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Question on TDF team bikes(31 posts)

Question on TDF team bikesDINOSAUR
Jul 19, 2001 7:09 AM
I've always wondered about this. How many stages does a team bike last for a pro riding in the peloton until it is replaced? Do they use the same bike for the entire tour for the stages? What happens to the bikes afterward, can you buy one at a reasonable price if the rider was not a big name rider? On the same thought, I imagine they must be overhauled between each race. Or are the bikes pretty much beat up and would not be a wise investment?
re: Question on TDF team bikesJiggy
Jul 19, 2001 7:24 AM
Pros are typically given 1-2 bikes per season; a primary and back-up. They may also change to a different bike for certain races, for example a lighter mtn bike, or (obviously) a tt bike. The bikes are washed daily and overhauled regularly (check out the old Motorola tape for more details). At the end of the season they are really beat up, lots of dings and scrapes... go to he Worlds when they come to Hamilton and you will see this up close. I believe most riders keep their primary bike (rarely do contracts call for returning the team bike, although it sometimes happens). Sometimes the back-ups are sold; Saeco has auctioned their Cannondales in years past. I would not want a pro's old bike for riding.
a bit of info on Postal bikesDog
Jul 19, 2001 7:40 AM
http://www.uspsprocycling.com/01features/fea_anatomy.htm
San Marco EraDINOSAUR
Jul 19, 2001 8:13 AM
I bought the San Marco Era Postal Team saddle on sale from Performance. Although the color clashed with my burnt orange/yellow Klein, it matched my blue Look PP247 pedals and I just changed my bar tape to blue. This is by far the most comfortable saddle I have ever owned. I am in heaven. My new bike will have a San Marco Era. Fuuny too, as I ordered a Selle Italia Flite from Col Cyclist but I screwed up my ordering info and I canceled and ordered the San Marco from Performance. Funny how stuff like this happens..destiny perhaps?
Another San Marco Era rider12x23
Jul 19, 2001 5:40 PM
I agree. I've been using the Era a little over one year, replacing Flites. This is easily the most comfortable saddle I have ever tried. I'm just surprised I don't see more riders on them.
Different buttsVlad the Impaler
Jul 19, 2001 6:20 PM
I had a Selle San Marco Era on my new ride I bought a few months ago. That was the most painfull, numbing saddle I've used. I wound up swapping it for a Selle Italia Flite Trans Am, which with over 1200 miles on it, is the most comfortable saddle I've ever ridden. No problems whatsoever with this saddle. It just goes to show how different body types work with different saddles. The saddle has got to be the most difficult thing to recommend to someone else and actually have them feel the same way about it as you do. Finding the right saddle is a pain in the ass (pun intended).
Different buttsDINOSAUR
Jul 19, 2001 8:26 PM
You are absolutely correct. It was a stroke of luck that the Era worked out for me. Now I know what works...
Dino- Question!?peloton
Jul 19, 2001 8:35 PM
Dino- You used to ride a Giro Pave too, right? I was looking at the Era a couple of days ago, and observed that it looked a lot like the Pave. How similar or dissimilar do you find the two saddles? What are the differences or similarities? Just curious, I have been riding a Pave for a couple of years to great satisfaction but the two looked similar so I figured it might be another option that would work for me. I can get San Marco saddles at cost, but not Giro. I guess replacement will come eventually. The Postal graphic is pretty cool too.
Dino- Question!?DINOSAUR
Jul 19, 2001 10:27 PM
Fizik is made by San Marco. When I received my Era it looked very similar to the Fizik Pave. Only when I removed the Fizik from my bike and put them alongside each other could I tell the difference.
The Era is wider, longer, and the rails are positioned differently.
The Era also has a lower profile so I had to raise my seat about 2mm.
It has a different feel. I liked the Fizik until around the 3 hr mark, then my butt would get sore. With the Era it feels good all the time. It has what they call elastomer with flexible tounge along the nose, and rear elastomer for absorbing shock. I think the secret is that it fits my wide rear and when I am positioned with my KNOP my saddle lines up. The Pave was a fairly hard saddle. The Era I purchased is the US Postal Team saddle. It's kind of a funky blue color. I like the feel and it's water resistant. I think they are on sale now at Colorado Cyclist for $59.00. Same price I paid for mine at Performance, but I had to pay tax. I've had good luck with San Marco Saddles, my old road bike had a San Marcos Roll. They still produce them. Also, no biggy, but the Era has ti rails and is lighter, but that is not what made me switch. I was just looking for a comfortable saddle. For me, this one works. Also- I had to use a small carpenters level to make sure it was level on my Klein. It's hard to tell by sight because of the st angle. Any other questions-fire away..
Dino
Thankspeloton
Jul 20, 2001 8:28 AM
I suspected the Giro was made by San Marco, kind of like their helmets being made by Bell. Thanks for the input.
Different buttscycleguy
Jul 19, 2001 10:09 PM
I have a Selle Italia Trans Am. The one Davis Phinney gave one star and Rob Rolle gave none. The worst review of any product I have seen on grear quide. Yet I love mine, over 3000 miles so far. Must have an ass made of stone.

But then I once read a review of the Kobbie Ti saddle. The reviewer said it was "a real ball buster" I thought he was talking, in jest, about the porn star! Had never hear of Kobbie saddles.
Different butts12x23
Jul 20, 2001 9:24 AM
I agree, butts are like finger prints. But(t), I haven't seen another bike with an Era saddle.
re: Question on TDF team bikesAD14
Jul 19, 2001 7:46 AM
I spoke with a rep from colnago who said Rabobank team bikes were returned to colnago(did not ask why) and he said the welds on the dream plus models ridden in the Olympics had different welds than production bikes because the riders broke them. I dont know if the c-40s or ct-1s are different than production but I bet they are.
And we all know about aluminum bikes,G. Orwell
Jul 19, 2001 8:13 AM
They need to be replaced several times each season because they wear-out.
fact or myth???nm
Jul 19, 2001 8:15 AM
any proof or just propagating rumors? oh, for generalizations
fact or myth???AD14
Jul 19, 2001 4:39 PM
I actually had the conversation with the colnago guy. I cant tell you if he is being straight. What reason would he have to say his own product failed? Besides, I owned a cannondale for a long time and I never had a problem. I have nothing against aluminum. There is a guy in the pro ranks who breaks carbon frames all the time. Of course he is 6'6" tall and weighs over 200.
He was referring to G. Orwell's post, dummy!D3
Jul 20, 2001 4:44 AM
nm
re: Question on TDF team bikesCharlie The Fred
Jul 19, 2001 8:13 AM
Trek auctioned the USPS bikes earlier in the year (via their website), and Pro Cycling magazine (British mag) has one of Mario Cipollini's bikes up for grabs in a competition. So it is possible to get them.
re: Question on TDF team bikesmr_spin
Jul 19, 2001 9:04 AM
For a lot of teams, the bikes are returned to the manufacturer. One reason a bike maker will sponsor a team is for testing purposes. A year on a pro team is probably equivalent to 5-10 years of recreational use. Returned frames, parts, etc. are analyzed for defects and other issues, and production changes are made as a result.

If you wanted to put the bike in your museum, buying a pro frame might be interesting, but I wouldn't buy it to ride it. Buying a frame with 10,000 abusive miles on it is kind of risky if you ask me. Think of all the crashes and cobblestones that frame has seen!
I'd ride onenutmegger
Jul 19, 2001 10:39 AM
10K miles is nothing and I'm sure the manufacturers build them to go longer than that. As far as abusive miles, I'm not sure I agree with that either. Sure they've seen potholes and crashes but the pro teams also have expert mechanics and the bikes are absolutely pampered because the riders livelihoods depend on them.
You obviously have never SEEN oneJack S
Jul 19, 2001 10:49 AM
up close, at the end of the season... they ARE beat to crap, big nicks and gouges where the chain has come off, lots of scrapes in the paint, dinged up components. Sure they're ride-able and in great mechanical condition, but no longer are they the most aesthetically pleasing things after a year of hard use. Do you really want that? And the uneasiness of wondering whether the frame might fail? You could just get a 58cm red Cannondale and paint "Mario" on the top tube.
neither have you, obviously...seamus
Jul 19, 2001 12:07 PM
I've seen several, Salvoldelli's, Mario's, Cadel's mtb, Ned Overends, Julich's, Hincapie's, Hamilton's, Dylan Casey's, LeMond's, and others over the years.

A few scratches? Yeah. As beat-up as you claim. No. Sorry.
OK, if you wanna name names...Jack S
Jul 19, 2001 12:32 PM
several from ONCE and Vitalicio-Seguros, Gotti's Polti, VDB's MBK, Heras's Gios, Pantani's Wilier, Paola's Fisher, Martinez's Full Dynamix, etc. not to mention various from unknown riders at the Worlds and World Cup CX bikes. I'm talking end of season... think again, Seamun. If you want to ride a bike with a big gouge in the chainstay be my guest.
You obviously have never SEEN onenutmegger
Jul 20, 2001 5:38 AM
Jack, I agree that a pro frame at the end of the season will not be the most aesthetically pleasing. Nowhere in my post did I imply or would a reasonable reader infer otherwise. My point was strictly mechanical and frame-related. If there was an issue of the pro bikes frames being ride-worthy, then I doubt that some manufacturers like Trek would take on the risk of auctioning them to the public. Why would they want to subject themselves to a lawsuit? I happen to think the poster I was replying to overstated the stress that the pro riders place on a frame. Apparently the engineers at the manufacturers are in my corner on this point.
Sorry...Jack S
Jul 20, 2001 5:58 AM
but where did I question the ride-worthiness??? Re-read my post, I clearly say Sure they're ride-able and in great mechanical condition... Nobody is claiming that the bike will fall apart or the frame would fail. If you want a bike that looks worse for wear and is overpriced (these bike are by no means a great deal) for the sake of saying pro rider x- that the majority of the cycling public won't recognize- once rode this, go for it.
Gee Jack,nutmegger
Jul 21, 2001 5:33 PM
maybe it was the question you posed,"And the uneasiness of worrying whether the frame might fail?" If that doesn't relate to ride-worthiness then maybe I need a little work on my reading comprehension.
re: Question on TDF team bikesCRM
Jul 19, 2001 10:35 AM
How cool would that be to own the actual bike Lance rode when he blew away the competition up Alpe d'Huez? I agree it wouldn't be a great idea to use the bike, but just as a piece of cycling history, I'd pay big bucks for it! (not that I have big bucks, but it's fun to think about)
re: Question on TDF team bikesbeck
Jul 19, 2001 11:28 AM
I once test rode a bike for sale that was ridden by a pro team in the Tour Dupont.It was a Serotta steel Atlanta, normally a very stiff frame.The frame looked like new but felt flexy in the BB with derailer rub and I am only an average strength rider.Even though the bike was beautiful I had to pass on it-the frame was plain worn out!
As far as I know, frames dont get flexier with age.railer
Jul 19, 2001 2:57 PM
Maybe a bonded aluminum frame, but not a welded frame. Unless of course it had a crack. Maybe Im wrong. Any metalurgists out there?

Maybe it was a custom "team issue" that was extra light, hence the extra flexiness you noticed.
As far as I know, frames dont get flexier with age.DrD
Jul 19, 2001 5:07 PM
"...not a welded frame. Unless of course it had a crack. Maybe Im wrong. Any metallurgists out there? "

Actually, yes, there are... And, yes, you are correct!
re: Question on TDF team bikesLone Gunman
Jul 19, 2001 12:55 PM
A few years ago I watched a guy max out two credit cards to buy the yellow Trek @ Lance Armstrong Foundation Silent auction. $20K I believe for the bike. Ridden in the victory lap @ TDF.