Perfection mékanik, Aéro dynamik
Düsseldorf was abuzz with excitement as the German city hosted the Grand Départ of the 2017 Tour de France. The Tour’s first appearance on German soil since 1987’s Berlin depart provided the perfect opportunity to celebrate the country’s cycling renaissance. With German superstar and reigning TT World Champion Tony Martin targeting a Stage 1 victory, Koblenz based Canyon Bikes took inspiration from legendary electronic group and Düsseldorf natives Kraftwerk to create a special ride for the occasion. Kraftwerk's minimalist yet driving music, created entirely electronically, brought them worldwide fame when they came on the scene in the early 1970s, and the pioneering sounds have inspired many artists and genres since.
For the truly one of a kind creation, hand cut reflective strips carefully laid on the frame mimic the design of the suits Kraftwerk wears during their performances. Zipp contributed matching graphics on the Super-9 carbon clincher rear disc using ImPress™ printing technology to complete the package.
Utilizing a strategy similar to one that brought him a TT win in the 2014 Tour, Tony’s bike combined a massive 58 tooth big chainring with a SRAM RED eTap WiFLi rear derailleur. The medium cage WiFLi derailleur accommodates up to an 11-32 cassette, which Tony frequently uses, but he opted for an 11-30 XG-1190 cassette on the flat Stage 1 course. At the handlebar, Blip™ satellite shifters are glued to the brake lever, and Clics™ are used on the extensions for ultra smooth integration.
A wide range cassette is not a common sight on a TT bike, but it’s a competitive advantage that Tony has used with success in the past. Longtime pro mechanic Roger Theel says, “Tony is pretty into his material. He tries to always develop something, where we can do this, what is possible… This is something that he really likes.” The cassette range eliminates the need for a front shift, allowing Martin to keep power down and save valuable seconds.
Theel was responsible for the build of the Kraftwerk bike, and while everything came together with only a handful of days to spare, he wasn’t stressed. “With eTap it’s all so simple, it doesn’t take forever to put the lines in… It’s so simple. It’s a really really nice product.”
For more on this stunning bike, check out GCN's video profile here.