In addition to the teams mentioned yesterday, Kelme is also using wheels with carbon braking surfaces – namely Shimanos with carbon rims. Like Shimano’s aluminum wheels, they have paired spokes with their heads in the side of the rim and nipples at the star-shaped hub. Kelme uses Shimano’s red cork brake pads with them.
ADA also makes a rubberized cork pad for carbon rims that are claimed to provide consistent braking on carbon rims, even when wet. Its pad fits in both Shimano and Campagnolo brake-pad holders, but not in Corima pad holders. Telekom has been using ADA pads in the past but
The wheels are arguably the most important part on a bicycle and are thus the source of constant efforts for improvement, and, for a team, to find an edge over, or at least parity with, the other teams.
There are a number of physical properties of a wheel that teams have to consider. A gram of rotating weight out at the rim is worth about two grams on the frame, so weight reduction is obviously critical. Wheels are big egg beaters of the air, and any reduction in their aerodynamic friction can pay off, especially when the rider is not sheltered in the peloton. In order that the rider can
Look time trial bikes, which took a black eye a few years ago with some weak forks, pulled off the ultimate Tour victory – an entire team winning a stage on them. This, the day after Laurent Jalabert notched a win with a Look road bike, and two days after Stuart O’Grady took over the yellow jersey riding yet another.
There are more Look bikes in this Tour than any other make, as four teams (Credit Agricole, Kelme, Big MAT and CSC) are riding them. That puts Look ahead of Pinarello, which has three teams (Telekom, iBanesto and Fassa Bortolo), and Colnago, which has two (Rabobank and Mapei).