Ridley have unveiled a new time trial bike for the 2013 Tour de France: the Dean FAST TT. The Lotto-Belisol aero machine succeeds the Dean, a stalwart of various incarnations of the squad since it appeared five years ago under Cadel Evans.
The primary development on the Dean FAST is the integration of the steering assembly into the frame, which creates a far more dynamic front end. Protruding cables have been eliminated almost entirely. The progress means the front end bears a close resemblance to the Canyon Speedmax CF Evo, Pinarello Bolide and other framesets of that ilk.
The Dean’s F-Splitfork has been retained, which Ridley claim will dissipate the turbulence of the spinning wheel. The fork has been widened, too, to incorporate the front brake into the trailing edge. According to mechanics, the new centre-pull brake mechanism also has more power, which could translate into faster approaches to corners.
Video: Jochen Bessemans on the Ridley Dean FAST TT
Elsewhere, the Ridley F-Surface treatment, which smoothes airflow on leading edges and is applied during the moulding process, has also been incorporated. The seat clamping mechanism appears to have been simplified, too.
The Dean FAST frame has been designed to accept electronic groupsets. While the Campagnolo battery is still docked on the down tube of the current team bikes, a pocket has been created just behind the head tube to accept the next, much smaller EPS battery.
The company have opted for a tube-to-tube construction technique over a monocoque design. This method, said Ridley, means they will soon be able to offer customised geometry to riders – mostly triathletes – and ensure that the sleek leading edge doesn’t need to be compromised by spacers.
The Ridley Dean FAST has a much neater front end that its predecessor
The Dean FAST will be ridden in competition for the first time at the Tour's team time trial in Nice, on stage 4.