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Secrets Of Speed | Shimano Time Trial Tech At Le Tour de France 2019

Secrets Of Speed | Shimano Time Trial Tech At Le Tour de France 2019


(loud percussion) – [Blonde Man] I’m here
at the Tour de France to see how one of the
biggest companies in cycling, Shimano, supports its
sponsored teams in time trials. Now, Shimano currently
sponsors seven teams in the world tour here
at the Tour de France. They are Bora, Mitchelton Scott, FDJ, Quick-Step, Jumbo Visma, Sunweb and INEOS. (chillhop music) – Now, some of you may be wondering, “What about those other
teams that use Shimano?” Like, Bahrain Merida or EF– Education First, or Astana. Well, those teams do use
Shimano, but they’re not technically sponsored by them. The ones that are, are
the ones that I listed. Now before I go and show
you the time trial tech that Shimano helps its teams with, make sure you subscribe to GCN if you haven’t already and also remember to click the little bell icon ’cause it helps the channel out and gives you a notification when
we upload new content. (chillhop music) I’ve got a superb example for you here of a Shimano sponsored time trial bike used for the Tour de France. This is the Pinarello
Bolide of Geraint Thomas, the reigning Tour de France Champion. It doesn’t get much cooler than this. Now the obvious thing that
stands out about this bike apart from the time trial frame is the wheels and they come from Shimano’s subsidiary, PRO. Now, we have a disk wheel at the back and a very distinctive
tri-spoke at the front. The reason why they use
the disk wheel is because it offers lower drag than
a normal spoked wheel. It doesn’t have all the spokes that can catch the wind and
effectively slosh around. But, the reason why
they don’t use the disk on the front as well, is because it is too aerodynamically unstable. That big disk makes you faster, but it acts like a big sail. Which means, if you were to
have it on the front wheel, where, is the pivot of the
steering, it would effectively– if there a gust– it could
knock the steering off and potentially cause the
rider to crash or at least knock them off course. So, instead we have the tri-spoke from PRO which is very aerodynamic wheel, but there’s other wheels
offered from Shimano as well. So we have the Shimano C60 and the shallower Shimano C40. And the wheel that the
rider will use in the front is very much down to personal preference and also the conditions. So on very windy days, you
can expect the riders to use a shallower wheel like the C40 or perhaps, sometimes lighter riders
as well, they prefer a shallower wheel, as well. Another piece of really cool kit that Shimano supplies to the PRO team are specialist chain sets. I love these. I think they are really, really cool. So, look at the size of the chain set that’s on Geraint Thomas’ time trial bike. It’s an absolute whopper. I mean, you could eat
your dinner off that, it’s such a big dinner plate. It’s a 58-46. Now, most of us mortals,
when we ride bikes, we have about a 50-34 compact chain set or maybe a 52-36, but
that chain ring is huge So Geraint Thomas is
obviously very, very strong as are many of the pros and so they do push bigger chain rings, but they’re not generally using the 58 with the 11 tooth tiny cog at the back. They generally ride it in
the middle of the block and the advantage of
having a bigger chain ring is that it offers a a better chain line and also bigger chain
rings create less friction within the drivetrain. And the reason for this is that the chain travels through less tight angles. And if you use smaller chain rings, well that’s less efficient. That’s less mechanically efficient because there’s more friction
in all the little joints in the chain as it bends more through all the tighter angles. And by saving this
small amount of friction in the drivetrain, they can save a few watts
when the driver is pedaling. And this is only a small amount of power. Something in the region of, you know, three to five watts, but when the winning margins
are so small in time trials, this can be significant. This can be the difference
between winning or losing. The other cool thing
about these chain sets is that the inner chain ring
and the outer chain ring are matched together in a set. So here we have the 58-46. And the reason for that is because, if you have too big a gap
between the chain links, you can’t mix and match them. For example, you can’t have
a 58 and pair it with a 34, because the gap is then too big and you could potentially drop the chain when you change between the two. And so you have really,
really intricate and really careful ramping. The shaping of these teeth is deliberate and matches up with the shaping
on this inner chain ring, so that when you change, shifts (pop) perfectly. And while we are talking
about the drivetrain, we need to talk about the cassette because there are different
options available there, too. And, now, Geraint Thomas
has opted on this occasion for an 11-30 cassette. Now that offers the
biggest range available. But, Shimano also does
11-28 and 11-25 cassettes. Now, the choice of the
cassette that’s fitted depends on rider preference, but also the specific stage or course profile of the time trial they’ll be riding. Now, flatter courses riders
might opt for an 11-25. And the reason for that is because it’s a closer ratio to cassette which means that the jumps between
each gear are smaller. Which means you can kind of fine tune and just have, like, smoother gears and really fine tune your cadence and your gear choice. But the downside to an 11-25 is that, if there’s a hill in the course, you don’t have that
bigger 28 or 30 tooth gear for getting up the hill. (chillhop music) Come over to group
Groupama-FDJ to have a look at their time trial equipment. Now, they’re a really
good example because, Groupama-FDJ were a team that would quiver and have nightmares at the
prospect of a team time trial. They’d often lose a lot
of time to their rivals but they’ve turned it around and they did this by, well, by
looking at their training, but also their equipment. So, let’s have a look. (chillhop music) – From your perspective as
a mechanic working on bikes such as this which have incredible amounts of integration, how is life different when you are using an electronic
group set like DI-2 compared to the traditional
cable group sets from– you know mechanical group
sets, from older days. – [Jurgen] I think we
are a little bit spoiled because we have all the nice equipment and especially the DI-2 because as you can see we want to
have everything inside. With the mechanical group set that’s probably a little bit easy
to have such a clean set-up. For us, for aerodynamics,
DI-2 is what you need. – [Blonde Man] And so, I
know as well, on the front that’s quite an interesting,
well it’s quite unusual. What’s going on with the shifters on the tri-bar extensions
of Stephan’s bike? – [Jurgen] Well, it
started in the beginning of the season, you know,
where we did the fitting with Stephan and he really wanted something, you know, like really specific set-up of the bike and we decided that we wanted to use the sprint shifters which is maybe sounds
a little bit strange, but the sprint shifter you can use just by connecting to
the normal brake shifter. – [Blonde Man] And I
guess it’s also useful that you can shift both in the base bar and on the tri-bars as well whereas on mechanical group sets– – [Jurgen] Exactly, exactly. That’s what– You have to be in the
arrow position to shift. That’s very important but
if you come to a turn, or like a short hill or something, you have to be able to react immediately. It’s all about seconds
and that’s how you do it with DI-2. (chillhop music) – [Blonde Man] To change gear
and brake on a time trial bike uses different shifters
and the reason for this is that the time trial shifters
are designed to be smaller, and more aerodynamic and, well, they’re ergonomically
different because they are in a different position. Completely different orientation
to a normal road bike and so Shimano makes special ones. So you can see here that the
Dura-Ace time trial louvers that go in the base bar
with their smaller levers and also these buttons on the extensions. Which means you can change gear both in the base bar and on the extensions. And the cool thing here of
the Groupama-FDJ team crook is we have examples of three different types. So on Rudy Molard’s bike, he’s got the previous generation
extension shifters. Then on Stefan Kung’s bike,
he’s actually got a hat. This is really cool. He’s got some sprint shifters
on the end of his bar ends. And they work exactly the same way and that’s one of the
beauties of Dura-Ace, is the wires can simply be routed into the junction box and, well, it works. And then, moving back here onto one of the other riders bikes we’ve got the latest model of extension shifters on the end here with these simple buttons. Very nice. One of the cool things about Shimano DI-2 being electronic is that
you can actually program it. And that’s actually easier
to do than you might think. Theres’s an E-tube app which you can get on your phone or tablet. And using that you can
connect it to the group set and you can do a number of things such as you can program what the
functions of specific buttons are. So, normally you’d have
the standard set-up of this button shifts down
and this button shifts up. But, you can switch it
round if you wanted to or you could even make these buttons control the front de railer
if you really wanted to. But it’s cool to have that
customization for the riders. You can also tune the gears
with the system as well. So, for example, certain gear combinations aren’t as efficient as others. You can set the system to avoid
these for you automatically. So, for example, the big
chain ring at the front and when that is paired with
big sprocket at the back, that’s a cross chain and
it’s a sub-optimal gear and it creates a lot of
additional drivetrain friction and isn’t very efficient and so you can set the system so that you can never enter that gear which is kind of useful. And, finally, a really
important piece of tech that Shimano provides is its power meter. Now, this is also found on the road bikes that the sponsored team will use, but in time trials, power meters are hugely important. Many riders ride to power
now because it allows them to gage and pace their
effort very effectively and not go out too hard. And going out too hard could mean you blow up and hemorrhage
time before you even get to the finish and, well, lose. I hope you have enjoyed this
behind the scenes look at how Shimano provides specialist equipment to help support its teams in time trials and if you have, then
please give it a thumbs up and share it with your friends. And to see how Shimano helps support teams in the Cobbled Classics with
specialists bits and pieces, then you can click over here. I really love the time trial tech. I’m a bit of a time trial nerd. And in case you’d like to
buy one of these brilliant France-themed GCN T-shirts,
well got them for sale in the GCN Shop. You’re in luck. So, click down here.

100 comments on “Secrets Of Speed | Shimano Time Trial Tech At Le Tour de France 2019

  1. All it takes is one thread of steel wire laying in the grass to immediately completely destroy your Shimano gear shift.

  2. That "not technically sponsored" comment at the start is confusingly vague and unhelpful. There's no such thing as "technically sponsored": either you're sponsored or you're not. The point is that the seven listed sponsored teams are given Shimano gear in exchange for advertising; any other team is free to buy Shimano equipment on the open market, just like you and me — but they have to pay for it, just like you and me.

  3. Do bigger chainrings really mean less friction in the chain? I can not belive it. Yes, the bending angles for each link are smaller, but there are more links bent at the same time. The total angle is the same no matter the size of the chainring (or jockey wheel). Are there sufficient studies prooving this assumption of less friction with bigger chainrings?

  4. Does the increase weight of the bigger chain ring, offsets the decrease in drive chain friction? Prove it?
    (Does the increased size of the dish means that the Brussel sprouts look more attractive?)

  5. Why sram made smaller chainring and cogs? such as 50t chainring and 10s cogs. They make more flections.

  6. Seeing that brilliant sprint shifter hack on the FDJ bike makes me regret A. Spending $700 USD on integrated bars that can't accept aero bars and B. Opting for the 3 port junction box that was no less expensive than the five port because "shucks I just don't think I'll need the extra ports!" I freakin love Di2.

  7. "if you use smaller chainrings, it's less efficient" I guess you won't be saying this in the SRAM sponsored videos… 😂

  8. Eh, I also got a 58t 1x chain ring and a 14-25 cassette on my specialized shiv. Ftp at just under 300w so still quite amateur

  9. I'm still a bit surprised, that Sky/Ineos isn't using the Ceramicspeed OSPW System. I know the difference is pretty much negligible, but if you put a 58 tooth chainring on the front, you can also take the extra step and get the oversized pulley wheels. They are probably not sponsored by Ceramicspeed, but I'm pretty sure they can afford it.
    But maybe Shimano says, if you want to be sponsored by us, you are not allowed to change the pulley wheels. The same for the chain, instead of using a the Ceramicspeed-Chain, they use normal Shimano chains.

  10. Uhm… Ultra aero bike for Ineos…. and then stick those stickers on them?!?! Squeeze me? Ineos stopped doing marginal gains?

  11. What does it take to be a team that is sponsored by Shimano??
    Do they have to run all Shimano components. Why some teams yes and some teams no???????

  12. there are infomercial i enjoyed watching, namely those where there's a real discussion on why the company made those decision it has taken for it's products. Not this one. this is not enought more than a simple list of talk-point the brand pointed out

  13. Shimano doesnt support Trek-Segafredo as Bauke Mollema told us during the Giro.
    I quote … "AAAAAAARRGHH F*CKING SRAM"

  14. I still find the new TT shifters to be terrible. I think Team Sky already knew this and stuck with the previous generation bar end shifters without the synchro-shift.

  15. Seems like you’re trying to make people scared of big chainrings. Using a 58 or a 60 doesn’t mean you’re really strong. It’s for chain line efficiency. If you think about it anyone could use a 56t. 56/28 is the same gear as 50/25.

  16. No disc brakes on that Pinarello GCN, don't know how you managed to say anything nice about it, must have made you feel sick…..

  17. 7:30 Not gonna lie. This looks like ASS. Like garage in Birmingham level of bodge.
    Good thing they only use these bikes for 1 race, because there are amateur Triathletes with cleaner setups than this shit.

  18. Wow, crazy how that Pinarello turns into a Bianchi between 1:40 and 2:02 and then again at 5:44 and 11:01!

  19. Ollie, when you're back in the office, can you do a segment for GCNTech to better illustrate the friction savings of running a 58×15 straight line vs a requisite gear inches on a 53T or 54T that would be angled?

  20. Lance was talking about the chainring and cassette stuff on his podcast, making many of the same points. Maybe he saw this video?

  21. I run a 53-39 and 11-32 . I live in the middle of the cassette . It works well with my cadence in the big gear.

  22. I found this video a bit too heavy on the advertising side, you only reiterated things said many times on the channel and elsewhere

  23. 9:34 yeah that's only available if you pay the some extra €200 for the Bluetooth and Ant+ junction receiver and transmitter and a new battery which works with the new junction box.
    Thanks Shimano, as if the huge expense for the full di2 groupset wasn't already enough.

  24. No Thank's!
    I don't do ugly,or boring!
    My Colnago with full Campagnolo Super Record EPS,Bora Ultra,etc,get's more jealous look's
    than any Shima(NO!) Dura-Ace equipped bike.
    Check out the Shima(NO!) chainset which is a complete botch,with the end bolt.
    Campagnolo are coming back,with current World,and Giro Winners,riding CAMPAGNOLO!!!
    We may have less teams,but we punch above our weight.

  25. Froome almost didn't win the tour because his SHIMANO wheel failed and on another day his SHIMANO gears failed. Funnily there was no mention of this at all on GCN. Dont write to ask them about this, they won't reply.

  26. I am completely disappointed about that a company like shimano, with their high production volume, still not making the Aero Pro carbon wheels in clincher versions when all the other brands do. One year more in the same situation…

  27. Bigger chainrings are not only more efficient. Gear selection is also better. If you shift from 12t to 11t the gear ratio difference is bigger than if you shift from 14t to 13t.

  28. Say 'Shimano' again. Say 'Shimano' again, I dare you, I double dare you motherf***er, say 'Shimano' one more Goddamn time!

  29. “Mechanical groupsets from older days…”
    Don’t forget where you came from Oli- the majority of us are still struggling in those times with all the gear changing precision of a potato. I barely want to ride my bike.

  30. As always, great job Ollie, nice to see Lapierre TT bikes on GCN, they produce very good MTB, road bikes and TT bikes.

  31. Going off his explanation of the relationship between the front chain rings, I don’t think Ollie understands chain wrap.

  32. Another reason to not have too much of a gap between chainrings is that the rear derailleur will not be able to handle the chain length difference (chain will be too loose on small ring/smaller cogs). Re: cassettes, Shimano also makes 12/25 and 12/28 (DA only for 12/28). These should be preferred for flatter courses as you get a 18T cog (on 12/25) or 16T cog (on 12/28) which you do not get with the more common 11/28 or 11/25. This gives the rider a smaller gear jump in the midrange so that he can more easily find the perfect gear on flatter terrain. This of course also assumes the 11T is not needed.

  33. i seriously wonder tho how slapping on stickers on the seattube and seatpost falls into marginal gains when both names are already well represented in the kit and bike

  34. A bigger crank sprocket like a TT 58 is that there are more chain links being cranked on that 58 sprocket thereby less potential for a slippage failure compared to a smaller 53 sprocket, for example. Can't believe you missed that point.

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