Tubeless tyre takeover | 6 pro bikes from the 2021 Women’s Tour

A mix of new and old tech, with tubeless tyres everywhere

This week, the AJ Bell Women’s Tour is finally back, having been cancelled in 2020 and postponed earlier this year.

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While some of the big names are absent, there’s still an impressive roster taking to UK roads to compete in the final women’s WorldTour stage race of the season.

The final stage race also provides one of the last opportunities to check out pro-tech. So we headed along and took a look at the bikes of six of the biggest riders, including Lizzie Deignan, Elisa Balsamo, Joss Lowden and Alice Barnes.

Lizzie Deignan’s Trek Emonda SLR

Lizzie Deignan's Women's Tour Trek Emonda
Lizzie Deignan returns to the Women’s Tour to defend her title.
Matt Grayson / www.mattgrayson.co.uk

Having soloed to victory at the inaugural Paris-Roubaix Femmes last weekend, Lizzie Deignan is back defending her title at the AJ Bell Women’s Tour.

We profiled Deignan’s Roubaix-winning Trek Domane and away from the cobbles, she’s switched back from the endurance-orientated Trek Domane to the brand’s aero climbing bike, the Emonda SLR.

Close up photo of Lizzie Deignan's SRAM eTap AXS Red rear derailleur
Deignan is running SRAM Red eTap AXS.
Matt Grayson / www.mattgrayson.co.uk

This Emonda SLR is fitted with an SRAM Red eTap AXS groupset with a 10-33 cassette and a SRAM Red AXS power meter crankset with 50/37 chainrings up front – a more traditional setup compared to the 1x gearing the champion ran at Roubaix.

Elsewhere, Deignan is still running Bontrager Aeolus RSL 37 wheels. She’s opted for Pirelli P Zero Race SL tubeless tyres, which are lighter than the Pirelli P Zero TLR tyres she ran for Roubaix.

Deignan is using a Bontrager Ajna Pro saddle, which is said to be bedded in for her before use.

Up front is a one-piece Bontrager Aeolus RSL VR-C integrated cockpit. The stem has -7 degree drop and is 120mm long, helping Deignan achieve an aggressive riding position.
  • Frame: Trek Emonda SLR
  • Drivetrain: SRAM Red eTap AXS, 10-33
  • Crankset: 170mm SRAM Red AXS power meter, 50/37
  • Cockpit: Bontrager Aeolus RSL VR-C integrated cockpit
  • Saddle: Bontrager Ajna Pro
  • Wheels: Bontrager Aeolus RSL 37
  • Tyres: Pirelli P Zero Race SL tubeless tyres
  • Pedals: Shimano Dura-Ace

Elisa Balsamo’s Cannondale SuperSix Evo

Elisa Balsamo's Cannondale SuperSix Evo in world champion colours
Rainbow wheels and cranks for the new world champion.
Matt Grayson / www.mattgrayson.co.uk

Since we looked at Elisa Balsamo’s Cannondale SuperSix Evo she raced at Paris-Roubaix, the new world champion seems to have gained rainbow-adorned wheels and cranks, completing a rather spectacular-looking bike.

However, underneath the new paintwork, Balsamo is running the same Vision Metron 40 wheels and FSA Powerbox power meter crankset as on her Roubaix bike.

  • Frame: Cannondale SuperSix Evo
  • Drivetrain: Shimano Ultegra Di2, 11-30
  • Crankset: FSA with PowerBox power meter, 52/36
  • Cockpit: Cannondale HollowGram Knot stem and Save bar
  • Saddle: Prologo NDR
  • Wheels:  Vision Metron 40
  • Tyres: Veloflex Corsa EVO TLR
  • Pedals: Look Keo

Joss Lowden’s Ribble Endurance SL R

Joss Lowden's Ribble Endurance SL R
Joss Lowden is one of many running tubeless tyres at this year’s race.
Matt Grayson / www.mattgrayson.co.uk

Last week, Joss Lowden set a new women’s hour record on an Argon 18 Electron Pro, but at the Women’s Tour, she’s back on her team issue Ribble.

The Drops-Le Col s/b Tempur Ribble Endurance SL R Disc is decked out with a Quarq power meter crankset and a Shimano Ultegra Di2 R8070 drivetrain. Lowden is running 53/39 chainrings up front and an 11-30 cassette out back.