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TECH NEWS

Tour de France 2015 Bikes: Alex Dowsett's Canyon Aeroad CF SLX

Dowsett's out of the Tour: here's your last chance to see his bike

Unfortunately British time trial champion Alex Dowsett has dropped out of the 2015 Tour de France today, which is a big shame for the British rider, but also a shame for us as we photographed his Canyon Aeroad CF SLX before the race got underway in Utrecht. Seems a shame not to share these photos of his bike though with you all though, so as Dowsett catches a plane home to Essex, here’s a look at what he was riding in the race before he abandoned.

It’s no surprise, given his time trialling credentials, that Alex chose Canyon’s Aeroad CF SLX. Most manufacturers offer the pro riders a choice of race bikes. He could have chosen the lighter Ultimate CF SLX, that’s the bike that Nairo Quintana favours, but Dowsett clearly prefers the aerodynamic advantage of the Aeroad. Dowsett was also one of the first pro riders to swing a leg over the new bike, riding it the nationals before it was officially unveiled at the Tour de France last year in Leeds.

Canyon Aeroad CF SLX 7.0 Di2

This latest Aeroad is a serious makeover of the previous aero road bike, with tube profiles inspired by the German company’s Speedmax time trial bike. It developed a shorter and wider version of the Speedmax’s Trident tube shape, a rounded leading edge with chopped tail, that it claims provides better aerodynamic performance at the lower speeds a road race is subjected to compared to a time trial bike, which is ridden flat out at ridiculously high speeds.

Canyon uses this tube profile on the down tube, upper seat tube and seatpost. The head tube is narrower and it has developed skinny headset bearings, along with an hourglass profile, to reduce the frontal surface area. The seat tube now hugs the curve of the rear wheel. All cables are internally routed.

Direct mount brake calipers are used and in the conventional positions, at the front of the fork and on the seatstays. That’ll please the team mechanics.

Dowsett’s Movistar team is sponsored by Campagnolo and his bike is equipped with a Super Record EPS 11-speed drivetrain. For measuring watts, Dowsett uses a Power2Max crank-based power meter with 53/39t chainrings.

His cranks are standard 172.5mm length.

Direct mount brakes, used widely on the latest generation aero road bikes, and many regular road bikes these days, is a Shimano standard. That means Campagnolo doesn’t support it, which makes building a Campagnolo bike like this one a bit tricky. The Movistar team appears to be using Shimano Dura-Ace brake calipers however, with the logos removed.

One of the big features of the Aeroad when it launched was the introduction of Canyon’s new Aerocockpit CF integrated handlebar. These one-piece handlebars are becoming really popular with many more bike manufacturers producing them (Trek and Specialized have both developed new one-piece bar and stems for the new Madone and Venge respectively). The cables and wires route inside the handlebars and pop out just before the stem and dive into the frame. The Campagnolo EPS junction box is simply zip tied to the brake cable.

This is where Dowsett’s Garmin Edge computer goes, using Canyon’s own out-front mount fitted to the underside of the handlebars.

When we checked out Dowsett’s bike, it was fitted with a Toshiba rear-facing video camera, with a GoPro mount zip tied to the saddle rails. It’ll will have been removed for racing to be replaced by the new GPS transponders that are being used in the Tour de France for the first time.

His saddle of choice is a Fizik Aliante, the new style saddle launched this year, in team colours, naturally.

The Aeroad rolls on Campagnolo Bora Ultra 50 wheels with Continental Competition Pro Ltd tubular tyres in a 25mm width.

He uses Look Keo Blade 2 clipless pedals. These have seen a lot of use.

David worked on the road.cc tech team from 2012-2020. Previously he was editor of Bikemagic.com and before that staff writer at RCUK. He's a seasoned cyclist of all disciplines, from road to mountain biking, touring to cyclo-cross, he only wishes he had time to ride them all. He's mildly competitive, though he'll never admit it, and is a frequent road racer but is too lazy to do really well. He currently resides in the Cotswolds, and you can now find him over on his own YouTube channel David Arthur - Just Ride Bikes

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