Tour Down Under 2017: Sports Tech Gear Of the Pro Men


After the women’s debut on Saturday, it was time for the men to make their entrance on Sunday at the People’s Choice criterium.  This would be the first men’s race of the Tour Down Under, though it’s technically a separate event from the rest of the 6-stage tour.  Like an appetizer dish that somehow doesn’t count against your tab.

It’s also the first opportunity to take inventory of the gear of the pro men.  Like with the ladies, I’m mainly focused on sports tech goodness, more than bike frames and wheels and such.  Those areas are just a bit outside my focus.  However, I’ve included whole-bike pics in virtually all team sections, so it makes it pretty easy to identify those parts.

This year we’ve got a few little new tidbits in the mix – including a totally unseen before bike computer. Heck, there’s still nothing about it on the manufacturer’s website, and only a single line in a generic press release.  But more on that down below!

A Brief Note On Sponsorships:

It’s important to remember that in almost every case below, the power meter brands are sponsoring either teams or individual athletes.  Same goes for shifting technologies.  About the only exception are head units, though even some of those are sponsored (i.e. via SRM or Pioneer deals for power meters, head units come along).

Given the very nature of sponsorship is showing off one’s brand for payment (or free equipment), it shouldn’t be assumed that any product is inherently ‘better’ because a WorldTour team is riding it.  Instead, it’s just there because they were paid to ride it.  You’ll see power meter brands change year after year with the wind (or the payment as it may be).  You’ll also see cases where a brand may be sponsoring a team, but the team isn’t actually riding the commercially available product.  For example – Team Sky largely rides a dual left/right Stages setup (and has done so for years), a product that is not available for purchase to consumers (nor has any timetable been stated for if they’ll ever make it available).

The point being – look at these products as “Oh, that’s interesting”, more than “Oh, I should immediately go out and buy this product because X rider is on it.” Make sense?  Good.

The Teams:


We’ll get right into things.  Note that as with the women’s teams, there are occasions where not all riders will be on the same exact config, especially in power meters and bike computers.  Bike frames, of course, are almost always identical due to team sponsorships, but bike computers aren’t often covered by team sponsorships.

Also, in some cases (such as FDJ), there are prototype products in use, in which case only a single rider or two may be using that – and in some cases only for just a day or two.  Meaning that while this list may be valid for Day 1 of the Tour Down Under, there are numerous examples where a team might sneak in a prototype product on just a single rider on Day 3 or Day 5.  That’s often the case in the Tour de France where you’ll see companies trial prototype products in the last week or so of the race, partially to re-ignite media interest, and partially because it may not impact the standings any longer.

Note that teams are simply listed in the order (and spelling/capitalization) of the official media program.


DSC_0185 DSC_0190

Power Meters: SRM
Head units: SRM (mostly PC8, but not all)
Shifting: Shimano Di2 Electronic Shifting

Notable: This was the only team that I saw an action cam on for this race day.  Usually though, teams will alternate riders having action cams on, on differing days.  Also, I could see how some teams probably wouldn’t have bothered for the People’s Choice crit, given the low-light at dusk would likely have produced less than ideal videos.

BORA – hansgrohe:


Power Meters: 4iiii Precision (dual left/right)
Head units: Garmin Edge series
Shifting: Shimano Di2 Electronic Shifting


DSC_0346 DSC_0349

Power Meters: SRM
Head units: SRM PC8
Shifting: Shimano Di2 Electronic Shifting


DSC_0430 DSC_0416

Power Meters: Pioneer
Head units: Giant NeosTrack
Shifting: Shimano Di2 Electronic Shifting

So the Giant head unit is definitely new.  Or, sorta new at least.  Finding any mention of it is virtually impossible, save for a single line in a team press release a few weeks ago.  Upon asking the Giant folks at the Tour Down Under exhibition, they simply smiled and said more information will be out later this year.


The team’s sponsorship press release had noted:

“Team Sunweb riders are using Giant’s next-generation computer, which offers both navigation and training functions. Compatible with all training accessories, including power meters, heartrate straps, speed/cadence sensors, and smart trainers, it offers everything a pro racer needs. And its Shimano Di2 function shows real-time gearing ratios and combinations as well as battery levels. The latest NeosTrack GPS computer will be commercially available later this year.”

However, it doesn’t appear we’ll need to wait that long.  As by every appearance, the unit looks simply to be a rebranded Bryton 530 bike computer.  You can see the external shell is identical, as are the buttons and even the button labels are virtually the same.  We occasionally see teams make or re-brand versions for the pro team itself, to minimize sponsorship conflicts.  But given the note in the press release about an actual product vs just a team re-brand, it looks like we’ll see something, probably launched at Eurobike or Interbike.  With Giant’s massive global distribution (the biggest in the bike biz), this move could work well for Bryton.



Power Meters: Stages power (single-leg  and dual leg variant)
Head units: Garmin Edge 820
Shifting: Shimano Di2 Electronic Shifting

We continue to see Stages test out dual leg variants on some Team Sky bikes.  The right drive-side pods do seem a bit more polished than in years past, making them even more difficult to spot.  I was only able to get a barely functional shot of one while one of the mechanics worked on the bike during the rest day.  Even though, it’s super hard to pick out these days.

DSC_0908 DSC_0911

Finally, it’s notable that none of the riders were using the Wahoo ELEMNT, and all were using Garmin Edge 820’s.  That’s because the sponsorship deal only includes the Wahoo KICKR, and not head units (or even heart rate straps this year).  As the team was using the Garmin HRM straps that came bundled with the Garmin Edge 820 bundles.  Just goes to show you how fickle and exacting that Pro team sponsorships can be.


DSC_0360 DSC_0358

Power Meters: ROTOR 2INPower
Head units: Garmin Edge series, one person using Pioneer head unit.
Shifting: Shimano Di2 Electronic Shifting


DSC_0382 DSC_0387

Power Meters: SRM
Head units: SRM PC8
Shifting: Campagnolo EPS Electronic Shifting



Power Meters: SRM
Head units: Garmin Edge Series
Shifting: Shimano Di2 Electronic Shifting


DSC_0421 DSC_0423

Power Meters: SRM
Head units: SRM PC8
Shifting: Shimano Di2 Electronic Shifting


Funny tidbit: While grabbing the above shots on Bahrain Merida, pro rider Janez Brajkovic shouted out to take the shots on his bike instead.  Turns out he’s an avid DCR reader (and definite sports tech geek).  He was using the Mio Fuse as his (optical) heart rate sensor, which broadcasts to his SRM head unit.  He’s found it very accurate compared to a chest strap, which matches what I found as well.  Mio’s Philips powered sensor and Valencell are among the best out there in the optical game.



Power Meters: SRM
Head units: SRM PC8
Shifting: Shimano Di2 Electronic Shifting


DSC_0311 DSC_0312

Power Meters: Power2Max
Head units: Garmin Edge 820
Shifting: Shimano Di2 Electronic Shifting



Power Meters: Quarq
Head units: Garmin Edge Series (mostly Edge 520)
Shifting: SRAM RED eTAP Wireless Electronic Shifting

FDJ Cycling Team:

DSC_0402 DSC_0395

Power Meters: SRM, except 2 riders on prototype Shimano power meters
Head units: Garmin Edge 1000 & SRM
Shifting: Shimano Di2 Electronic Shifting

There were a few interesting tidbits here.  First of course is the continued use of prototype Shimano power meters.  Since FDJ is sponsored by Shimano, that sponsorship is overriding the previous SRM sponsorship.  At the Tour de France last year we saw two riders also riding the prototype Shimano power meter, so I was somewhat expecting to see more riding it here.  Shimano has been targeting a Spring 2017 release timeframe for that unit, but it’s simply too early to tell if they are close or not.  The unit is looking much more refined than it has been in the past though.


Second, I found it interesting that a handful of the riders were equipped with SRM power meters, but no head unit to capture that data.  Meaning, it wasn’t just a case of the head unit not being installed at the time of the photo, but rather there was no mount whatsoever on the bike.  My guess is they were tossing it in the jersey pocket for such a short race, but I wondered if that was more indicative of a coaching style thing than a rider preference (given multiple rider-specific bikes were lacking them).  I’ll be curious to see the rest of the week if the head units make an appearance for the longer stages.



Power Meters: Power2Max
Head units: Garmin Edge (blend of units, mostly 510/520 series)
Shifting: Campagnolo EPS Electronic Shifting



Power Meters: 4iiii Precision (dual left/right)
Head units: Mostly Edge 520
Shifting: Shimano Di2 Electronic Shifting


DSC_0378 DSC_0376

Power Meters: Pioneer
Head units: Pioneer
Shifting: Shimano Di2 Electronic Shifting


DSC_0319 DSC_0319

Power Meters: Power2Max
Head units: Garmin Edge Series (mostly Edge 520)
Shifting: Campagnolo EPS Electronic Shifting



Power Meters: Some SRM, but also some bikes with none at all.
Head units: SRM PC8, even when no power meter is used
Shifting: Shimano Di2 electronic shifting


DSC_0335 DSC_0343

Power Meters: Everything. One Quarq, one SRM, some Verve Infocrank
Head units: Mostly Garmin Edge series.
Shifting: Mixed. Mostly Shimano, a blend of both electronic (Di2) and mechanical.

Of note here though is that this appears to be the only team doing a streaming data solution for all their riders.  They’ve paired up with Satalyst, and are streaming all rider data live to a website (including sensor data).  I’ll have more on that piece tomorrow – so hang tight!



For the most part, these units will stand as the power meters of record on these teams for the remainder of the season.  Sometimes you might see some minor fluctuations around the April-May timeframe, if new models come out (i.e. in the past ROTOR introduced new models then, and pro teams moved over to them by June-ish).  But otherwise, this should be considered final for the 2017 season.  The only other exception to this would be I’d expect that those with complete Shimano sponsorships will shift over to Shimano power meters by the grand tours (late spring).

Though the details of those agreements aren’t usually known (or heck, in some cases, decided).  So we probably won’t know till we see it on a bike.

With that – thanks for reading!

Stay tuned for more Tour Down Under goodness!  And if you missed the women’s tech round-up, be sure to catch that here.


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  1. Liam

    Great wrap-up, Ray. I spotted The Girl with Peanut getting off the tram at the Tour Village yesterday afternoon. You were probably busy capturing all of these photos at the time. I hope you enjoy the TDU & the rest of your time in Australia.

  2. slartiblartfast

    Great work as always, although somehow an apostrophe crept into “sponsorships”!

  3. What crank is on the Lotto Soudal Ridley? looks like a custom crank on an old 5 bolt SRM.
    Is it an Adam Hansen special?

  4. Yigit

    Nice write up.

    It seems like Shimano Di2 Electronic Shifting and SRM Powermeter and Garmin Edge are mostly the choice of the pros.

    Just to understand something, I see that many riders still use Garmin Edge 520 or 1000, why wouldn’t they just upgrade to Garmin 820 which is the better solution. Is it a budget issue or what ?

    • Dave Lusty

      I hate to break the illusion but the only choice the pros are making is between using the kit their sponsor gives them and finding a different job.
      Electronic shifting seems popular because it’s being pushed for marketing reasons :)

    • Chris pollett

      Having ridden both Ultegra versions, I’ll take electronic over mechanical any day.

    • It seems like in many cases, the head unit a rider uses is really just a function of what they bought themselves. Very little commonality except in cases where a sponsor is involved (SRM, Pioneer), or in Team Sky’s case (buying Edge 820’s), where the only logical explanation I can see there is just sending a peculiar message to Wahoo (since Wahoo undoubtedly would have given them ELEMNT’s for free). Either way, just weird to go out and straight-up buy a team’s worth of 820’s versus using one of your sponsors.

      But shrug…such is the oddities of team sponsorships.

    • Paul S.

      Why the mapping version, and not the 520? Did they say? Are they actually going to put courses/routes on it and use the maps?

    • Yigit

      Yes that’s understandable however what I don’t understand is, if the team is already using say Garmin Edge 520 or Edge 1000’s, why don’t they upgrade to Edge 820 since they are already using Garmin anyway.

    • GianKam

      The 820 is not an upgrade to the 1000, 1000 is still top of the line. A reason for staying on the 520 might be that the 820 is still very unreliable.

    • I think it’s honestly just as simple as most Pro Tour teams simply don’t care about head units, as long as their athletes get the data they want – and coaches get the data from the athlete. Hence why you generally see a pretty even blend of Garmin Edge 510/520’s, and some 810/820/1000’s. The 510/520’s are more popular just because they’re smaller.

      The 820’s are still honestly pretty new, and depending on where the athlete comes from – if they’re paying for it themselves – then it’s still super pricey. Plus, for most of these guys there’s little reason to ‘upgrade’ a 520 to an 820 (heck, I’d not really bother upgrading one in most cases).

    • Sean Parchem

      Dave, I find it odd, not odd but interesting, that they are all using Electronic set ups. Not a single mechanical set up. I get the sponsorship drives what the riders use but I think they can use mechanical as opposed to electronic if they choose? At least that what seemed to have been the option over the last few years. @ Chris Pollett: I’m having such a hard time deciding which electronic group to go with… Sigh. 1st world problems. Maybe I’ll just stick with my mechanical RED.

    • Generally sponsorship would specify a specific product. They want to demonstrate that electronic and/or wireless systems are perfectly function for pros at the most important races in the world.

      As for a group-set, for installation purposes alone, I’d recommend eTAP. Just figuring out all the right parts you need on Di2 is a mess. Let alone the cabling aspect of Di2 that doesn’t occur with eTAP.

  5. Havelaar

    As to the missing head units at FDJ, yesterday Fred Grappe twittered the following:

    “Les sensations doivent s’exprimer avant tout. Pas de…watts pour extriper le meilleur du pacing…@EquipeFDJ”

    Means it is on purpose. FDJ’s riders are supposed to pace themselfs based on their own sensation.

  6. Simon

    A few things pop out of your analysis Ray.

    Firstly, the predominant power meter is SRM in the pro peleton, but you never see one in the wild. Is this due to better accuracy, or sponsorship legacy over years and years?

    Secondly, two big power meter players, Garmin and Powertap have no presence in the pro peleton, could that be because its pedal based?

    Finally, no FSA shifting, or is it not ready yet?

    Interesting stuff as always Ray

    • Dave Lusty

      Why would the popular systems need to advertise them? Garmin power sells by default because they are the dominant computer. Power tap are the best mix of good and cheap, and have the blessing of Ray and other bloggers. Seeing systems here that you don’t see in the wild is why you see them here – they need to push their image!
      It’s not like the cyclists or teams are choosing this stuff.

    • Agree with Dave.

      For PowerTap, there’s zero reason to deal with the expense/hassle of a pro team. They’re well established, well known, well everything.

      For Garmin, they’ve done the Pro team thing before, and it hasn’t done as well in the pro ranks because of the challenges of moving it between bikes. Not that it matters much, distribution in every bike shop means they sell a ton anyway.

      For FSA, that’s probably in the same camp as Shimano power meters of readiness – we’ll likely see wider deployment later in the season.

      On SRM, it’s just sponsorship. They keep (or occasionally) claiming they don’t sponsor anything, yet we all know that’s not true. You don’t get your logo on the side of team vans/etc for no reason. I think it’s mostly just a move to stay visible at this point. They’re no more accurate than a Power2Max or most other major brands.

    • Bob Goodman

      On SRM, as you’ve said, they must be “sponsoring ” all these teams. In essence, the high prices they are charging for their products are how they do it. Their consumers are subsidizing giving srms to most of the teams. Kind of a strange business model.

  7. Edwin Aerts

    Hello Ray

    Interesting stuff. Please more details on the CANNONDALE-DRAPAC PRO CYCLING TEAM. The photo shows FSA chainrings (instead of Cannondales own chainrings?), still they use Shimano Di2 and not K-FORCE WE. Does the wireless electronic drive train of FSA (ANT+) appear somewhere in the pro peloton?
    Thanks for answering and enjoy yourself in the warm Down Under.


    • I’ll dig around tomorrow and see if I see any variances between bikes. But I didn’t see WE anywhere out there.

    • Mikkel Holme

      Cannondales own chainrings (Spidering) are not comaptible with crank-based powermeters such as SRM (they are direct-mount types that is fitted straight on to the axle). So you have to fit them with standard chainrings if you use a crank-based powermeter.

    • Yigit

      I have the ‘SuperSix Evo Hi-Mod Team 2016’ bike with the Spidering which I bought it April 2016, I was also thinking of the SRM power meters but due to Spidering issue , I bought a Garmin Vector 2 Pedal Based power meter instead.

      The biggest question mark for me by then was, why wouldn’t Cannondale Pro Team use it’s own Spiderings, is it because of the SRM Power meters compability ? I mean, are SRM power meters so good that Cannondale Pro Team don’t use its own Spiderings and a Pedal Based power meter ?

      What do you all think ?

    • Alex Valentine

      Team Cannondale has a sponsorship with FSA, which is why they don’t use spiderrings.

      link to slipstreamsports.com

  8. Davesee

    Really surprised to see only one team using SRAM eTap. Does Shimano have a lock on majority of teams or is it something else?

  9. Rod Kelly

    Thanks for the write-up as always!

    It was hard to tell from some of the photos, but I didn’t see any teams running disc brakes? I know the UCI is allowing it (with Sagan saying he might use it for the race). Was just curious if you saw any teams definitely giving disc brakes a try?

  10. Michal

    Giant Neostrack is re-branded Bryton Rider 530.

  11. denis

    nobody uses the POWERPOD?

  12. Ron L

    On the Cannondale-Drapac bike, is that a longer cage (& larger idler wheels) or just some sort of optical illusion?

  13. Steve stevenson

    Dude, I don’t care …. at all. I could care less about what these guys use. I’d rather those CES updates.

    Please give us useful posts, not this silliness. Reading this article was a waste of time.

    • chris s

      Strongly disagree, please keep it coming Ray.

    • Mike

      Why would he report on CES, weeks after CES, when he’s in Aus with his family, reporting on the race that he is attending?
      Literally nobody else is covering these details and to the rest of us looking for secret prototype stuff it’s super interesting. CES is all vaporware that never actually gets released. Equipment shown at these stage races by rule has to be production items. Different reporting for different products.
      Feel free to start your own tech blog.

    • Matt

      So you’re saying that you do care then? I could care less means that you care, as there is a layer of caring below your caring for this particular thing. You either “couldn’t care less”, as in, there is no possible way you could care less about the thing you are talking about, or “I could care less, BUT, I would then be dead”. There needs to be something at the end of the sentence to clarify how you could care less.
      Oh, and Ray, love this kind of stuff. Keep it coming.

    • Well, hopefully I can appease both.

      I have both more CES-related goodness still to pop out (mostly things that haven’t oddly been covered anywhere else, as far as I can tell – or covered that much).

      And I’ve still got some TDU stuff as well (tech focused especially, but just some general goodness).

      Only a few thousands TDU photos to sift through first…

    • Sean Parchem

      I so wanted to say that Matt. Not sure how many times I see and hear people say “could care less….” It’s “couldn’t care less.” Drives me bonkers….. So thanks for saying it. Yes Ray, keep it coming. If you happen to see anything wheel wise, tubeless set ups, odd food items cycling related or not cycling related and the new single ring up front the pros are surely using due to the trickle down…. let us know:-)

  14. Nick

    Not sure that’s a tone appreciated here. I for one love this coverage.

    As for the coverage, Ray, you have to give SRM some love just for the partnership with THM!

  15. OKOK

    Where are the pedal based power meters? Are they for amateurs only?

    • Nope, as noted above: It’s as simple as no pedal company wanting to spend the money. PowerTap has repeatedly stated in the past they get virtually no benefit these days from sponsoring a WorldTour team. BePro likely doesn’t have that kinda cash. Polar’s essentially out of the game. Look did some stuff last year, but likely can’t justify the cash outlay. And that’s about it.

    • Alex

      I feel like pedals are just too exposed in a race environment where there is a high likelihood of a crash. For me I’d much rather have my PM safely tucked away in the crank and leave my easily replaced pedals free to grind along the tarmac when it all hits the fan.

      These are just my feelings and as Ray says, there are other more convincing reasons (financial) for not seeing them in the pro-peloton!

    • Michal

      Italian pro-continental team Bardiani CSF uses BePro pedals. They’re no World Tour team so you won’t see them in Tour Down Under though.

    • Well even when Garmin was a team sponsor, Slipstream didn’t use their pedals, most of them were on SRM’s. Pro teams have always shown a willingness to use innovative products without a sponsorship agreement (Lightweight wheels, SRM, Castelli Gabba, Powertaps back in the day, Garmin head units, etc), but there isn’t really a reason to use a pedal based power meter over a crank based one, unless you have an injury.

      I have the P1 pedals on a bike, and its great data, but the pedals are REALLY bulky and heavy to put on a pro-tour race bike.

      BTW, I love this article. Keep it coming Ray. CES was a snoozefest this year. F^$k the haters.

  16. Michael Fiola

    I sometimes wonder if Garmin stopped primary sponsorship because the riders refused to use the Vector pedals. Some guys used them, some refused.

    • There were one or two riders that refused, but that’s because they had existing individual sponsorship deals that inexplicably overrode the team deal. One was for a power meter I believe, and the other pedals. I have the old email from Garmin PR about it somewhere. From a business standpoint, kinda mind boggling.

  17. Michael Swann

    If you were wondering why there is such a variety of equipment used by the Team Uni SA-Australia’s riders, that’s because they’re a wildcard team with special dispensation from the UCI to compete. They are not a regular full time team like all the others and come together just for the Tour Down Under.

    • Yeah, had a good chat with the Team Manager/Director today about it. All their guys purchase their own power meters.

      On the flip side, they are doing cool data live tracking – and they’re the only team doing it. That’s coming up in a post tomorrow.

  18. Jason

    Any chance we’ll see a review of the 4iiii dual sided power meter soon? :-)

    I know you did a short test on the prototype back in 2015.

  19. Travis

    I read that orica Scott were going to be using some continuous auto chain lube system. It looked kinda crappy to be honest. Did you notice if they actually had the units on the bikes?

  20. Just like Janez Brajkovic, I too own and use a Mio Fuse. I caught it on an Amazon scratch and dent deal for $33 (there was no damage, just open box)!

    I find it very accurate and much more comfortable than a chest strap. My biggest complaint is that it is not very powerful in terms of broadcasting ant+. It’s typically fine going to my watch and/or head-unit, but riding my trainer I get constant heart rate dropouts (even though the trainer is way farther away from my ant+ stick/computer I very rarely get power dropouts).

    • JB

      Try to move it a cm or two towards elbow. Much more consistent readings

    • Thanks jb, but consistency isn’t the issue. It is putting out the correct hr value, just not broadcasting it powerfully enough.
      If I recorded my trainer session on my watch (which is worn on right wrist, mio on left) the hr displays and records just fine. The dropouts still occur however on my computer (tested using zwift and trainerroad).
      Unless there is some other factor I am not considering, it seems that the ability for the unit to broadcast hr is a bit weak. Although this doesn’t have any effect during normal training/racing conditions for most people.

  21. Wojtek

    Hey DC, I guess it might be worth mentioning that Movistar is the only team using Power2max NG units. All the other teams with power2max units are still on Type-S.

  22. Brian

    Thanks, Ray! Will you be doing an in depth review of Rotor 2INPower? I wanted to include them as possible option, but as with most of your readers, I want to see your expert analysis first!

  23. Christopher

    Never heard of the Bryton GPS computers, although it does seem like a promising GPS computer from the link (of their site), does this mean we are seeing a Bryton computer review soon?

  24. Martijn

    A little late comment perhaps but Orica Scott have their own YouTube channel. That’s probably why the camera was there: Jonesy was making Backstage Pass videos for all the Australian races (men’s and women’s).

    I’m not allowed to add the link probably so just search YouTube for Orica Scott or GreenEdgeCycling.