Tyler Farrar’s New Cervélo

Here’s Tyler Farrar’s 2011 ride, courtesy of Velonews. Now I don’t mean this in too serious a way, I’ve not turned into The Bike Snob, it’s more a small observation. But this looks like the ride of a weekend warrior with an active eBay account, not the steed of a top sprinter.

First up the low profile clincher rims scream “amateur”. Obviously most pros train on wheels like this but the Mavic Ksyrium wheels are strictly for hobby riders, few elite racers would select them and normally pro teams are very careful to showcase the thoroughbred machine, not the training mule. Next up the Garmin device on the bars may to record Farrar’s monster power but its chunky design and sat nav hints the rider is the sort of guy who manages to get lost during a weekend training ride. In addition the bars look awkward, with the brake levers positioned in a relatively upright position. Then there’s the stainless steel bottle cages, which are fine and strong but, for me at least, simply don’t match the aesthetics of a carbon frame, whether in colour or design. Finally the chain sits on the inner ring and the biggest sprocket at the back and the cranks rest in a position that means you can’t read the Rotor wording. All that’s missing is the backdrop of a garage door.

As I say, this is only Farrar’s training bike from the Cayman Islands camp but as a “sneak peak” effort, it does not grab the reader as strongly as a bike equipped with the latest carbon rims and other dream equipment. Here’s how it’s normally done:

The bike is a 2011 Felt, which will be ridden by Team Exergy. Like I say, don’t take my comments too seriously. It’s more an observation that the normally carefully controlled media “preview” images aren’t always perfect.

10 thoughts on “Tyler Farrar’s New Cervélo”

  1. Matt

    Thanks for bringing a smile to my face. If you're going to do bike critique it has to be done properly and I couldn't agree more with the analysis.

    However…the Felt pic isn't perfect either. Note the slightly sloping down saddle reminiscent of the lamer commute monkey who insists on adding extra buff to the saddle by raising it at least 2cm higher than anatomy requires.

    Keep up the good work matey.


  2. Looks like a setup just for the picture. the cages are Arundel s/steel which Garmin used for Roubaix last year. Mavic are Garmin sponsors and for pottering about/photo op. those Ksyriums are fine. Prob. just a bike the mechanics are pottering around on

  3. But notice that Garmin is finally making use of their bike sponsor's aero frames. Felt couldn't get them on the AR.

    Over at HTC, I think Cavendish rode the Scott F01 for a day before "fit" issues, likely as in "he threw one," that were so intractable that he rode an Addict for the rest of the season, IIRC.

  4. I'm going to have to disagree with you on this one. I think this is unnecessarily picky.

    I'm sure the VN photog who shot this wasn't being paid by Garmin or Rotor. And your comments are without merit. First, I would argue that its possibly in Mavic's interest to show riders on lower end (not top of the line) equipment. "Hobby riders" might feel better about their wheels and others may become more interested enough to purchase them. Any product showing is good.

    Second, I had to laugh when you scoffed at the Garmin computer…the namesake of their sponsor. It would be wrong for them to have anything less. The VN article even mentions that every rider gets/uses one.

    And far as the position on the bike (the bars look awkward, with the brake levers positioned in a relatively upright position)…its a training bike he JUST received. The bars/levers in your felt offering look pretty much the same.

    "few elite racers would select them and normally pro teams are very careful to showcase the thoroughbred machine, not the training mule."

    YET "As I say, this is only Farrar's training bike from the Cayman Islands camp"

    I personally enjoy seeing any bike a pro uses. It's still nicer than mine.

    You say to not take you too seriously on this one, but this is kind of a fluff piece, the kind I haven't expected of you. So it's hard to swallow.

  5. Gillis! It was meant to be a light piece…

    In many ways I agree with you, it is only a bike used in a pre-season camp and it has some interesting features (eg Exustar pedals), it's not a marketing piece. Note though that Garmin have more slimline bike computers these days.

  6. It IS only a bike used in the Cayman Camp and that the riders took home with them for training between now and their full camp in Spain next month.

    I can say that for certain, as I was there and that's what the team and mechanics told me.

    That's it, no story here 🙂

  7. Good piece. I thought the same when I saw the curious placement of the Elites. But maybe its a calculated selling tactic. Companies don't make money on racers, sponsored or otherwise (they are smarter than most bike companies and know how to not pay retail). Buying a bike that Pro uses at a reasonable price point could spur sales. Maybe.

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  9. Champs – I can assure you mate that "fit" was exactly Cav's issue, as he'd barely spent any time on the bike and was then asked to race (and win!) stages at the TdF on it. His bike was built up literally the week before the TdF. I know this from the spanner who was putting it together.

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