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Sponsorship vs. personal preference(5 posts)

Sponsorship vs. personal preferenceJustin Spinelli
Jul 29, 2001 6:19 PM
I was just wondering about the pros and if they're just forced to use the equipment they're using because of sponsorships. For example, do you think Lance uses Shimano for the bikes he has at home? Does he even want a Trek compared to those schweet Colnagos, Pinarellos, and oh so beautiful Mosers?
re: Sponsorship vs. personal preferenceLone Gunman
Jul 29, 2001 7:08 PM
It's a piece of machinery, a tool. For most of us it is hard to imagine that he can have or ride any bike in the world free yet he doesn't get the rush we get since we buy our rides. He gets paid big money to ride Treks that are equipped with Shimano DA. I don't think the badge on the bike matters much any longer as long as it works to near perfection at all critical times.
But that takes all the fun off!105
Jul 29, 2001 9:09 PM
If Lance (or any other pro) looked at his gear as a TOOL, then wouldn;t that take part of the fun out of cycling??? I mean, choosing gear and setting up my bike is almost half the fun! =)
Lance's operating a different leveljagiger
Jul 30, 2001 8:38 AM
I was surprised to see Lance on a TV show feature him & USPS to see that he's seems to be constantly tweaking his bike. Lance is a tech freak & lighter, better, faster all work in that equation. I doubt Lance is bored while selecting his ride. Actually a LBS guy told me that his bike is just over 16 lbs & that he has to be concerned about meeting min. weight standards. That sounds like a luxury to me. And Lance has made the USPS his own sort of brand name.
re: Sponsorship vs. personal preferenceMike K
Jul 29, 2001 9:35 PM
Sometimes you see pros risk the ire of sponsors by riding on equipment other than that prescribed.
The obvious (and over used) example would be of the Litespeed TT bike LA rode in '99. I would guess that he felt that there was enough on a performance difference to risk paining the Litespeed and slapping on some Trek stickers. Trek obviously was not pleased as they spend some serious R&D on a TT bike which seems to now work very well indeed for LA.
Someone recently posted here a photo of Mercury rider on what was pretty obviously a Colnago C40 painted to look like a Lemond.
Many pros (Ullrich for one) seem to be rather fond of ADA wheels which are never (according to the manufacturer) offered free of charge. They seem to think there is enough of an advantage in ADA's to spring the $3000 or so a set out of pocket and risk irritating their teams' wheel sponsors.
I think that if the rider feels that there is enough of an advantage to one piece of equipment over another than he/she will risk ticking off a sponsor or create an inventive ways of still using the equipment (paint over, etc). Probably depends on the sponsor and team management as well.
In my personal experience as a sponsored skier I probably would not have skied the skis I did if they were not providing them and paying as well - but if I would have shown up on something other than what I was supposed to ski it would have been the end of my contract (I was not exactly the equivalent of an Armstrong or an Ullrich of skiing) and free stuff and pay - and that would have been really bad for my beer budget :-)
When you make a living (or tried to in my case) from sports you start to lose much of the "wow this is neat" approach to equipment - you start to look at the stuff as tools of the trade and if the stuff you have works well enough to let you compete at the top of your game then so be it.
Probably half the reason why I like riding a hell of a lot more than skiing these days..........