Used to be pro bike racers had one race bike. Cobbles, climbs, time trials, flats – didn’t matter. One bike. Maybe swap on some wider tires for really rough days. Or mount a pair of TT bars for the race of truth.
Today, choice is the name of the game. Every member of the pro peloton has access to a dedicated time trial machine, and most can also choose from at least two, if not three or four road bikes.
Aero, lightweight, compliant – there’s usually a bike that focuses specifically on one of those coveted characteristics. Add it all up, and it’s a lot of bikes. Take the Tour de France, for example. Twenty-two teams, nine riders per team, two to three bikes per rider. That’s a lot of bikes. Here are some – but certainly not all – of the beautiful road racing machines that took on this year’s Tour de France.
ROAD BIKES OF THE TOUR DE FRANCE PELOTON
Ag2R-La Mondiale’s Focus Izalco Max: A stiff race machine with a claimed frame weight of just 750 grams. This is the bike that carried Frenchman Jean-Christophe Péraud to his second place position on the final Tour de France podium in Paris.
Astana’s Specialized S Works Roubaix: Vincenzo Nibali’s “shark” Tarmac got more press, but it was this Roubaix that delivered the Italian to the front of the GC pack during stage 5’s brutal ride over the cobblestones of northern France. Vibration dampening Zertz inserts in the fork and chainstay help this endurance oriented bike absorb rough road bumps.
Astana’s Specialized S Works Tarmac: Four stage wins and the overall yellow jersey — now that’s what we call a feeding frenzy. Pictured of course is the bike of one Vincenzo Nibali. The Italian piloted this bike (or a similar one painted yellow) on all but two stages of this year’s Tour. The custom graphics are a nod to Nibali’s nickname, the Shark of Messina.
Belkin’s Bianchi Oltre XR2: Call this a race bike with aero enhancements, it’s the model that carried Laurens Ten Dam and Bauke Mollema to 9th and 10th in the final overall standings.
BMC Racing’s BMC Team Machine SLR01: American Tejay van Garderen and the rest of his BMC squad could chose between this lightweight racer or the more aero BMC Time Machine TMR.
Bretagne-Seché Environnement’s Kemo KE-R8: A newcomer to the Tour de France, Kemo is Swiss-based consumer direct seller which only available in Western Europe. The flagship KE-R8 is constructed with TeXtreme, a super high modulus, lightweight composite.
Cannondale Pro Cycling’s Cannondale SuperSix EVO Hi-Mod: More precisely this is Peter Sagan’s bike. The eye’s belong to his favorite super hero, the menacing Wolverine. The bike utilizes custom geometry. It’s a size 54cm frame, but with a 57.5cm top tube, the same as what you’d find on a 58cm.
Cannondale Pro Cycling’s custom Cannondale SuperSix EVO Hi-Mod (Part 2): Sagan wasn’t the only rider to get a special bike. The rest of his teammates rode these “inner animal” race machines with custom graphics inspired by each rider’s personality. Picture here is the Lion themed bike of Kristen Koren.
Cannondale Pro Cycling’s Cannondale Synapse Carbon Hi-Mod: Like most teams at this year’s Tour de France, Cannondale Pro Cycling switched things up for stage 5, attacking the cobbles on the endurance-oriented Synapse Carbon Hi-Mod.
Cofidis’ Look 695: One of the best looking bike’s at this year’s Tour, the color scheme is inspired by the famed La Vie Claire team, which with the help of riders such as Greg LeMond dominated the sport in the 1980s. Things didn’t go quite as well this year. Cofidis was one of the race’s big underperformers, winning nary a stage.
Europcar’s Colnago V1-r: For big climbing days, this lightweight and aero racer was bike of choice for the Europcar riders. It has a claimed 835-gram frame weight and was built via a collaboration with famed Italian car maker Ferrari.
Europcar’s Colnago C60: Also in the Europcar quiver was the Colnago C60, the bike’s tube-to-lug construction means the Italian bike maker can build custom sizes for its WorldTour riders.