A rider of Costa’s climbing talent might have been expected to choose the super-light Merida Scultura but the team have made the German-Taiwanese manufacturer’s aero bike their weapon of choice for the year ahead.
Only a handful of riders chose the Reacto Evo in 2013 – and then primarily to satisfy an extremely aggressive riding position – but off-season tests conducted by the team have shown that aerodynamics have a far greater impact on efficiency than weight (the Scultura is 180g lighter than the Reacto Evo).
Those tests showed that the Reacto Evo saves 22 watts over the Scultura at 50kph, which reportedly equates to more than two minutes over a 100km ride with 2,000m of climbing. The team’s calculations showed that their riders would have been at an advantage to have ridden the Reacto Evo over the Scultura on every stage of the 2013 Tour de France.
The team has also cited the logistical challenge of having four different bikes in the mechanics truck, with that number now reduced to three: the Reacto Evo for general racing, the Ride SL, which places greater emphasis on comfort and compliance, for cobbled races, and the Warp TT for time trials.
So we wheeled away Costa’s Merida Reacto Evo for a closer inspection of the bike the world champion will be riding in 2014.
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