Omega Pharma-Lotto riders have their choice of bikes from team sponsors Canyon and despite the Ultimate CF SLX model being the stiffest and lightest in the range, some of them have chosen the Aeroad CF instead – including new Belgian national champion and Tour stage 1 winner Philippe Gilbert.
True, the Aeroad CF's presumably lower drag may theoretically be faster in some situations. As compared to the Ultimate CF form, the Aeroad sports a slimmed down head tube, deeper and narrower-profile tubing through the down tube, seatstays and fork blades, plus generally smoother lines throughout. According to one of the team mechanics, though, most of the converts simply cite that bike's softer ride to ease the burden of long days in the saddle.
Gilbert's machine has undergone a number of changes since we last looked at it back at the team camp in January. Gilbert now gets not one but two custom painted frames with a racy checkerboard motif that plays off of his "Fast Phil" moniker – one in the black, red and yellow hues of Belgium and another in a more subdued black, silver and light blue.
Campagnolo's new SRM compatible spider
Components have been upgraded, too, from the previous Campagnolo Record 11 groups to the full-blown Super Record version on both bikes, plus SRM's new Campagnolo-compatible power meter on Gilbert's primary machine. Key items of note include the twin dual-pivot brake calipers for more stopping power – most Campagnolo-equipped bikes use a single-pivot rear brake – and a more durable steel and titanium-cogged rear cassette instead of the standard full-titanium Super Record cluster.
Berner rear derailleur cage
Gilbert has even jumped on the most recent pro-level upgrade bandwagon on his primary bike, which has been fitted with a still-exotic Berner carbon fiber rear derailleur cage with hugely oversized upper and lower pulleys that supposedly decrease drivetrain friction.
Omega Pharma-Lotto team riders have their choice of a number of Mavicwheels, and Gilbert's bikes were both equipped with the company's light, speedy and versatile Cosmic Carbone Ultimate, all wrapped with 22mm-wide Continental Competition Pro Limited Allround tubulars. Ritchey again provide the classic-bend carbon bar and carbon-wrapped forged aluminum stem, seating duties are handled by Selle Italia's comparatively cushy Flite TT Team Edition saddle, and Look supply their KéO Blade pedals.
Finishing things off are a pair of Tacx Tao Carbon bottle cages, a custom chain watcher that mounts in between the seat tube and water bottle cage, SRM's Power Control 7 computer head (not pictured), and a Cane Creek headset with custom Acros top caps. Total weight for Gilbert's primary bike as pictured is 7.02kg (15.48lb).
Complete bike specifications
- Frame: Canyon Aeroad CF, 56cm
- Fork: Canyon Aeroblade SL, 44mm rake
- Headset: Cane Creek integrated, tapered 1-1/8 to 1-1/4in
- Stem: Ritchey WCS Carbon 4-Axis, 12cm x -6°
- Handlebar: Ritchey WCS Classic, 42cm (c-c)
- Tape: Ritchey cork
- Front brake: Campagnolo Super Record D-Skeleton, dual-pivot w/ Mavic carbon-specific pads by SwissStop
- Rear brake: Campagnolo Super Record D-Skeleton, dual-pivot w/ Mavic carbon-specific pads by SwissStop
- Brake levers: Campagnolo Super Record Ergopower Ultra-Shift 11s
- Front derailleur: Campagnolo Super Record 11s
- Rear derailleur: Campagnolo Super Record 11s w/ Berner cage
- Shift levers: Campagnolo Super Record Ergopower Ultra-Shift 11s
- Cassette: Campagnolo Record 11s, 11-25T
- Chain: Campagnolo Record 11s
- Crankset: SRM Campagnolo Super Record, 172.5mm, 53/39T
- Bottom bracket: Campagnolo Ultra-Torque OS-Fit
- Pedals: Look KéO Blade
- Wheelset: Mavic Cosmic Carbone Ultimate
- Front tire: Continental Competition Pro Limited Allround tubular, 22mm
- Rear tire: Continental Competition Pro Limited Allround tubular, 22mm
- Saddle: Selle Italia Flite TT Team Edition
- Seat post: Canyon VCLS Aero Post
- Bottle cages: Tacx Tao Carbon (2)
- Computer: SRM Power Control 7
- Other accessories: Custom chain catcher
- Rider's height: 1.79m (5ft 10in)
- Rider's weight: 72kg (159lb)
- Saddle height, from BB (c-t): 780mm
- Saddle setback: 75mm
- Seat tube length, c-t: 552mm
- Seat tube length, c-c: 520mm
- Tip of saddle nose to C of bars (next to stem): 587mm
- Saddle-to-bar drop (vertical): 115mm
- Head tube length: 150mm
- Top tube length: 560mm
- Total bicycle weight: 7.02kg (15.48lb)