Training data has become a crucial component of marginal gains in professional cycling, and with this, comes the use of power meters.
Here we round up what team is riding what, and point out a few custom touches spotted at the 2015 Tour Down Under.
SRM reduced its team sponsorship in 2014, but has returned as a sponsor for 2015. It's the undoubted leader of the pack, and is the most popular power meter brand among the professionals, even when it's not actually sponsoring the team.
Trek Factory Racing, Katusha, IAM Cycling, Orica-GreenEdge, BMC Racing Team, FDJ.fr are ALL using the SRM Shimano 11-speed power meter (BMC not pictured)
SRM is not the lightest nor most feature-packed unit on the market, but its reputation for data accuracy makes it the benchmark. It’s this reliable and accurate data that proves every other ‘feature’ is secondary at this level.
The following teams are sponsored by and riding SRM for 2015:
- BMC Racing Team
- Trek Factory Racing
- Astana Pro Team
The following teams are not official partners, but are using SRM:
- IAM Cycling
- Cannondale-Garmin (currently during training)
The Giant-Alpecin team will be joining LottoNL-Jumbo in using Pioneer power meters and computers in 2015. Pioneer is now in its official second year within the WorldTour and has been quick to make its mark with its Shimano Dura-Ace crank compatibility, independent leg measurement and low weight.
Pioneer-sponsored teams get special covers
Darren Harper of Pioneer Australia told BikeRadar that custom colours on the SGX-CA500 computers are easy to produce, as it’s just a skin, rather than a whole plastic body. The same can be said for the right-crank mounted power meter, where the cover is easily produced in any colour.
In other news – just in time for the Tour Down Under – Pioneer head units will now work with Shimano's Di2 D-Fly ANT+ attachment. This allows computer screen control straight from the hidden buttons found at the top of Shimano 9070 Dura-Ace Di2 shifters.
Sky is the only team in the WorldTour to use the left-crankarm mounted Stages power meter. For 2015, Team Sky will no longer have special 'team-issue' blue pods, rather just the standard black production models.
Team Sky is the only team to use Stages
Taking the data from a single crankarm and doubling it for both legs may not offer the same level of accuracy for all riders, but given Sky just signed for another year with Stages, we suspect it works just fine for the team known for its ‘marginal gains’.
An example of Team Sky's marginal gains – a new Aero Garmin mount reduces the gap and offers a more rounded profile
While on the topic of Sky and marginal gains, the team is also using the latest K-Edge Aero Garmin mount. According to Tim from K-Edge, Sky’s wind tunnel testing showed there was further room for improvement in the out-in-front computer mount.
The new mount features a smoother profile underneath, a shorter gap to the stem faceplate and a closer fit to the stem. 'Slam that stem' was the theme of 2014, perhaps 'slam that Garmin' is 2015’s?
SRAM-owned Quarq remains in the men's WorldTour peloton with Ag2r - La-Mondiale on its crank-based power meters. The team uses SRAM RED22 groupsets, with the Quarq SRAM RED 22 crank.
Ag2Rr-La Mondiale is now the only men's WorldTour team on SRAM groupsets and Quarq power meters
For 2015, SRAM’s – and therefore Quarq’s – presence is seen more strongly within pro-continental and women’s professional cycling. For example, Drapac was also using Quarq power meters at the Tour Down Under.
Movistar and now Ettix-Quickstep are officially partnered with the German chainring-spider based crank system from Power2Max. However, Lampre-Merida were also seen riding this system.
Movistar is an official partner of German-based Power2Max
Campagnolo-sponsored Movistar uses the Power2Max Type S Campagnolo 11-speed crank. This crank isn’t branded with the usual Campagnolo model names because it’s slightly different, much like SRM’s Shimano 11-speed crank, which is the closest equivalent to Dura-Ace.
Ettix-QuickStep is riding FSA carbon cranks and chainrings with Power2Max power meter spider, and Shimano Dura-Ace for the rest of the build. This Shimano setup is currently just filler – the team is rumoured to be moving to an upcoming FSA groupset later in the year.
Garmin’s Vector pedals appear only on the bikes of Cannondale-Garmin, and even then, not all riders are seen using the twin pedal-based system.
Garmin Vector pedals are being used by Cannondale-Garmin riders, just not all riders…
A few of the team bikes we saw had the Look-compatible Garmin pedals, but without the power meter pods, leaving no power meter to be found.
Other team riders were seen using SRM Cannondale SI cranks
We were told that the recent merging of Garmin-Sharp and Cannondale has meant a rush to get bikes ready for the Tour Down Under.
With this, most power meters were left in Europe for calibration, and we’re told the team uses Garmin Vectors during racing and occasionally SRMs for training.
Lastly, Rotor’s Power meter is seen sporadically on the bikes of Lampre-Merida, although the team at Tour Down Under are mostly seen with Power2Max power meters.
Lampre-Merida are sponsored by Rotor, but this is a Power2Max power meter within a Rotor crank
For a closer look at these devices, click or swipe your way through our gallery above.