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It's all about aerodynamics in the peloton these days...

There are loads of different wheels on display at the Tour de France, riders making their selection according to the type of stage they’re riding, the terrain and the conditions they’ll face. 

Tour Tech 2017 - Chris Froome Dura-Ace C60 wheels - 1.jpg

Tour Tech 2017 - Chris Froome Dura-Ace C60 wheels - 1.jpg

Mid to deep-section rims have become increasingly popular over recent years as teams focus more on aerodynamics, and it’s now unusual to see anything less than about 35mm.

Tour Tech 2017 - Chris Froome Dura-Ace C60 wheels - 2.jpg

Tour Tech 2017 - Chris Froome Dura-Ace C60 wheels - 2.jpg

Not surprisingly given the number of teams Shimano sponsors, Dura-Ace wheels are everywhere in the pro peloton. This is Chris Froome’s Pinarello Dogma F10 fitted with C60s, the 60 referring to the rim depth in millimetres. Shimano’s official weights for the tubular versions are 666g (front) and 830g (rear).

Tour Tech 2017 - Geraint Thomas Dura-Ace C40 front wheel - 1.jpg

Tour Tech 2017 - Geraint Thomas Dura-Ace C40 front wheel - 1.jpg

Geraint Thomas, who has now left the race due to injury, had the C40s on this bike. Despite the name, the rims on these are actually 37mm deep. They’re a little lighter at 637g (front) and 747g (rear).

Tour Tech 2017- Trek Segafredo Bontrager wheels - 1.jpg

Tour Tech 2017- Trek Segafredo Bontrager wheels - 1.jpg

The Emonda is Trek’s superlight race bike and this one from the Trek Segafredo fleet is fitted with fairly deep section Bontrager Aeolus wheels.

This is one of Peter Sagan’s Tarmacs fitted with mid-depth Roval CLX 50 wheels, Roval being Specialized’s wheels brand. The wheelset weighs sub-1,400g and uses CeramicSpeed bearings. 

Tour Tech 2017 - Sagan Roval wheels world champ - 1.jpg

Tour Tech 2017 - Sagan Roval wheels world champ - 1.jpg

Sagan was rocking deeper section Roval CLX 64s decorated with world champion stripes at the team presentation in Dusseldorf.

Tour Tech 2017 - Fabio Sabatini Roval wheel - 1.jpg

Tour Tech 2017 - Fabio Sabatini Roval wheel - 1.jpg

The CLX 50s seem to be the most popular choice among the Specialized sponsored teams: Bora-Hansgrohe and Quick Step. Here they are again on Fabio Sabatini’s Venge, for example.

kittel roval wheel - 1.jpg

kittel roval wheel - 1.jpg

And Marcel Kittel uses the disc brake version.

Find out more about Roval CLX 50 wheels here. 

Tour Tech 2017 - Enve 3.4 - 1.jpg

Tour Tech 2017 - Enve 3.4 - 1.jpg

Dimension Data use wheels from Enve. The SES 3.4, designed to be a climbing wheel that also offers an aerodynamic advantage, is a popular choice among the team. 

Tour Tech 2017- Dimension Data Enve wheels different depths f and r - 1.jpg

Tour Tech 2017- Dimension Data Enve wheels different depths f and r - 1.jpg

Reinardt Janse van Rensburg has here gone for an SES 3.4 on the front and a deeper section SES 4.5 at the rear.

cavendish enve - 1.jpg

cavendish enve - 1.jpg

It looks like Mark Cavendish, who has now crashed out of the race, was doing the same on this training ride ahead of the start.

Tour Tech 2017- Aru front wheel - 1.jpg

Tour Tech 2017- Aru front wheel - 1.jpg

Astana use wheels from French brand Corima.

Tour Tech 2017- Aru Corima wheels - 1.jpg

Tour Tech 2017- Aru Corima wheels - 1.jpg

This is Fabio Aru’s Argon 18 Gallium Pro fitted with MCC S+ wheels. They’re full-carbon with 32mm deep rims. 

Tour Tech 2017 - Corima QR - 1.jpg

Tour Tech 2017 - Corima QR - 1.jpg

Even the quick release lever is carbon. It’s the little things that count!

mavic wheel - 1.jpg

mavic wheel - 1.jpg

AG2R now rides Factor bikes fitted with Mavic wheels. These are Cosmic Ultimates with full-carbon 40mm deep rims. The spokes are carbon too, as is the front hub body. This all drops the weight down to a claimed 1,250g for the wheelset (555g front, 695g rear). The Cosmic Ultimate is the wheel that you’ll see used most frequently by Mavic sponsored pro teams because of its light weight and a depth that’s suitable for a variety of terrains and conditions.

Check out our guide to Mavic’s 2017 road wheel range. 

Tour Tech 2017- Marcel Sieberg Campag Bora - 1.jpg

Tour Tech 2017- Marcel Sieberg Campag Bora - 1.jpg

Lotto Soudal use equipment from Campagnolo and this wheel on Marcel Sieberg’s bike is a Bora Ultra 50. The rim is 50mm deep, 24mm wide and uses Campag’s 3Diamant braking surface where “advanced machinery and state of the art diamond tipped precision tools eliminate imperfections caused by non-homogenous resin deposits and allows the brake pad to work directly atop specially woven carbon fibres”. The process is intended to improve the braking performance in both wet and dry conditions.

ben swift campag - 1.jpg

ben swift campag - 1.jpg

Ben Swift of UAE Team Emirates uses the same Bora Ultras with Campag’s G3 spoke pattern at the rear where the driveside is fitted with twice as many spokes as the non-driveside. The idea is that this handles the differing forces on the two sides of the wheel. Campag says that this system offers “better transfer of the driving torque, better lateral rigidity, reduction of the stress in the rear wheel spokes”. 

Tour Tech 2017 - Merida Reacto Fulcrum Speed - 1.jpg

Tour Tech 2017 - Merida Reacto Fulcrum Speed - 1.jpg

Bahrain-Merida use wheels from Fulcrum, which is Campagnolo by another name. These Speed 55Ts have full-carbon rims the hubs and are fitted with CULT ceramic bearings.

Tour Tech 2017- Tommy Voeckler Vision wheels - 1.jpg

Tour Tech 2017- Tommy Voeckler Vision wheels - 1.jpg

Thomas Vockler has been rolling on Vision wheels. These aren’t labelled but they look like Metron 55 SLs with full-carbon rims that are 55mm deep and 24mm wide. 

Tour Tech 2017- Warren Barguil pro time trial wheels - 1.jpg

Tour Tech 2017- Warren Barguil pro time trial wheels - 1.jpg

Aerodynamics is even more important in time trials. This disc wheel, on Warren Barguil’s Giant Trinity TT bike, is from Pro, which is a Shimano brand.

Tour Tech 2017- Warren Barguil pro time trial wheels - 2.jpg

Tour Tech 2017- Warren Barguil pro time trial wheels - 2.jpg

He has a 3-Spoke Textreme wheel on the front. 

Tour Tech 2017 - Wanty Fulcrum Racing TT disc wheels - 1.jpg

Tour Tech 2017 - Wanty Fulcrum Racing TT disc wheels - 1.jpg

Loads of different disc wheels were used on the short, flat time trial on the opening day of this year’s Tour. This is a Fulcrum Speed 360T on a Wanty-Groupe Gobert Cube. Despite appearances it weighs only 865g although, obviously, a disc wheel is all about aerodynamics as opposed to weight.

Tour Tech 2017- AG2R Mavic time trial wheels - 2.jpg

Tour Tech 2017- AG2R Mavic time trial wheels - 2.jpg

This is a Mavic Comete on one of AG2R’s Factor Slick TT bikes. 

Tour Tech 2017- Argon 18 Corima wheels - 1.jpg

Tour Tech 2017- Argon 18 Corima wheels - 1.jpg

And this is a Corima C+ Disc on the back of Dmitriy Gruzdev’s bike with a 3 Spoke HM carbon wheel up front.

Tour Tech 2017- Dimension Data HED wheels - 1.jpg

Tour Tech 2017- Dimension Data HED wheels - 1.jpg

Dimension Data use wheels from Enve, but Enve doesn’t make a disc wheel so those are HED wheels with most of the decals removed on the back of these TT bikes. 

Tour Tech 2017 - Matteo Trentin Shiv Hed rear wheel - 1.jpg

Tour Tech 2017 - Matteo Trentin Shiv Hed rear wheel - 1.jpg

That looks like a logo-less HED on the back of Matteo Trentin’s Specialized Shiv too. The rest of the Quick Step’s wheels are from Roval.

Tour Tech 2017- Trek Segafredo Zipp wheels - 2.jpg

Tour Tech 2017- Trek Segafredo Zipp wheels - 2.jpg

It’s a similar situation over at Trek Segafredo where Zipp disc wheels get Bontrager logos. Sneaky!

Check out more Tour de France tech stories here.

Mat has worked for loads of bike magazines over 20+ years, and been editor of 220 Triathlon and Cycling Plus. He's been road.cc technical editor for eight years, testing bikes, fettling the latest kit, and trying out the most up-to-the-minute clothing. We send him off around the world to get all the news from launches and shows too. He has won his category in Ironman UK 70.3 and finished on the podium in both marathons he has run. Mat is a Cambridge graduate who did a post-grad in magazine journalism, and he is a past winner of the Cycling Media Award for Specialist Online Writer.

4 comments

Avatar
kitkat [471 posts] 3 months ago
1 like

I'm wheely tyred after going through that - thanks!

Avatar
LastBoyScout [287 posts] 3 months ago
0 likes

Not much point telling us what Sagan, Cavendish, Thomas, etc were riding

Avatar
RobD [515 posts] 3 months ago
1 like

I'm curious about the oversized jockey wheels that a lot of riders are using, I get the principle of them, but if they were really that effective wouldn't Shimano etc have started using them for the latest version, especially as dura-ace has only just been launched and these seem to have been around for quite a while. Or is there some downside (aside from price) that I'm missing that pros will live with in the name of a tiny bit of free speed?

Avatar
madcarew [447 posts] 3 months ago
0 likes
RobD wrote:

I'm curious about the oversized jockey wheels that a lot of riders are using, I get the principle of them, but if they were really that effective wouldn't Shimano etc have started using them for the latest version, especially as dura-ace has only just been launched and these seem to have been around for quite a while. Or is there some downside (aside from price) that I'm missing that pros will live with in the name of a tiny bit of free speed?

Most independent tests show that there is little if any (<0.5W) advantage to the large jockey wheels. So, yes, if they really were effective, they would be ubiquitous.