Join Date: Mar 2006
Location: The West Side (Of Rochester, NY).
For groups, you ride what the team gives you.
Wheels, for the most part, fall under the same rule. There are a few teams and riders who use what they think is best for them.
You'll notice a few riders on Lightweight wheels. These wheels are considered to be the lightest, stiffest and strongest wheels you can possibly buy. They don't sponsor any teams, with the exception of the Unibet team in 2007. Riders have to purchase the wheels themselves, which cost from $4100 USD to $6000 USD per pair.
Team Colombia uses rebranded Zipp 808 and Lightweight wheels in lieu of the Shimano wheels they are provided with for special and important events.
Things like stems, saddles and handlebars are usually furnished by the team's sponsors. Most manufactures provide a number of different styles of handlebars for riders to choose from. Some prefer deep non-anatomic drop bars like the Pro PLT OS, 3T Rotundo and Deda Newton Belgian Deep Drop. Other rider enjoy the shape of anatomic bars like Oval R701, Deda Newton Anatomic and FSA Energy.
Frames are almost always what the team's sponsor gives the team. The further back in cycling history you go, the larger the number of riders who used custom frames. In the 70's, everyone was riding custom steel. The 80's saw the advent of TIG welded aluminum and lugged carbon fibre frames which were harder to produce. Now, almost every team uses a molded carbon fiber frame that is the same as the production version, because they are the production version. It is extremely expensive for a manufacturer to make one mold for one or two frames for every rider on the team.
Last edited by BananaTugger; 08-08-08 at 05:22 PM.