The Cannondale-Drapac team used disc-brake equipped time trial bikes for the opening team time trial at Tirreno-Adriatico on Wednesday, becoming the first major team to use the braking technology in time trials.
It is unlikely that the disc brakes gave any kind of advantage on the fast 22.7km out-and-back course, with riders probably only touching the brakes before four corners at the turning point of the race. However, UCI rules for the disc brake trial include time trial bikes, so Cannondale-Drapac opted to debut the new braking technology on the new Cannondale Super Slice time trial bike.
The team did not enjoy a great day, however, finishing 16th of the 22 teams, 1:17 slower than winner BMC Racing.
Cannondale did not release any details on the bike, and team staff was unable to offer any information. However, Cyclingnews was allowed to take a gallery of photos and have a quick look at the bike and the brakes.
The Super Slice is the latest evolution of Cannondale's time trial bike and clearly has a more evolved aerodynamic design. The head tube and the bottom bracket area are oversized to improve aerodynamics and rigidity. Wheel clearances were tight, with the rear stays tucked in low on the seat tube. The frame design and tubes shapes mean the seat post sits almost vertically into the frame, with an aero clamping system in the tube.
The handlebars are clamped to the frame via an aero unit to reduce drag, with bottle bosses on both the top tube and low on the down tube. The down tube has a slight flattening to help smooth the airflow around the bottle, much like the new Pinarello F10 and a few other models.
The rather bulky disc brakes are cable-actuated and from TRP, with 160mm rotors. The edges of the disc rotors are flattened as per UCI requirements, while the hubs have thru-axels front and back. The cable to the front brake enters the fork just above the wheel and emerges on the inside of the fork near the disc brake.
The bikes are equipped with Mavic wheels. The deep section front wheel seems to be some kind of prototype, while the rear is a standard Mavic disc wheel. The US-registered team also uses Mavic tyres.
The aerobars are from Vision, gears are by Shimano, while the chainset is from Cannondale and fitted with an FSA aero chainring and combined with an SRM power metre. Cannondale-Drapac use fi'zi:k saddles.