Our photographer Andy Jones was out and about at the start of the Tour of Flanders, in Brugges last Sunday, looking to see who was using what, and if anyone had any new or interesting kit on their bikes
Team High Road where sporting some unbranded deep section carbon wheels. The team isn’t using Lightweight wheels anymore and are instead looking to use the best equipment possible for their riders – regardless of whether or not they have to pay for them. On close inspection the dimpling on the carbon rim gives them away as Zipp 404 rims built onto Dura Ace hubs. With the cobbles not as severe as Roubaix these where a good combination for aerodynamics and strength.
More common in cyclo cross races, some Gerolsteiner riders were using cross top levers for Flanders, no doubt the team was expecting the bad weather. The levers allow the rider to ride on the tops – the preferred position for riding cobbles – while still having access to the brakes. Using your brakes on wet cobbles isn’t advised though.
Cofidis’s Frank Hoj was riding with Campag’s latest electronic groupset. The second computer is linked to the electronic groupset and is the readout from the main brain stored in the battery unit. The neat carbon strip mounted under the stem cap is an impressive way of mounting the computer, the zip tie stops the mount bouncing over the cobbles.
The electronic front mech looked very neat, although Campag’s electronic equipment does seem to be a step behind Shimano in the ‘production ready’ stakes.
Barloworld were riding with a fair few FSA products on their Bianchi’s, including these calipers. FSA are rumoured to be working on a complete groupset; if and when it does come out they’ll have a lot of catching up to do.
Astana’s Trek bikes seem to be working well with SRAM’s Red groupset. The only deviation was a Shimano crank rebranded with a SRAM sticker, but by Ghent Wevelgem Astana was back onto SRAM Red cranks.
The branding may have been removed but this tyre looks suspiciously like a Vittoria Pave tubular, a popular choice amongst the Pro teams during the Classics.
AG2R’s BH bikes are equipped with Campag Record groupsets, although spotted on the teams bikes where what looks like a new SRAM brake calliper. Evident through its shape and the quick release and cable adjusters, the calliper has more clearance above the tyre.
15/4/08. More fool us, the team where using these again at Roubaix and this time the callipers where branded revealing that they are the new FSA SL-K brakes.
We know that saddles are a very individual choice, but we wouldn’t have fancied riding 256km over Belgian roads on this one.