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Giant had only eight days to get newly painted...

Pro Bike: Bauke Mollema’s Giant Propel Advanced SL0

Caley Fretz examines Bauke Mollema's Giant Propel Advanced SL0
Pro Bike: Bauke Mollema's Giant Propel Advanced SL0
Giant had only eight days to get newly painted bikes in the hands of Belkin’s top riders following its last-minute sponsor change, swapping from Blanco to Belkin just a week before the Tour. Bauke Mollema, who sits in second place, 2:28 back, has both this Propel, Giant’s aero road frame, and a non-aero TCR available to him at this Tour. For Saturday’s rolling stage, which featured seven categorized climbs but nothing over a Cat 3, Mollema went with the aero Propel and low-profile Shimano C35 wheels, keeping the total package right at the UCI’s 6.8kg weight limit. Photo: Caley Fretz | VeloNews.com
Pro Bike: Bauke Mollema's Giant Propel Advanced SL0
Giant may have helped pioneer the use of sloping top tubes, but they’ve dropped the concept for the Propel. A horizontal (or very nearly horizontal) top tube presents a smaller frontal area, decreasing drag. The top tube of the Propel is carefully shaped to increase lateral stiffness as well. Photo: Caley Fretz | VeloNews.com
Pro Bike: Bauke Mollema's Giant Propel Advanced SL0
The head-tube junction of the Propel is designed with aerodynamics in mind. Photo: Caley Fretz | VeloNews.com
Pro Bike: Bauke Mollema's Giant Propel Advanced SL0
The head tube is hourglass-shaped for improved aerodynamics, but still features a tapered, 1.125-to-1.25-inch steerer to maintain stiffness. Photo: Caley Fretz | VeloNews.com
Pro Bike: Bauke Mollema's Giant Propel Advanced SL0
The Propel’s down tube is designed to maintain an aero advantage with a water bottle in place. Photo: Caley Fretz | VeloNews.com
Pro Bike: Bauke Mollema's Giant Propel Advanced SL0
Like the rest of his Belkin squad, Mollema gets these custom-machine linear-pull brakes for his Propel. Consumer models use a TRP-built brake, but the custom version allows for quick adjustment for varying rim sizes, a requirement when dealing with neutral race wheels. Photo: Caley Fretz | VeloNews.com
Pro Bike: Bauke Mollema's Giant Propel Advanced SL0
The Di2 cabling is all run internally. Photo: Caley Fretz | VeloNews.com
Pro Bike: Bauke Mollema's Giant Propel Advanced SL0
The little things are points of pride for a pro mechanic. Like having all the end caps pointing in the same direction. Photo: Caley Fretz | VeloNews.com
Pro Bike: Bauke Mollema's Giant Propel Advanced SL0
The rear wheel cutout on Mollema’s Propel frame. Photo: Caley Fretz | VeloNews.com
Pro Bike: Bauke Mollema's Giant Propel Advanced SL0
The bottom bracket area is massive, and filled in vertically to the limits of the UCI’s 3:1 ratio rule to help smooth air from the downtube onto the rear wheel. Photo: Caley Fretz | VeloNews.com
Pro Bike: Bauke Mollema's Giant Propel Advanced SL0
The brakes used on the Propel are essentially the same as the V-brakes on your old mountain bike. Photo: Caley Fretz | VeloNews.com
Pro Bike: Bauke Mollema's Giant Propel Advanced SL0
A clever number mount on the Propel’s integrated seat mast. Photo: Caley Fretz | VeloNews.com
Pro Bike: Bauke Mollema's Giant Propel Advanced SL0
We don’t see this very often: Mollema takes off the rubber part of his hoods and replaces it with a bit of handlebar tape, which won’t be slippery when his hands get sweaty in the mountains. Photo: Caley Fretz | VeloNews.com
Pro Bike: Bauke Mollema's Giant Propel Advanced SL0
A standard 53/39 chain set was used for Saturday’s rolling stage. Photo: Caley Fretz | VeloNews.com
Pro Bike: Bauke Mollema's Giant Propel Advanced SL0
Mollema’s bike has hit the ground already this Tour. Photo: Caley Fretz | VeloNews.com
Pro Bike: Bauke Mollema's Giant Propel Advanced SL0
These wheels aren’t prototypes anymore, but Belkin had this version of the C35 about a year before the they hit shops. Photo: Caley Fretz | VeloNews.com
Pro Bike: Bauke Mollema's Giant Propel Advanced SL0
The Dutch will be out in force in the Alps with two Belkin riders in the top 10. Photo: Caley Fretz | VeloNews.com
Pro Bike: Bauke Mollema's Giant Propel Advanced SL0
Mollema’s view of his Pro Vibe bars and aluminum stem. Photo: Caley Fretz | VeloNews.com