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Photo ©: Bettini

Pro bikes, May 20, 2009

Ivan Basso's Liquigas Cannondale Slice Hi-Mod Giro d'Italia

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Photo ©: James Huang

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 production.

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 tubular tires.

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 out.


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Images by James Huang/Cyclingnews.com

Full specification

Frame: Cannondale Slice Hi-Mod w/ special lightweight lay-up schedule, 56cm
Fork: Cannondale Slice Aero Hi-Mod w/ special lightweight lay-up schedule

Critical measurements
Rider's height: 1.83m (6' 0") ; Weight: 70kg (154lb)
Seat tube length, c-c: 530mm
Seat tube length, c-t: 575mm
Saddle height, from BB (c-t): 787mm
Tip of saddle nose to C of bars (next to stem): 572mm
Handlebar drop: 320mm
Top tube length: 550mm
Head tube length: 125mm

Front brake: Campagnolo Record D-Skeleton
Rear brake: Campagnolo Record D-Skeleton
Brake levers: Vision Aero
Front derailleur: Campagnolo Record 10s
Rear derailleur: Campagnolo Record 10s
Shift levers: Campagnolo Timetrial
Cassette: Campagnolo Record 10s, 11-21T
Chain: Shimano Dura-Ace CN-7801
Crankset: Vision Trimax Carbon BB30, 177.5mm, 54/42T
Bottom bracket: BB30 integrated

Front wheel: Mavic Io w/ carbon-wrapped front hub
Rear wheel: Mavic Comete disc
Tyres: Schwalbe tubular

Bars: Vision Trimax SI w/ straight extensions, 41cm (c-c)
Stem: FSA OS-115, 100mm x -17º
Headset: FSA integrated
Tape/grip: fi'zi:k bar:tape and grip tape

Pedals: Speedplay Zero Titanium
Seat post: Cannondale Carbon Aero w/ special lightweight lay-up schedule
Saddle: fi'zi:k Arione CX w/ shortened nose
Bottle cages: n/a
Computer: SRM PowerControl VI w/ Suunto transmitter

Total bike weight: 8.34kg (18.39lb)