Gallery: Wout van Aert’s special tire treatment revealed

Van Aert's sidewalls painted with silicone, but not for durability.

Wout van Aert (Jumbo-Visma) has plenty of power, but he and his team pay attention to the details of his bike’s efficiency, too. At the Belgian classics, van Aert’s Vittoria Corsa Graphene 2.0 tubulars have been painted with a clear silicone on the sidewalls, but it’s not for protection against cuts.

Instead, the silicone is there for aerodynamics, smoothing the transition between the tire’s sidewall and the rim.

It’s a marginal gain to be certain, but one that has been looked at by others as well.

In 2012 Mavic launched the CXR80 aero wheel that featured a rubber strip that snapped into the crevice between the sidewall and the rim.

After Gent-Wevelgem, Jumbo-Visma’s performance nutritionist Martijn Ledegeld told VeloNews that the tires were painted with silicone to make the tire-and-wheel interface that tiny bit faster in the wind.

Van Aert and the Jumbo-Visma team also have access to a new aero helmet, the Lazer Vento, which the company claims is slightly faster in the wind tunnel than Bullet 2.0, which it replaces. Perhaps more notable with the Vento is Lazer’s new KinetiCore system of foam crumple zones that act as a MIPS type of system to absorb rotational forces in the event of a crash as well as the blunt force of impact.

Take a closer look at van Aert’s tires below.