2015 Pro Team Bikes

Movistar Team Bike 2015 Canyon

Here is the list of who is riding what in 2015. You’ll find all the pro team bikes for the 17 World Tour teams and the 19 Pro Continental teams.

Team Frame Components Wheels
Ag2r La Mondiale Focus SRAM Zipp
Astana Specialized Campagnolo Corima
BMC Racing BMC Shimano Shimano
FDJ Lapierre Shimano Shimano
Cannondale-Garmin Cannondale Shimano* Mavic
Etixx-Quick Step Specialized FSA/Shimano* Vision
Giant-Alpecin Giant Shimano Shimano
IAM Cycling Scott Shimano* DT Swiss
Katusha Canyon Shimano Mavic
Lampre-Merida Merida Rotor/Shimano* Fulcrum
Lotto-Soudal Ridley Campagnolo* Campagnolo
Movistar Canyon Campagnolo Campagnolo
Orica-Greenedge Scott Shimano Shimano
Team Lotto NL-Jumbo Bianchi Shimano Shimano
Team Sky Pinarello Shimano Shimano
Tinkoff-Saxo Specialized FSA/Shimano* Roval
Trek Factory Racing Trek Shimano Bontrager

What’s new for 2015?

  • Shimano dominates ahead of Campagnolo and SRAM
  • There’s only one SRAM team left with Ag2r La Mondiale. In 2011 SRAM were the largest supplier of groupsets to the World Tour with eight teams
  • Several teams opt for a mix-and-match approach rather than a single groupset. Cannondale-Garmin have Cannondale chainsets, Shimano shifters and Mavic wheels. Etixx-Quickstep have a mix of FSA and Shimano components
  • Cervélo leave the World Tour after years with Slipstream but their parent company Pon Holdings stays in the World Tour as they also own Focus
  • Colnago drop out following Europcar’s ejection
  • There’s more to come. Giant have announced two new frames for their team which will be unveiled later
  • Only the principal parts are listed but note the wider sponsorship from power meter manufacturers. SRM, Quarq, Stages, Pioneer, Power2Max and Garmin are there as the choice widens

As ever these deals are commercial and those adverts saying “the choice of” such and such rider? More like the sponsor offered the largest sum of money to the team, management said yes and the rider had no input or say. There’s been talk of teams shunning SRAM for its lack of electronic shifting but this is coming, Ag2r La Mondiale have been seen fitting prototype wireless electronic shifting kits to the team bikes for 2015. Meanwhile this image supplied by Cannondale-Garmin shows wired gearing from Shimano on a Super Six Evo.

Cannondale Super Six Evo

* Asterisks in the table above denote the use of components without visible sponsorship. Cannondale-Garmin, Etixx-Quick Step, IAM Cycling and Lampre-Merida are all using Shimano components but there’s no mention of the Japanese firm as a sponsor, partner or technical supplier on the website, ditto Lotto-Belisol for Campagnolo. Let’s explore this further…

Etixx Quick Step Specialized Shimano

Take Etixx-Quickstep who are using a mix of Shimano and FSA components, you can see the Shimano Dura Ace brake levers and calipers being fitted on the bike in the photo above, along with FSA bars and stem. But visit the Etixx-Quickstep team website and Shimano isn’t a sponsor. This isn’t new but it’s spreading. Teams buying components doesn’t mean visiting a bike shop or going online and adding 80 groupsets into a shopping basket at a time. They’re likely to get trade prices or better from their local importer or distributor. Still, it is curious to think even some of the biggest teams have to buy in their own parts.

Official sponsorship by Shimano, Campagnolo or SRAM often means taking the whole package from shifters and brakes to wheels and other components. Some teams instead prefer to have a wheel sponsor here, a power meter sponsor there and presumably this is more lucrative than a single groupset sponsorship deal.

UCI Pro Continental teams

Team Frame Components Wheels
Androni Giocattoli-Venezuela Kuota Shimano Deda Elementi
Bardiani-CSF Cipollini Campagnolo Deda Elementi
Bora-Argon 18 Argon 18 FSA/Shimano Vision
Bretagne-Séché Environnement Look Shimano American Classic
Caja Rural-Seguros RGA Fuji Shimano Oval
CCC Sprandi-Polkowice Guerciotti Shimano Ursus
Cofidis Orbea FSA/Shimano Vision
Colombia Wilier Triestina FSA/Shimano Vision
Cult Energy Ridley Shimano Black Inc.
Drapac Professional Cycling Swift SRAM Zipp
Europcar Colnago Campagnolo Campagnolo
MTN-Qhubeka Cervélo Rotor/Shimano Enve
Nippo-Fantini De Rosa Campagnolo Campagnolo
Rusvelo Colnago Campagnolo Campagnolo
Southeast Cipollini Campagnolo Ursus
Team Novo Nordisk Orbea Shimano Shimano
Team Roompot Isaac SRAM FFWD
Topsport Vlaanderen-Baloise Merckx Shimano FFWD
United Healthcare Wilier Triestina Shimano Shimano
Wanty-Groupe Gobert Cube Shimano Fulcrum

These might be second tier teams but there are some premium bikes. MTN-Qhubeka have Cervélo frames and new for the pro peloton, Enve rims while Rusvelo go for the classic Colnago with Campagnolo Super Record. But there are also some smaller names and artisans like De Rosa and Argon 18. Also note the mix-and-match aspect here. We see more teams using FSA and its wheel brand Vision, the Taiwanese firm is setting its sights on becoming the fourth player in the component market with Campagnolo, Shimano and SRAM.

Cipollini Bardiani bike

On the subject of incomplete sets, the list above is provisional and based on a mix of enquiries and trawling websites, Twitter and Facebook in the last few days and the info’s been hard to compile, some teams have yet to update their websites with 2015 rider rosters yet alone stage their publicity launch and announce their bikes. Suggestions for updates and corrections are welcome.

127 thoughts on “2015 Pro Team Bikes”

  1. Southeast is a Chinese company,as I remember this will be the first time that a Chinese company be a title sponsor of a European PCT team.

    • Well, they do have to match the riders with plucked eyebrows and custom shoes . . .

      Throw a link up of a good looking bike sold today. Not being cheeky – would like to see what you like.

    • Melbin,

      I think Cannondale and Canyon are ugly bikes too, but I disagree of Cipo. I don’t like flashy colors, but I like all Cipos that I saw until today.

      • I think the Cipollini pictured looks a little odd because it’s a really small frame. Assuming the wheels are the same size, look how much tighter the whole frame looks.

        On the Cannondale, if you hold up a marked piece of paper horizontally, the top length is about one wheel diameter. The same measure on the Canyon is just under a wheel diameter. While on the Cipollini, it’s a good bit under.

        Similarly, if you look at axle to axle, compared to wheel diameter, the Cipollini looks like it’s about 50% larger axle to axle. The Canyon looks almost the same ratio, while the Cannondale looks more like 60% larger. (I didn’t actually measure, just eyeballed from marked pieces of paper.)

        I wonder who the rider is pictured with the Cipollini, and how tall he is?

    • For the evil empire, Specialized is making a nice looking frames. The Shiv is not that pretty, but the other three frames are and the way Tinkoff has set them up is pretty nice.

      • I like the Bianchi frames, too, especially the Infinito CV whose 2014 version – not seen the 2015 in person – I find really good looking (to be a carb frame at least; personally I’m riding a classical-looking, just slightly sloping, not-so-fat tubes, titanium frame, whatever it weighs).
        The Sempre isn’t especially innovative but it’s ok and the Oltre’s very nice, too, even if the colour combinations due to team sponsorship haven’t been exactly irreproachable.

        • And I’ll add to that the Orca. Though it used to be more attractive, it’s a very good frame. I’m happy their under Cofidis. And, I still miss the days of Euskaltel-Euskadi.

          The world does seem to have reached a what they ride/what we ride era. I cannot justify the cost of the security team it would take to protect a brand new bike if I decided to stop for coffee.

    • I hope this fluorescent color fad, soon fizzles out .
      The fluo colors also fade badly in sunlight, in as little as a year. Maybe not of concern to pro teams, whoc change every year. But consumers, beware.

  2. I think you made a small mistake, for as far as i know Team Roompot is riding on FFWD wheels.
    Surprising to see so few teams in total on Sram, wonder if it is because they haven’t got electric shifting yet.

    • There was a fair bit of speculation after the “secret pro” talked of groupset bashing in the Peloton a year or two back: http://cyclingtips.com.au/2013/02/let-the-season-begin/

      I read a fair few theories that it was SRAM that the pros lambasted regularly, so I think that and the lack of electronics is probably to blame (as the secret pro mentions, “electronic groupsets are where it’s at nowadays”).

      Personally I ride SRAM. it’s very positive in feel, if a bit noisy in the change. It seems great to me but a bad reputation is hard to shift (pun intentional, sorry).

  3. Weird how Cannondale was really the team that folded and yet they now have their name coming first in the new merger and also their colour (green). Looks to outsiders like they’ve absorbed Garmin-Sharp, not the other way around.

    • You are confusing a sponsor for a team. Cannondale left the Italian team it used to sponsor and brought its money (and some riders) to Slipstream. Meanwhile Garmin reduced its sponsorship (as previously planned). Give more money and you get top billing.

    • I was thinking the same thing. If you compare it to the Cérvelo ‘merger’ it has been handled much differently from an outward appearance . It would be interesting to compare the financial aspects of each.

      And here, as long as I have the stage: I was really disappointed to see Phil Gaimon get cut but Dannielson and Hesjedal remain. That team is there for a solid reason and they betray that reason this year. Okay, that’s off my chest. Thanks.

      • As I understood it, Cannondale-Garmin kept the riders who already had existing contracts for 2015. That included Danielson, who I personally don’t like either, and others like Acevedo who didn’t do much to prove WT status last year. If anything, you need to compare Gaimon to who they actually signed new for 2015 like Dombrowski and Ted King and to be fair both deserve a spot over Phil.

      • BenDe,

        I like Gaimon too, but almost all highlights of the last season Ryder was main component of them: pulling insanely Talansky for his GC victory on Dauphine, pulling Martin on Lombardia, victory on Vuelta. Definitely one of the most consistent riders of Garmin with Ramunas.

        I gess it’s a doping issue which you are complaining.

        • Despite being a fellow Canadian from the same town as Ryder, I continue to have a very difficult time accepting his “confession”. Another Canadian cyclist: Will Routley summed it best when he said it was a very convenient confession, just outside the statute of limitations for prosecution and perhaps the most striking point that Will pointed out is that none of the confessed dopers has returned prize money earned while doping. Shame on you Ryder. If you are really sorry for what you did then you would have done the “right” thing.

  4. So Slipstream go from having access to the Cervelo aero technology to Cannondale. The Slice RS is a competent TT bike, don’t get me wrong, but it isn’t the P5. It’ll be interesting to see if this hurts their TTT game (traditionally their joker card).

    Meanwhile, Sagan is off the Cannondale SuperSix from last season on to Specialized hardware; perhaps on the Venge (Cav’s favourite), this can be the year he wins some sprints outright?

    Aero is everything and all that…

    • Uh, yeah, that lack of aerodynamic “superiority” will kill the team time trial results of Vaughter’s squad while having it will give Sagan the edge he needs to finally win some of the big one-day classics. Unless the rules change, I still contend that Nibali could have swapped bike brands with Cheng, but their LeTour final classifications would have been the same, despite what the marketing mavens would have you believe. Gotta wonder why just one 2015 team is using SRAM? After spending all the loot to equip the most top-tier teams in 2011, is their market share/sales now enough they no longer need to bother or is the stuff so awful few want to use it even if they’re willing to pay ’em? And as much as I’m a Campagnolo fan, ya gotta hand it to the folks at Shimano when so many teams BUY their stuff rather than get paid to use it. Just for giggles I typed “SRAM is junk” into Google followed by Campagnolo is… and Shimano is…. While Shimano has some folks unhappy with some of their fishing equipment, otherwise there’s not much in the complaint department. Same for Campagnolo, but SRAM seemed to have a pretty long list of detractors.

      • Shimano has a worldwide monopoly on bike parts production at specific price points and SRAM competes directly with them across their whole line. SRAM won’t have much budget to play with trying to compete with Shimano’s monopoly. Maybe the investors in SRAM are tired of pouring money down the drain?

        Remember that the UCI gets a part of these sponsorship deals and their cut has been rapidly escalating. It seems like even Campag is feeling the advertising budget pressure.

        I ride SRAM with no problems. Maybe some of the antipathy for their product comes from the Dealer side of the business? Pricing for lightly used high-end product is great on fleabay and works great. I’m hard on equipment too, so, the price differences add up fast.

        • It’s been tough for Campagnolo to pony up for team sponsorships for quite awhile. Sadly, they can’t even afford to provide neutral service in the Giro like back-in-the-day. Why would antipathy regarding SRAM come from the dealer side of the business? I must admit to hearing pretty much nothing but disdain for SRAM from the few dealers I’ve spoken with, but that’s a very small sample. With Shimano the dealer complaints seem to be only about their pricing and distribution policies. Your comments about so much lightly used SRAM product available via used parts venues just adds to my doubts…though obviously it works out great for you. 🙂

    • This is some of the worst Marketing Kool-Aid drinking I’ve ever seen. Unless it’s outright trolling, in which case its brilliant.

      #legsareeverything #lungsareeverything #heartiseverything #tacticsareeverything

    • Since the retirements of Vande Velde, Zabriskie, et al., plus the departure of Dennis, the character of the Garmin (now Cannondale-Garmin) team has shifted from being a TTT team to more of a GC-focused roster. Especially now that Millar has retired. Garmin did not do well at all in 2013-4 TTTs compared to what was arguably their high-water mark at the 2011 TdF. I doubt much of the 2015 TTT performance will be attributable to the “aero-ness” of their equipment.

      • thanks, yes, maybe they put the main sponsors, while waiting to develop the new website.
        I have been trying to find for HOW MANY season Campagnolo will supply the Lotto-Soudal team
        Ridley and Lazer habe an 8, EIGHT year deal from 2012. in the past 2 years I sent mail, tweets, messages on FB.
        no answer. shame

      • Inner Ring: I actually ordered that, thanks for the tip! James Huang suggested it also.
        However, according to cannondale/dorel my replacement frame due in the u.s. on Dec. 12, is still in Taiwan…

      • I’m going to wear my inrng cap on the bike today and if someone asks what inrng is, I’ll tell them it’s the only place on the web where people discuss what bottom brackets the pro teams use 🙂

      • I feel bad for these teams. But am confident that riders — at least the big names — won’t actually ride those defective and clicking bottom brackets on demanding pro-races. They’ll ride what works — even if it means disguising what they actually use to make it seem like they are using the sponsor’s second rate equipment. Happens all the time.

        • It does? Proof?

          It would take a pretty concerted effort to disguise a crankset as anything other than what it began life as, let alone doing a good enough job to fool fans and journalists looking for such things. In the era of carbon and proprietary parts, masking components would be exceptionally challenging. All to avoid a slightly creaky bottom bracket that you can just have the mechanic replace daily?

          If you think pro’s are regularly faking their crank/bb spec, then I’ve got an ocean view lot in Nebraska that I’ll give you a great deal on.

        • During our cycling tours in places like the Passo Stelvio, we’ve more than once had pro teams pass us on the way up. They’re out training in the “train low, sleep high” scheme. The racket their bikes make is amazing! I think modern pros just get used to the creaks, squeaks, snaps, crackles and pops once the mechanics tell ’em nothing is wrong with the bike. It’s the hackers like us who care about riding a silent machine, maybe the pros are so much faster the wind noise drowns it all out? 🙂

          • I think it really does depend on the rider, and team culture. In some teams, riders are just not allowed to complain about the bikes. In a past life, I worked with pro teams. I had one rider tell me that the director of a former team dictated that all riders would fit on one size frame, one stem length, and choose between two saddles. On the other end, I recall many mechanics spending a few minutes each morning and evening discussing each riders’ bike and any concerns they had. Down to exactly where the computer head needed to be placed, for up to 6 riders per mechanic.

            That is something I would love to see Mr. Ring write about. The various internal team cultures, and how much they can affect the racing. The range of cultures between teams is incredible. For example, I found it common amongst Euro mechanics that they’d close themselves in the truck workspace if working on bikes later than normal, so as not to be seen. As it was put to me, it is embarrassing to be working late, therefore, one should work inside the truck where nobody will see.

      • All Focus carbon frames are PF30, and with SRAM as their component sponsor, I can just about guarantee AG2R will be a PF30 shop. Cannnodale frameset + Cannondale crankset == BB30 every time.

  5. Have personally experienced that whole groupset sponsorship is often more lucrative or takes precedent over accessory components sponsorship, especially if an accessory component (power meter) disrupts the groupset. To disrupt a Shimano groupset for example, and supply a different brand of crankset with power meter requires you to pay for the difference in price for less Shimano visibility.

  6. For Tinkoff Saxo and Etixx Quickstep, I wonder if FSA has ponied up big time to put those teams on its new gruppo when it is ready, and so they are buying Shimano in the interim. Though from the press day pics, it looks like they are on Shimano brakes, and one would presume they would use FSA if they intended to go that direction and just have Shimano shifters and derailleurs for now.

  7. Also, SRAM ate shit financially last year with the recall, so their marketing budget is likely crimped as a result. The wireless gruppo is not making it on to the 2015 OEM spec sheets, so they might be hunkering down for a big 2016.

  8. A lot of the time teams who sign with big name producers (Specialized, Giant, etc) have a supply contract with the bike manufacturer which covers complete bikes. The manufacturer can then sell in the components by having a side contract with component suppliers. Obviously the teams can reject something they don’t like but if a big company is paying $$ to have their bikes ridden by a big team, they can partially offset that cost by offering potential component manufacturers a slot on their world tour team bikes (for a fee).

  9. Bretagne Seche’ with Shimano https://www.twitter.com/velolook/status/553618847727906819

    Southeast (former Neriyellowfluo) with Campy Cipo Ursus https://www.twitter.com/SoutheastPCT/status/553224429757816833

    NFTO had Swift bikes in 2014. don’t know about 2015. Steele von Hoff rode the bay crits and won the Aus crit title on a cervelo with covered stickers. strange, because if NFTO continued with Swift I don’t think he would have had problems to get one, or hire one from Drapac, or get one from Cantwell who’s the Australian dealer.

      • thesteve4761, Proof?

        Well, it’s right there in the article really. Teams last year who were sponsored by Sram are more willing to pay for Shimano than Sram. There have been constant complaints from the peloton, with Cavendish being the loudest as you might expect but that guy always tells it the way it is.

        If you want more proof have a go on google, you’ll find constant complaints about levers snapping, front derailleurs not working, noisy chains and cassettes. It’s common practice when speccing a bike with Sram red to downgrade the FD, chain and cassette to force. When you have to do that you know something isn’t right.

        The recall of their hydraulic brakes should have been expected. Their mountain bike brake range (Avids or “Avoids” as most call them) had such a bad reputation that they have had to both completely redesign them and rebrand them in an attempt to get away from it. Again, one of the first things most people do when buying a bike with them on is replace them with Shimano. As a comparison, Shimano’s new Deore brakes can be used for downhill!

        None of this is good for us as cyclists or consumers, competition forces innovation, but Sram need to get their act together.

        • Mr. King,
          Perhaps the withdrawal of teams from Sram to other components isn’t what the guesses here think it is? Yes, they had a major recall, so perhaps they pulled out of sponsoring many pro road teams, as it is a really expensive endeavor. Maybe teams like QS and others who are now on mixed components are not doing so by choice? If Sram says no, its not like Shimano, FSA, and Campy have endless sponsorship budgets to fill the void. Maybe, just maybe, these teams are buying Shimano out of necessity. Perhaps Shimano offered them the best pricing of the big 3, and the teams had no choice financially? If Sram was the “Cheap Junk” you claim it is, wouldn’t the big brands stop hanging it on their bikes for regular spec like they have done with Suntour, Manitou, Maillard, Miche, etc?

          • Sorry fella, I don’t believe that for a second. Garmin dumped Sram, Cavendish came out last year basically saying that people who rode Sram were the whipping boys of the peloton and that there are long term, known problems with their road stuff, I’m sure Tinkov basically said the same thing, and there are loads of problems that are easy to find online which have been going on for a very long time.

            What’s the worst thing that can happen to a component manufacturer who are trying to sell high-end gear? They drop out of the pro-peloton. Because then you get conversations like this happening. You also get new people coming to cycling wanting to ride what the pros do. Cycling is the new golf apparently and to be up there competing in the high end, disposable income, mamil market, you need to be a player.

            As for big brands sticking it on their bikes? Why would they stop? It’s cheap. They get brilliant deals, as do shops (I know a few independent shop owners), Sram have brilliant warranty deals (they have to). Brands still stick Suntour and Manitou (suspension forks) and Miche (low-grade Campag replacement chainsets) on their bikes, they’re not going to stop sticking Sram stuff on there as it gets them their big bottom line.

            The thing is, Sram can make good stuff. The levers are flimsy and break, but the rear derailleur works very well and the double tap action is lovely and fluid. High end cassettes and chains are noisy, but lower end ones aren’t. Their MTB drivechain works as well as Shimano and it’s really only shifting preferences that determine choices in that respect. Rockshox suspension has the up on Fox at the moment with their Pikes and the Reverb dropper post is basically the only one anyone wants to own. Zipp and Truvativ also make great gear.

            Sram can make great gear, but they have issues with the road drivechain. I don’t know if it is patents or something else that they are trying to avoid that is causing the problem, but it really needs sorting. Sram dropping out of the pro-peloton would not be good for anyone.

    • King B – that’s one answer to the question and may be totally valid, but teams use FSA stuff which to me is in the same category you put SRAM in. Weren’t there some big screaming matches heard from a high-profile sprinter on a team sponsored by SRAM who now is using something else while Tinkov was more unreserved (big surprise) in his critical remarks about their stuff…and that team switched too? Based on my (very limited) experience with both SRAM and FSA, the team who switched from the former to the latter might have jumped out of the proverbial “frying pan and into the fire” as they say? I doubt we’ll ever know for sure the real motives as so often it’s whatever the team used before the current stuff gets gently maligned while whatever the current stuff is was always carefully selected because it’s the best stuff out there….until someone else comes along with more sponsorship loot the next season. Thank gawd in cycling it’s still the legs rather than the machine!!!

      • Quite possible Larry, I have only had experience with low-end mountain bike FSA stuff and I wasn’t impressed, although I’ve heard good things about their higher end stuff. I notice that Omega-Etixx are using FSA brakes so I hope they work well!

        Sram have had these problems for a long time, I think Jonathan Vaughters was the first guy to publicly state it and then put his money where his mouth is and buy groupsets instead of taking the sponsorship deal. They need to sort it out.

        The funny thing is, brakes aside, their mountain bike stuff works really well. I prefer the two action of Shimano levers but the Sram MTB drivechains are easily on a par with Shimano. They can get it right, lets hope they do.

  10. It’s interesting to note that a lot of ag2r riders were stillvusing campag at a recent camp where as other teams change completely leading into the new season. Does that suggest the riders were resisting the change til the last minute…?

  11. It would be interesting to have a contest!

    A free inrng hat to the first person to identify (with proof-irrefutable) perhaps a published race photograph an incorrect or “mislabeled” frame set on a 2015 WT team, starting from TDU or San Luis.

  12. Interesting is the brands behind the brands, for example:

    DT Swiss quietly supports 4 total teams for wheels/wheel parts:
    Tinkoff- Roval (hubs and spokes)
    Trek- Bontrager (Hubs and spokes)
    IAM- DT branded wheels
    MTN- Enve (assumption is hubs and spokes? Though King/Sapim is possible)

    Separate questions:
    How many of the saddles does Velo techically make?
    How many of the pedals does Wellgo make?
    How many of the chains does KMC make?

    Is it time for a new “who makes what”?!

      • I wonder how many are still going to builders like SARTO to have bikes made that fit properly? While it’s getting ever tougher to match the look of the team-issue frame, I suspect there are still more-than-a-few riding bikes that are the sponsored brand’s product only as far as paint and decals.

          • Impossible? That’s a stretch. Ever tougher? Yes. I think you’d be surprised to know (and I would love to have a complete list, but mostly it’s “nudge, nudge, wink, wink” sort of stuff) how many Sarto creations are out there under big name pros with paint and stickers to make ’em look like the team-issue stuff. It’s so routinely done with so many other parts with little real effort to disguise it, why would the frames be any different?

    • It is funny thinking about it. Us fans and amateurs will discuss the tiniest little differences in frames, groupsets, wheels etc. setting out our stalls and going into great detail why we choose what we choose (although we hardly ever mention the main deciding factor, cost) but you have to wonder if the pros really care?

      Sure I bet Cav loves the fact that the Venge is basically seen as a bike designed for him, but he was arguably at his rocket-like best on a Scott, a brand often overlooked.

      As LarryT said upthread, it’s still the legs that win the races and lets all be thankful for that!

  13. Interesting post and discussion. Like many fields of industry, there are more brands and products than there are factories. Just a lesser-seen aspect of commerce. Is it better (? of higher virtue?) to own a brand? a factory? a marketing and customer-engagement vehicle? the full vertical integration? I think only boutique players can do the latter any more.

    Always curious how there is very little discussion of the bikes and equipment by racing commentators. Because it doesn’t matter? Too hard to do? Too many potential conflicts of interest? Fear of reprisal? Considering how gear-obsessed many cyclists are, this aspect is an anomaly to me.

    Does remind me about a pro-snowboarder friend who used to insist that the ideal state was to buy ones own gear and not be beholden to others. I used to envy all his “free” kit, he envied my freedom of choice. He was in it for the competition, less so the money; but having sponsors and riding for a team was the most realistic way for him to compete without needing a second job.

  14. What’s the deal with Cervelo?

    After years of being part of the World Tour, their Test Team etc… now they fade into the hall of fame as being a forerunner in cycling technology? Perhaps PON is going to milk Cervelo dry and then we will see them at Walmart as a discount brand?

    • Don’t forget they have huge sales in triathlon. For roadbiking MTN-Qhubeka is a good project. I can’t find it right now but seem to remember Cervélo co-founder Gerard Vroomen saying a Tour de France win didn’t boost frame sales that much if at all. So getting a team like MTN-Qhubeka into the Tour and maybe a stage win for Boasson Hagen or even the green jersey should bring a good return for them.

  15. Re. SRAM’s disappearance – back in 2011 SRAM Red had a handy lead in the lightest (production) groupset, right? These days all of these bikes/components are testing the UCI weight limit…

    • Even back in 2011 teams were adding ballast with heavy inserts into hollow BB spindles or slugs inserted into seat tubes and secured with the bottle screws, so having the lightest groupset matters only to the MAMIL set. If the VELON idea of real-time, on-bike TV pictures is to become a reality, the industry push for a new, lower minimum bike weight is a mistake. At the present limit they may be able to mount the equipment on a current machine without a weight penalty. Anyone know how much the TV telemetry package adds to a MOTOGP machine?

    • No, that was last year. For 2015 Androni-Venezuela changed to Shimano and Rotor cranks, DedaElementi wheels and Deda cockpit (so, as discussed in the article, they might be buying the Shimano parts to allow them having different cranks and wheels). The list above is correct.

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