If a rider is unfortunate enough to flat or wreck and their team car is nowhere in sight, the Mavic neutral support vehicle may just come to the rescue.

For the 2015 Tour de France, Mavic’s Skoda cars are decked out with bikes in several sizes and an assortment of front and rear wheels. Here’s what could save the day…

The spare wheels are Cosmic Carbon Ultimate with full carbon spokes and Cosmic Carbone 40 with carbon rims and bladed steel spokes. They’re all outfitted with Mavic’s Yksion Griplink and Powerlink tires. Everything is in Tour de France yellow livery…which conveniently matches Mavic’s 125th Anniversary graphics.

The rear wheels have cassettes pre-installed and all have the skewers at the ready.

The bikes are Canyon Ultimate CF painted all yellow.

Each bike has a Shimano Ultegra group on it, and this one had Mavic’s clipless pedals on it.

The built bikes were spec’d with Ksyrium SLR wheels, which use Mavic’s carbon R-SYS spokes on the non-drive side and wide blades alloy spokes on the other.

An Acros headset ties together the Canyon cockpit.

Several of the bikes had old-school pedals with two clips and straps. FSA SL-K carbon water bottle cages make for quick bottle swaps, too.

Inside the car, they have a course profile taped below a team list showing each rider’s name and nationality, which was push-pinned into the dash. We’re guessing the car’s a loaner.

Mavic.com

27 COMMENTS

  1. So they dont have any SPD-SL or look pedal setups? So if you’re not running mavic, you might as well be fucked.

  2. Neutral support bikes were never “to-go” bikes, they are to be treated only as an emergency option to keep you more or less going in an extreme situation until you receive help from your team. This is exactly why Mavic don’t support other standards of pedals (there should be at least four pedals types: Look, Mavic/Time, Speedplay, Shimano, each in combination with every frame size – impossible!) but they do offer old-school strap pedals.

  3. Did anyone ever saw any rider riding one of those bikes? I’ve no problem with flagship cars fitted with yellow bikes, but let’s be honnest about the purpose

  4. WG is correct: The only time a rider is going for a neutral support bike is when there’s no other option available, and a rider knows he’s kinda hosed in that situation. While those MAVIC cars are largely there for marketing purposes, they’re nonetheless staffed by consummate professionals and equipped for almost every contingency. Tour de France teams expend tremendous amounts of time and effort in preparation for what is easily their largest event of the season, but gaps in rider coverage still occur. Knowing their role at Le Tour is largely a secondary one, a good neutral support mechanic always defers service to an available corresponding team mechanic, but remains vigilant and is always prepared to spring into action.

    @Kernel Flickitov: Where did you hear that? In the service area of your little bike shop, or in your mom’s basement? The only thing that REEKS around here is your ignorance, bias, lack of humor… and spelling.

  5. I wonder whether Mavic sells the back-up bikes after the Tour. It could be a back-door way to get some Canyons in the USA.

  6. Fred, Jens rode one a few years back.

    I was talking to the Shimano neutral support guy at Redlands classic this year, and they actually had a toolbox of all the different pedals that they can put on their neutral bikes for riders.

  7. I´ve never ever seen any rider in one of these bikes, in 25 years of watching cycling. I´ve seen them providing wheels though, that is for sure, and the guys from vitoria at the giro too. Never ever this yellow bikes. Actually they go like 10minutes before the first rider. So the tour live today in NL.

  8. @Angry Mechanic, just because you thought R-SYS was a good idea until it blew up in your face doesn’t mean you gotta take it out on me. I feel for you guy, I really do.

  9. There are typically three neutral support vehicles and a couple motos. The main neutral support is behind the main field while neutral two is in front to cover a potential break away and neutral three is behind the first caravan to help cover any splits in the field.

    Experience:
    Neutral support
    Tour of Utah
    Multiple national championships
    Team mechanic.

  10. I honestly think one is better on toe clip than waiting for clipless to be fitted. The difference between clipped and not clipped is only obvious sprint and turns exit.

  11. Salut à tous. Chad from Mavic here. I just want to answer some of the questions and provide some extra information.

    The bikes on the roof of the cars, indeed, rarely see any use. There are MANY times where the only support car allowed behind a group, often the lead group, is the neutral assistance vehicle and/or moto (Mavic, SRAM, Shimano, Vittoria, Campagnolo). If there is a problem for a rider in this group, the neutral support car will service the rider. Usually, it’s a flat. Sometimes, it’s a bigger problem with the bike. In those cases, having a yellow bike available could keep the rider in the break until they can be serviced by their team car. Having a yellow bike, even with toe straps, is better than standing on the side of the road waiting for your team car. And, yes, the cars are all equipped with every pedal combination imaginable if a change needs to be made. You would be surprised at how fast the technicians can make that change for the riders. Sometimes it happens before the car even stops. In a race like the TdF, it is often the case that one of the yellow bikes will be prepared for the top 3 GC leaders. The bike will be setup to their measurements and with their pedals. This isn’t always the case, but for races like the TdF or USAPC it is something that can be very beneficial.

    The dynamics of the caravan are very complicated and the neutral assistance vehicles are relied on MUCH more than is visible. Often they are the only safety net for the rides in a breakaway, or even for the riders off the back trying to make the time cut.

    And, Kernel Flickitov, I can assure you the guys in the guys in our Special Service Course only reek of many years of experience, a love for cycling and some pretty amazing fitness when they get on the bike. They are the best in the business and take what they do very seriously.

    Finally, on the cars – we have a very nice partnership with SKODA and they supply the cars for our neutral assistance program. In addition to the World Tour races you’ll find these cars at cycling events in Europe such as l’Etape du Tour and the Haute Route. In the US you’ll see cars at many events as well such as the Copper Triangle in Colorado, Rouge Roubaix in Louisiana and the Belgian Waffle Ride in California.

    Thanks everyone, as always, feel free to reach out with any questions – chad.moore@mavic.com

  12. It wasn’t a Mavic Neutral support bike that Jens used in 2010…
    Whether it was a spectator’s (kid’S) bike or or other source is to be determined (some sources put the bike’s source as being a Tour related kids program, which was following behind the race)…regardless.. the bike was not Mavic’s.
    It had 650c wheels (ironically Mavic).
    He only rode it for a relatively short descent (10-15km…(and yes, that would still suck…especially post crash!)
    ….he rode it until he could meet up with his team car (which was already up the road and is not allowed to double back)

  13. @Chad Moore, thanks for the reply but my post was pure sarcasm. Something people who take themselves too seriously don’t understand. As well as @Angry Mechanic and Bike Rumor for deleting my post. Promise, in the future I’ll denote comments like that with “[sarcasm]” to leave no confusion. Pastise, cigarettes, stale baguettes? [sarcasm]. See, what a difference. Pffft!

  14. The one thing I always wonder about the yellow magic bikes is; What on earth happens to them when the race is done ? I hate to see bikes sitting, unused. I’m sure Mavic could do pretty cool charity auctions or something similar with the outgoing stuff at the end of every season.

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