Alexander Kristoff’s Dare VSRu | Old meets new on veteran sprinter’s little-known Tour de France bike

Is the 2015 Tour of Flanders winner trialling Schwalbe's Pro One Aerothan tyres?

Alexander Kristoff's Dare VSRu

At age 36, Alexander Kristoff is a veteran of eight Tours de France and two Giri d’Italia. The Norwegian sprinter has won four stages at the Tour, the latest in 2020.

Advertisement MPU article

His career has also included victories at Milan-San Remo, the Tour of Flanders and Gent-Wevelgem. During that time, he was riding for the WorldTour Katusha and UAE-Team Emirates teams.

Latterly, he’s stepped down to ProTeam level, riding for Norwegian/Danish team Uno-X.

The men’s team, the WorldTour-level women’s team (who will be racing in the Tour de France Femmes) and the development team, all ride bikes from Norwegian direct sales brand Dare.

Full Dura-Ace spec

Kristoff’s Dare VSRu is the team’s aero road bike, with a claimed frame weight for a size S of 1,190g (although Kristoff uses a size-56cm frame). That includes alloy parts though, whereas many brands just quote a bare frameset weight.

The team also has the MA-AFO (for ‘mountain ace aficionado’) lightweight bike and the TSRf time trial bike at its disposal. The u in the VSRu’s name apparently stands for ‘ultra’; we don’t know what the rest of the title signifies.

Alexander Kristoff's Dare VSRu
Alexander Kristoff’s Dare VSRu has a full Dura-Ace Di2 R9200 groupset.
Simon von Bromley / Our Media

The Uno-X team runs a full Shimano Dura-Ace Di2 R9200 groupset, including the dual-sided power meter crankset and pedals, and is even kitted out with Shimano S-Phyre RC903 shoes.

As with every other pro bike we’ve seen, Kristoff is running the 54/40t chainring configuration.

There’s a K-Edge chain keeper attached ahead of the front derailleur, a feature we’ve seen on a few pro bikes at the Tour.

62mm-deep DT Swiss wheels

Wheels come from DT Swiss. The 62mm-deep ARC 1100 Dicut 62 wheels were co-developed with SwissSide aerodynamicists and include DT’s SINC ceramic bearings and a lightweight Ratchet EXP freehub. DT claims a 1,676g wheelset weight.

The wheels are equipped with Schwalbe Pro One TLE tyres in 28c width, set up tubeless. We measured them at 27.7mm wide on the 20mm internal-width DT Swiss wheels. The VSRu frameset has clearance for tyres up to 30mm wide.

As discussed in our Tour de France tyre tech deep dive, these Schwalbe tyres have a non-standard blue bead and logo.

Although the team mechanics wouldn’t confirm it, we reckon this could be an updated model, given this same blue branding is applied to the prototype Pro One Aerothan TLE tyre we spotted at Eurobike this year.

The rims have a sticker on their side to indicate the tubeless sealant level and when it was added. In Kristoff’s case, 40ml of sealant was placed in the wheels on 27 June, four days ahead of the Grand Départ.

Sealant dries out over time, so the team mechanics probably top it up or replace it regularly so that it remains effective if riders get a flat.

We don’t know what brand of sealant Uno-X is using, but we’d guess it’s either from DT Swiss’s newly introduced sealant range or Schwalbe’s Doc Blue.

The team’s website claims it is running Garmin Edge 530 bike computers, rather than the newest Edge 540, although we’d expect the team has had an upgrade to the Edge 540 this year.

The Edge 530 and 540 are button operated, whereas the Edge 830 and 840 computers have a touchscreen. All are from Garmin’s more compact format range, rather than the larger, heavier Edge 1040.

The computer is mounted on a proprietary K-Edge out-front mount, designed to fit the VSRu’s AeroV1 integrated cockpit.

Kristoff is running a 38cm handlebar width (measured centre-to-centre at the brake hoods), following the pro trend for narrower bars, along with a somewhat short (for a pro) 12cm effective stem length, although this is the maximum stock length for the bar/stem in this width. He has turned his levers inboard in pro fashion though.

CeramicSpeed UFO waxed chain