LISIEUX, France (VN) — The aggressive style of Sylvain Chavanel has won him many fans both in his home country of France and abroad. Last month the Frenchman won his national championships and has the honor of wearing the tricolour jersey at the Tour de France.
Seat height: 74.2 cm
Reach (saddle nose to bar): 57 cm
Crank arms: 172.5 mm with 53/41 chainrings
Stem: 13 cm integrated
Bar: 42 cm integrated
Unlike Philippe Gilbert and other national champs who received coordinating bikes, Chavanel stuck with his usual Eddy Merckx EMX-5 for the Tour. The latest model from the Belgian brand is the EMX-7, a bike that Tom Boonen helped develop. So why the EMX-5 for Chavanel? Simpy put, he prefers it.
Earlier in the season Chavanel was given both an EMX-5 as well as an EMX-7 to use in training. After a month on each, Chavanel decided on the EMX-5. The two models share the same geometry but the EMX-5 uses a traditional seat post.
Chavanel’s frameset is not painted in the Quick Step livery like the rest of his teammates’ bikes, but rather has a bare carbon finish. Quick Step team mechanic Kurt Roose said that the bare décor is a measure to keep the bike lighter. Paint can add several hundred grams to a frameset.
Mechanics also used titanium pedal spindles and a Super Record group to keep the bike weight down. (Only three riders on the team get Super Record). With Campagnolo’s shallow Hyperon wheels, the bike weighs in just a tad over the UCI minimum of 6.8 kilograms.
Chavanel's Merckx EMX-5
The French national champion's Merckx is bare carbon to keep weight down. According to Kurt Roose, a team mechanic, the bike is just a hair over 6.8 kg with climbing wheels.
Campy's white pads
Campagnolo includes white pads with its carbon wheels. Not using them actually voids the warranty. Thankfully they work extremely well. Chavanel had on C.U.L.T. Boras that feature Campagnolo's exceptional ceramic bearings. One small touch missing on Chavanel's bike is a cable crimp.
The chrome chain catcher looks really good. Chavanel uses 172.5mm cranks arms and had 53/41 chainrings on when VeloNews photographed it.
Who's the leader?
Normally the first number for a team is assigned to the team leader (121 for Chavanel, 122 for Boonen). Will the team work for Chavanel instead of Boonen? That remains to be seen. But after Tom's crash Wednesday, Chavanel may be Quick Step's only hope for Tour glory.
Chavanel likes FSA's integrated stem and bar. The bars are 42cm wide and the stem is an effective 13cm. The white brake hoods are a classy touch and the Prologo bartape has a nice grippy feel to it.
Chavanel likes his brakes levers pretty high on the bars. The decreasing radius drop of the FSA bars is becoming extremely popular both among pros and in bike shops.
BBB isn't a big brand in the U.S. but it is imported. The Belgian company sponsors Quick Step with helmets, glasses and computers. The wireless BCP-32W is a simple computer but the Quick Step graphics are cool.
Chavanel uses a Prologo Scratch Pro TR saddle. The brand is fairly new to the peloton but Prologo has done a good job of getting big names on its saddles. The FSA K-Force seat post is a nice one with easy adjustment, several setback offerings and light weight.
A jersey to match the sticker
Chavanel is extremely popular in France, especially now that he wears the national tricolor jersety of French champion. His aggressive style and impressive classics season has made me a fan as well.
LOOK Keo Blade
The Merckx EMX-5 frameset is not the lightest around. Quick Step mechanics took every measure they could to keep the total bike weight down. LOOK Keo Blade pedals help. So does the Super Record group: most of the team rides Record.
It looks like Chavanel may have clipped his chain stay with his heel. As a leader of the Quick Step team the Frenchman gets one of the few Super Record groups the team has.
Vittoria-sponsored teams usually have their choice of tires from the Italian company's line. Quick Step went with the Servizio Corse version of the Corsa Evo tubular. The 23mm tire is a fantastic tubular.
The carbon fork on the EMX-5 is nice and stout with a bat-wing kind of profile. The rubber frame protectors on the cables are a pro touch.