Race tech: New wheels at the Giro d'Italia start

Carbon-rimmed Mavic Comete and more

Garmin-Transitions captain Christian Vande Velde left the start house on the first stage of this year's Giro d'Italia with an all-new Mavic Comete rear disc, complete with a carbon fibre tubular rim instead of the current version's alloy hoop. 

According to team mechanic Kris Withington, the rim shape is derived from the company's well-proven Cosmic Carbon Carbone, which is then sandwiched between two sheets of carbon fibre (flat on the driveside, lens-shaped on the non-driveside). 

The carbon rim and lack of a foam core shaves a lot of weight and Withington says the new disc is about 200g lighter than the current version, putting it right around 950g. More importantly, much of that reduction falls out at the rim where it counts most.

The prologue in Amsterdam also marked another appearance of Mavic's upcoming aggressive 'CC80' carbon tubular – and the blacked-out 'Cosmic 80' decal on the side further indicates that this wheel is close to being in production, along with its bladed stainless steel spokes and familiar-looking alloy hubs with adjustable bearing preload. Though we don't expect it to be especially light, its aggressive profile likely made it a good choice for Saturday's flat, fast and relatively calm conditions.

Two things are interesting in this image: the 'Cosmic Pro' moniker that's been blacked out with marker (which may or may not be just a recycled decal from yesteryear) and the 'clincher pressure' rating on the tubular tyre

Mavic continue to be tight-lipped on both wheels, and declined to provide any further technical details or information. US marketing director Sean Sullivan would only say that: "The 80mm wheel is one that Garmin-Transitions have been racing and testing in the wind tunnel all spring." Stay tuned.

Prologue winner Team Sky also showed off some new wheels from team sponsors PRO – well, sort of. Scattered throughout the team's pit area were three carbon wheel models – a 90mm-deep tubular, a three-spoke time trial front wheel and a rear disc – all clearly labeled "PROtotype". Upon closer inspection, it turns out that they were actually HED products – the Stinger 9, H3 and Stinger Disc. 

One crucial difference on the 90mm wheel and disc, however, was that the rims were laced to Shimano Dura-Ace hubs instead of HED's Sonic model. As a result, the disc wheel's bonded-on carbon skins (the Stinger Disc uses the same rim as the Stinger 9) had to be slightly modified. The wheel was otherwise a stock item.

Team Sky paraded these 'PROtotype' wheels at the Giro d'Italia prologue – but they were actually relabeled wheels from HED

Related Articles

Back to top