Despite being part of the team that helped develop the Specialized S-Works Tarmac SL7, Kasper Asgreen will choose to ride the less aerodynamic Specialized Aethos in today’s stage, as well as mountain stages. following in the Tour de France.
The Aethos was launched in October 2020 as a bicycle for rider, not the runner. It came up with the slogan “breaking the rules”, referring to the UCI’s illegal weight of 6.0kg when fitted with the lightest component list in the Specialized range, which sits at around 800. g below the UCI minimum weight limit of 6.8 kg. For Asgreen to be able to ride the Aethos in the Tour de France, his weight would have to be brought down to this limit of 6.8 kg.
Addressed exclusively to Cycling news, Asgreen has confirmed that its Tarmac SL7 frame is also able to meet the UCI 6.8kg limit, so both bikes could have the same racing weight. This begs the question as to why Asgreen would choose the less aerodynamic Aethos, given that the weight savings that come with it would have to be negated.
âAerodynamics on a bike is such a small part compared to sitting in the wheels of a group, that it doesn’t matter how fast or slow the bike is when you’re inside the peloton,â Asgreen explained. .
The Tour of Flanders winner admitted it was he who asked Specialized for the bike and explained the reasoning for his decision as a preference for comfort over aerodynamics on mountain stages where he knows he will not be in contention for victory.
âThe biggest difference between these two frames is the way they ride and for me, as a bigger, heavier rider, I’ll always be in the squad on those days, just trying to get through the day that easy and too fresh as possible.
âWe all know that French tarmac is sometimes a little, let’s say, coarse and a little rough. It gives a lot of vibration through the body. The Aethos absorbs this a lot better and it’s a lot smoother. Don’t have all these vibrations in my body, muscles, lower back and so on, I arrive much fresher at the finish and recover much better for the next leg.
âI’m always in a group, so I don’t have the headwind. I don’t fight the wind alone as I usually would in the classics, where I choose to have this disadvantage; increased vibration or less comfort. [when] I am here [at the classics], I attack, I try to win the race, I prefer to have the fastest bike there.
“But that’s not what it is for me on mountain days. I’m always in a group, so even though there is a downside in aerodynamics, it doesn’t affect me in the same way as the runners who are trying on the road to win the race, because I am in a group, or because I am going slowly. “
According to Specialized, the Aethos frame weighs 215g less than a tarmac of the same size, and given Asgreen’s tarmac is already capable of meeting the 6.8kg limit, Deceuninck-QuickStep mechanics had to bring some modifications to the components to bring the weight up.
Asgreen confirms that this gave him more freedom in the choice of components, where he focused on reducing the aerodynamic deficit and restoring familiarity.
âBecause the frame is so light, I can basically put whatever I want on the bike and still hit the 6.8kg limit, maybe even having to add weight,â he explained.
âI went for the usual aero bar which I always ride on my tarmac just to add a bit of aero, but also mainly, mostly out of familiarity. I have my usual Phenom Pro saddle that I always ride. will mainly use the [Roval] Fast wheels, aero wheels. Also, again to compensate for this obvious aerodynamic disadvantage, but because the Rapids are significantly faster than the Mountaineers in the way I ride.
âHow I ride in the grupetto is a very sustained effort. Where mountaineers really make sense is when you have to start accelerating, you have to start attacking at these very low speeds on the climbs. am not shifting gears. I am not jumping left and right. In the grupetto, I ride at 350 watts all the time. “
When asked if other Deceuninck QuickStep riders would follow the Dane’s lead, Asgreen confirmed that all of his teammates will continue aboard the Tarmac.
âFor this Tour de France, I will be the only one. I think now it’s a bit of a test. We’ll see if I like it, and if the other riders on the team see the benefit of using this bike, maybe in the future there will be more riders on it. “
Today’s stage will see Asgreen and the peloton cover 150.8 km from Oyonnax to Grand Bornard. Five categorized climbs face the runners, with three category 1 climbs in the last 50 kilometers.
Tech Specs: Kasper Asgreen Specialized S-Works Aethos
|Frame||S-Works Aethos Specialist|
|Group||Shimano Dura-Ace R9170 Di2|
|Brakes||Shimano Dura-Ace R9170 hydraulic disc|
|Pair of wheels||Roval Rapide CLX|
|Rod||Alloy Pro Vibe|
|Handlebar||Pro Vibe aero|
|Wattmeter||Shimano Dura-Ace R9100-P|
|Pedals||Shimano Dura-Ace R9100|
|Saddle||Specialized Phenom expert (Ti rails)|
|Tires||Turbo Specialized Cotton|
|Computer||Wahoo Elemnt Roam|
|Bottle cages||Tacx Deva|