Pro TT bike: Will Barta's Canyon Speedmax CFR for the Giro d'Italia

A closer look at one of the fastest bikes in the WorldTour peloton, with the US rider running 'old' SRAM red and custom aero bars

Clock12:36, Friday 17th May 2024
Will Barta's Canyon Speedmax CFR at the Giro d'Italia

© GCN

Will Barta's Canyon Speedmax CFR at the Giro d'Italia

Movistar’s Will Barta is a familiar figure at the Giro d’Italia, having graced the start line at the last two editions, and that became three in a row this month when the American returned for his now annual pilgrimage to the roads of Italy.

Those forays haven’t returned any victories just yet, perhaps not surprisingly in a career that has returned one pro win to date, with his best finish in the 2024 race so far coming during stage 7’s individual time trial. Barta narrowly missed out on a top-20 finish that day as he posted the 21st-best time.

That time was achieved atop the Canyon Speedmax CFR, a bike we got up close with ahead of the stage.

Read more: Geraint Thomas’ Pinarello Bolide for the Giro d’Italia stage 7 time trial

Canyon’s ‘fastest Speedmax’

The Speedmax CFR is the time trial bike of choice for both Movistar and Alpecin-Deceuninck, both of whom are sponsored by Canyon. You have to go back to 2022 to find the last time a rider from either team won a race atop it, but they were taken at national championships, so the wait for a WorldTour win is even longer.

That victory drought isn’t a reflection of the bike, though, but of the fact neither team is home to a top time trialist. The bike itself has proven its ability in triathlons, where it is also used, most recently through a world title for Sam Laidlow in 2023.

The latest version of the bike was launched in 2021 and posed a unique problem for Canyon: “How do you make the fastest bike even faster?”

Its solution was extensive CFD and wind tunnel testing with the help of aero experts Swiss Side, whose wheels entered the peloton in 2024 at the hands of Decathlon-AG2R La Mondiale. It appears to have paid off, at least if the 9-watt saving over its predecessor when riding at 45kph is to be believed.

However it performs out on the road, the bike certainly looks fast courtesy of the refined cockpit, slender forks and wafer-thin but deep seatpost.

Read more: Movistar pro bike: Iván García Cortina’s Canyon Aeroad CFR

Older SRAM Red groupset

SRAM was openly flouting its new Red groupset at the Giro d’Italia before its official release, as it was spotted aboard the bikes of most SRAM-sponsored teams. It has now officially broken cover, with claims that it's the lightest ever electronic groupset, but Barta didn’t take advantage of that as he was still using the older version.

It may be older but it’s still a top-performing groupset and one the American had set up with a 56/43t chainset and 10-36t cassette. We’ve seen many SRAM-sponsored teams use 1x set-ups for time trials in recent seasons but Barta opted for a more traditional 2x, most likely because of the climb that bookended the time trial. It wasn’t too long but proved to be decisive as Tadej Pogačar (UAE Team Emirates) used the slopes to overhaul Filippo Ganna (Ineos Grenadiers) at the top of the standings.

SRAM in-house components

SRAM’s umbrella of companies is constantly growing and SRAM-sponsored teams can virtually deck out their whole bikes with components from the American brand. Barta’s bike provided a good case in point.

Beyond the SRAM Red groupset, the American also used a Zipp 858 NSW front wheel and Zipp Super 9 rear disc wheel - Zipp was acquired by SRAM in 2007. These were paired with Continental Grand Prix 5000 TT tyres, in a 28mm width.

Time is a more recent addition to its umbrella, joining in 2021, meaning the Time XPro 15 pedal also hail from SRAM.

Elsewhere, Barta used a Fizik Transiro saddle and custom time trial bars.

Bike Specification
Bike
  • year

    2021

  • model

    Speedmax CFR

  • Manufacturer

    Canyon

Subscribe to the GCN Newsletter

Get the latest, most entertaining and best informed news, reviews, challenges, insights, analysis, competitions and offers - straight to your inbox