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Tour Tech 2017: The kit you're not supposed to see

Don't tell the sponsors but some Tour de France riders aren't using the components they're meant to

It’s no secret that most components used by professional riders in the Tour de France come from team sponsors, but occasionally we spot examples of riders using non-sponsored kit that has been disguised.

This doesn’t happen as much as it once did. Sponsorship is big business, especially in the world’s most important bike race, and social media means that it could be a PR disaster if a big name rider is seen using components from a rival brand.

Here are some examples of riders using non-sponsored kit from this year’s Tour de France.

Tour de France 2017 Edvald Boasson Hagen Cervelo P5 - 1.jpg

Team Dimension Data’s wheel sponsor is Enve. However, Enve doesn’t make a disc wheel so if the team riders want to use one in a time trial they need to go elsewhere. This is Edvald Boasson Hagen’s bike and we’re pretty sure that’s a HED wheel on the back there.

HED wheels - 1 (1).jpg

The Hed sticker is still visible at the centre of the rear wheel of the bike on the left.

Tour de France 2017 Boasson Hagen saddle - 3.jpg

Edvald Boasson Hagen’s TT saddle isn’t from team sponsor Fizik either.

Tour de France 2017 Boasson Hagen saddle - 2.jpg

Although the logos have been blacked out you can still make out that this is actually a Pro Aerofuel saddle.

Tour de France 2017 Mark Cavendish blacked out cranks - 1.jpg

This is Mark Cavendish’s Cervelo S5 with tape covering the logos on the Shimano chainset.

Cavendish Cervelo S5 Tour Tech - 4 (1).jpg

Team Dimension Data does use Shimano groupsets but Rotor is the chainset sponsor, hence the tape. It’s not the neatest job ever though, is it?

Tour de France 2017 Matteo Trentin rear wheel - 1.jpg

Specialized doesn’t make a disc wheel either, hence this logo-less model fitted to the bike of Quick-Step rider Matteo Trentin.

Sagan stem - 1 (1).jpg

Two-time world champion Peter Sagan uses a stem from Zipp despite the US brand not being a Bora-Hansgrohe sponsor.

Tour de France 2017 Peter Sagan stem - 1.jpg

A nice bit of work with insulating tape there.

Tour de France 2017 Chris Froome OSymmetric chainrings - 2.jpg

Shimano sponsors Team Sky but three-time Tour de France winner Chris Froome famously uses twin cam shaped O.Symmetric chainrings that are designed to reduce the effort needed to get through the dead spots in a pedal stroke. The Team Sky hierarchy isn't convinced but Chris Froome believes he rides better with these chainrings. He gets to use them but O.Symmetric doesn’t benefit from any logos on Froome’s bike.  

Tour de France 2017 Geraint Thomas Pinarello Dogma F10 X-Light - 1.jpg

We’re not entirely convinced that Geraint Thomas’s Pinarello Dogma F10 X-Light is entirely what it seems. While the ‘F10’ on the seat tube looks like it has always been there, the ‘X-Light’ is an added sticker. 

Tour de France 2017 Geraint Thomas Pinarello Dogma F10 X-Light - 2.jpg

There is currently no F10 X-Light in Pinarello’s range. We could be wrong but we reckon that there will soon be a press release from Pinarello saying something along the lines of: “The new Pinarello Dogma F10 X-Light, as ridden by Team Sky in the Tour de France”. Or something

Tour de France 2017 Trek Segafredo rear wheel - 1.jpg

It’s a Bontrager wheel on the rear of this Trek Segafredo Team Concept, right?

Tour de France 2017 Trek Segafredo rear wheel - 3.jpg

Nope, it’s a Zipp. The dimples in the surface of the wheel give the game away, and you can even see the Zipp logo.

Tour de France 2017 Fortuneo Look TT bike - 1.jpg

If you look closely – really closely – at this line of Look 796s belonging to the Fortuneo-Oscaro team you can see that the one on this end is fitted with Shimano Di2 shifters whereas all the others have SRAM Red eTap. 

Tour de France 2017 Look Shimano shifters - 1.jpg

Here you go: a bit closer in.

hansen cranks - 1 (2).jpg

Lotto-Soudal’s Adam Hansen eschews his team’s Campagnolo Super Record cranks in favour of these from Lightning with the logos removed. Hansen probably gets away with it because the maximum length Campag offers is 175mm whereas he goes for a whopping 180mm.

There’s some major taping going on there to disguise the identity of that chainring too.

Check out our other Tour de France tech stories here.

Mat has been in cycling media since 1996, on titles including BikeRadar, Total Bike, Total Mountain Bike, What Mountain Bike and Mountain Biking UK, and he has been editor of 220 Triathlon and Cycling Plus. Mat has been technical editor for over a decade, testing bikes, fettling the latest kit, and trying out the most up-to-the-minute clothing. We send him off around the world to get all the news from launches and shows too. He has won his category in Ironman UK 70.3 and finished on the podium in both marathons he has run. Mat is a Cambridge graduate who did a post-grad in magazine journalism, and he is a winner of the Cycling Media Award for Specialist Online Writer. Now over 50, he's riding road and gravel bikes most days for fun and fitness rather than training for competitions.

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