Rich teams are indeed freer. If you feel that the components provided are less or less okay, you can buy the more expensive ones. That’s what Team Ineos (formerly Team Sky) did in this 2019 Tour de France. Feeling that Shimano’s wheelsets were not light enough, they bought a number of the most expensive Lightweight wheelsets !
Since it first existed as Team Sky in 2010, the team led by Dave Brailsford was indeed very concerned about ” marginal gain .” That the small things if collected can be a big advantage.
Start training programs, buy a special bed, until they do a special wheelset if deemed able to help achieve victory.
Ahead of the Tour de France this year, their drivers were already seen training in Lightweight wheelset from Germany. Then on Stage 5 Wednesday (10/7), the team’s mainstay racers had used it when competing. He said as “warming up” before using it on the more decisive mountain stages.
In fact, Team Ineos is one of the main teams supported by Shimano. Asked about that, the team only said that they would still be sponsored by Shimano, but would use two brands of wheelset .
That means, Team Ineos bought a number of Lightweight from their own pockets. In fact, the type is Lightweight Meilenstein Obermayers, which costs close to Rp. 100 million a pair.
This team kept quiet about why they chose the brand. Reportedly, they chose it because of its very light weight. A pair of Shimano C24 tubular wheelset weighs 1,110 grams. A pair of Lightweight Obermayer in the range of 900 grams. In addition, Lightweights that use carbon bars are known to be very rigid, beneficial for climbing.
Not much indeed. But that’s Team Sky, uh , Ineos. They pursue every small advantage.
Many observers then warn, that even though it is lighter, Lightweight still has an “old-fashioned” form of aerodynamics. “The” V “form has long been abandoned by many brands, which now adopt the” U “form. The reason, the” U “shape is actually more aero and more stable when hit by the wind.
Maybe, Team Ineos found that the aero flaws were covered by the advantages in terms of weight.
Another question: If Team Ineos has to use lightweight wheelset, it means that the Pinarello Dogma F12 frame they use is not light enough. Maybe this is also not true. In the race arena, UCI sets a minimum bicycle weight of 6.8 kg. If the bicycle is below that limit, the mechanic can put extra weight in places that can help handling and overall performance .
In essence, marginal gain !
In its history, this team is also not the first time to buy a non-sponsor wheelset . At the beginning of the team’s existence, they often bought the HED brand ream , removed the label, then integrated it with Shimano’s hub .
When they won the Tour de France a few years ago, the team’s racers, such as Bradley Wiggins and Chris Froome, also used other German brands’ super light wheelset : AX Lightness.
Additional notes: In the 2000s, world stars also bought Lightweight to pursue extra performance. For example Jan Ulrich and Lance Armstrong! (riding bicycle)