Giro 2022 TT tech: Early time trial sees shiny new speedweapons unveiled

Italian marques use stage two time trial in Budapest to showcase the TT1 and the Turbine SLR models

Miguel Angel Lopez rides new Wilier Turbine SLR TT bike during stage two of the 2022 Giro d'Italia
(Image credit: Stuart Franklin/Getty Images)

Saturday’s time trial on stage two of the Giro d’Italia gave us an unexpected winner in the shape of climber and GC contender Simon Yates. It also provided the setting for some interesting new technology.

Grand Tours make for the most visible competitive testing ground in professional cycling and the 9.2km route in Budapest offered an ideal shop window for the industry’s latest TT innovations.

Colnago had revealed its prototype TT1 time trial bike ahead of the race’s Grande Partenza but Saturday’s stage against the clock marked its ‘maiden voyage’ proper. The Italian marque’s first ever disc brake TT bike has been developed in partnership with Team UAE Emirates and was ridden by the team in Budapest, with João Almedia their best placed rider in 11th spot.

 

Alessandro Covi rides the new Colnago TT1 during stage two of the 2022 Giro d'Italia

(Image credit: Tim de Waele/Getty Images)

As well as the inclusion of disc brakes the Colnago TT1 features a radical frame design that uses a “bayonet fork” designed to reduce the frontal impact of the frame in the air as well as some of the lowest dropped stays we’ve seen. 

Colango worked on the bike in conjunction with Campagnolo, who provided its own prototypes for the build, including a new, and very elegant, TT brake lever, a front Bora Ultra WTO disc wheel, with a claimed weight of just 740g, as well as full disc version on the rear. All of Campagnolo’s components were tested at the Polytechnic University of Milan’s wind tunnel as the Italian duo sought to achieve the goal of making the TT1 “one of the most aerodynamic TT bikes on the planet”.

Campagnolo unveils new TT brake lever at the 2022 Giro d'Italia

(Image credit: Campagnolo)

It’s perhaps unsurprising that Italian brands have used the home Grand Tour to showcase new products. Wilier Trestina, now based in Rossano Veneto, joined Colnago in debuting its prototype TT bike at this year’s Corsa Rosa. The Turbine SLR is the latest iteration of the Turbine TT frameset, with the newest model weighing 300g less than the previous model. According to Wilier it's also been “optimised for the latest generation of groupsets”, with the downtube no longer having any holes for cables.

Astana's Joe Dombrowski rides the new Wilier Turbine TT bike at the 2022 Giro d'Italia

(Image credit: Tim de Waele/Getty Images)

Working closely with Team Astana - Qazaqstan Wilier developed custom-made bar extensions for the team, which they say were tested in both wind tunnel conditions as well as outdoors in a velodrome. The Turbine SLR, piloted to an impressive 12th place on Saturday by Italian favourite Vincenzo Nibali, uses Cormia’s eye-catching Chrono Three Spokes front wheel.

Wilier TT handlebars seen at the Giro d'Italia 2022

(Image credit: Stuart Franklin/Getty Images)

Black Inc, who support Israel Premier Tech, also unveiled its latest TT development in the shape of the Zero disc wheel. The Canadian brand, a sister company to Factor bikes, developed the wheel in partnership with the IPT team. According to Black Inc the development process lasted over a year and saw it create three “distinct” prototypes that were tested both in a wind tunnel and out on the road, before settling on the design that was ridden during the stage two time trial at the weekend. 

The Zero disc wheel features a lenticular, or lens, shape, which Black Inc claim helps generate “as much as 20 watts of ‘thrust’ for the rider when fully sailing at yaw”. To achieve this it opted for an asymmetrical design between the drive and non-drive side of the wheel. Other details of this tubeless-ready wheel include an inner rim width of 21mm and an overall weight of 1188g, which Black Inc describes as “class-leading”.

Black Inc unveils new Zero TT wheel at the 2022 Giro d'Italia

(Image credit: Black Inc)

Both Alessandro De Marchi and Alex Dowsett finished inside the top-30 on Saturday with Dowsett, a noted TT specialist who won a Giro stage against the clock in 2013, enthusiastic about the new wheel.

“The new Zero is such an amazing piece of engineering,” he said ahead of the race. “Whilst most riders see something similar to the competition, we know it's really pushing the boundaries of technology. You can really feel the advantage of the bold design as it cuts through the air."

Alex Dowsett rides the new Black Inc Zero TT wheel during stage two of the 2022 Giro d'Italia

(Image credit: Tim de Waele/Getty Images)

While Colnago’s TT1 was probably the head-turner of the weekend’s new tech, perhaps the most intriguing was something a little more inconspicuous. CeramicSpeed’s aero version of its popular Oversize Pulley Wheel System, catchily named the OSPW Aero, might have attracted the most attention in the pits pound-for-pound. Due for its official launch at the Tour de France in July, it's been developed in partnership with British-based aerodynamic experts Drag2Zero. 

Alessandro De Marchi rides the new CeramicSpeed OSPW Aero pulley system at the 2022 Giro

(Image credit: Tim de Waele/Getty Images)

What it looks like is a fairing that covers the entire pulley of the rear derailleur, with CeramicSpeed claiming that it can save between two and four watts compared to Shimano’s regular Dura-Ace cage. 

The concept itself is nothing new with Lance Armstrong using a carbon-covered rear mech as far back as the 2010 TdF. The OSPW Aero isn’t available to buy as yet but with its reported $800 price tag, the queue at the till is likely to be a pretty select one. As for this year’s Giro, it was used by IPT riders Giacomo Nizzolo during the opening stage won by Matthieu van der Poel, and De Marchi at the TT on Saturday.

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