Riding is Life


Tech gallery: Bikes of Tour of Flanders, part 1

Lotte Kopecky's S-Works Tarmac SL8 World Champion edition, and a not-so-prototype new aero bike.

Paris-Roubaix is where the weird stuff has traditionally come out, but the rest of the Classics usually throw up at least a few special bikes. This year was no exception, with De Ronde treating us to a few that we will cover in a series of bike galleries over the coming day or two.

To kick this off, what better place to start than with the World Champion, Lotte Kopecky’s S-Works Tarmac SL8? We’ve also got a look at a not-so-prototype new aero bike from Dare, as seen under Alexander Kristoff.

The image shows Lotte Kopecky's World Champion themed white and rainbow band Tarmac SL8.
Lotte Kopecky came into Flanders as a favourite for the win, which would have made it three in a row and a first for her in the rainbow jersey. Unfortunately for her, fifth was the best she could manage on the day, but she did have the consolation prize of this World Champion rainbow band-themed Tarmac SL8. A huge crowd had gathered around the SD Worx bus prior to the start, but thankfully the SD Worx crew were kind enough to let me inside the barrier for a second to snap some shots of Kopecky’s rainbow bike.
White, silver, rainbow bands, black components, and tan wall tyres: Kopecky’s bike has struck the perfect balance of special but not tacky, making a fitting addition to the roll-call of not always so carefully-balanced World Champion-themed bikes.
The image shows the top tube of Lotte Kopecky's bike which has her name in large text and th words "2023 World Chmapion" written along side a small rainbow bands decal.
There isn’t really any mistaking who owns this bike or why it’s painted as such, but just in case …
The image shows a close up of the white and silver paintwork on the seat tube. The bike is mostly white but has graded and vertically stacked blocks of various shades of silver throughout the tube.
From a distance the frame looks white, but a closer look reveals some hints of silver.
The image shows Kopecky's forks with a rainbow band decal and a timing chip held in place with a latex tube. Kopecky is also using Roval wheels as seen in the photo.
The rainbow touches extend to the forks. That pink blob on the fork-leg is a timing chip held in place with a pink latex tube … one has to think a black butyl tube might have matched better.
The photo shows Time pedals with a rainbow themed paint job on the pedal body and a crankset with her name sticker on the crank arm.
The rainbow touches extend to the custom-painted Time pedals. Interestingly, the team puts Kopecky’s name sticker on the cranks, presumably not to interrupt the paint job on the frame but potentially also to aid mechanics in seeing names on bikes on the roof of the team car.
The photo shows the rear half of Kopecky's bike with race number 1 and an inline seat post.
Kopecky was defending champion, and as such raced with number 1. She also uses an inline seatpost, but unlike many positions we highlighted in the Tour of Flanders random tech galleries, she does not adopt the extremely forward saddle position such a post facilitates. That’s not to say her position is wrong – it’s highly effective for her, so my guess is it is pretty spot on.
The image shows SRAM Red AXS levers on white bar tape on Lotte Kopecky's bike.
The black and chrome SRAM levers on white bar tape matches the rest of the bike pretty nicely.
The image shows the inside of Kopecky's drive side crank arm viewed through the rear wheel from the non-drive-side with the q65 mm crank length size just about visible.
165 mm cranks for Kopecky.
The image shows a small section below the crank and above a bike stand of Kopecky's rear wheel with the "OVAL" of the Roval decal visible and the red hot patch of the Turbo Cotton tyre decal also visible.
Roval wheels for SD Worx. The team raced on 28 mm Turbo Cotton Hell of the North clinchers with latex inner tubes.
The photo shows Lotte Kopcecky's Roval aero handlebars.
Unsurprisingly, Kopecky also races with the Roval Rapide aero bar stem. I checked for sizes, but unfortunately couldn’t get close enough to see a measurement printed on the bars (or perhaps such markings simply didn’t exist).
The image shows Kopecky's PRO saddle.
Somewhat surprisingly, though, Kopecky is running a Syncros saddle rather than one from the Specialized range.
The image shows a 160 mm SRAM rotor on the front of Kopecky's bike.
Unlike many riders on SRAM at De Ronde, Kopecky stuck with a 160 mm front rotor.
The image shows the inside of the SRAM Red cassette on Kopecky's bike.
She also stuck with the existing 10:33 SRAM Red cassette rather than opting for a few extra teeth with the 10:36 on either the existing Force cassette or with what appears to be a new SRAM Red cassette.

Alexander Kristoff’s prototype Dare

The image shows Alexander Kristoff's new Dare prototype aero bike on a bike rack with some existing Dare bikes outside the Uno X team bus.
Alexander Kristoff has a new aero bike from Uno-X team bike sponsor, Dare – a Taiwanese brand founded in 2012, with a presence in the peloton since 2020 with Uno-X. Kristoff has raced the new bike for at least a few weeks, and it certainly ticks a lot of aero boxes.
The image shows a side on image of Kristoff's new bike.
Aero profiled forks, down tube, head tube, seat tube, deep aero rims, aero chainring, dropped stays, and a black inner tube camouflaging the timing chip on black carbon forks: Kristoff means business right now.
The image shows the thin bladed forks on Kristoff's new bike.
Those forks seem exceptionally thin and deeply profiled.

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