Mega Roundup: Tour de Suisse 23 Pro Road Bike Checks!
Our Pro Bike Checks usually focus on just one rider or one team’s bikes to dive into the details of what’s absolutely the latest cutting-edge road bike tech about to drop. (Don’t worry, we’ve got an unreleased prototype right off the bat!)
But sometimes it’s just as fun to ogle the entire breadth of top-tier carbon road bikes, carbon wheels, and electronic drivetrains that make up the full pro peloton. So, I walked the tech zone after a stage of the Tour de Suisse this past week to check in on more than twenty different road bikes from sixteen manufacturers, just to get a closer look at what the pros are racing these days.
Don’t forget to stick around for the unique motorized bikes of the race, and the actual brooms of the broom wagon…
Somewhat in order of the final team classifications for want of any other system:
Prototype Lapierre Xelius SL of FDJ & more!
But the next team car I stumbled upon had a whole fleet of a completely new bikes on top. And they’ve already got UCI approval.
This coming soon third-generation Lapierre Xelius SL is a modern mix of aerodynamics, lightweight, and all-day comfort. It carries over the signature detached seatstays that slip past the seattube for improved flex at the saddle, but now with many aero twists, as well.
It now gets a slightly sloping straight toptube with a cleaner integrated seatpost clamp, a full 1.5″ headset to incorporate completely-hidden fully internal cable routing, and improved aero shaping through slightly deeper fork blades, headtube, downtube & toptubes.
We expect it will probably get an official launch very soon, maybe even in just about a week at the Tour de France?
BMC Teammachines of AG2R Citroen & Swiss Cycling
BMC Teammachine SLRs were on the AG2R cars in team edition white and red.
The top-tier 01-level white bikes aren’t quite the ultra-premium Masterpiece-level that BMC just launched – BMC says if they gave the team Mpc-level bikes it would take their full annual production just to get them the number of framesets they need.
But the standard aero road Teammachine SLR 01 is still a solid performer, and also the bike of choice for some of the Swiss Cycling national team riders, too.
Pinarello Dogma of INEOS Grenadiers
Geraint Thomas of INEOS ultimately won the 8 stage Tour de Suisse on his curvy disc brake Pinarello Dogma F.
As usual kitted out with the latest Shimano Dura-Ace Di2 and matching carbon wheels. But INEOS is one of the more traditional teams in the peloton, they still were mixing both tubular and tubeless tire setups.
In fact, their Dogma F was the only bike I spotted with rim brakes still. Sure, this one was a spare bike on the roof of a team car. But there are very few rim brake bikes anywhere in the pro peloton these days.
Specialized Tarmac of Quick-Step & Total Engeries
The Specialized Tarmac SL7 is a mainstay of road racing. It doesn’t hurt to be the bike of one of the winningest teams ever here with Quick-Step Alpha Vinyl.
There’s probably more current and previous World Champions racing on the S-Works Tarmac, than any other single bike. Peter Sagan won stage 3 of the Tour de Suisse on his special edition bike, while the rest of his Total Energies team rode a simpler red look.
Canyon Aeroad of Movistar & Alpecin-Fenix
Movistar race the latest & long-awaited Canyon Aeroad CFR with SRAM Red AXS groups and Zipp NSW wheels.
But we also notice that the team also had a full carload of a hybrid CFR/CF version of the bike with external/internal cable routing after last season’s highly-visible failure of one of their ultralight one-piece cockpits with fully internal cables.
Both Movistar and Alpecin-Fenix are racing on the updated version of the fully-integrated cockpit. But having the bikes with semi-external cable to fall back on, just in case, is likely a reassurance.
De Rosa Merak of Cofidis
French team Cofidis was riding Italian De Rosa Merak bikes, built up with Campy Super Record EPS and a mix of different depth made-in-France Corima wheels.
Another team rocking ultralight carbon tubulars, here with Michelin Power Competition rubber.
Ridley Noah Fast of Lotto Soudal
Lotto Soudal are racing Ridley Noah Fast aero road bikes, Dura-Ace drivetrains, and a mix of 4iiii power meters & a hodgepodge of different chainrings.
We’ve actually been anticipating a refresh of the Noah Fast anytime, but it doesn’t look like it is here quite yet. Maybe another new bike that could debut at le Tour.
Scott Addict of DSM
The DSM Team is again on Scott’s top Addict RC lightweight all-rounder race bike, kitted out on in full Dura-Ace gear.
We don’t expect a new road bike from Scott this season, but a new Plasma TT bike is just around the corner!
Cube Litening & TE prototype of Intermarche-Wanty-Gobert Materiaux
We already broke the news of the all-new lightweight prototype Cube Litening TE aero road bike, that Intermarché-Wanty-Gobert has been racing. Here it is on the team car roof, next to the current Litening.
The new bike being race-tested now is a reimagining of aerodynamics, with a thinner, lighter look that we expect to completely reshape Cube’s signature road race bike very soon.
But it likely isn’t more aero or maybe not stiffer than the existing Litening, as we’ve noticed the team’s sprinters still seem to prefer the existing bike for anything short of big mountain days.
Giant TCR Advanced of Bike Exchange-Jayco
Bike Exchange-Jayco are racing the lightweight Giant TCR Advanced with Cadex wheels.
Those wheels, by the way, are a new Cadex 42 Disc wheelset that is available with tubeless or these tubular rims (or in rim brake versions), all with ultra-stiff straight-pull aero bladed carbon spokes.
Wilier 0 SLR & Filante SLR of Astana Qazaqstan
Most of Astana Qazaqstan’s team were racing Wilier’s aero road Filante SLR, and built up with traditional steel-spoked Corima wheels.
But it’s hard not to be wowed every time by those bikes built up with Corima MCC DX wheels with massive carbon spokes and unique hubs. A little CeramicSpeed OSPW never hurts to make the bike look faster too.
Most of the Astana spare bikes were fitted with the Corima MCC DX wheels, whether it was the aero Filante SLR…
…or the even lighter Wilier 0 SLR.
Felt AR & FR of Human Powered Health
Most of the Human Powered Health racers were on Felt’s AR aero road bike with 3D-printed saddles, Vision Metron tubulars, and unlabeled Vittoria tires.
But we noticed at least one rider testing out tubeless Goodyear Eagle F1 tires, too.
Plus, not everyone was on the aero AR. We also spotted the lightweight Felt FR pure road race bike.
Cervelo S5 & R5 of Jumbo-Visma
Jumbo-Visma is rocking a fleet of Cervélos in the teams signature matte black & gloss yellow livery. Pick from the super light new R5 here…
…or the sleekly integrated S5 with its integrated fork and spilt-spar cockpit.
In fact, Jumbo-Visma wasn’t the only one on a Cervélo. We saw Swiss national team rider Claudio Imhof on one also.
Merida Scultura Team of Bahrain-Victorious
Bahrain-Victorious wasn’t victorious overall at the Tour de Suisse. But they did have some nice Merida Scultura Team race bikes to ride.
Picking from Continental’s latest Grand Prix 5000 S TR tubeless tires and long-proven pro-only Competition LTD tubulars must be rough for another team. Bahrain-Victorious did seem to have a easy way to keep their race and spare bikes straight though, with either bright green or simple black bar tape.
Cannondale System & Super Sixes of EF Education-Easypost
EF Education-Easypost does a good job of standing out in the crowd with brighter than most custom paint jobs. Their rider can pick from the fully integrated aero road Cannondale SystemSix EVO…
…or the lighter SuperSix EVO. While the lightweight bike is also fully integrated, many EF riders seem to prefer the cockpit fit adjustability of more conventional stem & handlebar combinations.
This is another case where some of the team is competing on Vittoria tubulars and some of the team on Vittoria tubeless. It must be a hassle for the mechanics to keep straight, but at least those Vision Metron 457 60 SL wheels are readily available in whatever combination the team needs.
Colnago V3Rs of UAE Team Emirates
One last bike on the prototype watch were the Colnagos of UAE Team Emirates.
But curiously, even though we just got a great preview of the next-gen Colnago V4R that Colnago has dubbed Prototipo, the UAE riders were still on the old bike.
But it’s hard to argue with the back-to-back Tour de France winning Colnago V3Rs. What’s maybe more surprising is that the team is still racing on previous generation Campagnolo Bora One tubular wheels, when Campy claims how much faster their newer tubeless Bora Ultra WTO wheels are.
The motorized bikes of the organization
The Tour de Suisse Commissars weren’t actually on bikes, but trikes. Presumably these wild-looking two-legged yet still somehow single-sided forks on the front of the Yamaha Niken GTs make the chase motorcycles safer while lugging a driver and race organizer around.
I’m not sure I get it.
The Swiss Tour Polizei were a bit more purist. They had a few different BMWs, but I’m a sucker for their go-everywhere BMW F 850 GS adventure bikes.
Plus, the water bottle cages zip-tied onto their custom crash bars are a nice touch. And presumably that Swiss Cycling bidon with a gel rubberbanded onto it is a little bit of extra neutral support to any struggling rider in need.
The Broom Wagon
Somebody has to clean up what’s left off the back, and the swiss have a couple of smiling brooms to sweep up any stragglers.
Notice anyone missing?
One team got their unreleased bikes out of the way of prying eyes real fast after the stage. Don’t worry. We’ll have the full details on their new bike in just a few days.