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TDF bike question(5 posts)

TDF bike questioncydswipe
Apr 4, 2002 6:28 PM
I was looking at some Litespeed frames in the Colorado Cyclist catalog. I've heard that Lance rode a Litespeed with Trek decals in last year's tour climbs. I've also read that he rode a GT time trial bike in his '99 campaign. How does this happen? Are these just "urban legends"? Do bike companies do some friendly bike switching? My wife asked me how that works. I cannot answer. Anybody know?
re: TDF bike questionlook271
Apr 4, 2002 6:33 PM
Last year Lance rode a special Trek climbing bike, as well as the year before. He rode a Litespeed TT bike in '99. He now rides all Treks. He can do this because he's the team leader and they pretty much get to ride what they want. However, the other riders ride what they are given.
re: TDF bike questioneschelon
Apr 4, 2002 6:48 PM
In '99, Lance road a Litespeed time trial bike because Trek did not make any time trial specific bike to fit Lance's needs...so Trek simply bought a Litepseed Blade bicycle and painted and stickered it with Trek logos. I can't say anything about the year before because I am not familiar with the sponsorship deals in '98. Many pro teams do this practice...although not just bicycles...it's also wheels and other items. The main equipment sponsors usually will put up with this practice so long as the rider(s) "update" the paint and stickers or none at all.

If you check out Telekoms's bike wheels in the mountain stages, they are not riding Campy wheels, rather they were using wheelsets made by some company in Europe called "Lightweight Wheels" (I think).

In the end though, even though the said equipment sponsors equipment wasn't used for whatever purpose during a race, the equipment sponsor still gets to claim the publicity credit for "winning races".
re: TDF bike questionAkirasho
Apr 4, 2002 6:48 PM
While a Pro may be obliged to ride and wear specific gear in order to meet sponsorship responsibilities, those with enough clout either get rebadged "competitor's" gear or contracted custom frames from builders who might specialize in a particular material (Litespeed used to outsource Ti frames for several other makers until their own welders and suppliers were up to speed)

You'll see unbranded HED wheels and Sidi shoes with Adidas logos (I had a photo of a pro rider wearing his sponsor's Adidas shoe covers... but you could read Sidi underneath them... but can't find it) just as an example.

Part of the fun in watching the pro peloton is figuring out what gear they really have...

We abide.

Remain In Light.
A few years ago this seemed to be much more prevalent.Sintesi
Apr 5, 2002 6:55 AM
Virenque used to ride a rebadged LS Vortex as did a few other of the Festina riders. I hear Ullrich will ride a custom steel Pegoretti on occasion. I believe this is the frame he was on in the 2000 Olympic road race. You can clearly see it isn't a Pinarello Prince.