The 2021 UCI WorldTour racing season has begun - and here you'll find a definitive list of bikes you can expect to see.
AG2R on BMC bikes, Chris Froome not riding a Pinarello, Cav back on Specialized... It’s all been happening since the weird 2020 race season finished in November.
While some teams and riders are going to be getting used to brand new bikes, others are sticking with what they know. Instead of going through the team alphabetically, we’ll take a look at the big changes first, be that for whole teams or individual riders, and then we’ll cover the rest of the peloton.
It is also worth noting that for 2021 more big teams like Jumbo–Visma have formed a women’s team in line with the men’s setup. Not only is this great for the development of women’s racing, but it also gives us some interesting bike choice to take a look at. Will the female pros opt for the women’s-specific bikes from their sponsor, or pick the 'men’s' frame?
Let’s start with the trio of teams that have swapped bikes for 2021.
First up is the Australian GreenEdge setup that is now known as Team BikeExchange. They've pinched Jumbo–Visma's Bianchis, with the Ortre XR4 Disc pictured. Jumbo–Visma weren't fans of this model. They used the rim brake bike with special paint and front wheels to get the weight down, so we'd expect the climbers of Team Bike Exchange to opt for the recently updated Specialissima.
It's all about disc brakes for Team BikeExchange. They have Shimano's Dura-Ace Di2 groupsets along with Dura-Ace wheels and Pirelli tyres.
Oh, and on a side note, the Yates twins aren't riding for the same team anymore, so it'll be dead easy to tell them apart; a win for fans and commentators alike. Now, which one is that in the picture above? [It's Simon. Or is it Adam? No, definitely Simon. – Ed]
Meanwhile, Team DSM decided that they liked the look of Scott bikes (which Team BikeExchange, in its former guise as Mitchelton–Scott, was on for the past few years).
Here we have the Addict which, if the DSM riders' social media accounts are anything to go by, seems to be the preferred model. The team also has the Foil for flatter days and it's a full disc setup with Dura-Ace groupsets and wheels. Vittoria provides the Corsa tubular tyres, though we could well see some tubeless setups as we did in the 2020 Tour de France.
Finishing our game of musical bikes is Jumbo–Visma, who have given their Bianchis to Team BikeExchange and pinched Team Sunweb's Cervelos (are you keeping up with all this?). If the replies to the above post are anything to go by, the fans of Roglic, Van Aert and Vos aren't best pleased about the move away from celeste.
This one is the R5 and is designed for the climbers. Jumbo–Visma stays with Shimano for their wheels and groupsets, but it'll be a switch from rim brakes to disc brakes for the team that came so close to winning the Tour de France in 2020.
The sprinters will have the S5 which we reviewed just after its launch. FSA provides the finishing kit. Will this be the bike that's ridden to Tour de France victory this year?
A big change sees BMC providing bikes for the AG2R team. It's a setup that we didn't expect to see, with a full Campagnolo Super Record II EPS groupset and the Italian brand's WTO wheels wrapped in Pirelli tyres.
We could see this bike winning some big races. With Oliver Naesen and Greg Van Avermaet on the same squad for the Cobbled Classics, there's a strong possibility.
Cube is back into World Tour and with Intermarché taking over the CCC World Tour licence, Giant is out for the first time since 2000.
The setup is similar to that of the bike shown above, though this rim brake model isn't listed on Cube's website anymore. We'd expect the riders to pick the Lightning C:68X SLT as they did last year. The Fulcrum wheels, Continental tyres and Shimano Dura-Ace Di2 groupset remain.
While Israel Start-Up Nation (ISUN) hasn't changed anything about its bikes from 2020, the big news is that Chris Froome has stepped away from Pinarello for the first time since he rode for Barloworld (he left at the end of the 2009 season).
Pictured above is the Factor Ostro VAM and, as ISUN rider Alex Dowsett covered in this overview video last year, the team isn't contracted to a particular groupset, allowing them to customise their componentry.
Factor's in-house brand Black Inc provides the wheels with tubeless and tubular options, while Maxxis covers the tyres.
Another team that hasn't changing anything about its race bike setup is Dek... Deceku... errr... Quick-Step. It's a case of one bike to rule them all for the Wolfpack with the Tarmac SL7 decked out with Shimano Dura-Ace Di2 Disc groupsets, 4iiii power meters, Roval wheels and S-Works finishing kit. Pro also gets involved, providing the handlebars.
The interesting part is that Mark Cavendish is back on the brand that brought him so much success. Will he be able to nab a few more wins? He's even got some new shoes to help him try.
Astana sticks with the Wilier Filante SLR aero road bike, and the 0 SLR for the big mountain days. They have possibly the nicest paint job in the peloton.
In a change from the picture above, the Astana team uses Corima wheels. It's a lovely setup.
We wouldn't wish a winless season on any team, but Bahrain Victorious is teeing itself up for some fun headlines with the addition of that second part to its name.
We've reviewed their aero race bike, the Merida Reacto Team-E Disc, and it's really rather good. The only change from the test bike we rode to the race bike is the Vision wheels for racing are tubulars.
Bora sticks with the Tarmac SL7 and the bike is identical (save the paintwork) to the Deceuninck–Quick-Step setup.
We didn't see much of Cofidis in many of the big races last year. Star sprinter Elia Viviani didn't perform as expected and we hope this changes for 2021 because the De Rosa bikes that the team are riding are lovely.
Thankfully, Guillaume Martin ensured that the bike was on our screens for the entire Vuelta as he went off in search of KoM points.
This Merak is equipped with a Campagnolo Super Record EPS Disc groupset, Fulcrum wheels and Michelin tyres.
Another year and not much has changed for EF. They're still rolling on a combination of Cannondale's SystemSix and SuperSix bikes with the Synapse for the bumpier Cobbled Classics.
Vision provides the wheels, Vittoria the tyres and Shimano's Dura-Ace Di2 Disc groupset finds itself on yet another bike. One departure is the FSA PowerBox power meter mounted on Cannondale's SiSL cranks. Vision's Metron 5D bar ensures a slippery front end.
The FDJ French National Champion's jersey is the best in the bunch outside of the rainbow bands. The simple design sports no logos and the LaPierre Aircode DRS is a sleek bike to match.
It's all the same as last year for FDJ. Shimano Dura-Ace Di2 Disc groupset, wheels and Pro finishing kit.
One thing to note is that in the past FDJ has been the test team of choice for Shimano. Keep an eye on the team's social media accounts. You might just spot some interesting tech this year.
The Grenadiers are back on their Pinarello F12 bikes for another year. When will they switch to disc brakes?
Pavel Sivakov would like them sooner rather than later, please.
Big Belgian team, meet big Belgian bike brand. Ridley has to be happy with the return it gets from Lotto Soudal. Caleb Ewan and Thomas de Gent have won some huge races and Lotto's ladies team is mighty successful too.
The team sticks with the 2020 race bikes. Riders have the choice between the Helium and the Noah for hilly and flat days respectively. The rest is an all-Italian affair with Campagnolo Super Record EPS Disc groupsets, Bora wheels, Vittoria tyres and Deda finishing kit. Down at the bottom bracket, you'll find C-Bear ceramic bearings.
If you're a fan of SRAM then don't worry, Movistar is sticking with the wireless shifting in 2021. Their bikes all get a Red AXS Disc groupset with a built-in power meter.
The squad has access to the latest Aeroad and they've got the Ultimate too, should they want something different for the climbs. Zipp wheels and Continental tyres finish the bike.
Another top team with a women's squad, Movistar has Canyon's WMN range to turn to should their riders want a women's frame.
The team that was saved at the 11th-hour did well to put together such a nice bike. BMC continues providing framesets that are built up using a mix of brands.
Shimano's Dura-Ace Di2 Disc groupset features with a CeramicSpeed OSPW system, a Rotor power meter chainset and KMC chains.
British brand Hunt makes a big step up to World Tour level, here providing its Limitless 48 wheels which we just awarded Editor's Choice in our Best Wheelsets of 2020. Goodyear's tyres feature, but the question is, how many riders will go for tubeless and how many will stick to the tubs?
Another brand with a big launch in 2020, Trek provides its own team with the Emonda which will apparently be the primary bike for most races. That said, the Classics specialists seem to be sticking with the more aero Madone.
SRAM gets its second and final team, providing its Red eTap AXS groupset. Bontrager provides the Aeolus wheels along with the integrated bar/stem and the wheels come from Pirelli.
The women's setup is identical apart from the paintwork, so the question is: which do you prefer, the men's bike or the women's?
Last but by no means least is the team that won the yellow jersey on the final day of the Tour de France. Colnago's V3Rs looks set to be the daily driver for the majority of races, but we have spotted a few riders at UAE's team camp rolling on the C64.
For the flatter days they also have the Concept. Campagnolo continues supplying its Super Record EPS groupset in both disc-brake and rim-brake forms along with Bora wheels. These are shod with Vittoria Corsa tubulars.
Can Colnago defend its Tour title? We can't wait to find out.
Shimano is still the dominant provider of groupsets with 13 teams. How many will get the latest Dura-Ace in 2021 (we can safely say that it's coming) and where will we spot it first? We'd put our money on Remco Evenepoel and Deceuninck–Quick-Step.
Campagnolo increases to four teams and SRAM gets two teams.
Son of a Marathon runner, Nephew of a National 24hr Champion, the racing genetics have completely passed him by. After joining the road.cc staff in 2016 as a reviewer, Liam quickly started writing feature articles and news pieces. After a little time living in Canada, where he spent most of his time eating poutine, Liam returned with the launch of DealClincher, taking over the Editor role at the start of 2018. At the weekend, Liam can be found racing on the road both in the UK and abroad, though he prefers the muddy fields of cyclocross. To date, his biggest race win is to the front of the cafe queue.