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The Tour de France bikes of Lotto-Belisol
Ridley provides Lotto-Belisol 3 different model frames to campaign during the 2013 road race season; the cobble absorbing Fenix, ultra light Helium SL, and sprinters dream Noah FAST. While the Fenix was used for torturous spring classics when shock absorption was most important, the other two bikes have been updated and tweaked to aid the team’s quest for glory in the 100th Tour De France. Jurgen Van den Broeck will use a specially Super Light painted version of the already feather light Helium SL in his quest for a podium in Paris. André Greipel is counting for wins on his newly liveried Noah FAST to help him and his lead out train.
Ridley Helium SL loses 100 grams for Tour de France
Introduced at the beginning of the 2013 season, the Helium SL replaced the Tour tested Helium run previously by Lotto-Belisol. Through the use of aerospace grade carbon fiber and advanced proprietary manufacturing techniques, The Helium SL combines the stiffness and stability of its predecessor with an even lower weight (about 750 gr in size M).
Jochim Aerts (CEO and founder of Ridley Bikes): “The Helium SL is not only 18% lighter, but also more comfortable (+7% at the seat tube) and stiffer (+3% side stiffness at the rear dropout, +4% at the head tube, +8% at the BB, +20% side stiffness of the fork) than the Helium. It is the bike of choice for riders like Jurgen Van den Broeck and his helpers in the Tour.”
30 grams of paint
For the 100th Tour, the Belgian company found a way to further reduce the weight of the frameset by more than 100 grams (depending on the size). Ridley tapped in to its in house expertise on finishing to provide the solution.
“A brand new graphic design and painting process on the Helium SL made it possible to use only about 30 grams of paint, while the paint normally weighs around 130 to 150 grams”, says Jochim Aerts. “The design on the Helium SL has been stripped to its bare essence and almost looks like a photographic negative of the design of the Noah FAST for the 100th Tour de France. Needless to say that this is a way of reducing the weight that does not influence the stiffness, stability or comfort of the bike.”
New design for Noah FAST
The Noah FAST is the bike used by the most powerful sprinters in the peloton: André Greipel and his Lotto-Bellisol lead-out train. For the 2013 Tour the aero tech marvel gets a striking new white and black design which is in stark contrast to the dark and understated design of the Helium SL. The bike is equipped with the three origional groundbreaking FAST innovations: textured F-Surface, F-Splitfork, and F-Brake. Gains from each are impressive. 4.1% for F Surface, 8.2% for the fork and 4.3% for the brakes.
Jochim Aerts: “We launched these fully integrated brake in the Tour of 2011. As an integral part of the F-Splitfork fork, they improve the drag reducing effect of these forks and eliminate the turbulence caused by normal brakes. Moreover, the F-Brake is lighter than any other brake in the market. The flexible brake arms make it easier to modulate the braking force, and the stiffness of the brake eliminates brake shudder.”
“The effect of these innovations on riders is stunning”, Aerts continues. At speeds of 40+ km/h a rider on the Noah FAST saves 20 Watts and his heartbeat is reduced by more than 4% compared to that same rider on a normal road bike.”
Going beyond aero and the benefits of the FAST technologies, every element of the Noah FAST is designed to transfer every bit of power to moving forward as efficiently as possible. Every tube was uniquely shaped to cut through the wind and keep the frame from flexing under the brute power of the most powerful sprinters. The innovative aerofoil shape, with rounded leading edge and sharp trailing edge guarantees minimum drag. Massive chain stays, BB area, head tube, down tube and integrated seat tube are combined to make it possible for André Greipel to have a maximum power output of almost 2.000 Watts – 250 Watts more than on any other bike he has previously ridden. “All this makes the Noah FAST a bike that truly makes riders faster and helps them save energy”, says Jochim Aerts.