So it’s no big secret that certain riders will use different equipment than what equipment is supplied to them by the team’s sponsors. Obviously when it comes to photo shoots everybody has to be in all the right gear looking the part but when it comes to performing then personal preferences have priority.
The one part of the bike that some times can be over look when we are all desperately trying to fine tune our bikes by fitting the latest gadgets and new components to make us faster.
Something i picked up on a few year ago was in the world of downhill mountain biking, where the vast majority of racers (basically the top 20) were all using the same tyre brand. Even if they were sponsored by another tyre company, the black markers would come out on race day and hide the evidence. This went on for quite a long time until the other manufacturers started making copies of the tyres that there sponsored wanted to ride.
The thing that i picked up on this week is that Team RadioShack will be riding Hutchinson tyres. You may have seen some pictures of the team bikes from Trek recently which the eagle eyed of you would of seen that they are fitted with Bontrager tyre. The reason for this is quite simple, Lance has won all seven of his Tour de France victories on Hutchinson tyres.
He’s actually been using them since his days with Motorola over 15 years ago, so you could say he’s grown to love them and with a rumour that he has only had five punctures on them during the seven years of tour victories. You can see why he has stuck by them for so long.
Another rumour us that all Team RadioShack have asked for is tyres, no “financial consideration provide by….” deal. This is obviously to keep Bontrager (Trek) happy by not having another tyre sponsors name on the kit, because I’m sure they will be hoping for an increase in tyre sales next year.
So more importantly what tyres are they going to be riding?
Well Lance is currently on the Fusion 2 and he’s chosen the Tour de France edition while the rest of the team are currently training on the Intensive. They have just put a big shipment in for their first official training camp early next year in Tenerife. When it comes to the first start line of the year then they’ll be on the Carbon Comp Tubulars.
No tubeless tyres in the line up due the fact that Bontrager do not do a tubeless compatible road rim currently and that is one sponsor the team is sticking with. But yet again more rumours but supposedly Steve Hed of Hed Wheels has embraced the RoadTubeless idea and says it should only be within a few years for the tyres to get up to the standard of current tubulars. Bontrager and Hed have been working closely together now for some years, as the carbon aero sections used by Bontrager for their Aeolus wheels. Bontrager still makes their rims out of OCLV carbon in their Wisconsin facility so hopefully Steve Hed with rub off on Bontrager and it might not be long before we see tubeless on the road takes off.