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Team Katusha Canyon Ultimate CF SLX Aero 9.0

Team Katusha Canyon Ultimate CF SLX Aero 9.0

Team Katusha Canyon Ultimate CF SLX Aero 9.0
Pieter Van Pietersen

Team Katusha is using a Canyon Ultimate CF SLX frame, Mavic Cosmic Carbone Ultimate wheels and Dura-Ace Di2 components.

Canyon is sponsoring two of the top 18 teams. Their bikes are certainly up to the job.

The bike components used by Team Katusha are listed below.

Ultimate CF SLX Aero 9.0

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Canyon Ultimate CF SLX Aero 9.0 Complete Bike

Movistar is also sponsored by Canyon in 2014. Katusha is equiped with Dura-Ace and Mavic wheels, Movistar with Campagnolo Super Record and Bora wheels. There's not much to choose between them. Both are dream bikes.

I'd go with the red one as I like red.

It is a ight bike: 1165g frame and forks. You're saving something like 400g compared to a Giant Propel or Merida Reacto.

The handling characteristics are excellent, the frame is comfortable and the position is designed for comfort (taller head tube means higher handlebars). Racers may lower the front end by requesting a low profile headset.

Aerodynamically, this frame is on a par with the Canyon Aeroad CF. The frames would be almost identical over a simulated hilly 60 mile ride. In fact, they're now calling it the Canyon Ultimate CF SLX Aero.

Since Canyon sell direct to the consumer, some layers of profit margin are removed, so the price is excellent.

Be aware that canyon also offer a sponsorship scheme where anyone with a racing licence can get a discount on certain models. (Approximately $200 discount on a $2500 frame).

Highly recommended. Brilliant bikes at a great price.

Weight: 6800g

RRP in USD: $6300 for the standard model on website.

You can get Canyons at a discounted price from the factory outlet.

Dura-Ace 9000

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SRM Dura-Ace 9000 Power meter

This is the first power meter brand, from around 1986. As a result, the design appears to be the most mature and reliable. Strain gauges in the crank measure the force, and this data is sent wirelessly to the head unit.

These power meters seem to work reliably for years. Worst case is to replace the electronics, which SRM service can do (cost about $600). SRM service also need to replace the batteries for you, which is expensive and inconvenient (about $100 + calibration). When the battery is replaced, the zero offset needs to be adjusted, but you will need an oscilloscope to get the correct settings. It's not as easy as pushing a button.

SRMs are high quality and robust, which is why people love them.

SRM adds the most weight to your bike compared to other power meters: 208g over a normal Dura-Ace crank.

Pros: reliable, accurate, easy to swap between bikes. The most bling power meter to have on your bike.

Cons: Expensive, heaviest power meter, doesn't auto-calibrate due to temperature, doesn't do L-R, unit has to be sent for expensive battery replacement, no GPS in the head unit (although this is coming with the PowerControl 8, summer 2014 or pair it with a Garmin). Software is free but adequate. Better to buy WKO+

Weight: 858g

RRP in USD: $3500

Dura-Ace SRM 9000(crank only, 172.5 compact) $3295

Cosmic Carbone Ultimate Tubular

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Mavic Cosmic Carbone Ultimate Tubular Wheels

A good looking pair of wheels from reliable manufacturer Mavic.

The braking surface has Mavic's TgMAX treatment which translates to better wear and better braking in the wet. It does work, so hats off to Mavic.

You don't get fancy carbon hubs or ceramic bearings. You'd expect it for this sort of high end wheel, although to be fair, ceramic bearings run in dirty conditions actually create more drag than steel bearings, so there's not much in it.

The wheels are designed to be used with the Mavic Yksion Pro Tubular Griplink (front) / Powerlink (rear), although any tubular tire will work fine.

The weight is on the heavy side for this price range. For similar money you could buy wheels from the Lightweight brand (for example) which are 545g lighter. That difference will be felt when accelerating and even when you pick up your bike.

Weight: 1645g

RRP in USD: EURO 2900

The CXR-80 (the deep version of these wheels) in tubular format sells for $2560 and the clincher version sells for $2012 (surprisingly, same weight).

Dura-Ace Di2 ST-9070 - 11 Speed

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Shimano Dura-Ace Di2 ST-9070 - 11 Speed Levers

I'm glad to report that the Dura-Ace and Ultegra Di2 levers are interchangable.
The Ultegra levers look just as good, and are 76g heavier for the pair, but you will save about $350 (half price).

Both levers use the E-tube wiring system. You need to ensure that all firmware is up-to-date to get everything to work together properly. To do this you will either need to:

1) Take it to your local bike shop to upgrade.

2) Buy an internal BCR2 seatpost Di2 battery. The charger doubles as a PC connector so you can use e-Tube software at home. The charger and battery costs about $250.

3) Buy a PCE1 PC Interface Device for about $250.
This plugs into a laptop USB port and a lever port.
You then update using e-Tube software.

Shimano did think one thing to push you to upgrade. Part SW-7972 are little buttons that are mounted on the inside of your bars under the hoods, and allow you to bang it into the 11 sprocket without coming off the drops. You can't fit these to the Ultegra levers.

Overall, Dura-Ace or Ultegra, these are beautiful shifters which feel superb in your hands and of course brake and shift perfectly.

Weight: 237g pair

RRP in USD: $861 pair

The Shifter set (left and right shifters) sells for $699. The Ultegra ST-6870 Di2 STI Lever Set is $349

Dura-Ace Di2 RD-9070 - 11 Speed

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Shimano Dura-Ace Di2 RD-9070 - 11 Speed Rear Derailleur

Like the front derailleur, this is a slick bit of kit. Faultless shifting yet again.

If you go with the Ultegra version, you'll have an extra 43g of bulbous motor popping out at you. Ugly.
I recommend the Dura-Ace version, although preferably as part of an entire bike as buying individual parts is expensive.

Weight: 217g

RRP in USD: $830

The Dura-Ace Di2 RD-9070 sells for $534.
The Di2 Ultegra RD-6870-GS Rear Derailleur at $280 is cheaper, but bulkier.

Powercontrol VII

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SRM Powercontrol VII Computer

Very expensive compared to a Garmin and no GPS capability until Mid 2014 when the Powercontrol 8 is released.

If you are using an SRM then this does look good. I find it difficult to remember what the buttons do.

Weight: 65g

RRP in USD: $750

These cost $750 pretty much everywhere. Hard to find a new one on discount. Perhaps when the PC VIII comes out the price will drop (Except you'll want a PC VIII).

WCS Carbon MonoCurve Integrated

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Ritchey WCS Carbon MonoCurve Integrated Handlebars

Got to say, this is a beautiful bar and stem combination. However I can't see any practical reason to have them on your bike.

They don't weigh less. Normal carbon bars weigh about 200g and the stem about 125g. Since these weigh 353g, there's no weight saving as you might expect.

If you crash then it is going to cost you a lot to replace both bar and stem, especially as carbon bars should be replaced after a tumble.

If you change frames you also might need to buy a new bar and stem to be fitted correctly. (The bar is made in 8 sizes).

Given that I doubt very much that you'll feel any stiffness advantages from this integrated stem, the only reason to fork out $500 for it is for the look.

Weight: 353g (42cm x 120mm)

RRP in USD: $600

As always, watch out for fake carbon products. Originals are selling for $480 here and $514 here.

Dura-Ace Di2 FD-9070 - 11 Speed

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Shimano Dura-Ace Di2 FD-9070 - 11 Speed Front Derailleur

Well it has to be said, this is a pretty sexy derailleur. Shifting with Di2 is faultless. I sometimes find myself shifting up and down gears just for the fun of it. I like the little electric motor sound. I feel like a cyborg.

The Ultegra version is 162g, so 48g heavier, and has added bulk. But it is about half the price.

Let's face it, the Ultegra version shifts perfectly, and makes total sense. But the Dura-Ace version is the one you should get.

Weight: 114g

RRP in USD: $559

You can buy a Dura-Ace Di2 front derailleur for $350 here. You will certainly get the best deal by buying a whole bike with Di2 fitted, or getting a groupset.

Consider the Ultegra Di2 option for $211.

Dura-Ace BR-9000

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Shimano Dura-Ace BR-9000 Brakes

These brakes work well, are fairly light, easy to clean, and the pads are not expensive. Nothing bad to report here. The Shimano pads are also very easy to swap out, which is useful if swapping between aluminum and carbon rims.

A direct-mount version of the rear brake can be purchased. This is for attachment to the bottom bracket for a more aero effect, e.g. BR-9010

Weight: 293g front and rear

RRP in USD: $401

These brakes sell for $282 for the set (Black/Silver). Make sure you are buying a front and rear brake set, and not just a single brake.

Dura-Ace CS-9000

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Shimano Dura-Ace CS-9000 Cassette

Available in 11-23, 11-28, 12-28, 11-25 and 12-25t

The largest 4 sprockets are made from titanium to reduce weight.

These sprockets are mounted on a carbon spider. There have been reports of these spiders collapsing due to rider power. This may well have been resolved by Mar 2014.

The CS-9000 11-23 version is 1g heavier than the CS-7900 version but you get the bonus 11th sprocket. Apparently an additional sprocket makes your ride that little bit smoother. I don't notice anything.

I've not noticed if wear is any better between Dura-Ace and Ultegra. I tend to keep my chains clean and change them 3-4 time per year, so I get good sprocket wear on both types.

Weight: 163g 11-23

RRP in USD: $360

You'll need a new one of these at least every year, even if you keep your chain clean. The price of cassettes has really rocketed over the last 10 years. The CS-9000 sells for $208 (12-25T) or $201.23 here, which is a decent saving over retail price.

Look to the 6800 Ultegra 11-Speed Cassette, 11-28T at $80 for your training wheels. I've found that the Ultegra wears just as well and shifts just as well but is a few grams heavier.

Dura-Ace PD-9000

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Shimano Dura-Ace PD-9000 Pedals

An optional 4mm longer axle is available for the bow-legged among us. Jens Voight and Mark Cavendish both use wider axles. The pedal body is almost identical to the Ultegra version, but the bearings are superior.

The Ultegra version retails at about half the price and only 6g per pedal heavier. Since pedals end up getting scraped on kerbs and corners, it is difficult to justify the Dura-Ace over Ultegra. The bearings probably last a bit longer, although I've not had trouble with either.

Weight: 248g pair

RRP in USD: $348

The Shimano Dura-Ace PD-9000 Carbon Road Pedal sells for $210 or for $219 at JensonUSA or $201.23 at Wiggle. The Ultegra pedals sell for $143 or $121 at Wiggle

SLR Monolink Team Edition

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Selle Italia SLR Monolink Team Edition Saddle

The Selle Italia SLR is the most popular Selle Italia saddle for pro riders. It was designed specifically for long days on the road. I've always found the SLR to be comfortable, and the cut-out is an improvement.

Not exactly cheap. I'd look to offerings from Specialized or Prologo for a little more comfort, similar weight and better value.

The monolink design does allow for more adjustment, so it might save you from buying a new seatpost.

Weight: 160g

RRP in USD: $250

The SLR Team sells for $236.21 with free shipping.

Carbon Comp

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Hutchinson Carbon Comp Tires

There have been a lot of complaints about this tire's resistance to cuts and punctures. Unless you live in an area with smooth, gravel-free roads, like Majorca, then don't get these. They are probably good for 500km, then it is time to replace them. Pros can do this, but normal riders won't.

They have been seen on pro bikes rebadged as Mavic tubulars.

Weight: 260g

RRP in USD: $139.95

Selling for $88 here

Dura-Ace CN-9000

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Shimano Dura-Ace CN-9000 Chain

This is an 11 speed chain. The old Shimano chains were the best wearing in tests. This 11 speed chain shouldn't wear any faster than the excellent 10 speed versions as the rivets are similar. I get about 5000 dry km per chain. Make sure you follow good chain maintenance procedures to maximize wear.

DA chains used to require being mounted in one direction, but this has now changed - they can be mounted any way. I imagine this is because so many muppets were not reading the very CLEAR instructions supplied by Shimano, then complaining about a noisy drive chain and poor shifting.

Shimano has also removed the slots that were drilled into the inner plates, yet the chain, being narrower, is 23g lighter. It isn't much, but it all adds up.

Weight: 243g for 114 links

RRP in USD: $58

The Dura-Ace 11 speed chain sells for $47 here or $41 here.

Sior Mio

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Elite Sior Mio Bottle Cage

It works well, and is fractionally lighter than the Elite Custom Race. the plastic tab at the bottom can snap off. I prefer the Custom Race as it gives a more reassuring fit as it has a rubber expansion joint.

Some people find the bottle hard to remove, but waxing the cage seems to solve the issue. There may be some fit issues for certain bottles. Again, without the rubber there's no give.

Weight: 36g

RRP in USD: $30

The Sior Mio is selling for $20.55 here and $29 here .


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