Marcel Kittel realized the dream of all pro cyclists when he crossed the line at the end of the 2013 Tour de France’s opening stage. Not only did the German rider earn the stage win but also the honor of wearing the race’s first yellow jersey.
Propelling the burly Argos-Shimano team rider to this momentous occasion was his top-end Felt F1 FRD road bike. Highlights of this speedy race rig start with frame’s construction material. Instead of the usual high-modulus carbon fiber, Felt utilizes a material called TeXtreme Spread Tow carbon fabric, which is produced by Swedish company Oxeon.
This material, which is also used in Formula 1, is created via an interlacing process that uses tape-shaped fabric instead of yarn. According to Felt, this produces thinner tube walls and reduces crimping inside the structure. The orientation of the fiber can also be tailored for different strength and stiffness requirements. The end product is a frame with a claimed weight of 750 grams.
Other features include a tapered headtube, BB30 carbon bottom bracket, internal cable routing, carbon dropouts, and CNC machined aluminum replaceable derailleur hanger.
The rest of the bike, as you might expect for a team sponsored by Shimano, is draped with a host of Shimano parts. The team was one of the first to receive the new 11-speed 9070 Dura Ace Di2 groupset. The electronic-shifting system’s battery is stashed inside the seastpost, which of course is made by PRO, a division of Shimano.
Likewise, Kittel’s saddle is a Shimano PRO Turnix model. Pedals are Shimano Dura Ace, as are the 175mm cranks, which are outfitted with an SRM power meter. Bar and steam are also by PRO, and Kittel uses satellite sprint shifters located on the drops, meaning he can change gears while sprinting out of the saddle. Wheels are Shimano Dura Ace C50 carbon tubulars wrapped with 25mm Vittoria Corsa EVO CX tires.
Here’s a tip-to-tail video look at the stage 1 winning bike.
Video Courtesy Global Cycling Network