The 2017 Tour de France starts in Dusseldorf, Germany, on Saturday 1 July and will cover 21 stages over the following three weeks. Here's a look at the road bikes that'll be raced.
All of the 18 World Tour teams are automatically invited, of course, along with four wildcards: Cofidis, Direct Energie, Fortuneo - Vital Concept – all from France – and Belgium's Wanty – Groupe Gobert.
AG2R La Mondiale
Focus is out and Factor is in as bike supplier to this French team. The British bike brand was born in 2007 with a radical concept bike which led to the startling expensive £25k One-77 superbike and then the first production bike, the Vis Vires - you can read our review here. The company now offers a range of models including the Factor O2 which has a frame weight of just 740g. The other big news for the team is a switch from SRAM to Shimano and they're also using the brand new SRM carbon fibre crankset.
Previously aboard Specialized bikes, Astana will now compete on bikes from Canadian brand Argon 18. We also suspect to see this team using the new FSA WE electronic groupset at some stage during the season, but don't hold us to that!
Merida switched from Lampre team to new Bahrain team over the winter, and we have to admit, the bikes look pretty good, certainly better than the old Lampre race bikes. They're combining Shimano with the new SRM carbon cranksets.
We know that there's a new Merida Reacto aero bike (above) on the way, so expect to see it in action at the Tour de France in Bahrain-Merida colours.
BMC Racing Team
BMC recently rolled out a new version of its long-running Teammachine race bike, which is lighter, stiffer and more comfortable than the previous version. It's also available with disc brakes for the first time, although we don't expect to see discs in the Tour?
With Peter Sagan spearheading this German team as it leaps from Pro Continental level to WorldTour, it’ll be a team to watch. Specialized is supplying the team with bikes, with the Venge and Tarmac the two main bikes of choice.
The Cannondale team has been spotted putting riding the new SuperSix Evo Disc during select races this year, but the regular rim brake SuperSix Evo is still the main bike of choice, and it's the bike pictured above.
• Bike sponsor: Orbea
• Drivetrain: FSA/Shimano
• Wheels: Vision
Cofidis ride Orbea’s Orca, a model name that has been in the range for many years although the design has been updated from time to time. The Basque brand had an Orca Aero 18 approved by the UCI a couple of months ago so that could be the version we see in the Tour de France. Cofidis is one of the teams that will be using FSA's new K-Force WE electronic semi-wireless 11-speed groupset when it is ready. If it isn’t, the team will continue using Shimano Dura-Ace Di2, although Shimano is not an official sponsor.
"It was really chaotic with riders crashing in almost every corner" - @Mark_Renshaw 3rd place.
— Team Dimension Data (@TeamDiData) June 16, 2017
• Bike sponsor: Cervelo
• Drivetrain: Shimano/Rotor
• Wheels: Enve
Dimension Data is sponsored by Canadian bike brand Cervelo, and it recently unveiled the updated R5, which is stiffer, more aero and comfortable. It's also available with disc brakes for the first time. Riders like Mark Cavendish will favour the company's aerodynamic S5 model for sprint stages.
• Bike sponsor: BH
• Drivetrain: FSA/Shimano
• Wheels: Vision
Direct Energie ride bikes from BH: the Ultralight and the G6 Pro. The team has also ridden on BH G7 Disc bikes in the past, but we don’t expect to see those in the Tour. We could, though, see the new rim brake G7 Pro that gained UCI approval in April.
The plan is for Direct Energie to use FSA's new K-Force WE electronic semi-wireless 11-speed groupset this season although we’ve only seen the riders using Shimano Dura-Ace Di2 shifters and derailleurs so far.
French bike brand Lapierre offers the FDJ team a number of bikes to choose from, the Xelius SL pictured above is its go-to race bike, built to be stiff and lightweight. It's an interesting bike, the seatstays actually bypass the seat tube and join the top tube, a design that is intended to provide a bit of added comfort. There's also a trap door in the bottom of the down tube to house the Shimano Di2 battery to provide easy access and keep the weight as low in the frame as possible.
FDJ riders were riding the new version of the Aircode aero road bike (above) at the recent Dauphiné so you can expect it to make an appearance at the Tour too..
• Bike sponsor: Look
• Drivetrain: SRAM
• Wheels: Corima
The Fortuneo - Vital Concept riders race on Look 795 Light (abiove, rear) and 675 Light (above, front) road bikes. What the two different bikes have in common is that the stem is integrated into the frame, sitting in a step at the top of the head tube. The pros use the 795 Light with conventional brakes in preference to the 795 Aerolight with brakes integrated into the fork and hidden under the bottom bracket. This is because on-the-fly adjustments are easier, as are wheel changes.
Despite the new sponsor, the bikes and equipment appear to carry over from 2016 for Katusha. This is the only team to use SRAM’s wireless eTap groupset, with AG2R moving over to Shimano after a couple of years with SRAM. That's the Aeroad CF SLX pictured and appears to be a popular model with the Russian squad and in particular sprinter and general powerhouse Alexander Kristoff.
It’s business as normal for this team with the new Bianchi Oltre XR4, launched last summer, becoming the go-to race bike across the board, with Shimano equipment and wheels across the board. Read our review of the new Oltre XR4 here.
A Belgian team sponsored by a Belgian bike brand. Ridley has this year update its flagship race bike, the new Helium SLX has a revised frame design reducing the weight to 750g whilst ramping up the stiffness compared to the old model. You can read our review of the Helium SLX here.
Canyon once again supplies two teams in the WorldTour. The Spanish outfit Movistar build their frames with Campagnolo EPS electronic groupsets and matching wheels. Most of the team favour the Ultimate CF SLX over the aero Aeroad, given they're all skinny climbers they're more interested in weight and riding the lightest possible bike, and the Ultimate is that.
Scott steps up to title sponsor of this team, and while it doesn't have any new bikes for 2017, it has given the team a nice new paint job. Above is the Foil, the second generation aero road bike, the team also has the Addict for those racers concerned about weight and comfort.
Quick-Step sticks with Specialized once again this year. It has been one of the few teams to dabble with disc brakes, with Tom Boonen riding a disc-equipped Venge ViAS for a few races - becoming the first pro to win a race on disc brakes - before switching to a specially modified rim brake Roubaix for his last ever race, Paris-Roubaix.
Team Sky will be rolling out on a new Pinarello Dogma F10 this season. The Italian bike brand confirmed another 4-year deal with the team last year. The new Dogma F10 builds on the previous bike with improved aerodynamics, most notably the sculptured down tube and tabbed fork dropouts, while dropping a bit of weight and gaining a bit of stiffness. There's a disc version of the Pinarello Dogma F10 on the cards too, although we've not yet seen and would be surprised if it made an appearance at the Tour.
The team will have the regular TCR Advanced and Propel bikes it has been racing for the past couple of years. We know that Giant will soon launch disc brake versions of its Propel aero road bike but we're not expecting to see them raced in the Tour de France.
The Trek-Segafredo team has the aero and comfortable Madone (above) at its disposal, as previously.
We know that a new lightweight Emonda is about to be officially launched because it made an appearance at the Dauphiné, ridden by Alberto Contador. It wouldn't surprise us one bit if this bike was the team's race weapon of choice in the mountains.
UAE Abu Dhabi
The UAE Abu Dhabi team race on the Colnago C60 (above), the V1-R and the new Concept aero bike. We also know that the Italian brand is launching a new VR-2 on Monday 26 June so we expect to see that being raced over the next few weeks. All frames will be built up with Campagnolo Super Record EPS groupsets and matching wheels.
• Bike sponsor: Cube
• Drivetrain: Shimano
• Wheels: Fulcrum
Cube is represented in the peloton by Belgium’s Wanty – Groupe Gobert. The riders race on the Litening C:68 SL which has a claimed frame weight of just over 850g. Fulcrum, which is a sub-brand of Campagnolo, provides a whole range of wheels in different depths to suit different terrains and conditions. It looks like Wanty – Groupe Gobert are still on Shimano Dura-Ace 9000/9050 rather than the newer 9100/9150 series.
David has worked on the road.cc tech team since July 2012. Previously he was editor of Bikemagic.com and before that staff writer at RCUK. He's a seasoned cyclist of all disciplines, from road to mountain biking, touring to cyclo-cross, he only wishes he had time to ride them all. He's mildly competitive, though he'll never admit it, and is a frequent road racer but is too lazy to do really well. He currently resides in the Cotswolds.