chain but also a handy strapping point for the Shimano Dura-Ace Di2 wire.
(Image credit: James Huang)
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Team Sky bikes feature Shimano cassettes, usually mounted on Shimano wheels as well.

Team Sky bikes feature Shimano cassettes, usually mounted on Shimano wheels as well.
(Image credit: James Huang)
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Elite's new Sior carbon cages make another appearance at the Tour de France, this time on the bikes of Sky.

Elite's new Sior carbon cages make another appearance at the Tour de France, this time on the bikes of Sky.
(Image credit: James Huang)
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Bradley Wiggins (Sky) runs his Shimano Dura-Ace Di2 levers fairly low on the bars.

Bradley Wiggins (Sky) runs his Shimano Dura-Ace Di2 levers fairly low on the bars.
(Image credit: James Huang)
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Sky team mechanics cut the end of the bar tape clean.

Sky team mechanics cut the end of the bar tape clean.
(Image credit: James Huang)
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Tubes are gently sculpted on the Francaise des Jeux Lapierre team frames.

Tubes are gently sculpted on the Francaise des Jeux Lapierre team frames.
(Image credit: James Huang)
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Elite carbon cages are fitted to the Francaise des Jeux team bikes.

Elite carbon cages are fitted to the Francaise des Jeux team bikes.
(Image credit: James Huang)

Team Radioshack's Trek Madone 6.9

Though Trek recently introduced a new, lighter-weight 'SSL' variant of its top-end Madone 6 Series road bike, Team Radioshack is still using the standard version at this year's Tour de France – which makes sense considering the team already often has to add weights to hit the UCI-mandated 6.8kg minimum anyway.

Even without the additional 100g weight savings, Radioshack's Madone frames are still plenty light at around 950g and are stacked with modern design features, including a tapered and asymmetrical 1 1/8"-to-1 1/2" carbon steerer (that's now been slightly beefed up with additional carbon plies), an ultra-wide BB90 bottom bracket shell with direct press-fit bearings, a no-cut integrated seatmast, and clever internal cable routing, not to mention the confident and stable handling that has already carried it to multiple Tour de France overall victories.

Team bikes are outfitted with SRAM Red groups though there's obviously some leeway afforded to the riders in certain areas. Some opt for power meters while other go without; some use the standard chainrings while others prefer the stiffer time trial-specific outer ring; and others even go with O.symetric's wild harmonic chainrings instead (with blacked-out labels, of course).

Likewise, some of the team go for SRAM's steel cage option on the front derailleur while others – including team leader Lance Armstrong – stick with the standard titanium one.

Not surprisingly, much of the rest of the equipment comes from Trek subsidiary Bontrager, including bars, stems, some of the riders' saddles, and a variety of carbon and alloy wheels (with the exception of rear discs which look to come from Carbonsports).

Ensuring consistent foul weather performance are Gore Ride-On sealed cable systems throughout, tires come from Hutchinson, and all Radioshack riders are on Look KéO pedals of one variety or another in case bikes need to be swapped during a critical moment.

Even the added weights used by the team are rather clever, comprising a series of steel wedges that are inserted and secured inside the hollow crank spindle – much like an old quill stem. Wedges can easily be added or removed as needed, the weight is situated in the lowest possible location, and it contributes almost no rotational inertia.

Save for riders on the non-round chainrings, it's also worth noting that none of the team bikes are outfitted with chain watchers.

Finishing things off are Trek Bat bottle cages (which are inexpensive but light and surprisingly stout) and Bontrager Node computers with wireless speed and cadence sensors neatly integrated into the non-driveside chain stays.

Stealth black-and-blue Pinarello Dogmas for Team Sky

Team Sky riders are heading towards Paris aboard the same Pinarello Dogma frames used by Caisse d'Epargne, though with much more subdued black and blue paint jobs. Hidden beneath the stark skin, though, are the same design features of the Spanish squad's far brighter rigs.

Rather than simply go with an asymmetrical seat tube and chain stays like most manufacturers, Pinarello contends that the entirety of the bicycle frame is subject to uneven forces so the Dogma is designed as such virtually from head to toe – even including the top tube, fork blades, and seat stays.

Sky builds its Pinarello frames with Shimano Dura-Ace Di2 electronic groups throughout but hopped up with ceramic bearings from UK company Ultimate Ceramic Bearings. Di2 control wires are routed internally through the dedicated frames and many riders also opting for the top-mounted satellite rear shifter, too.

Like Radioshack, French O.symetric chainrings make an appearance here as well though in much greater numbers – Sky riders are split roughly 50-50 with only about half using the standard ultra-stiff Dura-Ace rings.

Bars and stems come from Deda, bottle cages are from Elite, and saddles are supplied by Prologo, including prototype perches for several riders such as Bradley Wiggins and Juan Antonio Flecha. Where applicable, some riders run with SRM's latest PowerControl 7 computer while others simply go without. Shimano also outfits the team with its latest carbon-bodied Dura-Ace clipless pedals.

Shimano supplies many of the team's wheels as well though Sky apparently have some wiggle room in this department as we also spotted several unlabeled carbon rims that look to come from HED, all laced to Shimano hubs. Tires are from Veloflex across the board, though.

Lapierre Xelius carbon racers for Française des Jeux

Française des Jeux has chosen to keep its frame supplier 'within the family' so to speak with Lapierre's Xelius flagship carbon road racers, said to weigh less than 900g for the bare frame but yet boasting a tapered front end (with a genuine Easton fork), press-fit bottom bracket cups, aluminum-faced carbon dropouts, an integrated seatmast, and internal cable routing throughout.


Francaise des Jeux is using Lapierre's latest Xelius carbon frames in this year's Tour de France.

Shimano provides the lion's share of the build kit, including a complete Dura-Ace Di2 electronic groups, carbon wheels of various depths, and the company's latest carbon-bodied pedals. Componentry arm PRO gets into the game, too, covering the team's bars, stems, seatmast heads, and computers.

Wrapping things up are fi'zi:k saddles, Elite bottle cages, and Hutchinson tires.