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Historic first: A double-disc Tour de France time trial bike

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Cannondale-Drapac's Alberto Bettiol is remarkable in his use of mechanical disc brakes on a Tour de France time triai bike

Cannondale-Drapac's Alberto Bettiol is remarkable in his use of mechanical disc brakes on a Tour de France time triai bike
(Image credit: Ben Delaney/Immediate Media)
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56t on the SuperSlice

56t on the SuperSlice
(Image credit: Ben Delaney/Immediate Media)
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Mechanics don't skimp on grease for Bettiol's thru-axles

Mechanics don't skimp on grease for Bettiol's thru-axles
(Image credit: Ben Delaney/Immediate Media)
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Ceramic Speed bearings are commonplace in the pro peloton for drag reduction

Ceramic Speed bearings are commonplace in the pro peloton for drag reduction
(Image credit: Ben Delaney/Immediate Media)
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Bettiol probably won't need to bolt on a triathlon-style Bento box for a 14km time trial

Bettiol probably won't need to bolt on a triathlon-style Bento box for a 14km time trial
(Image credit: Ben Delaney/Immediate Media)
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Shimano's Di2 junction box zip-tied in place

Shimano's Di2 junction box zip-tied in place
(Image credit: Ben Delaney/Immediate Media)
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Shimano Di2 has been a blessing for time trial bikes, offering easy, friction-free shifting from both the cowhorns and the extensions

Shimano Di2 has been a blessing for time trial bikes, offering easy, friction-free shifting from both the cowhorns and the extensions
(Image credit: Ben Delaney/Immediate Media)
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Bettiol uses a mix of 3T hardware and Garmin's rubber bands to mount his computer

Bettiol uses a mix of 3T hardware and Garmin's rubber bands to mount his computer
(Image credit: Ben Delaney/Immediate Media)
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Many pro mechanics have at least one if not two points of reference marked on riders' saddles for fit measurements

Many pro mechanics have at least one if not two points of reference marked on riders' saddles for fit measurements
(Image credit: Ben Delaney/Immediate Media)
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Cannondale mechanics take care to mark saddle and seatpost adjustments for quick visual checks that everything is where it needs to be

Cannondale mechanics take care to mark saddle and seatpost adjustments for quick visual checks that everything is where it needs to be
(Image credit: Ben Delaney/Immediate Media)
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Although not as extreme as Tony Martin's grip tape, Fizik offers traction patches on its Ares TT saddle

Although not as extreme as Tony Martin's grip tape, Fizik offers traction patches on its Ares TT saddle
(Image credit: Ben Delaney/Immediate Media)
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Super Slice!

Super Slice!
(Image credit: Ben Delaney/Immediate Media)
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Bettiol's disc-disc bike isn't light

Bettiol's disc-disc bike isn't light
(Image credit: Ben Delaney/Immediate Media)
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Cannondale riders gave up hiding their use of SRM power meters, but a few still use Garmin Vector pedals without the pods

Cannondale riders gave up hiding their use of SRM power meters, but a few still use Garmin Vector pedals without the pods
(Image credit: Ben Delaney/Immediate Media)
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Bettiol's teammate Taylor Phinney is racing a standard rim-brake Slice for the time trial, but with the same Mavic disc-brake disc wheel

Bettiol's teammate Taylor Phinney is racing a standard rim-brake Slice for the time trial, but with the same Mavic disc-brake disc wheel
(Image credit: Ben Delaney/Immediate Media)
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Cannondale uses TRP Spyre calipers front and rear

Cannondale uses TRP Spyre calipers front and rear
(Image credit: Ben Delaney/Immediate Media)
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Mavic's deep Comete Pro Carbon SL Disc wheel

Mavic's deep Comete Pro Carbon SL Disc wheel
(Image credit: Ben Delaney/Immediate Media)
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Hydraulic calipers are state of the art for road and mountain bikes, but Shimano doesn't yet make a hydraulic TT lever, so Cannondale uses mechanical

Hydraulic calipers are state of the art for road and mountain bikes, but Shimano doesn't yet make a hydraulic TT lever, so Cannondale uses mechanical
(Image credit: Ben Delaney/Immediate Media)
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Bettiol probably won't be drinking much in a 14km time trial

Bettiol probably won't be drinking much in a 14km time trial
(Image credit: Ben Delaney/Immediate Media)

This article originally appeared on BikeRadar

Alberto Bettiol didn't win the opening time trial of the Tour de France, but he made history as the first rider to race a Tour time trial on disc brakes with his Cannondale Super Slice.

Bettiol's Cannondale-Drapac squad debuted the Super Slice in professional racing at Tirreno-Adriatico earlier this year.

While hydraulic systems are the standard for top-end disc braking for road and mountain bikes, Cannondale's Super Slice bikes use mechanical discs. The reason is fairly straightforward, Cannondale mechanics say: Shimano does not yet make a hydraulic lever for TT bikes.

Bettiol was the only Cannondale rider on the disc-equipped Super Slice; the rest of his teammates were on the lighter rim-brake Slice models, Cannondale mechanics said.

Curiously, some of those racing Slice bikes have Mavic disc rim-brake wheels with disc-brake hubs. Mavic supplied the team with rim-brake and disc-brake wheels, including a few clincher wheels (instead of the traditional tubulars), because Mavic has a new prototype clincher tire that is claims to be fast and grippy.

While the extra weight of the mechanical disc set-up won't help Bettiol in the Tour de France stage 1 time trial, he does have something going for him: A sticker of a little pizza slice wearing a heroic red cape hides on the back of his Super Slice fork. (Get it?)

Click through the gallery above for a closer look at Bettiol's Super Slice