07 July, 2009

Trainspotting at the Tour

To me, the Tour is, among other things, the biggest product launch for the bike world. And with countless company flacks and thousands of journalists, they should be uncovering every last bit of gear. If a team is riding re-labeled stuff, we should be hearing of it. If Lance has special handlebar tape, it is big news to bike sites.

So, it is a surprise to me that no one has thusfar commented on Astana's wheels. Bontrager, a Trek label, supplies the wheels. However, the team has been rolling on conventionally-spoked deep-dish wheels this Tour. It appears that Bontrager/Trek has abandoned the paired spoke technology that Trek has utilized since it was selling Rolf wheels in the 90s. So far, there's no explanation anywhere.

The second oddity is Fabian Cancellara's Specialized S-Works Shoes. Specialized has been making hay about how their pro riders don't get custom shoes, they get what the public can get. But a close look at Fabian's slippers reveals that he's running two Boa knobs and no Velcro strap at the bottom, unlike the rest of the team or public. Does Spartacus pull out unless he's got a second line of fishing wire holding his feet in place?

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Here's an article that, towards the bottom, explains the new wheels: http://www.cyclingnews.com/features/trek-launches-2010-madone-range