Historic first: A double-disc Tour de France time trial bike

Alberto Bettiol puts an Italian spin on Cannondale's 'Super Slice'

Alberto Bettiol won't win the opening time trial of the Tour de France, but he could make history as the first rider to race a Tour TT on disc brakes with his Cannondale Super Slice.

Bettiol's Cannondale-Drapac squad debuted the Super Slice in professional racing at Tirreno-Adriatico earlier this year.  

Hydraulic calipers are state of the art for road and mountain bikes, but Shimano doesn't yet make a hydraulic TT lever, so Cannondale uses mechanical
Hydraulic calipers are state of the art for road and mountain bikes, but Shimano doesn't yet make a hydraulic TT lever, so Cannondale uses mechanical

While hydraulic systems are the standard for top-end disc braking for road and mountain bikes, Cannondale's Super Slice bikes use mechanical discs. The reason is fairly straightforward, Cannondale mechanics say: Shimano does not yet make a hydraulic lever for TT bikes

Bettiol will likely be the only Cannondale rider on the disc-equipped Super Slice; the rest of his teammates will be on the lighter rim-brake Slice models, Cannondale mechanics said. 

Curiously, some of those racing Slice bikes have Mavic disc rim-brake wheels with disc-brake hubs. Mavic supplied the team with rim-brake and disc-brake wheels, including a few clincher wheels (instead of the traditional tubulars), because Mavic has a new prototype clincher tire that is claims to be fast and grippy.

Bettiol's teammate Taylor Phinney is racing a standard rim-brake Slice for the time trial, but with the same Mavic disc-brake disc wheel
Bettiol's teammate Taylor Phinney is racing a standard rim-brake Slice for the time trial, but with the same Mavic disc-brake disc wheel

While the extra weight of the mechanical disc set-up won't help Bettiol in the Tour de France stage 1 time trial, he does have something going for him: A sticker of a little pizza slice wearing a heroic red cape hides on the back of his Super Slice fork. (Get it?)

Click through the gallery above for a closer look at Bettiol's Super Slice.

Super Slice!
Super Slice!

Ben Delaney

US Editor-in-Chief
Ben has been writing about bikes since 2000, covering everything from the Tour de France to Asian manufacturing to kids' bikes. The former editor-in-chief of VeloNews, he began racing in college while getting a journalism degree at the University of New Mexico. Based in the cycling-crazed city of Boulder, Colorado, with his wife and two kids, Ben enjoys riding most every day.
  • Discipline: Road (paved or otherwise), cyclocross and sometimes mountain. His tri-curious phase seems to have passed, thankfully
  • Preferred Terrain: Quiet mountain roads leading to places unknown
  • Current Bikes: Scott Foil Team Issue, Specialized S-Works Tarmac, Priority Eight city bike... and a constant rotation of test bikes
  • Dream Bike: A BMC Teammachine SLR01 with disc brakes and clearance for 30mm tires (doesn't yet exist)
  • Beer of Choice: Saison Dupont
  • Location: Boulder, CO, USA

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