The Olympic road race isn’t the biggest prize in cycling, but it rolls around only once every four years and it affords the winner a licence to have gold bits on every item of their kit, so riders are usually quite keen to win.
In countries without a strong cycling culture, an Olympic gold medal is also a great way to get yourself invited onto a chat show to promote your book, clothing line or coffee company.
The Olympics also gives the bike brands a chance to design some fancy-looking special-edition frames for their riders. The accepted method is to do something inspired by the host country and that’s what Trek has done.
Its riders, mostly the ladies and gents of the Trek-Segafredo World Tour teams, will be lining up on either a Madone or, more likely due to the hilly course, an Emonda which is “inspired by the land of the rising sun.”
The Japanese-themed paint scheme “with hand-painted ribbons of colour in divine shades of blue, pink, gold and red layered beneath a purple-tinted logo.”
This is certainly one of the more interesting designs that we’ve seen developed for the Games and as it is part of Trek’s Project One programme, you can have it on your bike too.
The bikes that you’re likely to see at the front of the race are equipped with SRAM’s RED eTap AXS groupset as that is what the Trek Segafredo riders are using.
The groupset comes with a power meter built in and as SRAM uses a 10T smallest cog in the 12-speed cassette, the chainrings are generally slightly lower than the equivalent Shimano or Campagnolo offering.
The cassette ramps up to a 33T cog which, given the savagely steep final climb, the riders will likely be getting very familiar with.
The hydraulic disc brakes use 160mm rotors front and rear which offers plenty of stopping power.
Bontroager, Trek’s subsidiary brand, provides the rest of the componentary. The wheels on this Emonda are the tubular Aeolus RSL 37 carbon wheels with Bontrager’s R4 320 tpi tubular tyres providing the grip.
Part of the drag reduction claims that came with the Emonda were thanks to the integrated front end and the Bontrager Aeolus RSL VR-C Handlebar/Stem tucks everything away neatly.