Tour tech 2012: Saxo Bank's Specialized Venge and SL4 bikes

Specialized Venge and SL4 bikes for the Saxo Bank-Tinkoff Bank team, including a look at Michael Morkov's bike

by David Arthur   July 11, 2012  

Saxo Bank-Tinkoff Bank are riding Specialized bikes in the 2012 Tour de France and the riders have the choice of the company's aero Venge or lightweight SL4.

Regardless of frame choice, they're all on the newly launched SRAM RED, the lightest groupset in the world, with colour coded hoods matching the Speedplay pedals (for those riders on the Speedplay platform).

For the time trial stages, of which there is over 90km in this edition of the race, the team switch to Specialized's SHIV.

Specialized's own carbon cranks support the SRM Power Tap, a common sight in the peloton now the bikes are so light they need to add some weight. SRAM's bold new chainrings are fitted.

The new SRAM RED front mech comes with a chain guard, something we don't usually see outside of the spring classics. Dropped chains aren't that common, but when they happen they can cost you big, so it's a small weight penalty (and with bikes easily under the UCI limit, they usually need to add on weight).

Michael Morkov's Specialized Venge

Dane Michael Mørkøv was leading the best climber classification until stage 7, by being in the early breaks and claiming the polka dot jersey.

Michael Mørkøv checks his bike before the stage, earlier last week when he still had that jersey.

The team are supplied by Zipp for wheels, with the 404 being the most common choice. It's a perfect all-round wheel and apart from some of the bigger mountain stages when they might swap to a lighter wheelset, you'll see the team on this wheel for the three weeks. Notice the SRAM hoods to match the polka dot jersey, a neat touch.

Like his team mates, Michael Mørkøv relies on Zipp bars and stem. In this case it's a 13cm stem slammed, as is the way with pro riders, on the top of the headset. There's just a slim spacer on top.

Wonder what size cassette the pros ride? This one is an 11-25, and is a popular choice for most of the race.

8 user comments

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Cool. I have been waiting for a Spesh in this section.

posted by Super Domestique [1506 posts]
11th July 2012 - 18:17

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We've got some more pics too that we'll try and get on later

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posted by Tony Farrelly [4111 posts]
11th July 2012 - 19:54

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The new sl4 is ace. Best money I've ever spent Wink

Adman

posted by adman88 [20 posts]
11th July 2012 - 22:04

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tony_farrelly wrote:
We've got some more pics too that we'll try and get on later

Looking forward to that.

Are you doing a piece on the 2013 road range from Spesh?
The S-Works Allez, disc option on SL4 Roubaix, etc?

posted by Super Domestique [1506 posts]
12th July 2012 - 9:24

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adman88 wrote:
The new sl4 is ace. Best money I've ever spent Wink

Congrat's - pop over to the forum and add a pic to the thread Cool

posted by Super Domestique [1506 posts]
12th July 2012 - 9:25

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When we get all the information on the 2013 range, we will

David Arthur's picture

posted by David Arthur [1223 posts]
12th July 2012 - 9:46

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'slammed'. Stop it. Angry

posted by andyp [632 posts]
12th July 2012 - 10:11

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David Arthur wrote:
When we get all the information on the 2013 range, we will

Cool. Looking forward to it. The bits I have seen are very interesting.

posted by Super Domestique [1506 posts]
12th July 2012 - 13:45

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