Drapac Professional Cycling is an Australian UCI Professional Continental Team founded in 2004 by Michael Drapac, with the aim of promoting cycling in Australia. For the 2016 season, Drapac fields a roster of 17 riders, and targets events such as the Tour Down Under, Tour de San Luis and Le Tour De Langkawi.
Swift Carbon, a brand not so well known in the United States, provides Drapac with its team bikes. Founded by ex-professional cyclist Mark Blewett, Swift is a company born of a genuine love and passion for cycling, and they make some amazing city and mountain bikes, too. Mark spent six years racing in Europe, fetching water bottles and food for his teammates. While Mark’s career is not one that stands out in the record books, his European experience gave him an understanding of what works in a bicycle – and what doesn’t. This all-new Swift Hypervox aero road bike, piloted by veteran Australian cyclist Graeme Brown, receives a special paint scheme to commemorate his record 14th appearance at the Tour Down Under…
Much research went into the Swift Hypervox aero road bike, with over 500 hours of testing logged by Mark Blewett himself. Graeme Brown, aka Brownie, has been logging big kilometers on prototype versions of the frame since the middle of 2015.
Kammtail tube profiles and internal cables help with the frame’s aero factor, while brakes are kept in their normal positions. Swift believes that brakes should simply work, and there should be no compromises in performance or ride quality for marginal aero gains.
Mechanical shift housings and cables are neatly routed behind and left of the Kammtail headtube. Below, the K3 race number plate holder is mounted behind SRAM’s Red 22 rim brake.
The top tube of the Hypervox is kept flat and horizontal, further aiding with aerodynamics.
The top tube of Graeme’s bike speaks volumes, with prestigious victories on the road and track.
Of the UCI registered teams in attendance at the 2016 Tour Down Under, Drapac is the only one using a mechanical drivetrain.
With SRAM providing the team with Red 11-speed mechanical groupsets, it is only natural that sister companies Zipp and Quarq provide wheelsets and power measurement technology.
While Graeme’s bike is fitted with Zipp 404 wheels and custom decals, the team has access to the entire arsenal of Zipp wheels, including 202s and 303s.
Because 11-speed cassettes provide a nice spread of ratios without huge gaps between each cog, most of Drapac’s Swift Hypervox team bikes are fitted with 11-28 cassettes, mated to 53/39 chainrings on the cranks.
Maxxis, a brand not so prevalent in the ranks of professional cycling, provides the team with its 25mm wide Campione tubular tires.
Brownie sits atop a Fizik Aliante saddle, mounted to Swift’s own aero carbon seatpost.
The aero seatpost is then held in place by Swift’s svelte and aero internal expander seat clamp.
Zipp provides the bars and stems for the entire team.
With Brownie one of Drapac’s designated sprinters, it is only natural he chooses Zipp’s premium stem offering, the SL Sprint. The carbon stem is complimented by Zipp’s Service Course 80 handlebars with a SRAM out-front computer mount.
Tacx bidon cages keep everything in check in the water bottle department.
Drapac won the final stage of the 2015 Tour Down Under, and are expected to be very active in the hunt for stage wins in the 2016 edition.
The distinctive livery of Brownie’s race machine ensures it stands out from the rest of the Drapac team bikes – and just about every other bike at the 2016 Tour Down Under.
Much of the preparation work for Brownie’s bike was performed by freelance mechanic, Jeff Crombie. If his name is familiar to you, there is a well known cassette tool named after him. We interviewed Jeff before the Tour Down Under kicked off on all manner of topics – watch this space for the transcript!
Photos and article by Gravel Cyclist.
Jayson O’Mahoney is the Gravel Cyclist: A website about the Gravel Cycling Experience.