Dice has an all-new light-weight prototype Litening TE aero street bike in works, being race-tested now by the Intermarché-Wanty-Gobert professional staff. Mixing aerodynamic influences from their present aero street Litening, this new prototype bike will get a lot thinner from entrance to again in a lighter shift we count on to fully reshape Dice’s signature street race bike later this summer time…
CUBE Litening TE prototype light-weight aero street bike
Already raced by means of the steeper levels of the Giro d’Italia final month, I caught one other glimpse of the prototype bike this week on the Tour de Suisse. So I acquired a little bit of a more in-depth have a look at the brand new bike… tucked in hidden behind the present Litening, which I rode when it debuted again in 2019…
Prototype Growth & Testing
The very first thing we may surmise is that Dice is conserving the Litening title for this dramatically redesigned street race bike, because of the Litening TE labels painted on the prototypes’ toptubes. However past the title, numerous this prototype has been reshaped.
The bike nonetheless seems to be clearly optimized for aerodynamics, however its general profile is way thinner and lighter than the present Litening.
Whereas it retains aero integration, it does nevertheless shift again to a extra typical, wider-looking headtube with solely delicate hourglass shaping by means of its mid-section.
The Intermarché-Wanty-Gobert Workforce appears to have had at the least a few of these prototypes even since late final season, and because the begin of 2022 has began racing them recurrently. On the sprint-heavy begin of this yr’s Giro d’Italia virtually all the staff was nonetheless on the deep aero-shaped present Litening, suggesting the older bike should still be stiffer or extra aerodynamic.
However by the Giro’s second week when racing acquired into the large mountains, virtually each bike on the staff automobile was the doubtless lighter Litening TE prototype.
There are two most blatant modifications within the new prototype Litening TE…
First, the elimination of the small webbed transition on the seat cluster suggests there could also be extra aero gainz by means of a flatter toptube and easily replying on the Kamm tail aero form of the seattube. The seatpost seems to share the identical deeper aero profile of the present bike, a small rear wheel cutout, and nonetheless a 3-bolt setscrew clamp from the rear of the seattube.
However the seattube itself doubtless will get a steeper angle as all the prototype Dice Litening TE staff bikes have been fitted with setback seatposts, whereas lots of the current mannequin bikes use zero offset posts.
The opposite main distinction is a considerably thinner fork. From its legs to its crown, the Litening TE fork seems to be lighter. The brand new fork doesn’t actually transition its form right into a wider downtube, as a substitute the brand new fork legs keep wide-set till a extra rounded crown and the downtube pulled up increased away from airflow coming off the entrance tire.
The brand new Dice Litening TE prototype additionally nonetheless will get absolutely inside cable routing on the headset. However now it encompasses a extra conventional-looking straight 1.5″ headset that sits above the toptube (as a substitute of being inset), persevering with with wider, extra spherical steerer tube spacers. That implies a change within the precise routing into the body – the place it earlier than entered behind a 1 1/8″ headset bearing, now it seems to be to undergo the 1 1/2″ higher bearing.
Dice Litening TE – When is it coming?
Total, this prototype Dice Litening TE street bike seems to be much less like a devoted aero street bike – in comparison with the Litening launched in 2019 – and extra like a contemporary all-rounder race bike, higher balancing aerodynamics AND gentle weight. Out solely actual query that continues to be is will it fully substitute the present Litening C:68X SLT that Biniam Girmay rode to some spectacular outcomes on the Giro d’Italia this yr? Or whether or not the 2 bikes will be capable to co-exist – one as a flat stage aero sprinter’s bike and the opposite as a light-weight climber’s bike or perhaps a versatile all-rounder?
Ridden already from the northern Spring Classics to the summer time Grand Excursions, the brand new prototype Litening TE seems to be like a extra versatile street race bike than the present aero street era.
The true query now comes right down to once we count on a correct launch of the brand new bike?
The Intermarché-Wanty-Gobert staff made some big milestones already this season, with Classics and Grand Tour stage wins for his or her Eritrean entrance man Biniam Girmay Hailu, amongst many others as they’ve stepped as much as the top-tier UCI WorldTeam stage beginning final yr. As soon as once more, the Tour de France is the large present, and we wouldn’t be shocked to see German bike sponsor CUBE use this as an enormous platform to advertise their newest top-tier street racing bike.
In spite of everything, it’s been virtually a yr of racing underneath the sq. UCI Prototype label, and that’s so long as the bike maker formally will get earlier than they’ve to supply the brand new bike on the market to shoppers underneath the UCI’s technical tools guidelines. So, we’ll maintain out ears open within the first week of July…