Pete Jacobs was the returning champion for Ironman 70.3 Philippines 2013, and as the reigning Ironman World Champion also, he definitely got a lot of attention in Cebu. I was able to borrow his Boardman AiR/TT 9.8 for a while, thanks to his wife Jamie. The World Champ stripes were enough to send me drooling over his bike! Unfortunately, I wasn’t allowed to take it out of the expo venue, but I made the most out of the situation!
Let’s take a closer look at the cockpit first. There are a lot of things that I like about it, one of which is the Zipp Vuka Stealth aerobar (a big highlight of the bike for me). The cockpit is also very clean and looks well-thought-out. Let’s look at the details in the next few pictures.
Jacobs uses SRAM R2C shifters, which seems to be the norm for SRAM-sponsored athletes. However, these shifters are bit more unique since they’re mounted directly to the extensions instead of on plug ends. These are called Zipp Race Vuka Shift extensions, and they move the shifter closer to the hands and in the process save a little weight. No bar tape is needed for the contact points on the aerobar since the surface is rough and grippy.
SRAM carbon TT brake levers are used on the basebar. You’ll see that there’s some spacers on the steerer tube due to the very short headtube on the Boardman, and there’s also additional stack with the spacers under the aerobar pads. One advantage of the Vuka Stealth is that it’s very adjustable, so it’s good for getting your fit really dialed in. The weight is also good compared to a lot of bars out there, plus they look great!
The Vuka Stealth has an integrated stem and basebar. It’s usually not so good for fitters, but Zipp says that the adjustability of the aerobars helps counter this. The integration should save some weight so that’s probably why they did it. Notice how Jacobs’ aerobars are trimmed at this end, so it looks really clean. It’s probably nice to be the World Champ and have some mechanics to do this for you (and Zipp to provide you with new extensions in case you need to adjust them forward later on)!
Another great thing about the Vuka Stealth is the integrated Garmin mount that can be found at the end of the “stem” in the middle of the basebar. It’s covered here though by the BTA setup. I read somewhere that Jacobs uses a Garmin Edge 510, but I’m not sure if he attached it for the race. I also wonder if his training setup is minus the BTA so he can see the Garmin when he’s riding.
Pete is sponsored by XLAB so he’s using the Torpedo Mount and Cage. I really think this is one of the best BTA solutions out there, that’s why I’m using the same for my bike.
Now on to the drivetrain. Pete is running SRAM Red 2012–if I were to guess this is probably the 10-speed version. I of course wanted to put it in the big ring, but would not touch the bike for fear of being accused of tampering with it!
Jacobs has SRAM TT rings on the Red crank with a Quarq power meter. The big ring is a 54T, which sounds just about right for him. Pete also uses Speedplay pedals. I like that little UK flag near the bottom bracket junction placed by Boardman bikes–it adds some character to the otherwise black/white/yellow paint scheme.
Jacobs has two bottles on the frame. There’s another XLAB Torpedo Cage on the seattube, and an XLAB Aero TT Bottle on the downtube. Although I prefer not having bottles on the frame, this is probably as aero as two frame bottles can be, being close to each other and near the bottom bracket as well.
The matte black paint scheme looks great on the AiR/TT 9.8. I think this angle shows it off the best.
Pete uses an ISM Adamo Racing saddle in white, which stands out a bit from the rest of the bike. I can’t fault him though for not matching the bar tape, since there’s none, so the color was probably chosen to match the white accents of the frame logos. There’s a small pouch beneath the rear for emergency situations.
Now on to the wheels–definitely another highlight of this World Champ bike. No mistaking what these rainbow stripes stand for! You can’t buy these, and even if you could, you wouldn’t have the right to use them. In my opinion, only a World Champ should don these on their ride.
Jacobs is using a Zipp disc wheel for the rear, while Continental Grand Prix TT clincher tires come in contact with the road. I absolutely love how the panels catch the light and show off the different carbon sections and aerodynamic dimples on the disc. True eye candy right there. The rainbow stripes are also used to great effect on the disc.
Another small World Champ rainbow stripes detail on the seattube of the bike. The non-driveside valve hole of the disc is patched up with a Zipp disc sticker. I wonder if the other side was done too before the race.
Number 1, Pete Jacobs. But not anymore for next year, fellow Aussie Courtney Atkinson should be taking his spot as the defending champion instead. Pete finished second though, which is still a great effort. I’m sure he didn’t let go of #1 that easily!
This Boardman was an absolute joy to pore over and photograph! Pete hasn’t been on form as much this year, but a win last weekend at the Ironman Sunshine Coast 70.3 bodes well for his title defense in Kona come October. We’ll be sure to watch him fly on this bike in Hawaii. There are a lot of serious contenders out there though, so it’s anyone’s game!