While perusing Team Garmin-Cerveloâ€™s Flickr photostream the other day, I noticed something interesting. First of all, even though Garminâ€™s sponsored by Mavic for wheels and tires, the squad still appears to be using several sets of Vittoria tubulars for the classics. Thatâ€™s not a big deal as teams often have clauses in their sponsor agreement allowing them to use material from non-sponsors for certain applicationsâ€”especially when the sponsors have no equivalent product to offer.
That said, look closely at the photo of Roger Hammond above. His tires appear to be a model from neither of the two brands. The chalky sidewalls call to mind FMB or Dugast, popular choices with several road teams in the classics as of late. But why would only Hammond get a set? These tires must be a prototype, something to be tested by an experienced rider, but not one looking to win the race.
Then yesterday, this article from Cyclingnews mentioned a not-so-secret Paris-Roubaix recon ride for the Garmin boys and the testing of a new bike and tires. Now Iâ€™m not a mathematician, but I do know how to put 2 and 2 together. In this case, does it all add up to new set of tires from Mavic or Vittoria?
Itâ€™s only speculation at this point, but itâ€™s an interesting question nonetheless. Share your thoughts and comments belowâ€”whatâ€™s your favorite spring gear?