RIDE Media has arrived in Adelaide for the Tour Down Under. Like every year, a suite in the Hilton hotel has been converted to a photo studio to shoot the bikes of the WorldTour peloton in the first major international race of the season.
* * * * *
Team Bikes of 2016: Quick observations…
Every January new trends seem to arise. In 2015, we saw several teams building bikes with various parts and pieces left over from sponsorships gone-by or from clever component selection, trying to get the most out of their machines.
After closely inspecting six bikes this year (so far), the most notable discovery is that teams are sticking to manufacturers that were built to work together.
There has not been any SRAM/FSA/Shimano Frankensteins in 2016, just reliable choices that make the job easier for mechanics and riders alike.
Of course, there are a few exceptions. Team Katusha has switched to SRAM for 2016 – presumably to make the most of wireless E-tap shifting – but the US manufacturer is yet to come up with direct mount brakes to support the team’s Canyon Aeroad bike so Shimano will have to do.
Team Cannondale is still honouring its agreement with FSA and are using its chains rather than the more logical Shimano option. Team mechanic James Griffin told RIDE that FSA had to redesign its chains last year after, in some instances, they failed to withstand the rigours of professional cycling.
New Campagnolo EPS was spotted with some cool new features like the charge point being on the front junction box. RIDE also understands that shifting configuration will be able to be altered with the use of a phone app via Bluetooth (or something similar).
Below is a selection of photographs for RIDE’s first day in Adelaide.
Keep an eye out on social media for more TDU news in the lead up to, and during the race.
– By Jack Lynch
* * * * *