Gruffudd Lewis from Ribble Pro Cycling takes you through the features of his 2019 race bike. The Endurance SL R Series is new for 2019 and is to date the lightest and most aerodynamic road bike we have ever produced.
As Gruff points out the Endurance SL R Series is not quite as aero as last years race bike which was a true aero bike. This new bike offers the riders more compliance which will benefit them over rougher surfaces and lessen fatigue. Especially handy over the cobbles in the spring classics.
Headtube / Headset
The oversized / tapered head tube results in a stiffer front end which benefits handling and improves steering control.
The seat stays have a horizontal section just where they join the seat tube which as Gruff rightly points out helps provide more vertical compliance. This helps to smooth out vibration from the road which also reduces rider fatigue. Gruff mentions in the the video this of particular benefit for the Spring Classics where they encounter cobbles and rough farm tracks.
The team have stuck to the tried and tested Sram eTap 11 speed. They found the fully wireless electronic groupset to be very reliable and the lack of cables means it offers better aerodynamics and maintenance is easier.
The Endurance SL R Series is compatible with direct mount brakes rather than standard calipers. As Gruff states, as they bolt directly to the frame in 2 places rather than the traditional 1, they will not rotate when in use. This means that the brake blocks should never contact the braking surface unless the brake lever is depressed.
The team chose Srama Quarc powermeter system which allows them to record and analyze data. It has proven to be a very reliable system.
Enve Bars / Stem
A team mate of Gruffs (Dan Bigham?) recommended the Enve Aero Bars and stem. Due to their flared design they are narrow across the hoods and wider on the drops. This has 2 main benefits, the narrow section allows the riders to remain more aero when on the hoods. When they are on the drops however the extra width allows Gruff to retain better control and steering.
As the name suggests the shape of the bar is also designed to improve aero performance due to their flat profile and with cables hidden within the bars . They also include a built in mount for the team to attach their computers to.
The team have partnered with Walker Brothers wheels for 2019 and the wheel of choice are the Wideboy 58’s. A 58mm carbon section is deep enough to slice through the air but not at the cost of being too detrimentally affected by crosswinds. They are also tubeless compatible.
These test winning GP5000 TL Tubeless tyres offer outstanding grip and rolling resistance thanks to their Black Chili compound. Gruff has opted for the 28mm version which allows him to run them at lower pressures which is advantageous for the spring classics.