There’s no doubt that Julien Absalon could probably have ridden any bike and still rocked away to another gold medal in the Beijing Olympics, but that didn’t stop Orbea providing a special bike for the champion to defend his title aboard.
Meaning “Soul” in Spanish, the Alma Team is built around the SL2.5r frame, which weighs a reported 1.3kg (2.65lb). The all-carbon frame is built using a monocoque construction process. The rear triangle features a unique “4 Point Triangle”, which sees the aluminium dropouts attached to the one-piece stays.
The bike is as much about the parts as the frame, and everything has been picked for the lightest possible weight. Up front are a pair of RockShox SID forks (with special Beijing Olympic decals), SRAM X.0 taking care of gear changes (with twist shifters for lightning quick shifts) and Avid Ultimate disc brakes. Cranks are Truvativ NOIR, and Absalon usually rides a 32/44 dual ring setup. Fulcrum’s Red Metal Zero wheels are shod with Hutchinson Python tubeless tyres, he pedals with Time ATAC XS carbon pedals and sits on a Selle Italia SLR Carbon saddle.