Thursday, January 20, 2022
HomeDiariesThe Bikes of Het Nieuwsblad and KBK 2014

The Bikes of Het Nieuwsblad and KBK 2014

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Het Nieuwsblad and Kuurne-Brussels-Kuurne are the first opportunities for northern European fans to check out the new hardware.

Het Nieuwsblad
Mechanic’s tool tray.

Our trawl always starts on the Friday evening at the Holiday Inn, Ghent where F des J, Cofidis and Rabobank (now Belkin) set up shop for the first ‘real’ races of the year.

Het Nieuwsblad
F des J mechanic plugs on.

It seems like the dream job, working on gorgeous carbon creations every day – but the reality is different.

Cold car parks, rain, water and power hook up hassles then do it all again the next day.

Het Nieuwsblad
Cofidis mechs get the cars washed too.

And don’t forget to wash the team cars…

Het Nieuwsblad
The buffet dinner sign reminds the Belkin mechanic he’s not eaten yet.

And whilst the name on the bikes may be different, it’s the same gig whether you’re French or Dutch.

Het Nieuwsblad
A somewhat ‘raw’ prototype.

But for bicycle obsessive fans there’s always something interesting to see – like this new, still raw carbon Lapierre suspension set up.

Het Nieuwsblad
MTN’s Treks.

It’s harder to bike skek up at the Het Nieuwsblad start these days, but we like the new Treks.

The US firm have moved on from the early Lance days and their bikes have ‘the look’ nowadays – but our jury is still out on that under-the-bracket rear brake location.

Het Nieuwsblad
Rotor’s Q Rings.

The Spanish firm Rotor are making big in-roads into the transmission market on road and track with their cranksets and ‘tuneable’ chainrings – you can alter the ring position for climbing/TT/sprinting.

Non World Tour teams generally don’t get cranksets with the groupsets they receive/buy at a subsidised rate from Campag/Shimano/Sram – that’s why you’ll see them on Rotor or FSA cranksets.

If you want to break into the massive Sportive market then you have to have your product on the pro’s bikes…