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Tour Tech: Why are pros running MTB discs and is that a new set of Shimano wheels?

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Tour Tech: Why are professionals operating MTB discs and is {that a} new set of Shimano wheels?

WorldTour races, particularly early season or the Grand Excursions can throw up numerous little tech tidbits that may both point out the upcoming launch of a brand new product or simply be a curious experiment with growing efficiency by using intelligent adaptation of present package.

Mountain bike rotors for the win?

It’s the latter that caught our eager eyes on the Tour de France as regards to the pattern of professionals opting to run mountain bike disc rotors over the prevailing street variations which are extra commonplace. Particularly, we’re speaking about Shimano and the way groups resembling Mitchelton-Scott and Deceuninck-Fast-Step are opting to run XTR mountain bike rotors over Dura-Ace.

So why are the groups operating these? At the moment there’s nobody particular reply, particularly as groups and group mechanics maintain their playing cards near their chest relating to using ‘marginal acquire’ ways.

Adam Yates on the 2020 Tour de France (ASO)

What we do know for sure is the rotor favoured by these groups, the XTR RT-MT900 Ice Tech is lighter than the present Dura-Ace SM-RT900 Ice Tech rotor. In 160mm guise the XTR shaves a complete 10 grams off the Dura Ace and the smaller 140mm diameter is 11 grams lighter. While this may be seen as fairly minimal, for a part that has an affect of how a motorbike rolls, i.e. rotational weight, this distinction is actually going to be advantageous (or no less than give the notion of a bonus).

Dura Ace (left) or XTR (proper). Why are the professionals choosing the MTB rotor?

It’s troublesome to show any efficiency beneficial properties by the swap as each rotors make use of precisely the identical development. The braking floor utilises Shimano’s Ice Know-how and is shaped of a sandwich aluminium and metal, with metal forming the outer faces for higher braking efficiency and put on round an aluminium core for weight saving and warmth dissipation. Each XTR and Dura-Ace even have Freeza radiator fins to assist dissipate warmth build-up additional and it’s right here that the smaller fins of the XTR in all probability contribute to the decrease weight.

So is that this a efficiency enhancer we must always all be making an attempt? We’re going to check out the swap to see if this actually does make a distinction and allow you to know the outcomes.

Is Shimano about to launch a brand new wheelset?

Marc Hirschi on stage 9 of the 2020 Tour de France (Photograph by Tim de Waele/Getty Photographs)

It seems to be like Shimano is making up for misplaced time on the Tour and is throwing a mess of latest tech into the fray. We noticed one thing totally different below stage 9 hero, Workforce Sunweb’s Marc Hirschi alongside a few of his team-mates and chosen riders from fellow Shimano-sponsored group Groupama-FDJ within the form of a brand new wheelset.

The brand new wheels had been fairly straightforward to identify because of the matt carbon end and in contrast to the unbranded Corima wheels as utilized by Jumbo-Visma riders, these are very a lot Shimano by and thru. Considered a prototype wheel below testing the as but unnamed wheel seems to be to be very a lot a rouleur of a wheelset with a rim depth trying to sit inside the traditional 40-50mm class of ‘all-round’ wheels.

Probably the most noticeable distinction between these and present Shimano fashions is it seems to be to make use of a a lot wider and blunter rim profile; one thing that brings it bang updated in relation to shaping utilized by manufacturers resembling Zipp and Enve. The wheels utilized by Hirschi et al look to be tubular however we’d count on if this wheel is to see the sunshine of day as a client merchandise then clincher and tubeless variations ought to come subsequent.


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