The 2014 race season is well underway now so it’s about time we stepped back and had a good look at the bikes and kit the pros are racing this year. We’ve rounded up the bikes of the 18 UCI WorldTour teams competing this season.
There have been quite a few changes over the winter that's for sure, with a fair amount of reshuffling among a handful of teams. While we haven't seen any new manufacturers enter the WorldTour like last year, there has been a notable increase in manufacturer backed teams, with the likes of Trek, BMC and Cannondale both owners and headline sponsors of their own teams.
The main changes then. Movistar have switched to Canyon from Pinarello bikes, giving the German bicycle brand two team sponsorship deals, along with continued support for the Russian Katusha squad. That currently leaves Pinarello with just Team Sky, who have extended their partnership with a three-year contract extension, which began in 2010 when the new team founded. Pinarello are clearly happy putting all their eggs in the Sky basket, and who can blame them.
Bianchi have entered a two year partnership with the Belkin Pro Cycling Team. The Italian company previously sponsored Vacansoleil-DCM, but that team dropped to Professional Continental status after struggling to find a headline sponsor last year. The other big change is Giant partnering with Argos-Shimano, replacing Felt as bike supplier and Argos (not that Argos) as headline sponsor. Trek now have their own team, having bought out RadioShack-Leopard's existing WorldTour licence at the end of last year.
There is also the promotion of Europcar to a WorldTour status team this season, which means Colnago will be a more regular presence at the biggest races in 2014. The company has supplied their M10 and C59 frames, but with the recent release of the new C60 expect to see that making its debut at some point this season.
No change for Specialized, the company will continue to sponsor Astana, Tinkoff-Saxo and Omega Pharma - Quickstep, with Mark Cavendish set to continue racing the Venge aero road bike which has brought him much success, one change we may see is the launch of a replacement for the Tarmac SL4 - sooner rather than later we'd guess and we'll take a punt and say the new model will be called the… Tarmac SL5.
Merida still sponsor Lampre, the Taiwanese firm entering the WorldTour for the first time last year in a multi-year deal with the Italian squad. Continued contracts exist between Focus and Ag2r-La Mondiale, the German company re-entering the pro peloton last year after an absence with a three-year deal signed.
BMC will continue to fund their own team, Lapierre stay with FDJ.fr, Cannondale have their own team for another year, Ridley stick with fellow Belgian team Lotto-Belisol and Garmin will continue with Cervelo, in a rumoured one-year deal.
There’s the sad absence of the Euskaltel-Euskadi team which folded last year. That means no Orbea on the WorldTour peloton. They are though supporting the Team Novo Nordisk, a US team with UCI Professional Continental team status, one notch down from WorldTour.
Here's our complete guide 2014 WorldTour team kits.
There’s been an interesting change in the groupset manufacturers supplying these 18 teams in recent years, with Shimano becoming the dominant player last year. That trend continues this season, with the Japanese company supplying 10 teams. And as was the case last year, Campagnolo have five teams and SRAM just three. As recently as 2012 SRAM supported eight teams, so there’s been quite a shift in the last couple of years. All the Shimano and Campagnolo teams are riding their respective electronic groupsets, the SRAM-backed teams obviously on mechanical groupsets.
For wheels and components, we're seeing many teams also use those parts supplied by the groupset sponsor, so in the case of the majority of the Shimano-equipped teams they're also on Shimano wheels and often PRO handlebars, stems and seatposts. This means there's less chance for those brands specialising in bars, stems and posts to get a look in, but FSA manage to have a large presence as they have done for the past couple of years.
German manufacturer Focus rejoined the professional peloton at the beginning of the 2013 season, having signed a deal to supply the French squad Ag2r-La Mondiale for three years. They released the brand new Izalco Max this year, a lighter and stiffer version of the regular Izalco. Headline news for the frame is the weight, it’s down to a claimed 725g for a size 54, which along with a new 295g fork makes it easily one of the lightest bikes in the peloton. Most frames ridden by the pros sub-kilo, but only a few are sub-800g. The team equip the frames with Campagnolo Record EPS groupsets and Campagnolo wheels and they're the only team here to use Fizik's bar, stem and seatposts.
Here is a closer look at Daniel Maxime’s bike.
No change for Astana this year, they’re still supported by Specialized so that means a choice of the Tarmac SL4, the light all-rounder, the Venge aero road bike or the Roubaix SL4 for the rougher roads. Astana switched from SRAM to Campagnolo last season, and they haven’t switched back, so it’s Record EPS groupsets all round then.
As well as frames, they’ll use cranks, stems, handlebars and seatposts from Specialized. They’re the only team to roll on Corima wheels as well. They'll use the Aero or MCC model, which both feature a full carbon rim with a foam core. Spokes are carbon too and so is the hub. So they're light, very light, they tip the scales at just over 1kg.
Bianchi are now supplying the Dutch team with its race proven Oltre XR.2 and the new Infinito CV. The Oltre XR2 is going to be the go-to bike for most of the team most of the time, with the Infinito CV coming into service for the spring classics, where its comfort and capacity for wider tyres will be an obvious benefit. Bianchi have also revealed they’re set to release a brand new time trial bike too, replacing the ageing Chrono., but no date has been set for that release. The bikes are finished with Shimano Dura-Ace Di2 groupsets with Dura-Ace wheels and FSA finishing kit. They're using Pioneer's power meter, a crank-based design a bit like the SRM.
You can read our review of the Infinito CV here.
Little change for BMC this year, the same kit and the same bikes will be used. The much improved and lighter TeamMachine was launched just last year, and while it resembles the previous bike in its style, it’s been significantly updated to shed the weight and boost the stiffness (you can read our review here). Some of the team have been spotted riding the rare Impec, the frame built by specially designed robots and machinery at BMC’s Swiss facility. Then there is the TimeMachine, their aero road bike first introduced two years ago, but one that doesn’t get as much use as you might think.
Like last year the team are riding Shimano Dura-Ace Di2 groupsets with Shimano wheels and 3T finishing kit, and SRM Powermeters.
The team ride the same SuperSix Evo Hi-Mod that you or I can buy straight from the shop, with the exception of Peter Sagan who rides a custom frame with a unique geometry. The Evo, a successor to the previous SuperSix, was introduced in 2011, and the team have been riding the same frame and fork since then. Cannondale have since launched an even lighter version of the Evo frame, the Evo Black, which makes use of a ‘nano resin’ in the construction to chop about 40g from the weight, bringing it down to a claimed 655g. The 6.8kg limit means the team don't need to ride this lighter frame, they already have to add weights in the form of solid steel axles. They're sponsored by SRAM and use the new Red 22 11-speed groupset, along with Vision wheels, the Metron 40 tubular the most popular choice, and FSA finishing parts
Good news if you’re a Colnago fan. Europcar have been given WorldTour status this year which means you’ll be seeing a lot more of the Italian company’s bikes in the peloton. The team currently ride both the hand built in Italy C59, which can be custom made to measure, or the M10, a racier frame made using the monocoque assembly technique. With the recent introduction of the C60, expect many of the team to make the switch some time this season, we’d imagine at the Giro d’Italia. The bikes will be decked out with Campagnolo Record EPS groupset, and making use of the new internal battery. They’ll also ride Campagnolo wheels, the Bora 35 will be a common sight, along with the Bora 50 too. Hutchinson will supply the tyres and Deda the handlebars, stem and seatpost.
A French squad riding a French bike, FDJ.fr continue to enjoy sponsorship from Lapierre. For most road stages the team will be aboard the same Xelius EFI Ultimate they raced last season, which features a claimed 890g frame fitted with a Shimano Dura-Ace Di2 9070 11-speed groupset. For races like Tour of Flanders we should see the team on the company’s new Pulsium endurance bike, a frame with an elastomer in the top tube designed to improve comfort. Whatever the bike of choice, they’ll be shifting and braking with Shimano Dura-Ace Di2 groupsets, matching wheels and PRO finishing kit.
Garmin – Sharp
No change at Garmin-Sharp, their long association with Cervelo continues for another year. The team have a few bikes to choose from. The lightest, and most suitable all-rounder, is the R5, which can lay claim to being one of the lightest frames in the peloton. The company was one of the first to develop an aero road bike with the Soloist a good few years ago, and that lives on in the S3, which David Millar has been riding this season, and the S5.
All bikes will be decked out with an interesting mix of Shimano Dura-Ace Di2 groupset with Rotor cranks and chainrings (with riders free to choose round or non-round rings), Mavic wheels such as the tubular version of the Cosmic Carbon 40 that we tested earlier this year. And for the stems, handlebars and seatposts it’s 3T and saddles are from Fizik.
The team will have several road bikes at their disposal including the TCR Advanced SL, Propel and the Defy, with Shimano providing Dura-Ace Di2 groupsets. The Propel is Giant’s most recently introduced model. It’s the company’s first ever aero road bike having been launched at the Tour Down Under last year. Most teams now allow riders to choose between an ultra-light road bike and an aero road bike depending on the course and the tactics. Marcel Kittel and the rest of Team Giant-Shimano’s sprinters will rely on the Propel Advanced SL for finishing line speed and fast stages. Shimano’s sub-brand PRO will supply wheels and finishing kit. Riders will race time trials on Giant’s Trinity.
Canyon have seriously upped their involvement with professional cycling this year. Not only will they continue to supply bikes to Katusha, but they’re also supplying bikes to Movistar. Katusha will have three bikes to choose from, the Ultimate CF SLX 9.0 and Aeroad CF 9.0 for road stages, and the Speedmax CF TT 9.0 for time trials. To choose between the Ultimate and Aeroad will come down to rider preference and the course of a particular stage or race. Sprinters and breakaway specialists will lean towards the Aeroad, while climbers and all-rounders will favour the lighter weight of the Ultimate. Shimano supply their Dura-Ace Di2 groupset and they use SRM Powermeters with Mavic wheels and Ritchey bars, stem and post.
Lampre – Merida
This was the big news last year, the world's largest bicycle manufacturer, Merida, finally entering the professional peloton with its backing of the Italian Lampre squad. Merida have been working hard on their bikes and will provide the team with the Scultura SL, their top-end frame that tickles the scales to just 830g, and the Reacto Evo Team aero road bike.
The Reacto is the company’s latest race bike. Where the Scultura SL goes for low weight, the Reacto aims to be as slippery through the wind as possible. We’ve seen the rise of aero bikes in the peloton in the past couple of years, and this is the latest. The tubes that slice through the wind have been shaped according to NACA airfoil principles, and using the popular Kamm tail approach of chopping off the trailing edge, tricking the air into acting as if the trailing edge was there.
Whichever bike each individual rider chooses, they’ll be kitted out with Shimano’s Dura-Ace Di2 groupset, Rotor cranks, Fulcrum wheels and FSA finishing kit. An unusual pairing, Fulcrum wheels are made by Campagnolo, they’re essentially the same but they picked a neutral name that allows non-Campagnolo equipped bikes to use their wheels happily
The Belgian team is sponsored by Belgian cycling company Ridley, and they supply the team with a choice of bikes. Sprinters like André Greipel favour the slippery Noah FAST aero road bike while the majority of the team, faithful domestiques like Hansen, opt for the lighter and stiffer Helium SL. This is the company’s lightest offering, a frame with a claimed weight of just 750g making it one of the lightest in the professional peloton. That means a light build is possible. Sling some pimp gear at it and you could have yourself a 5.52kg build like this special one-off built for Ridley boss Anthony Kumper.
Here’s Australian Adam Hansen bike in detail.
The new Movistar deal means Canyon joins Specialized in sponsoring more than one team, and replacing Movistar's previous sponsor Pinarello. The team, including the likes of Alejandro Valverde and Alex Dowsett, will have the choice of three bikes, the Ultimate CF SLX 9.0 and Aeroad CF 9.0 Team for the road, and the Speedmax CF 9.0 Team for time trials. It’s increasingly common for manufacturers to have such a quiver of road models for climbing and regular road stages, an aero bike and a cutting edge time trial bike, and Movistar is well supplied with suitable bikes. It's a case of Campagnolo Record EPS groupsets. Bora wheels and Canyon branded finishing kit, bit really they're Ritchey components.
The team will have the choice of the Tarmac SL4, Roubaix SL4 and Venge models this season. Most, like Cavendish, will have their preference and ride the same bike, the Venge all season. Some, like Boonen, will switch between the Tarmac and Roubaix depending on the parcours of the course. Mark Renshaw will ride the Venge like Cav too
The team is supplied by SRAM and will use its RED 22 groupset, the company’s new 11-speed offering - this is the first season when we'll see all the teams on 11-speed bikes. The only notable exception is the Specialized S-Works crankset, which Specialized likes to see its sponsored teams using.SRAM don’t just supply the team with its groupset, it has done a deal that sees the team its Zipp wheels and finishing kit too. We’re seeing more teams using the wheels and finishing kit supplied by the groupset manufacturers, so in this regard Omega isn’t alone.
Orica – Greenedge
Sponsored by Scott, the Australian Orica – Greenedge team have been predominantly riding the company’s aero road bike, the Foil (review). It’s been around for a quite a while now and has been the go-to choice at the top-end of their range. While it is an obvious choice for breakaway specialists and sprinters, the company now offers the Addict, which returned to the range last year. It’s ideally suited for all-round riding and the spring classics, as it’s designed to be lighter and more comfortable than the Foil. The new Addict is light: a 995g frame and fork weight (for a size 54cm) is lighter than some frames. With a narrow 27.2mm seatpost and chainstays and seatstays designed to provide a degree of deflection, Scott claim a 39% increase in flex under seatpost load compared to the older Addict. Whatever bike they choose, they'll be built with Shimano Dura-Ace Di2, Dura-Ace wheels and PRO stem, bars and post.
Another year for the Team Sky and Pinarello partnership, meaning Sir Bradley Wiggins, Chris Froome and Geraint Thomas will continue to use the Dogma 65.1 Think 2. It doesn’t take too big a leap of imagination to suggest that Pinarello will likely introduce a replacement in the next two years before the current sponsorship deal comes to its conclusion. Their range is clearly lacking an aero road bike, or the Dogma could go on a diet. We'll have to wait and see. The team continue with Shimano Dura-Ace Di2 groupsets and they've switched from SRM to Stages for their power measuring needs. They also use Shimano wheels and PRO (owned by Shimano) stems, handlebars and seatposts. Saddles are from Fizik.
Specialized continue to sponsor three WorldTour teams in 2014, and one of those is Tinkoff-Saxo, the team now wholly owned by Russian businessman Oleg Tinkoff. They’re sticking with Specialized for the season, the US company supplying not only its Tarmac SL4, Roubaix SL4, Venge and Shiv bikes, but helmets, cranks and shoes as well. Here's a look at Roman Kreuziger’s Tarmac SL4. They're also supplied groupsets by SRAM and they use the Specialized S-Works carbon crank, and it's Zipp for the wheels, handlebars, stems and seatposts. Prologo supply saddles.
US bicycle manufacturer Trek took over the former RadioShack-Leopard WorldTour licence at the end of last season and have become the title sponsor for the 2014 season, joining BMC and Cannondale in becoming a sole name sponsor of its own pro team. They've built a squad around Fabian Cancellara, the fans' favourite Jens Voigt, and Andy and Frank Schleck.
The team will have at their disposal the Madone and Domane for the road, and the Speed Concept for time trials. Both the current top level Madone and Domane were launched in 2012, and as we head into the first races of the 2014 season, the bikes remain unchanged. Trek has moved away from product years which frees them to release new bikes as and when they see fit, and we wouldn’t be surprised if there is some sort of update to one, or both, bikes this summer.
All bikes will be built with Shimano Dura-Ace Di2 groupsets, with the exception being Fabian Cancellera who prefers a mechanical groupset. As Trek owns Bontrager, the team equip the bikes with Bongrager wheels, handlebars, stems, saddles and seatposts.
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