In this series, we talk to the pros about their bikes: what they ride and why. More than simply a spec list, this is an insight into how the world’s best riders select their tools.
Name: Mads Würtz Schmidt
Role: Classics, time triallist
Our new TT bikes are really nice. The SLiCK feels fast and I have a really nice position, which I couldn’t find before. I feel really comfortable on this bike. I can get more power into the pedals and I’m in a more aerodynamic position. The cockpit looks super cool with the single stack under the base bar, and it’s really a nice bike to ride. It’s stiff in the front end and handles really well. It’s a super nice bike.
I first rode it when we did our velodrome testing, then quite a lot in Girona before Volta ao Algarve. Now I have the time to do lots of riding on it, and Denmark is ideal because it’s really flat. The team kindly shipped it to me so I can do some training on it [while the season is on pause]. I’m really happy with this bike.
For my first years in the WorldTour, TT wasn’t my big focus, but now that I’m older and have more experience I am dealing with the races and the travel stress in a different way. It’s easier for me now, so I also have the energy to go on the TT bike and train hard. TT is a big focus for me again now.
Ride Like A Pro
I really like the geometry of the SLiCK, and the cockpit especially works well for me. We tried a couple of things and we found that raising the bars was faster for me. I’m a little higher, I get more power, and I’m more aero, so that was a great discovery.
I fit into a UCI position easily enough because I’m smaller. I push a lot less power than the big TT guys, but my advantage is that I’m so much smaller and I can put my head very low. When we tested in a velodrome, my CdA got down to 0.2, which is good on the track where you have to push. In a wind tunnel it’s easy to get a super good position and low CdA because you just have to sit and spin the legs. The track is more natural, more comparable to what you do on the road. It’s easy to get into a really low, small position in the wind tunnel, only to then go on the road and find you can’t do it. The wind tunnel is good for testing, but for the most accurate insight you have to go on the track.
So far, I have mostly been riding the SLiCK with the Black Inc Sixty clincher wheels. In races we will also have the option of the Eighty. With the best tyres, clinchers are faster than tubulars. It’s a really nice, fast set-up.
For TT I use a Selle Italia SLR saddle. It isn’t a specific TT model, but I sit right on the tip of the saddle in a TT and don’t really feel it, so I don’t care too much about the saddle. I found this one on my previous team, which was also sponsored by Selle Italia, and I just kept using it since then.
Usually, I have a 56t chainring, or maybe a 58t for a super-fast course where the average speed will be over 50kph. The big chainring means less friction in two ways: it keeps the chain straighter, more often in the middle of the cassette, and it also means the chain links do not have to hinge so much, which is the same concept as the CeramicSpeed Oversized Pulley Wheels that we use.
Everyone now has to be a bit of a geek about these things. Alex [Dowsett] is the biggest geek on the team for this stuff. When he has been talking for half an hour about TT stuff, it gets too much even for me! But you have to pay attention to these things if you want to do well in TTs. If you go back 10 years and did all of these things you would be winning, for sure, but now if you don’t do it you’re already behind. You have to get the details right just to keep up, because everyone is chasing all of the marginal gains.
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