We reported previously that Fortuneo-Samsic and Look Cycles had parted company, for unknown reasons well in advance of the end of their contract, leaving Warren Barguil's team without a bike sponsor just days before the biggest race of the year is about to kick off.
Rumours swirled around that Spanish brand BH Bikes, last year a sponsor of the Direct Energie team, would step in at the last-minute. Today that rumour has been confirmed: BH Bikes will be supplying its flagship Ultralight EVO for the team to ride, painted in the white and green colours of the Fortuneo Samsic team.
The new frames will be equipped with SRAM Red eTap groupsets with FSA Powerbox power meter cranksets, Corima carbon fibre wheels with Vittoria tyres, Prologo saddles and Elite bottle cages. It’ll still use Look pedals, not completely giving up its reliance on its previous sponsor. Wahoo Elemnt Bolt computers will be used for tracking speed and power etc.
“Transforming the athlete's efforts into speed, thanks to a flexible and resistant frame, is our motto, our way of designing the bike. For us, it is a pride to see the Fortuneo Samsic team ride on our bikes including the most beautiful competition in the world. We are confident that this partnership will be a success for both of us, and we look forward to July 7 to see our bike go to the top with Warren Barguil and his team,” explained Unai De la Fuente , general manager of BH.
Emmanuel Hubert, general manager of Fortuneo Samsic added: "I am very happy that my riders are entering the Tour de France on BH bikes. It is a model that has already proven itself in the past, we hope to live up to its reputation and make it shine on the most beautiful races, starting with the Tour de France.”
We at least know the bikes are suitable for the highest level of the sport since they’ve been raced in the pro peloton for the past couple of seasons. It’s not the most well-known brand in the UK but it does make an interesting range of bikes and it has clearly invested a substantial amount in developing top-end bikes.
The Ultralight Evo is the lightest bike it offers, with a sub-700g frame it’s right up there with the lightest frames in the peloton, and should ensure a 6.8kg build for Warren to do battle in the mountains. The frame uses a BB386EVO bottom bracket for maximum stiffness, along with a tapered head tube and fully internal cable routing.
According to the team, it’ll just use the Ultralight Evo for road stages and the Aerolight for time trials. As you know aerodynamics are hugely important in pro racing these days and some of the riders could, if they wanted and get the choice, opt for the company’s aero bike, the G7 Pro. It was completely updated last year, the frame weighs a claimed 810g using Today T80 and T50 carbon fibre, an impressive weight for an aero frame.
Both of these bikes are available with disc brakes, but we suspect the team will stick with rim brakes.
Can you imagine what that must be like though? Days away from the biggest race of your life and you’ve suddenly got to set-up a brand new bike with little time to adapt to it. I swap test bikes all the time but it still often takes me time to set them up nicely and a few rides sometimes just to get familiar and comfortable on them. And that's without the pressure of the Tour de France looming on the horizon. It’s the mechanics I feel sorry for, that’s a lot of last-minute bike building they have ahead of them.
We'll be keeping a close eye on how Warren Barguil and his team get on, and we'll take a closer look at the bikes when you head out to France next week to trawl the team hotels in search of some pro bikes.
David worked on the road.cc tech team from 2012-2020. 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, and you can now find him over on his own YouTube channel David Arthur - Just Ride Bikes.