Tour de France: What makes a time trial bike?
This year's Tour features fewer kilometres of time trialling than 2012's. Even so, the stages against the clock may prove decisive.
As both technology and investment have increased in cycling, so too has the complexity of the time trial bike. With the ability to simulate airflow using a computer program rather than having to create a design and take it to a wind tunnel, bikes have become ever faster, even within the constraints of the UCI's rules.
One such machine is the new Aerostorm from French manufacturer Lapierre. Ridden by the FDJ squad, it's the very latest machine to be released and features most of the tried and tested aero tweaks such as the stem line integrating flawlessly into the top tube, and the back of the fork crown flowing into the down tube.
As you'd expect, Lapierrre has pushed things even further and incorporated the front brake into the fork crown for a slippery design that will continue to offer good braking performance.
At the rear, they have left plenty of space around the rear wheel to facilitate the new wider style of disc, such as this Pro Textreme version so that riders can benefit from the lower rolling resistance of 25mm tyres.
Rear caliper is trucked away behind the BB
Stem bolts keep out of the airflow
Stem and bars are smooth and slippery
Short-nosed TT-specific saddle
Lapierre's new Aerostorm exhibits the latest in wind-cheating technology
This article was first published in the June 20 issue of Cycling Weekly. Read Cycling Weekly magazine on the day of release where ever you are in the world International digital edition, UK digital edition. And if you like us, rate us!