At the start of 2017, van Aert’s team sponsors changed to Crelan-Charles and his bike sponsor from Colnago to Felt. Felt is also providing bikes for the Verandas Willems-Crelan pro continental team on the road this year.
Van Aert rides Felt’s new F1x frameset. It uses a proprietary carbon fibre called TeXtreme in its construction. Made by a Swedish company, this uses flat carbon fibre tapes instead of round threads, which Felt says allows a higher ratio of fibres to resin for increased stiffness at lower weight.
Van Aert’s F1x has a custom spec including a double ring SRAM Red eTap HRD wireless electronic groupset. Over the last couple of years, almost all pro cyclocross racers have switched to hydraulic disc brakes from cantilevers and van Aert’s bike is no exception.
Van Aert uses a Zipp 202 Firecrest tubular wheelset, from another of SRAM’s brands. The wheels are shod with A Dugast handmade tyres. The F1x frameset includes front 15x100mm and rear 12x142mm thru-axles and there’s a press fit BB386 bottom bracket.
Seatpost and cockpit are from Zipp too, while van Aert continues to use a Prologo Scratch 2 saddle, as he did last season. He also continues to use Time’s titanium spindled, carbon bodied ATAC XC12 pedals.
Van Aert claims that his new Felt bike weighs 1.5kg less than his previous ride and he has already notched up some impressive wins, including the Belgian national championship, where he distanced second place Kevin Pawels by almost a minute.
All photos courtesy of Felt Bikes