When you’re miles from your team car and only a handful of minutes are protecting your yellow jersey a crash, flat or technical issue with a bike can spell disaster. That’s where neutral support comes in. For 2017, Mavic updated its neutral support bike to better support riders that need a bike quick.
Chris Froome’s run up Mont Ventoux in the 2016 Tour de France inspired changes for the 2017 race. Notably, Mavic’s fleet of neutral support bikes will feature a KS dropper post that was designed and built for Mavic. The 27.2-millimeter dropper post will enable riders to adjust saddle height on the fly. The posts are based off the KS Lev Integra 272 platform they weigh about 450 grams and have 65 millimeters of travel which should help gangly riders like Froom avoid the ugly positioning Froome pedaled through on the side of Ventoux.
Support cars will be carrying more bikes and fewer wheels this year. In the past cars stocked three bikes and eight wheels, Mavic neutral support cars will now carry six bikes on the roof and six wheels in the car.
Of the six bikes, three will be prepared specifically for the top-three GC riders on the stage with their measurements pre-set. The other three bikes will be setup to accommodate pedal preference; one with Look, another with Shimano and a third will have Speedplay. As for wheels, the cars will carry a combination of Mavic Cosmic Ultimate, Cosmic Pro Carbon SL, and Comete Pro Carbon SL wheels.
The addition of disc brakes to the tour adds an additional challenge. Mavic will carry wheels with the UCI-standard 160-millimeter rotors. If a rider chooses to use a 140-millimeter rotor they’ll be stuck waiting for team support.
image via VeloNews.com