While the majority of the WorldTour peloton races on Shimano or Campagnolo, Katusha-Alpecin is the one notable team running SRAM components. German and world time trial champion Tony Martin raced Canyon’s Aeroad frame for the fourth stage of this year's Tour de France, equipped with a SRAM Red eTap HRD disc groupset and Zipp’s latest wheelset, the 454 NSW.
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Martin’s compatriot Marcel Kittel became the first rider in history to win a Tour stage on disc brakes on stage 2 of the race. Kittel's Quick-Step and other Shimano-sponsored teams are running 140mm rotors when using disc brakes, but the SRAM-sponsored Katusha-Alpecin has 160mm rotors.
The UCI standard is 160mm rotors and thus the disc wheel spares available on Mavic neutral service are 160mm. This puts Mavic in a strange position, and the wheel company's brand manager Chad Moore said Mavic may bring 140mm wheels inside the cars, just in case.
In any event, the complexity of disc wheel changes was one reason behind Mavic's decision to prioritise complete bike changes this year, and the inclusion of dropper seatposts on neutral bikes to adjust to a rider's saddle height on the fly.
The Zipp 454 NSW wheelset on which Martin's brakes are mounted launched in clincher form last year and features a rim design inspired by the distinctive shape of a pectoral fin on a humpback whale.
The unique shape of the fins generates a close vortex, allowing the water flow to stay attached to the fin and perform extreme manoeuvres in a small area at high speeds due to reduced turbulence.
Zipp made the 454 NSW clincher available in versions for both rim and disc brakes, but Martin rides a tubular version of the wheelset and the Katusha-Alpecin team have also been seen racing the 454 NSW rim brake in a tubular format.
We reached out to Zipp asking whether the tubular versions will be available for consumers and are awaiting a response.
The Canyon Aeroad CF SLX 9.0 SL frame is the latest carnation of the German brand’s aero model and is electronic-groupset specific.
- Frame: Canyon Aeroad CF SLX 9.0 SL
- Fork: Canyon Aeroblade SLX Disc
- Brakes: SRAM Red eTap HRD disc brakes, 160mm rotors
- Brake/shift levers: SRAM Red eTap HRD Shift-Brake control
- Front derailleur: SRAM Red eTap
- Rear derailleur: SRAM Red eTap
- Crankset: SRAM Red with Quarq power meter, 54/39t chainrings, 175mm cranks
- Wheels: Zipp 454 NSW disc brake
- Tyres: Continental Competition ALX 25mm tubular
- Handlebars: Canyon H16, 390mm
- Stem: Canyon V13, 120mm
- Headset: Canyon Arcos
- Tape/grips: Selle Italia Smootape Gran Fondo
- Pedals: Look Keo 2 Max
- Saddle: Selle Italia Novus Team Edition, customised
- Seatpost: Canyon S27 carbon
- Bottle cages: Tacx Deva
Click or swipe through the gallery above to take a close look at the German’s bike.