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Belkin Pro Cycling Team Bianchi Infinito CV

Belkin Pro Cycling Team Bianchi Infinito CV

Belkin Pro Cycling Team Bianchi Infinito CV
Pieter Van Pietersen

Yep, it is the ugliest paint job out there. Please just keep it Bianchi green!

Belkin Pro Cycling Team is using a Bianchi Oltre XR2 frame, Shimano C50 Tubular wheels and Dura-Ace Di2 components.

The bike components used by Belkin Pro Cycling Team are listed below.

Infinito CV

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Bianchi Infinito CV Complete Bike

Beauty is in the eye of the beholder is all I'll say about the color.

The frame is supposed to dampen vibration using a material in 'critical' areas of the frame and fork. I've not tried it, so it is hard to confirm if it works or not.

The frame comes in at 950g, for 55cm (M), which is excellent, although standard for this price range.

The head tube is also a little bit longer, which means the bars are higher. In short this is supposed to be a comfortable frame, so perhaps not one for crit racing (not that it would make any difference). Bianchi say it is a geometry for an endurance ride.

I'd happily get one in a different color.

Weight: 7000g with pedals

RRP in USD: +$10000

Dura-Ace C50 tubular WH-9000

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Shimano Dura-Ace C50 tubular WH-9000 Wheels

Another piece of advice you'll ignore: don't bother with tubs. They won't sing along like you've read. They won't make you go faster. They are a pain, as gluing is messy and time consuming. You need a stash of tubs in the garage, maturing like fine wines. At $100 a tub, punctures are expensive.

While the pros have a couple of guys with strong thumbs who can glue all the tubs for them, you are better off with clinchers.

At this point I could recommend the C50 clincher version, saving you $900. BUT the C50 clincher is closer to 1900g (claimed 1672g), which you will feel when racing. As you accelerate out of corners, your bike will feel like it is mounted on a couple of massive gyros.

Go with the Shimano C24, or if you want deep section carbon, fork out for the ENVEs and Zipps of this world. My article about aero wheels here.

If you must get deep carbon tubs, then set pair will serve you very well.

Weight: 1396 g claimed, 1,460g actual (pair)

RRP in USD: $2700

You can buy the C50 tubular wheels for $2500 here or for $2145 at Wiggle. Watch out for fakes, there seem to be a lot of them for sale.

The C50 clincher wheel has an aluminium rim and sells for $1450. However these wheels don't offer much aerodynamic advantage to the C24 and are heavier and cost more, so the C24 at $916 or $798 at Wiggle gets my recommendation for everyday use.


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Pioneer SGY-PM910H Power meter

Pioneer has produced a powermeter that has some interesting features. It provides very detailed analysis of the pedal stroke, and it is light.

There seem to be a few disadvantages. One is the price, at $2500 you could buy 3 Powertaps. Second, there are zip-ties. I guess they work well, but it is not elegant. Third, you need to get the unit installed by a special mechanic who will precisely glue it to your cranks and calibrate it. Forth, you can only use DA 7900 or 7950 cranks.

Pros: Fantastic data about pedal dynamics, light weight.

Cons: Expensive, zip-ties, install by mechanic, you can only use Shimano 7900 or 7950 cranks.

Weight: 73g

RRP in USD: $2500

Selling for $1249.25 here

Oltre XR2

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Bianchi Oltre XR2 Frame and forks

Some riders are on the Infinito CV, some on the Oltre XR2. The XR2 is the light frame. At sub 1kg it is perfectly light enough to compare with the competition.

The frame is touted as being very stiff. Some work has also been put into aerodynamic refinements.

Its only downside is that it is quite expensive. $15,000 for the bike.

Weight: 895g for 55cm frame (-+45g), 355g for fork

RRP in USD: $-

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.

Dura-Ace FC-9000 HollowTech II Double

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Shimano Dura-Ace FC-9000 HollowTech II Double Cranks

Shifting is impeccable, looks are fantastic, chain ring wear is excellent, it is stiff (they all are though). Its one weakness is the weight. 53g heavier than Campagnolo Super Record and 61g heavier than SRAM 22 Red.

Having said that, firstly it won't make any difference, and secondly, most riders will be using power meters. The SRM cranks come in at 858g for Dura-Ace 9000, which is a whopping 282g heavier than SRAM.

Weight: 637g 172.5mm crank arms

RRP in USD: $650

The Dura-Ace 9000 cranks sell for $453.50

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

Concor Carbon FX

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San Marco Concor Carbon FX Saddle

Light saddle being used by some guys in the Belkin squad. Carbon rails, looks the business.

Difficult to confirm how comfortable it is, as it'll depend on the shape of your behind.

Weight: 135g

RRP in USD: $275

The Concor Carbon FX with cut out can be found for $160. The team model without cutout sells for $212.50.

Corsa EVO SC

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Vittoria Corsa EVO SC Tires

These were seen at the 2014 Tour of Flanders and Paris Roubaix, 25C wide profile. (Wider tires are now in fashion).

The weight is not exceptionally light, but the feel of Vittoria tubulars is blissful.

Vittoria tubulars are tried and tested as race winners.

Weight: 250g

RRP in USD: $105

The EVO Corsa SC tubular sells for $65 here or $74.60 here.

You could get the open or clincher version for $59 here.


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Light bar, compact (short depth to the drops) at 125mm. Compare that to a short drop 3T bar at 123mm.

If you want to get low down on your bike, you may prefer the K-FORCE ERGO bar which has 150mm of drop and weighs a little less at 185g.

Weight: 210g 40cm

RRP in USD: $-

The FSA K-Force Compact Carbon sells for $259 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.


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Tacx Tao Bottle Cage

The Tacx Tao bottle cage holds bottles securely (500ml - 750ml used). Some brands of bottles won't fit as they are too wide, so do check carefully before buying. The bottles are easy to insert and retrieve and the design means that the bottles don't get marked. (Aluminium cages tend to tattoo the bottles).

Despite being made of aluminium rather than carbon, it is still light at 37g (8g heavier than the carbon version). It was seen on plenty of pro bikes at the Tour of Flanders 2014.

However there's a major flaw. The plastic tab at the bottom of the cage snaps after a few months of usage. It isn't strong enough for the job. This has happened on three Taos that I've owned, so I've given up and moved to Elite. On that basis, I do not recommend this bottle cage.

Weight: 37g

RRP in USD: $25

The Tao aluminium is selling for $17 here or $13 here.

You can buy separate plastic tabs here for $7.99.


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