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Olympics

VN tech ticker Olympic edition: Tom Pidcock’s BMC Fourstroke, Jolanda Neff’s Trek Supercaliber

Here's what's making cycling tech headlines on Tuesday, July 27, 2021.

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Tom Pidcock’s gold medal (non-Pinarello) mountain bike

British athlete Tom Pidcock rode to Olympic gold aboard an unmarked BMC Fourstroke in the men’s cross-country mountain bike race.

The newly minted off-road gold medalist races on the road with the UCI WorldTour team Ineos Grenadiers which has partnered with Pinarello as the team’s bike sponsor.

Since Pinarello does not make a cross-country mountain bike, Pidcock could select his bike of choice for the Olympics.

He chose a BMC Fourstroke frame with SR Suntour suspension, according to a PinkBike report from earlier in 2021.

On-site reports pin Pidcock as using the Fourstroke with 100mm of travel on a Suntour Edge rear shock. The AXON-Werx34 Boost EQ SR Suntour fork on the gold-medalist’s bike offers 100mm-120mm of travel. If indeed he is running a stock BMC bike, Pidcock’s Fourstroke is equipped with a Shimano XTR M9100 12-speed mechanical group, with a single chainring.

Topped with a Syncros Fraser IC SL SE integrated bar and stem, Pidcock was likely using the same bar-stem combo as Swiss Nino Schurter and Mathias Flückiger, who rode to second place behind the Olympic Champion.

Pidcock raced aboard a Specialized S-Works Crux at the 2021 UCI cyclocross world championships where he finished just off the podium in fourth place.

Jolanda Neff’s Trek has an effective hardware-store mod to keep it mud-free

Jolanda Neff's Swiss mechanics use a simple hack to keep her bike rolling dirt-free during competition.
Jolanda Neff’s Swiss mechanics use a simple hack to keep her bike rolling dirt-free during competition. Photo: Tim de Waele/Getty Images

Sharp eyes will have noticed the unusual-looking downtube on the winner’s bike in the women’s cross-country mountain bike race at the Tokyo Games.

Jolanda Neff’s Trek Supercaliber has a downtube adorned with … …duct tape.

Taking a page out of the tricks used by Neff’s compatriot Nino Schurter, her mechanics meticulously placed precisely cut squares of duct tape on the champ’s downtube report our colleagues at Cycling Tips.

No bike-changes are allowed in Olympic racing. A wet course — like the one at the Izu, Shizuoka venue — could quickly ensnarl bikes and components with thick mud which could lead to race-ending mechanical failures.

The application of duct tape in a specific pattern allows mud to be shed, and components to stay dirt-free. If you’re now thinking that the addition of duct tape could be an additional surface to which mud could stick, you’re right about that, too. Neff and her mechanics determined that the duct tape hack was the right way to go for this specific course.

PRO Bike Gear Vibe Evo handlebar

PRO Vibe Evo integrated handlebar stem.
PRO Vibe Evo integrated handlebar stem. Photo: Shimano

Shimano’s in-house component brand, PRO Bike Gear, announced the Vibe Evo integrated handlebar-stem Tuesday.

The new PRO Vibe Evo handlebar is scheduled to be available in September 2021 for $600.

With internal routing for non-wireless shifting and brake lines, the PRO Vibe Evo cockpit offers aero advantages and a clean look.

Integrated grips on the tops of the bar make for a seamless transition to brake lever hoods for optimal comfort.

“We looked at the cockpit as a complete system, not just a handlebar and stem,” said PRO product development team Manager Mark Kikkert. “We took into consideration the placement of brake/shift levers and how the shape of the handlebar could provide a more seamless transition for more comfort.”

“The integration of the top grip is a unique way to offer comfort and control, while simultaneously keeping the aerodynamic profile and cutting down on the total system weight compared to using regular handlebar tape,” explained Kikkert. “With the new Vibe Evo, we are entering a new era for integrated cockpits that PRO has been offering for over 15 years.”

The Vibe Evo bar is compatible with 1-1/8 and 1-1/4 steerer tubes when using a removable shim. The handlebar also allows for +/- 2 degrees of stem angle adjustment using a 1-1/8 shim.

The PRO Vibe Evo bar will be available in 38cm, 40cm, and 42cm widths, with stem lengths of 105mm, 115mm, and 125mm.