Marcel Kittel’s Giant Propel


This is the Giant Propel of Marcel Kittel,
ace sprinter for Team Giant-Shimano. Now, there are one or two things that mark this
out as a sprinter’s bike, not least the name there. One thing that we would expect perhaps
is to see a 54 chainring, and there isn’t – it’s a 53. So Marcel, despite his size and
power is still only running 53/11 as a top gear, that’s quite interesting. The other
thing that marks this out as a sprinter’s bike are just these little things on the inside
of the shifters there. These are actually remote shifters, so completely separate from
the STI unit there, that activate the Di2 as well. They’re dedicated sprint shifters,
he’s got one on the left side and and one on the right side, one shifts up, one shifts
down, which is a very nice touch. Now the frame is based around the Giant Propel, so
it’s their aerodynamic bike. They have 3, this one is the aerodynamic and the stiff
one so it’s perfect for a rider like Marcel Kittel where straight line speed is all that
counts. It’s super skinny but, we’re told, super stiff. One thing that we might have
expected to have seen as well is the deep section wheels. C50s are not the deepest that
they’ve got. So Kittel doesn’t often run C75s we’re told, but, depending on the conditions,
he may rock them out. Last year for example, on the Champs Elysées, he did ride, and win,
on the the C75s, but most stages of the Tour de France he’ll be on the C50s or lighter.
The other thing that suggests Kittel likes to keep things regular on his bike is this
28-tooth cassette at the back. Again, despite the fact that he’s a sprinter, he still rides
an 11-28 cassette on just about every single stage. We’re told that’s because basically
the cassettes are very similar at the bottom. The only cogs that differ are the big ones
at the back, the 28, the 25 and the 21, and if you’re sprinting, he doesn’t go near them
anyway, so that’s why he keeps it like that. One other thing that you can’t fail to notice
about this bike is the size of that stem. It’s a PRO Vibe stem and it’s dedicated to
sprinters as you can probably tell, because the thing is absolutely enormous. So the cockpit
here is going to be incredibly stiff. Sprinters really yank on the bars, so he’s got aluminium
bars for stiffness and this massive stem, equally for stiffness. There is just one question
mark over this bike, and that is exactly how many stages it’s going to win.This is going
to be one of the hardest fought battles in the Tour de France, the one for the king of
the sprints. Marcel Kittel has got a pretty good chance.