No longer racing on a modified Canyon Aeroad CFR with the cables entering specialliy added ports at the top of the downtube, Mathieu van der Poel (Alpecin-Fenix) looks to finally be back on a fully integrated setup once again at the Tour de France.
Ever since the Dutchman’s right drop dramatically snapped off in his hand at Le Samyn, back in March of this year, there has been a Canyon-issued ‘stop ride’ notice for that model of handlebar. Due to the highly integrated nature of Canyon’s cockpit on its top-flight aero race bike, that essentially amounted to a prohibition on riding the Aeroad CFR at all.
At the time, that meant most riders on Canyon-sponsored teams had to swap onto their climbing bikes, the Canyon Ultimate CFR. Van der Poel, as you might expect, was made an exception, with his Aeroad modified to accept an alternative handlebar model that wasn’t compatible with internal routing.
Ports were added to the top of the downtube to allow the cables to enter the frame – previously these weren’t needed as the cables would run through the steam to the top of the head tube, entirely hidden from view.
But looking closely at the bike Van der Poel rode to victory on stage two – and his custom yellow Aeroad from today – it looks as though a new handlebar has now been manufactured that allows for the cables to be routed fully internally once again. Presumably, the issues regarding the structural integrity of the previous bars have also been solved.
The new handlebars appear a little different to those originally on the Aeroad, with a slimmer-looking stem, particularly around the steerer clamp portion. But other than that, the design remains broadly the same.
It seems that these handlebars are so far only being produced in limited amounts, with other riders such as Xandro Meurisse (Alpecin-Fenix) appearing to be riding an Aeroad with the added ports – similar to the one Van der Poel rode to victory at Strade Bianche.
Other riders of a certain prominence do seem to have been able to get hold of the updated bars, with Nairo Quintana (Arkéa–Samsic) having opted for his Aeroad yesterday and the cables all tucked out of sight, within the frame. That said, Alejandro Valverde (Movistar) doesn’t seem to be using the new setup, riding with his cables clearly exposed.
If nothing else, that there are even some riders using this model of handlebar at the Tour de France is a good sign that Canyon will meet its autumn deadline for rolling out the fix to its customers.
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