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Fi’zi:k’s first foray into stems, handlebars and seatposts will debut under French WorldTour squad Ag2r La Mondiale at the Santos Tour Down Under later this month. The Italian brand plans to formally introduce the new products later in 2013, and is using the team to complete its final phase of research and development.
“The team will act as our live test lab,” fi’zi:k’s global marketing manager Gabriele Benedetti said. “No other testing can simulate the wear on products that occurs at this level in professional training and racing.”
The team, which also uses fi’zi:k saddles and handlebar tape, has access to a number of different handlebar shapes and widths, and of course various stem lengths, in both aluminum and carbon fiber. From initial photos, it appears most of the squad has chosen Cyrano R3 aluminum bars and a corresponding aluminum stem.
“The stems and handlebars are a new adventure for both of us,” said Ag2r manager Vincent Lavenu. “After the first kilometers on the new equipment all the riders were very happy; we have had daily contact with fi’zi:k to provide them with further feedback and development suggestions so I’m confident that we will have a great season together.”
The new cockpits and seatposts follow a major bike sponsor swap for the French squad, which had been with Kuota for a number of seasons, but is riding Focus frames in 2013.