By Symon Lewis
It looks as though Cannondale, a bicycle brand known for being one of the last remaining bike manufacturers not to have a dedicated aero road racing machine, is about to launch one with a number of riders from EF Education-First racing what looks to be an aero bike at the Abu Dhabi Tour.
Spy shots from the finish of stage one saw Dan McLay, who finished fifth in the bunch sprint, on an unusual looking Cannondale aero road bike. Unfortunately he couldn't replicate that one stage two on Thursday.
Inspection of the UCI's list of approved frames for Cannondale and the UCI sticker on the top of the down tube suggest that the new bike will be called the Systemsix, when Cannondale does officially launch the new machine.
Resident reporter Gregor Brown got up close and personal this morning before the start of stage two, which shoes a disc dedicated aero bike from the American brand and seems to follow all the haul marks of an aerodynamically focussed machine.
Thick profiled tubes curve around the front and rear wheels, fairly typical of this type of road bike, as seen on such things like the new 3T Strada.
A flat back down tube should clean up the air around bottle cage area too.
A rather beefy looking head tube seems to be heavily shaped to help airflow leaving the forks whilst the steerer looks set back from the front of the head tube. A plastic cover looks to be helping clean up the lines and guide cables.
The enlarged bottom bracket doesn't look like it'll allow for any flex.
A lot like rivals BMC and most recently Specialized, this Cannondale aero road bike has a dropped rear stay, which not only aids airflow but also give more compliance at the rear. Short, flat with a bend the rear stays are working hard to maintain drag efficiency.
Top tube meets seat tube with extra material to smooth the join. You can see the Shimano E-Link port housed in the down tube too.
Unlike the Cannondale SuperSix Evo, it seems this Cannondale aero road bike has bolt-thru front and rear but looks to using a quick release style lever. So watts could potentially be saved by removing that. Flat mount disc brakes are the norm now.
More details to follow when we have them.
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