Quick-Step might just have the best looking bikes of the 2019 WorldTour peloton, with a new blue and black paint scheme that looks really sharp. But do you agree?
Belgian WorldTour team Deceunink - Quick-Step continues to be sponsored by Specialized with the riders having the choice of the brand new Venge aero bike, which is only available with disc brakes and optimised for electronic groupsets, or the sixth-generation Tarmac, which comes with a choice of rim or disc brakes, the latter being pictured here at the team’s early season training camp.
Let’s start with the Tarmac SL6, and the one belonging to Philippe Gilbert. It’s one of the most improved race bikes of the past year and one of my current faves. Lighter and better handling than the previous version, with a hint of aerodynamic design to decrease drag.
The Tarmac is sold with a choice of rim or disc brakes but it was clear most of the riders were testing disc brake bikes at the first training camp of the season. Whether most of them will revert to rim brakes come the first race of the year remains to be seen, but we won’t have to wait long to find out as the Tour Down Under starts on the 15th January.
As it was last year, the frame is decked out with the current Shimano Dura-Ace R9100-series groupset, here with electronic gears and hydraulic disc brakes. It appears to be a 160/140mm disc rotor combination. This frame sports 12mm thru-axles and flat mount calipers, with all wires and hoses internally routed.
Specialized’s wheel brand Roval supplies the CLX50 carbon fibre tubular wheels and S-Works Turbo tyres. Specialized looks to be also supplying saddles, and as with last year PRO, the component brand owned by Shimano, supplies the handlebars and stems. This bike has a traditional drop shaped handlebar which is definitely a shape that is popular in the pro peloton.
For measuring power, last year the team used a pre-development sample of the new Specialized power meter, but closer inspection of the Venge bike pictures suggests the team might now be using Shimano’s new Dura-Ace power meter. We’ll confirm this as soon as we know for sure.
The other bike at their disposal is the brand new Venge, the company’s third-generation aero bike which has had a massive redesign and is now lighter and more aero than the bike it replaces, the Venge ViAS, with better handling and much easier ergonomic adjustment.
It’s also designed entirely around disc brakes and electronic groupsets, there is no rim brake option. It was put to good use last season by none other than Elia Viviani, who this actual bike belongs to, to win a handful of races so the brakes don’t seem to be that much of an issue.
The Venge is also equipped with a Shimano Dura-Ace Di2 groupset with Roval wheels and uses Specialized’s own two-piece aero handlebar and stem which allows much easier reach and stack adjustment than the previous bike. An out-front computer mount is fitted to the front of the stem.
In an announcement today, the team will be using Bryton GPS computers, the first time we think this company has had a presence in the professional peloton. “This is an incredible opportunity for Bryton”, said Samuel Wang, CEO of Bryton. “We’ve been working with professional cyclists since we started Bryton, but we are working with the best cycling team in the world now. We could really look at Deceuninck – Quick-Step as an inspiration to the team to continue to push and provide the best products in the world.”
Photos © Justin Sullivan
The team will also use Specialized S-Works 7 shoes...
And Evade (pictured above) or Prevail helmets.
David has worked on the road.cc tech team since July 2012. 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.