When the 2012 World Tour field assembles in Australia for the Tour Down Under the long wait is finally over. Who’s fit? Who’s not? Who’s working well together, who has some serious work to do? We learn about rider’s goals and team’s targets. And all of us tech nerds say who cares… Bring on the new bikes!
Here is a first look at some of the major squads new rigs, 2012 bikes: Part 1 if you will. Some familiar faces, some new teams on new bikes, and lots of electronic drive trains. We also link you to our video content related to each and every one of these teams equipment choices.
In an off-season of mergers it was the Radio Shack-Leopard Trek merger that made the most headlines. The resulting team RadioShackNissanTrek is a mouthful that will be riding the Madone 6.9SSL, as both squads did last year. Bontrager’s new range of Aeolus D3 wide body rims will be under the team and Shimano Di2, with the battery tucked under the BB, will be shifting gears. It remains to be seen if Cancellara will ride electronic during the cobbled classics this year.
Watch our Trek Madone 6.9SSL review here.
Watch our Trek Factory feature here.Watch our Aeolus D3 review here.
BMC, the super squad with classics stars Gilbert and Hushovd and defending Tour champ Cadel Evans will once again be on the Team Machine SLR01. Many riders may also campaign the all new IMPEC lugged frame during the season, as well. Easton returns as wheel supplier and BMC is yet another squad on Dura Ace Di2.Watch our Team Machine Review here.
Garmin-Barracuda may have changed names, but they are still riding Cervelos and many athletes will be on the S5, the aero road machine they launched at the 2011 Tour and then proceeded to watch Thor Hushovd go on a stage winning, yellow jersey tear. The team will roll on Mavic and their newly expanded line, including the new 80mm CCU. And you guessed it, Shimano’s full court Di2 press has the American squad running electronic. The only exception to the Shimano spec is the Rotor 3D cranks.Watch our first ride on the S5 here.Watch our Mavic CCU Review here.
New to the World Tour stage is Green Edge, and fittingly they will be on Scott’s new FOIL. The aero bike saw limited action under HTC at the 2010 tour, but has not been raced on the biggest stages since. Another Shimano supported team, they are not only on Di2, they are also on Shimano wheels.Watch our Dura Ace wheel review here.
Liquigas-Cannnodale had the luxury of coming back to the new season with a lot of continuity, from riders to suppliers. The entire team will be on the EVO launched last year, it is the current stiffness-to-weight champ in the peloton. MAVIC supplies wheels and SRAM Red is on all the bikes, presumably to be replaced by the new 2012 SRAM Red soon.Watch our Liquigas-Cannondale Camp video here.
Movistar is the latest super squad, stepping up the talent level considerably from 2011 with the addition of Valverde and Vuelta champ Cobo. Pinarello Dogma 2’s are the chosen ride and as they did last year, Movistar will ride Campagnolo Electronic, called Super Record 11 EPS. This time, they will be running full production, market ready groups, not prototypes. Campy also supplies wheels, from deep and aero Boras to shallow and light Shamals.Watch a video about Campy EPS here.
The Belgian mega merger created Omega Pharma Quick Step, another mouthful and another team stacked with talent. Specialized is returning to the Quick Step fold and offering both the Venge and Tarmac SL4. What the big Belgian motors can accomplish on the Venge should be fun to see. Zipp is on board with wheels and cockpits while SRAM scored a coup getting Campy out of the picture and putting the team on Red.Watch our 404 review here.Watch our Venge Review here.
Saxo Bank is another Specialized supported team, and assuming Contador is free to race, should once again be poised to win it all at the Tour. He will be on the Tarmac SL4, their go to road racing platform for 10 years, and probably its greatest example. Completing a build almost identical to the Belgian super team are Zipp wheels and cockpit and a SRAM Red build.
Watch our Tarmac SL4 Review here.