World-Tour 2021 Equipment Review

With this written review, I am commencing Tech Tuesday’s. Where over the course of this year on various Tuesdays, and not necessarily consecutively I’ll be posting written reviews on any and all interesting tech going on in the professional peloton as well as the tech that I use daily as part of my team in Belgium, Carbonbike Discar Academy.

So, let’s start the first Tech Tuesday. I’ll share my thoughts on the looks, beliefs and functionality on the clothing, bikes and other equipment teams are using for the 2021 season. I will be staying as far away as possible from listing all 19 teams in succession, instead looking at teams that show some serious interest with their equipment choices. Both good, and bad.

*all are subject to my beliefs, you may obviously think and believe different.

Let’s start with the most ‘marmite’ team in the peloton in 2021, AG2R-Citroen. At first glance their team jersey, by Rosti Clothing company, was a refreshing sight to behold. They’d replaced the vast majority of brown on the jersey with some dashes of red for the brand Citroen. But unfortunately, they have kept this fundamental brown colouring on the jersey in writing, and continue to use those dastardly brown chamois. Notable other changes including a significant move away from Eddy Merckx branded Ridley bikes, to the well-known and well-loved BMC, of Switzerland. Yes, that’s right the soul mates have re-joined, Greg Van Avermaet sure must be a happy chappy. In the peloton, however, it doesn’t ‘pop’ as much as I thought it would. It’s just not up to the level I was expecting when I first laid eyes on the jersey. I also think it could be down to the paintjob laid on the bike. I love BMC but with Campagnolo group set and the red decaled top tube leading into the one-piece bars and stem leads the front end of the bike to feeling chunky and far from stylish. I had high hopes but they were quickly dashed when we saw AG2R-Citroen get the season underway with the first win available.

From one team I had hopes for, to another I thought had completely messed it up… Team Bike-Exchange. A big change of scene from the black is the new white look of the last 3 seasons, to an all-white and celeste affair. Far from everyone’s liking, fans of Bike-Exchange believed Giordana could have done a better job of designing the kit, especially when given the opportunity to don the boldest paintjob of that on the famous Bianchi bikes. Now we are seeing all the teams together we can get an idea of who has done well to make the sponsors and their jersey’s stand-out. Bike-Exchange is one of those. Their whole package just works. Bianchi bikes, Giro helmets, striking jerseys to boot. They’ve pulled it out the bag to be one of the most eye-catching teams in the 2021 peloton.

Along with Bike-Exchange, teams with a full package of bike jersey and helmet that really stand out. Ones that are just unmissable in the mass of 150 odd riders. Deceuninck-Quickstep, have yet again mastered the Maillot-Bleu to great effect. It also helps their phenomenal riders are never far from the front of the race to show off their ‘wolf hair-stricken jerseys. Astana, after a few years of getting to grips with the ‘fade’ concept and producing a final result that was close but not quite there, have successfully pulled a clean yet sophisticated design.

Finally, in this short piece, where I just document my thoughts on the 2021 designs and equipment, Israel Start-Up Nation. A team already with one of the best kits in the 2020 peloton, have taken it up a level. Appropriate then, given the fact they’ve had a complete revamp in management, bringing in Cherie Pridham to direct the team, whilst also persuading big name riders into their roster. The largely navy blue, which is synonymous with Chris Froome’s many grand tour successes, had been found on the lower half of the jersey, with a white shoulder line, which you can never go wrong with introducing. This jersey along with their new Factor bikes and replaced HJC helmets – remarkable winter they’ve had – make it one of the trendiest packages in the 2021 season.

This one is more for myself to share my thoughts. If you liked this then I’ll consider doing more in the future. I will also be reviewing my 2021 equipment as chosen by Carbonbike-Discar Academy, so keep your eyes peeled for that.