Bike check: Ben Healy's LAB71 SystemSix
Check out Ben’s Giro stage winning Cannondale
Ben Healy is an aero dork.
He is a breakaway artist. Ben loves to ride fast through the wind.
When Ben won the eighth stage of the Giro d’Italia with a 50-kilometer solo attack, he had the confidence to time trial to the finish, because he had refined every detail on his bike to cut through the air.
Ben races on his LAB71 SystemSix—Cannondale’s fastest road bike. The whole machine has been designed with one aim: to defeat aerodynamic drag, and not just in the wind tunnel, but on the road, where it counts.
Ben rides super narrow 38mm Vision Metron Aero 4D handlebars with his brake levers turned in, so he can tuck in his elbows and crouch into his favorite wind-tunnel-tuned position.
Ben rides short 170mm cranks to keep his legs turning over at a very fast cadence. He’ll often average over 100 rpm in a race. With 54/40 FSA cranks and an 11-34 cassette, he is able to keep his effort smooth across all terrain. He paces himself with his Wahoo ELEMNT BOLT and power2max powermeter.
Ben opts for Vision Metron 45 SL wheels with 28mm Vittoria Corsa Pro tubeless tires for most race courses, where it’s the fastest set up. Speed is a matter of aerodynamics and rolling resistance. With the Metron’s wider rim, which has been sculpted from carbon fiber for aero efficiency, Ben can run 28mm tires and reduce friction on the road. The wider tire has a shorter, wider, and thus rounder contact patch which rolls more easily than the longer, slimmer elliptical shape of a narrower tire which deforms more as it rolls. Wider tires can also be run with lower pressures, so they absorb bumps from the road without losing as much momentum. But they have to be mounted as firmly as possible on the rim. Otherwise, micro-movements of the rubber on the rim can add up to significant energy losses. Extensive testing has proven that this is the best set up. It sure works for Ben.
Once he was away on stage eight, he flew down the road like a multicolored jet.
Check out all of the specs of his bike.
Ben Healy’s LAB71 Cannondale SuperSix
51cm Cannondale LAB71 SystemSix
130mm FSA ACR
38mm Vision Metron Aero 4D
Shimano DURA-ACE Di2
Shimano DuraAce 11-34
170mm FSA K-Force
Wahoo SPEEDPLAY AERO
Vision Metron 45 SL tubeless
Vittoria Corsa Pro 28mm
Wahoo ELEMNT BOLT