There are only so many Tour de France race bikes that you can look at before realising that pro cyclists are rarely creative with their equipment choices. A team's fleet of bikes generally only varies in microscopic details. However, what happens when the cameras are off (except ours)? Well here's a closer look at reigning Olympic champ Richard Carapaz's bike. Not the one on the TV screens, but the one on which the hard graft really happens...
The Cannondale Lab71 Supersix Evo 4 frameset underneath the custom paintjob is exactly the same as Carapaz's race bike. Whereas some riders such as Ireland's Ben Healy seem to opt for the aero Systemsix, Carapaz will stick with the Supersix more often than not.
Other than winning himself a big shiny medal, the Olympic Road Race title that Carapaz picked up in 2021 means that he's also allowed to ride a gold bike.
This custom paint job is certainly more subtle than some of the gold Pinarello Dogma bikes that Carapaz rode while at Ineos, but is nonetheless rather special. His team has also gone to the effort of making the text on Carapaz's name stickers gold, a nice touch!
This fourth-generation Cannondale Supersix Evo was released at the start of March, so this is its first Tour de France. The EF riders have had plenty of opportunity to put miles in on the bike, though, as most of them have been riding it for the majority of the 2023 season. The team also played a part in the development of the bike.
The Supersix has typically been an out-and-out climbing bike, and has been a staple of the pro peloton since 2011 when it was launched. Who remembers Peter Sagan's in those famous Liquigas colours?
This latest generation claims to not just be a bike for climbing, and according to Cannondale saves 11W at 45km/h when compared to the SuperSix Evo 3. This top-tier Lab71 version also uses a special fibre and nano-resin composite, which is 40 grams lighter than the Himod version.
That means that a painted 56cm frameset weighs in at just 770g. That's 30g lighter than the S-Works Tarmac SL7 or Colnago V4Rs, so seriously light. You can see our full comparison between the SL7, V4Rs, Cervelo S5 and Pinarello Dogma F using the link above.
Unfortunately, you won't be seeing either this or Carapaz's race bike (above) feature in this year's Tour, as he had a nasty crash on stage 1 and was unable to start stage 2. He still finished the stage despite having a fractured kneecap and requiring stitches.
It's not all doom and gloom because EF are still having a solid race, with Nielson Powless gunning for the polka dot jersey and James Shaw and Estaban Chaves providing plenty of entertainment as the team hunt for stages.
With an RRP of £4,750 for the Lab71 frameset, it's safe to say it isn't a cheap build, but other components buck the trend of pros using equipment that is out of reach for the majority of riders. The wheels, for example, are Vision SC30 TLRs. A wheelset that costs far less than you might expect.
Fitted to them is a combination of a Vittoria Corsa Control G2.0 tyre at the back and a Vittoria Corsa N.EXT at the front, both in a size 28mm. We're unsure whether this is a deliberate choice or if it was just what the team had lying around. We'd guess the latter.
Inside the tyres you'll find butyl inner tubes, unlike on Carapaz's race bike which is usually set up tubeless with tell-tale bright pink tubeless valves.
Butyl inner tubes have been proven in independent rolling resistance tests to be slower than latex inner tubes or a tubeless setup, and they're also a fair bit weightier than alternatives such as TPU tubes. Carapaz's bike reminds us that sometimes low weight and speed aren't the be-all and end-all, not when there's proven and wallet-friendly tech already out there anyway.
A further difference between the training bike and the race bike is the brake rotors. Whilst Carapaz still opts for a 160mm disc at the front and 140mm at the rear, this bike features Ultegra rotors, Shimano's second-tier groupset option. The shifters and mechs are Dura-Ace R9200, though.
EF Education Easypost are the only team in 2023 to pair their Shimano groupsets with a separate chainset sponsor. The 54/40T aluminium aero chainrings are fitted to a Power2max spider-based power meter and FSA Powerbox K-Force Team Edition carbon crank arms.
Judging from the rest of the training bike build, speed is not the number one priority - however, Carapaz is using single-sided Wahoo Speedplay Aero pedals. We'd suggest that this is not necessarily for the marginal aero benefit (Wahoo doesn't publish a figure) but rather that when Carapaz switches back to his race steed, he's used to clipping into the one side as opposed to the othe double-sided Wahoo Spedplay pedals.
A Vision Metron 5D cockpit sits upfront, which is in keeping with other training and second bikes that we've seen that aim to recreate the race bike position with serious precision. Rather than go for something more relaxed for long training miles, most pros seem to prefer to train in their race position so they're as prepared as possible for the arduous three-week Grand Tours.
Accessories include an ass-saver mudguard to help keep Carapaz's bum dry when putting in the soggy training miles, and a quarter-turn mount on the seatpost ready for a light or rear camera. The bar tape and saddle both come from Prologo.
We've seen the Elite Leggero Carbon bottle cages become a popular choice at this year's Tour de France, and it's these that Carapaz uses on both his race and training bikes.
This is slightly intriguing, as Cannondale clearly went to quite some effort to create their Gripper Aero bottles and ReGrip Aero Cages (shown above) which perfectly align with the downtube and seat tube to help smooth airflow and reduce drag.
This isn't the first time we've seen bike brands looking to bottle cages to save a few watts. The BMC Timemachine Road and the latest Giant Propel also have cages that pair seamlessly with the downtube and seat tube.
At 7.62kg, Carapaz's training bike won't be breaking any records - but it just goes to show how light a Supersix Evo build could be when not built up with Ultegra disc rotors, ass saver and butyl inner tubes.
The bike, despite being very very nice, proves that even if you're one of the best in the world, you don't need to train on the latest and greatest equipment. It's fair to say that those wheels and butyl inner tubes are giving away a fair few watts compared to Carapaz's race setup - but hey, why does it matter when the only competition is yourself? He's still getting all the same fitness gains, and maybe even making himself work that little bit harder when out training with the team.
What do you think of Carapaz's training bike? Would you like to train on it? Or even race on it? Let us know in the comments section below...
Jamie has been riding bikes since a tender age but really caught the bug for racing and reviewing whilst studying towards a master's in Mechanical engineering at Swansea University. Having graduated, he decided he really quite liked working with bikes and is now a full-time addition to the road.cc team. When not writing about tech news or working on the Youtube channel, you can still find him racing local crits trying to cling on to his cat 2 licence...and missing every break going...