Pro bikes - unibet.com's Canyon - Road Cycling UK

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Pro bikes – unibet.com's Canyon


Climbing sensation Jose Rujano

Note tape on bottle cage to prevent rattles

Understated colour scheme

Only Record will do

Lightweight wheels for Unibet.com

The Swedish/Belgian ProTour team Unibet.com has had something of a bumpy ride into the new season, scoring early successes in the opening races of the French road season thanks to Jeremy Hunt and Baden Cooke. This has been dampened somewhat by the reception the French seem to be giving them; not only do French gambling and sponsorship laws apparently forbid them carrying their title sponsor’s name on their jerseys, they are also facing exclusion from Paris – Nice, a race for which they should automatically be guaranteed selection.

Putting such controversies aside, we caught up with Unibet in the Tour de Langkawi, where their new climbing sensation – Jose Rujano, the controversial Venezuelan who can climb mountains like no other when he’s on form – made his debut. In the past this has been a team for the classics, so Rujano’s pint sized stature is something new for the team, and for their new bike sponsors Canyon.

The team had shown up early for the race, in time for some sunny training rides, but unfortunately their bikes had not come along for the ride, and they were left with just 2 bikes between the whole team – including Rujano’s 47cm mini weapon. It was the eve of the race when they finally got their brand spanking new team bikes and put them into action.

Unusually for such a big team, their bikes are not available in the shops. Canyon is an internet-only supply company based in Germany. The bikes have been around for a while, and have been getting rave reviews in the Continental magazines.

Simply painted white with green logos, these bikes are super light and show great attention to detail. The frames are carbon fibre, and shaped slightly differently on either side – oval and squared, and so far the riders seem to love them (950gram frame). The groupsets are standard Campagnolo Record 10 speed with 11-23 sprockets, although they had 25s on for Lankawi’s Genting Highlands stage.

The team have, like many, chosen to stick with alloy bars and stem, supplied by FSA, although they are using carbon seat posts, and they are also riding KEO pedals, with titanium axles for special days.
Something they have that most of the other teams would die for are the German manufactured Lightweight carbon wheels. These are ultra expensive, ultra light and very rigid wheels. There are various Lightweight wheelsets, and currently Unibet are using the deep section Obermayers, which roll like a dream. They are also planning to use the wheels for Paris-Roubaix combined with 25mm Continental tubs. Lightweight also makes designated brake blocks, which the riders say are smooth and positive, not grabbing like many other blocks. That said, they will not be needing them for uphill time trials, where they may use the Alpe d’Huez wheels, ultra light babies that can only be ridden uphill!

The only rider in the team not on carbon is Rujano – they simply do not have a mould small enough for him, so while they are building one he’s using aluminium. Check the bikes out at www.canyon.com

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