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Tour tech: SRAM delivers special Red LTE groups

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The SRAM Red LTE group is functionally identical to the standard package aside from the special graphics.

The SRAM Red LTE group is functionally identical to the standard package aside from the special graphics.
(Image credit: James Huang)
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Bolting the SRAM Red LTE group on an all-black bike definitely makes for a striking aesthetic.

Bolting the SRAM Red LTE group on an all-black bike definitely makes for a striking aesthetic.
(Image credit: James Huang)
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SRAM will again equip its top Tour de France riders with a specially finished Red group, only this time it will also be available to the public come September.

SRAM will again equip its top Tour de France riders with a specially finished Red group, only this time it will also be available to the public come September.
(Image credit: James Huang)
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There will also be special markings in addition to the bright yellow graphics.

There will also be special markings in addition to the bright yellow graphics.
(Image credit: James Huang)
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The rear derailleur mounting bolt gets unique laser etching.

The rear derailleur mounting bolt gets unique laser etching.
(Image credit: James Huang)
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The levers remain carbon fibre but the 'SRAM' logo is now yellow and enlarged on the blades.

The levers remain carbon fibre but the 'SRAM' logo is now yellow and enlarged on the blades.
(Image credit: James Huang)

SRAM-equipped riders in this year's Tour de France will include four past winners - Alberto Contador (Astana), Carlos Sastre (Cervélo TestTeam) and Lance Armstrong (Team Radioshack) - and the Chicago-based company will again celebrate the occasion with a specially finished Red component group for each of them.

Last year's white graphics treatment will be replaced with yellow this time around and all of the group's usual silver bits are now anodized black. Special etching is featured on the rear derailleur mounting bolt, too, and the press-on cassette backing plate is black as well.

One critical difference from past special editions, however, is consumer availability as SRAM will now offer this Limited Tour Edition set to the public, from September. Though functionally equivalent to standard Red packages, the limited edition graphics package will nonetheless command around a 10 percent price premium - putting it right around US$2,500 for a complete group.

According to SRAM road PR and media manager Michael Zellman, production won't be limited in terms of numbers but rather time, with production of the Limited Tour Edition Red groups slated to cease in June (2011).