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Lance and his "stock" OCLV frame(23 posts)

Lance and his "stock" OCLV frameAndy
Aug 9, 2002 8:15 AM
I haven't been here for a while so if this topic has been beat to death already just tell me and I'll search through the archives.

I want to know if Lance's Trek OCLV frames (just the frames) are really stock. It's not that big of a deal whether they are or not. I just want to know who's telling the truth. Lance's interviews and the Trek literature say his frames are stock. An LBS employee whom I know said he PERSONALLY knows the gentleman who works on Lance's bikes and his frames are NOT stock. He says the tubes for Lance's bikes are CUSTOM made in Salt Lake City and shipped to the Trek team that handles the assembly.

Who's telling the truth?
re: Lanceyeah right
Aug 9, 2002 8:25 AM

lance's bikes have to be a production size due to the way trek makes lugs, but i suppose the could use different tubes. i'm not one to really get into this stuff, but i suppose it could be true, and i heard that they were testing some stuff for the tour that they never used, maybe that's it. fwiw, this has been hashed quite a few times.
re: Lancecapnjim01
Aug 9, 2002 8:33 AM
I think you are right about the lugs, I remember reading somewhere that the molds for the lugs cost about $30,000 to make so designing new bikes for one rider would be cost prohibitive. There was an article in VN about Lance switching to new pedals on his tt bike and they had to shave some length off the seat tube so he could get the right fit. I wouldn't recommend trying this at home.
Trek's lugs.............Dave Hickey
Aug 9, 2002 8:42 AM
It would get expensive to custom make these.
is that alum w/ a carbon wrap? nmDougSloan
Aug 9, 2002 9:07 AM
arent they advertised as all carbon? nmishmael
Aug 9, 2002 9:09 AM
I don't know. It might just be a reflection. nmDave Hickey
Aug 9, 2002 9:11 AM
No, all carbon. nm.Ian
Aug 9, 2002 9:23 AM
It is some what truePhatMatt
Aug 9, 2002 9:45 AM
All of treks carbon tubes are made heer in SLC. I work just up the Street fromt he company that makes them.
wrong answer, still your turn...merckx56
Aug 9, 2002 12:46 PM
trek lays up ALL of its OCLV lugs and tubes in house, in wisconsin. the OCLV depatment is like getting into fort knox. the lugs are formed and the tube lengths are uniform, depending on the size of the frame being produced. the cannot make customs geos nor can they make custom tube lengths, as they wouldn't fit the existing lugs. they MAY be able to thin out a tube by laying less carbon into a form, but then you run into the problem of holes developing in the centers of the tubes when they're being cooked. cut open a broken OCLV and look at the inside of the tubes. it looks like the terrain on the moon. it may be smooth on the outside, but it isn't on the inside.
it would be a huge expensive and vast undertaking to re-tool the entire OCLV shop. trek is very meticulous when it comes to the quality control of the tubes that are produced. they do, have not or will not EVER farm that work out to a sub-contractor. i've have been to the mountain my brothers, and it's in wisconsin, not cali!
wrong answer, still your turn...PhatMatt
Aug 9, 2002 12:58 PM
You are right as it is not in Cali, it is in Salt Lake City. I have been to the factory. The guy handed me a top tube and said taht the do all the carbon tubes for Trek. The said the can make the tubes to any specification that trek wants them two. I know the OCLV is not done in any custome sizes for anybody, but that does not mean trek makes all of there componets. Are they extruding the AL for those as well?

It is a minor detail.TJeanloz
Aug 9, 2002 1:01 PM
I have also been to Waterloo and seen the Trek production line, so I can verify that they do produce OCLV tubes there. But I can't say that they don't outsource some of the production.

I can, however, tell you that they have historically farmed out the work, as the original Trek carbon frames were produced by Aegis, many years ago (I think for only about three seasons before Trek took production in-house). So, your statement that they have not farmed it out is not entirely accurate.
wrong answer, still your turn...Ian
Aug 9, 2002 1:18 PM
I have heard from people here on RBR and in other areas of the bike industry that the tubes are made in Salt Lake. So, I don't really know what to believe.

But, I did have a chance to see an OCLV frame cut in half length wise, kind of like Cannondale does with their frames. And it was very smooth on the inside. Not where the lugs meet the tube and there was glue everywhere, but in the middle of the tube, it was smooth.

That could be true...TJeanloz
Aug 9, 2002 9:01 AM
Things will again fall to semantics. When Armstrong rode an OCLV 110 in the 2000 Tour, was it stock? It wasn't available to the public yet, so I suppose that it was not a 'stock' bike. But it would become one. Quite a lot of specialty carbon fiber tubing (which can be made in very small runs) is produced by an outfit in Salt Lake, so it wouldn't surprise me if Trek sourced some prototype tubes from them, and used these tubes on a bike Armstrong rode.

But I have worked with a number of the USPS bikes, including Armstrong's, and the geometry of the 56, 58 and 60 is the same as standard Trek geometry. I can't prove that Trek didn't one-off these bikes, or that they aren't produced seperately, but there is no difference between them and bikes from the production line.
Do you know if the lugs are all carbon?Sintesi
Aug 9, 2002 9:18 AM
Hickey's picture makes it look like aluminum wrapped in carbon.
Should bebigdave
Aug 9, 2002 9:22 AM
At least they're supposed to be! ;-)

With the carbon/resin + wierd reflections due to the flash, I think it just "looks" like alloy.

Except BB Shellgonzo77
Aug 9, 2002 9:26 AM's all carbon, except the BB Shell of course
Aug 9, 2002 9:28 AM
There are also some bonded in aluminum sleeves at the head tube for the headset. And the dropouts aren't carbon.
Aug 9, 2002 9:27 AM
They are all carbon. I disected one in eigth grade biology. Or something.

Actually, I've had the pleasure of carving up an OCLV frame to investigate its inner secrets. Things get slow in bike shops in the winter time.
Lance frameIan
Aug 9, 2002 9:32 AM
The lugs are all carbon. And as another said, it would be very expensive to change those. Whether Lance wanted an odd size frame instead of even or to change a seat or head tube angle, I think he is pretty much locked in with the off the stuff shelf there. The tubes are an interesting point. Those are made separately and could be customized, but what would you gain? A slightly thinner wall for a bit of weight savings, but now a whole new engineering study to make sure it is safe. Trek obviously wouldn't want a frame failing on a 60 mph downhill. I suppose you could tweak the ride quality some, but again, now you tamper with the safety.

So, MHO is that they could be custom, but I don't really see what would be gained.

re: Lance and his "stock" OCLV framealiensporebomb
Aug 9, 2002 12:38 PM
I just read an interesting article that interviewed a Trek
higher-up who said it would be too expensive to create a
custom size, even for Lance so everyone in the postal team
rides standard sizes as has been made available. No custom
stuff apparently.
To summarize all this ...Andy
Aug 9, 2002 2:19 PM
It sounds like Lance's OCLV frame uses stock lugs which means stock geometry but there may be a possibility the tubes are not stock. I live in Salt Lake City and I have heard several people tell me some of the tubes are made here.

Just to put this issue to rest once and for all... I'll find out where this place is and take a trip over there and find out what I can... first hand.
Look at his stack height.hayaku
Aug 9, 2002 7:06 PM
If it was custom he wouldn't have any spacers. Or at least, he wouldn't have as many as he does.