New year, new gear — pros don the latest kit at the first WorldTour race of the season

Helmets, saddles, power meters and more on show at the Tour Down Under

This article was originally published on Cyclingnews.com

It’s January and that means that the WorldTour descends on Adelaide for the Tour Down Under. The racing itself doesn’t get underway until Sunday, but as the riders begin to trickle in so does a boatload of new gear.

WorldTour riders are obligated to wear 2017 sponsor gear up until 31 December, even if they've transferred to a new team, so the Tour Down Under is often the first time we see riders in their new kit.

We’ve been in the pits with our eyes peeled and cameras ready, and have spotted a few interesting bits of tech so far.

Helmets, helmets and more helmets

Dimension Data also had a few riders sporting ARO3 helmets, which are said to be a bit more ventilated than the AR05
Dimension Data also had a few riders sporting ARO3 helmets, which are said to be a bit more ventilated than the AR05

Dimension Data and Katusha-Alpecin have swapped to Oakley lids for 2018, and Lotto-Soudal have changed from Lazer to HJC.

Based in France, HJC has been making motorsports helmets since 1971 and have three cycling lids in its catalogue. The helmet adorned by Lotto-Soudal is yet to appear on the company's website, but features similar design elements to the Giro Synthe.

Lotto-Soudal has swapped from Lazer to HJC lids for 2018
Lotto-Soudal has swapped from Lazer to HJC lids for 2018

A few riders from Bora-Hansgrohe are wearing a previously unseen model, which appears to be an update to the Evade, with a smaller profile and snub tail that has proven to be the fastest design in the past few years.

Movistar has updated its colours for 2018 and has outfitted its TDU team with the latest Abus Aventor, which was launched back in October.

Movistar had the new (as of October 2017) Aventor lids laid out for Wednesday's training ride
Movistar had the new (as of October 2017) Aventor lids laid out for Wednesday's training ride

Saddles

When it comes to seating arrangements, every rider has their own preference, and this is the place where mechanics are typically forced to utilise the most magic marker to make things sponsor-correct.

It appears Syncros has its own version of the short, wide ,with a large cutout saddle
It appears Syncros has its own version of the short, wide ,with a large cutout saddle

It seems quite a few riders are big fans of short, wide saddles like the Specialized Power, with riders from FDJ sporting the new Prologo Dimension seats. Mitchelton-Scott’s bikes are adorned with a previously unseen Syncros saddle.

Among Dimension Data's new sponsors for 2018, the team has partnered with Italian saddle maker Astute, known for using tri-density memory foam in its perches.

Dimension Data has ditched Fizik saddles for Astute in 2018
Dimension Data has ditched Fizik saddles for Astute in 2018

LottoNL-Jumbo have swapped from San Marco to Fizik saddles for 2018 and many of the riders are on the new Arione and Antares Open, which feature plastic bumpers on the edges that so often get ripped and slightly updated shapes.

Power meters

Last month Shimano said it would be providing power meters to Team Sky, however all the team bikes were equipped with Stages meters
Last month Shimano said it would be providing power meters to Team Sky, however all the team bikes were equipped with Stages meters

In December, Shimano told us it would be supplying its power meters to six WorldTour teams; FDJ, BMC Racing, Trek-Segafredo, Mitchelton-Scott, Team Sunweb, and Team Sky.

Of those, all but Team Sky and Mitchelton-Scott were sporting the Shimano meters. Sky were still running Stages power meters on Shimano R9100 cranks while Mitchelton-Scott were running Dura-Ace R9000 SRM meters paired with PC8 computers — it does appear that Mitchelton-Scott are riding last year's bikes though, because the Orica logo still appears on the fork.

Both Caleb Ewan and Daryl Impy were running an older Dura-Ace R9000 SRM power meter
Both Caleb Ewan and Daryl Impy were running an older Dura-Ace R9000 SRM power meter

Spotted for the first time was the ultra Gucci SRM Origin power meter which was paired with Shimano’s R9100 chainring on the Bahrain-Merida bikes. AG2R-La Mondiale are still running Dura-Ace R9000 chainrings with the same SRM meters.

Bahrain Merida riders are using blinged out SRM Origin power meters for 2018
Bahrain Merida riders are using blinged out SRM Origin power meters for 2018

House brand components

House brand components are having a strong showing in the WorldTour for 2018 with the Trek, Giant and Specialized sponsored teams running their own components, saddles and wheels.

Will Sunweb live up to their hashtag?
Will Sunweb live up to their hashtag?

Mitchelton-Scott is running Syncros components and saddles with Shimano Dura-Ace wheels.

Colin Levitch

Staff Writer, Australia
Originally from Denver, Colorado, Colin now resides in Sydney, Australia. Holding a media degree, Colin is focused on the adventure sport media world. Coming from a ski background, his former European pro father convinced him to try collegiate crit racing. Although his bright socks say full roadie, he enjoys the occasional mountain bike ride, too.
  • Discipline: Road, mountain
  • Preferred Terrain: Tarmac mountain climbs into snow-covered hills
  • Current Bikes: BMC TeamMachine SLR01, Trek Top Fuel 9
  • Dream Bike: Mosaic Cycles RT-1
  • Beer of Choice: New Belgium La Folie
  • Location: Sydney, Australia

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