TDU 2017 Tech: Team Katusha Aeroad CF SLX with SRAM Red eTap

Katusha-Alpecin, also known as the Russian Global Cycling Project, was originally founded as Team Katusha in Moscow in December of 2008. The team made its racing debut at the 2009 Tour Down Under, and has been a fixture at the race ever since. Katusha’s equipment sponsors remain the same for 2017 with Canyon supplying frames, and SRAM, Zipp and Quarq supplying components, wheels and power meters. The bike pictured in this article is a team spare.

Click on through for more of the 2017 Canyon Aeroad CF SLX…

Despite this bike being a team spare, it it no surprise to see the Canyon Aeroad CF SLX as the only bike Team Katusha is using at the 2017 Tour Down Under. The race has many hills and some moderately hard climbs, and despite the frame’s extra weight over the Ultimate model, the CF CLX is well suited to this race.

Above, a pile of Katusha Aeroad’s await their turn to be washed after a hard day’s racing. At the bottom of the stack is my gravel bike, which the team were nice enough to give the once over. Thanks Chris!

Assigned team bikes receive the Quarq Dzero power meter, while this spare bike receives just the standard SRAM Red crankset fitted with 53 / 39 chainrings.

Katusha ran SRAM’s Etap system during 2016, and continue to do so for the 2017 season.

SRAM’s Etap short cage derailleur handles the rear shifting duties, but I expect we’ll see the Wifli version of this derailleur appear on team bikes later in the season – when the climbing gets steeper and longer.

Like just about every other team, Katusha choose an 11-28 cassette for most of their team bikes at the 2017 Tour Down Under.

Canyon’s Aerocockpit CF consists of an integrated bar and stem, which was designed to integrate perfectly with the rest of the bike in terms of aesthetics and performance. Reach is 70mm and drop, 128mm.

Canyon claim a saving of approximately 5.5 Watts at 45 km/h /28mph over a conventional handlebar and stem setup.

The spare bike is shod with a 90mm stem combination handlebar, which is quite short by the standards of most professional riders.

Brake cables are nicely tucked away beneath the handlebar.

Canyon chose direct-mount brakes for the Aeroad CF SLX. SRAM doesn’t produce such a brake, so these de-badged Shimano Dura-Ace units handle the chores of braking.

Known for their Caffeine shampoo, Alpecin join as team co-sponsor for the 2017 season.

The pro-only edition of the Continental Competition is chosen by Katusha. 25mm wide tires are standard issue in the peloton these days.

Zipp 404’s are the go-to wheelset for Katusha at the 2017 Tour Down Under.

The truncated-airfoil tube shapes of the Aeroad play well with the roads of the Tour Down Under.

An aerodynamic road bike deserves a seatpost that is equally as aero.

Selle Italia SLR Team Edition saddle.

Clearance is tight, but 28mm tires may just fit between these stays.

Katusha choose the Tacx Deva bottle cages to keep their water bottles tight and secure.

Canyon Bikes


Article and photos by Gravel Cyclist. Jayson O’Mahoney is the Gravel Cyclist: A website about the Gravel Cycling Experience.

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Derek
Derek
5 years ago

You would think SRAM would buy them eeBrakes or something other than Shimano.

Adam Sims
Adam Sims
4 years ago
Reply to  Derek

You’d think so but eebreaks don’t really like working with intergrated bars. Cable routing needs to be perfect or they don’t return/work.

caliente
caliente
5 years ago

Anyone ridden one of these? I’d love to hear more about the actual performance and real-world user-experience. The rear brake cable looks like it’s doing some acrobatics to come in at the right angle.

Haya
Haya
5 years ago

Caliente, I have one, like it. Was riding a Cervelo S3 before the aeroad. The thing that stands out is the aeroad in a bit more comfy on rough roads. Other than that, the steering feels a bit twitchy, but you can adjust the fork rake (two different settings), which is pretty cool. The only other thing that stands out is that the stem on the integrated handlebars is quite short for the size of the bike throughout the range. I’m riding a 57, and the stem is only 110mm. 10mm shorter than I’d like, but not so easy to change.