Bassos' TT rig loses weight for the Giro
By James Huang
We were admittedly somewhat underwhelmed by Ivan Basso's (Liquigas)
Cannondale Slice Hi-Mod time trial bike back at the Tour of California
what with its portly 8.92kg (19.67lb) weight and somewhat hodgepodge
build. Fast forward to the Giro d'Italia, however, and he now seems
much better prepared to attack Stage 12's daunting 60.0km (37.7mi) individual
time trial and its two climbs - the 613m-tall Passo del Bracco and the
548m-high Passo del Termine.
Basso's new machine sheds 0.58kg and is now a much more reasonable
8.34kg (18.39lb). The biggest chunk is lost in the crankset, which has
swapped from the previous SRM solid machined aluminum boat anchor and
threaded Shimano Octalink bottom bracket - not to mention the requisite
shell adapter - to a more svelte Vision Trimax Carbon aero unit complete
with a proper BB30 shell and bearings.
In addition, a special lightweight lay-up schedule from Cannondale
has yielded 150g of weight savings from the frame, fork and seatpost
and team sponsor Mavic have also worked to shed weight from their Comete
disc and Io front wheel - the latter of which sports a pared-down and
carbon-wrapped front hub. Though unfortunately not pictured here, Mavic
have even provide Basso with a prototype Cosmic Carbone Ultimate wheelset
with a deeper and more aerodynamic rim than the 40mm one currently in
Other equipment changes include an upgrade from Speedplay Zero Chromoly
to Zero Titanium pedals and a new Shimano Dura-Ace chain instead of
the earlier KMC one but the rest is mostly carryover. As with every
Campagnolo-sponsored team at the Giro, Liquigas is running the older
10-speed Record generation as there are still no 11-speed bar-end shifters
available, the seatpost is topped with the same shortened fi'zi:k Arione
CX saddle as before, and the wheels are again wrapped with Schwalbe
Basso's position has also been tweaked mostly as a result of recent
power testing on the track. Stem length has grown from 9cm to 10cm,
and the previously straight extensions on his Vision Trimax SI aero
bar now sport a two-kink 'R-bend'. As such, Basso is now stretched a
tad longer than before - and presumably is a tad faster as well.
Whether or not Basso will actually use this bike for Stage 12
remains in question, though. The course's length, climbing and technical
nature would tend to favor a more versatile road bike with aero wheels
and clip-ons and while a full-blown TT bike may very well have less
drag, that would be for naught if those gains are offset by decreased
power on the climbs and slower cornering.
Not surprisingly, Cannondale and Liquigas have apparently prepared
another special machine for just such a purpose with a smaller 56cm
frame size - Basso normally uses a 58cm on the road - that will let
him get down a little lower than his usual road frame would allow. As
of right now, team liaison Rory Mason says that it is "more than possible"
that Basso will go with the road bike but that the decision will ultimately
be made closer to race day.
So which one will he use? Stay tuned for Stage 12 on May 21 to find
For a thumbnail gallery of these images, click here