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MTB Tech We’ve Spotted at the 2020 Tour de France

MTB Tech We’ve Spotted at the 2020 Tour de France 2020-09-20Leave a comment

electrical bike MTB Tech We have Noticed on the 2020 Tour de France

Whereas top-level racing is a hotbed of recent know-how and recent concepts in mountain biking, that does not are usually the case in skilled highway biking. A mix of UCI guidelines, traditions and riders fearing the worth of failure of an experimental setup, it is a slow-moving world. Evaluating the mountain bikes of 20 years in the past to as we speak would make you suppose you are taking a look at a distinct sport, whereas in highway biking you’d in all probability simply discover the seatstays now meet the downtube a bit decrease.

It is also a reasonably secretive world with mechanics within the professional peloton reluctant to present away any details about the working of their bikes, in an effort to preserve different groups from benefiting, so it may be arduous to identify the brand new tech when it does arrive. That being mentioned, we have positively observed mountain biking’s affect on highway biking in recent times, so we thought we might check out what’s taking place within the peloton this yr that may be traced again to the MTB world.

XTR rotors

Even if the rim brakes of the Jumbo Visma group are at present in pole place within the race, disc brakes on peloton bikes are extra widespread than ever earlier than. This can be a know-how that has been adopted and tailored for highway bikes over the course of the final decade however even this yr we’re seeing some tech plucked instantly from mountain bikes and positioned on Tour bikes.

The Mitchelton-Scott and Deceuninck-Fast-Step groups are operating full Dura Ace Di2 groupsets aside from one part, the brake rotors, the place they’re operating XTR. XTR goes all the way down to 140mm so becoming them is a straightforward swap over, however the query is, why? We have learn a lot of theories from biking web sites, however the reality is, no one appears to know for positive.

The first concept comes all the way down to weight. The 140mm XTR rotor is 11 grams lighter than its Dura Ace equal, which can not sound like a lot however remember we’re within the realm of marginal beneficial properties and it is rotational weight as effectively. Different theories are that the bigger cooling fins of the Dura Ace will likely be extra affected by crosswinds or that the XTR could have larger braking perormance, particularly within the moist, due to the bigger holes drilled into the braking floor of the rim.

Regardless of the case, it appears to be working for the DQS group with two stage wins beneath their belt and Sam Bennet poised to clinch the Inexperienced Jersey in Paris on Sunday.

Dropper Posts

Mavic impartial help vehicles cling behind the peloton and are there to supply help to riders on any group when their group vehicles can’t attain them.

Every Mavic automobile can carry six bikes however that has beforehand left them unable to offer a wonderfully becoming bike for the riders they’re making an attempt to suit.

To treatment that, the model has been utilizing dropper posts to assist riders with their roadside bike suits since 2017. This yr, as reported by Velo News, Mavic commissioned KS to design customized 27.2mm droppers which have 65mm of journey and levers situated beneath the seat.

Mavic will apparently full the bike swap on the roadside after which a Mavic workers member will instruct the rider on easy methods to use the seat from the automobile after the rider units off.

Tubeless set ups

Because the saying goes within the highway biking world, “tubeless for amateurs, tubulars for professionals”. Whereas the advantages of tubeless tires are effectively confirmed, professional cyclists have a tendency to stay to tubulars for his or her familiarity and the larger safety in the event that they do get a puncture in the midst of an enormous group of riders. An essential distinction right here is that we’re speaking about tubulars, not interior tubes right here – tubulars are a tire and tube in a single that’s glued on to a flatter rim, which suggests even with a puncture you will proceed driving on rubber, not on the rim.

Tubeless did not make their debut at this yr’s tour as they have been on sure riders’ time trial bikes, however it’s the primary time that we expect we have seen a lot of riders utilizing tubeless set ups on their common bikes. Crew UAE Emirates introduced in February they’d be driving tubeless tires all yr and picked up the opening stage win due to Alexander Kristoff driving Campagnolo Bora WTO 45 tubeless wheels with Vittoria Corsa tubeless tires. Kristoff has been one of many strongest advocates of tubeless within the peloton and final yr gained Gent-Wevelgem and completed third on the Tour of Flanders utilizing tubeless tires. Elsewhere, Italian and European champion Giacomo Nizzolo is reported to be using Vittoria Corsa G2.0 TLR tubeless tires on Enve 5.6 tubeless wheels on sure phases.


The place tubeless wheels go, inserts cannot be far behind. As reported by CyclingTips following a latest episode of The Cycling Podcast, not solely are the Training First group experimenting on operating tubeless with no sealant (like some XC racers) however in addition they appear to be utilizing a kind of froth in its tires to assist if a riders flats in the midst of a stage.

Jac-Johann Steyn, one of many group’s mechanics, mentioned, “We’ve, I name it like a sponge inside. I can’t go into element about it as a result of it’s all the time a secret to different groups, however yeah, that’s principally our security and you’ll nonetheless experience it… it virtually feels such as you’ve obtained like two bars (approx 30psi) in your tires so you may nonetheless experience with it wherever you should go… It’s that can assist you get to some level the place you will get a brand new wheel. And it’s additionally a security factor, when you don’t use that foam insert and the tire’s deflated, and it comes off, it’s possible you’ll crash.”

There isn’t any phrase on what ‘sponge’ the group is utilizing though we suspect it is one thing customized as we’re not conscious of any model that at present makes inserts for highway tires… Plus, how arduous can it’s to design your individual model of a closed foam hoop? We’re not even positive if the froth made it to the Tour ultimately, however it’s clearly one other instance of highway biking seeking to mountain biking for its tech.

Different Traits

Wider tires

As mountain bike tires have gotten wider so have highway bike tires too. Whereas 23mm was beforehand king, with some riders taking place to 21mm or narrower, riders have begun to comprehend the additional consolation of going a bit wider would not equal a price of nice rolling resistance. Due to that, we have seen most riders within the peloton exit to 25mm and even wider to 28mm in some circumstances.

Off-road abilities

Okay, so this one is perhaps a bit spurious, however the three breakout riders from this yr’s Tour, Wout Van Aert, Sep Kuss and Marc Hirschi, all have one factor in widespread, an off-road background. Van Aert is 3x Cyclocross World Champion and Kuss and Hirschi each began out mountain biking of their youth, with Kuss successful races on the Collegiate Nationals whereas on the College of Colorado. Possibly it is the superior bike dealing with or an additional dose of explosive energy, however there’s clearly one thing that off highway driving can carry to the skillset of a highway bicycle owner to assist them excel on the sport.

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