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Old 01-23-04, 12:22 AM   #1
Bobsled
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Equipment selection.

Do pro cycling teams use the equipment they use because it's the best available or because their sponsors offered them the most lucative deal??
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Old 01-23-04, 09:00 AM   #2
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A little of both. Teams will never use bad gear simply because it's free. They work with their sponsors to get equipment that meets their needs.

At that level of riding though, bikes don't really mean the difference between winning and losing. The one thing they are really concerned about is reliability.
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Old 01-23-04, 09:28 AM   #3
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They will try to use the sponsors product, but they will not put themselves at a disadvantage by doing it.

A lot of stuff is re-badged product. You will see team bikes with the same graphics and paint and brand name, but they are not all the same underneath.

Motorola used to race on "Caloi's" which were repainted Merckx's. And the Huffys that 7 Eleven rode in the 80's were really Serrottas.

It's big in tires too. USPS is sponsored by Hutchinson, but you will never really see any photos of them using Hutchinson tires. Most of the time they race on Vittoria Tubulars. Especially in the time trial and Mountain Stages.

Thats not a Bontrager Wheel, and thats not a Hutchinson Tire, you can see the little Italian Flag at the bottom of the tire.

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Old 01-23-04, 12:32 PM   #4
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The TT bikes ridden by Postal in '99 were badged Trek, but built by Litespeed.
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Old 01-23-04, 12:44 PM   #5
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i seem to remember csc having to pay equipment sponsor shimano some kind of penalty because they refused to use shiman wheels last year...
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Old 01-23-04, 12:50 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by velocipedio
i seem to remember csc having to pay equipment sponsor shimano some kind of penalty because they refused to use shiman wheels last year...
Zipps!!! Built about a quarter mile from Turn One of the Indianapolis Motor Speedway.

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Old 01-23-04, 03:31 PM   #7
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I forget who it was, but someone that moved to CSC a couple of years ago brought his old C40 with him and had it painted like CSC's Cervelos (says a lot for Colnago )
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Old 01-23-04, 09:36 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Laggard
A little of both. Teams will never use bad gear simply because it's free. They work with their sponsors to get equipment that meets their needs.

At that level of riding though, bikes don't really mean the difference between winning and losing. The one thing they are really concerned about is reliability.
Well the reason I ask is that I would think the team's technical director (I guessing there is such a title) would be very concerned about reliability and quality of the parts being used by his team. So much so that he would stand up to the sponsors bully tactics of "use our parts or we'll drop our sponsorship." For example, I believe (correct me if I'm wrong) USPS use Cane Creek headsets. Now I'm not saying CC is no good, but few can argue that Chris King headsets aren't the best headsets ever made. So, if a CC headset has a lifespan of say three years (just a random number) and unless the mechanics are swapping them out at the end of the season, wouldn’t you just hate for one of those to go out on you during the middle of a race? So why not swap out parts even when they’re free or it’ll upset the sponsor? Other parts like saddles, pedals and shoes and just comfort and personal preference.
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Old 01-23-04, 09:37 PM   #9
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postal uses king headsets.
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Old 01-23-04, 09:45 PM   #10
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Then, that's a good example of swaping parts for USPS because when buying a stock Trek (even the Madone) comes w/ CC headsets.

Trek Link (Madone)
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Old 01-23-04, 10:47 PM   #11
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there's more...

the madone uses bontrager seatposts/stems/bars. postal uses deda stems and bars and dura-ace (team issue) seatposts.

the madone also comes with bontrager tires. postal uses hutchinsons for training, i forget what brand for racing.
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Old 01-24-04, 04:06 AM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by fore
postal uses king headsets.
and can change them whenever they want...
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Old 01-24-04, 04:10 AM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Bobsled
Well the reason I ask is that I would think the team's technical director (I guessing there is such a title) would be very concerned about reliability and quality of the parts being used by his team. So much so that he would stand up to the sponsors bully tactics of "use our parts or we'll drop our sponsorship." For example, I believe (correct me if I'm wrong) USPS use Cane Creek headsets. Now I'm not saying CC is no good, but few can argue that Chris King headsets aren't the best headsets ever made. So, if a CC headset has a lifespan of say three years (just a random number) and unless the mechanics are swapping them out at the end of the season, wouldn’t you just hate for one of those to go out on you during the middle of a race? So why not swap out parts even when they’re free or it’ll upset the sponsor? Other parts like saddles, pedals and shoes and just comfort and personal preference.
Bikes at this level are torn down and put back together daily. They can use less durable and lighter parts becasue they have a truckload of them available.

That's why all these guys have jobs
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Old 01-24-04, 04:19 AM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jonny B
I forget who it was, but someone that moved to CSC a couple of years ago brought his old C40 with him and had it painted like CSC's Cervelos (says a lot for Colnago )
I think that was Sastre...I noticed that watching the TdF dvd..noted the extra skinny tubing on his bike..
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Old 01-24-04, 04:54 AM   #15
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What do you have to do to become a team mechanic? That'd be such a coold job, getting to wrench on bikes all day
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Old 01-24-04, 08:51 AM   #16
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it's hell, and if you think all they do is turn a wrench for a few hours you're hugely mistaken.
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Old 01-24-04, 09:55 AM   #17
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jonny B
What do you have to do to become a team mechanic? That'd be such a coold job, getting to wrench on bikes all day
It's a **** job. You're the first one up and the last one to bed. It may sound like a great job but after you've laced your 100th set of wheels and washed bikes for three weeks it gets old really quickly. Not to mention the pressure put on you. Who do you think gets blamed when a riders brakes start dragging or the bike starts misshifting?
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Old 01-24-04, 07:25 PM   #18
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One of the cycling mags did a little article on the mechs of CSC, what stuck out most to me was one of the men commenting how he saw his father for the first time in a whole bunch of years at the Tour de France and only got to say hi since he had to keep working.
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Old 01-24-04, 08:02 PM   #19
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Equipment is business. There is no real consideration for brand unless a DS has a preference and can afford to pass on a better deal.
D1 and D2 teams have specific sponsorship agreements. It's business, not preference. Only riders at the highest level have some room for flexibility (written into the contract with equipment sponsors).
For example, Trek/Bontrager understands Lance will use Lightweight's wheels on the mountain stages.

GIANT gave T-Mobile a deal it couldn't pass up so they shafted Pinarello- whom they had a great, longstanding relationship. It's business.

As for wrenching for a team, if you love wrenching, then it's a great job for you. It's hard work but so what? People that have that job love it.
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Old 01-25-04, 01:12 PM   #20
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Sometimes I strip down my bike and wheels, just so I can rebuild them. Am I crazy?
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