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If pros don't care what they ride...(15 posts)

If pros don't care what they ride...Lamb
Jun 25, 2001 12:40 PM
I see alot of discussion regarding the relative merits of the more expensive frames available. Often times a poster will use a particular frame's prescence in the pro peloton as a guage of its quality. This will almost always get a response of "pros' don't care what they ride, they ride what they are paid to ride"
If this is truly the case, why do we see examples of pros riding frames which are not made by their sponsor, but just made up to look like it (i.e. Zulle and Lance on Litespeeds, Tonkov's alleged C-40).

Thanks for your thoughts-
If pros don't care what they ride...TommyBoy
Jun 25, 2001 1:36 PM
I think such promos are used as marketing tools to attract the wanna-be's. Not everyone out there is as well informed as you (or the others who frequent this board) are. There are a whole lot -o- suckers out there who will spend money based on marketing gimicks alone.
re: If pros don't care what they ride...Mel Erickson
Jun 25, 2001 1:57 PM
A select few pros get to ride what they want/need. The leaders of each team, for instance, can often select their rides. This is not universal and some stars, like Cippolini, can choose also. It's all about leverage and what you're worth to the team. No different than american sports like football, basketball, etc. where the stars get special privaledges that the grunts don't get. You won't find any of the domestiques riding non-sponsored bicycles. So, in a sense, the majority of the pros ride whats given to them. Also, realize that even the elite pros ride bikes for a specific purpose and they don't have to be as robust as those we ride, unless you're willing to replace your frame each season or less. Climbing bikes can be ultra light (within the rules) but I sure wouldn't want to ride one for a season. Pros will sometimes change bikes during the course of a stage for specific purposes (climbing bike, downhill bike). Bikes are tools to these guys, not for recreational enjoyment. However, some of the bikes the pros ride are just like you and I can buy and enjoy over the long haul. To equate what the pros ride to what we ride doesn't work. We each want bikes for very different reasons.
In addition to using different bikes for different purposes,Ray Sachs
Jun 26, 2001 6:34 AM
the pros are also generally significantly lighter than most of us on this board and are ever so slightly smoother riders too, so they probably don't put their everyday frames through the kind of abuse that we do (sprinters excepted, of course). That, combined with the fact that they get new bikes every year (if not more frequently) and we generally ride ours for anywhere from 5-20 years, means that we need stronger frames than they do.

-Ray
many pros rides ligther frames, but they are not made to last.manna
Jun 26, 2001 5:09 PM
Hmmm.. to my knowledge, at least the guys that ride on welded alu frames often use ligther framesets than what is available to the public, basically they don`t have to last, but will be replaced when they are not safe anymore. They are made to win! In a bike shop you can`t sell a 1200-2000 dollar frame and tell the customer he can`t expect it to last more than 3 to 6 months!
Also, the pros ride a lot faster, a lot more, and rides a helluva lot more aggressive than we ever will do, they race downhill in the alps attaccing and defending positions in speeds up to 110-115 kmph, they put a lot more stress into all of their equipment compared to us mere mortals!!
I have an brand new Italian Daccordi bike in size 62cm, it has a bigger tubeset than the size under, and the welds are not polished and sanded, because in my size the stress on the tubes is so strong that it need to be stronger than on a smaller size! This is a frame that is designed to last!!
If you ask them they can make an ultraligth custom frame (columbus starship etc.) but no warranties!!!
Some do care...Cima Coppi
Jun 25, 2001 2:04 PM
I think the latest arguments on the board about the pros not caring about what they ride relates more toward the componentry, rather than the frames themselves. They know their favorite frame builder's art can hide behind the paint job of the sponsor (ex. Tonkov's Colnago), so as not to deliberately give anything away. The ride a particular frame posesses is far more important to the pros than the components. Plus you can't hide the components the way you hide the frame.

So I argue that the pros, albiet not all, do care about the frames they have to ride for the many thousands of kilometres they put in each season.
re: If pros don't care what they ride...mackgoo
Jun 25, 2001 2:41 PM
I'm curious, I just looked at a bunch of pictures of Lance in the 99 Tour. SUre looked like a trek to me.
re: If pros don't care what they ride...Lamb
Jun 25, 2001 2:47 PM
I believe it was the TT bike in '99 TDF. Please correct me if this is misinformation.
re: If pros don't care what they ride...Lazy
Jun 25, 2001 2:55 PM
Correct indeed.
it is a trekishmael
Jun 25, 2001 2:53 PM
it was years ago that he rode a lightspeed in the time trial with trek paint
No its notpmf
Jun 25, 2001 3:36 PM
I'm pretty sure LA rode his personal Litespeed Blade TT bike painted blue with Trek stickers on it in the 1999 tdf. This is pretty common knowledge and apparently bothered Trek enough to design a TT bike especially for him to use in the 2000 tdf.
Exactly... Trek did not have a bike that performed in '99 TT...FlySpinner
Jun 25, 2001 4:15 PM
so they built one...

I would say the Pro's (at that level) enflunce the design of the bikes they ride. Isn't that the best R&D platform?

Local, Regional, and some National level pro's ride the bikes the can afford or get a non bike company sponsor to invest in. The one's With Bike company Sponsors ride that sponsor's elite frames. Just look at the Fuji/Mercury/LeMond fiasco(sp?)...
Curious...Jim Burton
Jun 25, 2001 9:35 PM
to know what Litespeed thought of this...
My guessmike mcmahon
Jun 25, 2001 9:42 PM
I don't know what Litespeed thought of this, but I would guess that the Litespeed people were pretty happy about it. Certainly, they know that many serious cyclists are going to spot their product and spread the word through forums like this and through word of mouth. Litespeed then gains a reputation as the bike that the pros use because they want to use it and not because they are paid to use it or otherwise required to use it. That kind of publicity is hard to buy.
My guessDavid Feldman
Jun 26, 2001 9:40 AM
Litespeed, likewise, must have loved it a few years ago when Laurent Brochard and Tricky Dicky Virenque ride Ultimates decalled to look like their Peugeot-sponsors' bikes. It's easier with current bikes that have distinctive tube and joint shapes to tell who's riding what.
It's not like squinting at pictures of Anquetil or Merckx and looking for a Sabliere oval seat tube or a De Rosa engraved seatstay cap!