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Mar 11, 2003 7:42 PM
What was the last steel bike to win the TDF? By who? Does any team still ride steel in the TDF? What was the last year if not?
Mar 11, 2003 9:38 PM
I believe its either -

1] the Bottechia ridden by Greg Lemond in 1989

2] the Deda steel Pinarello ridden by Indurain up to 1993?

No team uses steel in TDF now..howevfer, some indiv riders may use a steel bike..for example, Telekom riders have used the Opera model at times.

Hope this helps.
Lemond's BottecchiaDuke249
Mar 12, 2003 6:09 AM
Lemond's Bottecchia in the '89 Tour was a rebadged carbon TVT frame.
You are partially correct.jhr
Mar 12, 2003 8:50 AM
Lemond rode a rebadged tvt in the mountains, but his tt bike and the bike he rode on many flat stages was steel.

Indurain also rode steel on occasion during his tour career, but rode mostly carbon, titanium or aluminum in the mountains.

I think to find the last tour winner who rode steel exclusively you have to go to either '85 (Hinault)(It was '85 or '86 when La Vie Claire first broke out the TVT's) or '84 (Fignion)(Gitanes).

I believe the last team to ride steel of any variety was TVM in 1999 (Gazelle's). However, CSC is expected to use steel Cervelo's in some of the classics this year.

If you look at old videos from the late 80's early 90's you will see lots of team leaders on "steel" bikes that don't look quite right (ie domestics clearly on steel, leader on oversized tube bike with separate seatstay collar, painted like the domestics bikes). I think there were a lot of rebadged litespeed bikes floating around in the early to mid '90's (including Lances '93 worlds bike).

good point...Duke249
Mar 12, 2003 11:58 AM
I forgot about the TT bike. However, I don't ever recall seeing Lemond on a steel bicycle during the flat stages. What about Stephen Roche in '87. Wasn't his Carrera steel?

Also, I believe Lemond rode a steel Look in '86. I recall seeing an article in an old issue of Bicycle Guide that gave the lowdown on his ride. I'll pull it out and get the details...

BTW, there's a shop in Elk Grove Village, IL outside Chicago that has one of the Looks that Lemond rode in the '86 TDF.
regarding Rocherussw19
Mar 12, 2003 12:46 PM
Stephen Roche road a steel bike in 87, but it wasn't a Carrera, that was his team, he road a Battaglin. Carrera, his sponsor, is not Carrera bikes, but Carrera Jeans.

However, didn't Pedro Delgado win in 88 on a steel Pinarello? In 88 he went back to the Reynolds Team, does anyone remember what they were riding in 88? I know in 89 they rode Pinarellos.

By the way, Roche also has the distinction of being the last rider to win on toe clips and straps too. As I believe Delgado won on Time's in 88 and every rider since has won on clipless pedals.
good point...jhr
Mar 12, 2003 1:06 PM
Lemond did ride a steel Look frame(Reynolds 753) for most of the 86 tour, but he and Hinault had TVT carbon bikes (I think Hampsten also got one) (Look branded) that they used in the climbing stages, only.

I am reasonably sure there are pictures of Lemond on a red/white ish Bottechia made of steel that he rode in some if not all of the flat stages in 1989. Bottechia certainly did not want him exclusively on a carbon bike that clearly was not made by them, and was not in there product line. Lemond claims he was never paid a dime by ADR and I think I read somewhere he had to buy the carbon bike out of his own pocket (maybe he recycled his old look tvt frame). His win in 1989 might be the best win ever in the tour. In addition to the final time trial drama, Greg won the tour with only one team mate (a very young Johann Museeuw, a sprinter at that stage of his career). Even Lance as great as he is has never been called upon to do that.

In 1990, Lemond (with Z team) rode a Lemond bike, that looked like and had some connection to a (Craig) Calfee. This bike I think he rode everyday (except in ITT stages).

Roche did ride a steel Carrera in 1987. I can't remember if he had a special climbing bike (made of a non-steel material) or not. He may well be the last all steel Tour winner. Delgado in 1988 (like Indurain later) had a special carbon climbing bike.

While steel bikes are cool, I definitely think the coolest bikes ever in the tour were the carbon bonded Alan frames ridden by Cafe de Columbia. I owned an aluminum one for a couple of years and am still kicking myself for selling it.

good point...<- Roche road a Battaglin, not Carrera.russw19
Mar 12, 2003 3:11 PM
I know this post came in a few minutes after mine, but Roche's Carrera sponsor was not the bike company, but Carrera Jeans. And the bike he rode was a Battaglin. Roche was not a big fan of the new technology of the day, same as Sean Kelly. He was also the last rider to win the tour on toe clips and straps.

Also, I have searched and can not find any info on Delgado riding a carbon bike in 88 with Reynolds. I can only find info for the red Pinarellos. I did however find that with PDM in 87, he rode a steel Concorde for most stages, but climbed with a carbon TVT and used a Carbon time trial bike also most likely made by TVT. Not debating what you said, but are you sure he didn't ride that carbon bike in 87? I know it would be wierd to ride it in 87 but not 88, but I just can't find any info for any of the Reynolds riders using anything but the Pinarellos they were given, and I know at that time Pinarello was against anything but steel. It took Indurain's urging to get them to consider aluminum. Or at least that's the stories I have heard.

brain fartDuke249
Mar 12, 2003 6:40 PM
D'oh! I blew it on the Battaglin call. I had forgotten that the Carrera team had ridden these. I did some checking through a great book from the era that we're discussing - "The Great Tours" by Graham Watson and it answers a number of questions for us.

1)Lemond and Hinault used TVT framesets on the 86 stage to Alpe D'Huez

2)Indurain used a TVT frameset during the 90 Tour and throughout the season. It was not marked "Pinarello", but simply had "Banesto" on it.

3)Delgado used a TVT frameset during the '88 Tour that was marked as a Pinarello, complete with a Columbus sticker on the seat tube.

4)Lemond also used a TVT frameset during the 90 Tour for at least the Luz-Ardiden stage. There's a great photo in the book of him in the World Champion's jersey putting a hurtin' on Lejarreta and Indurain. It looks like the Calfee carbon Lemond framesets weren't used until the 91 Tour.

...and to answer the question that began this discussion...Indurain used an Oria steel-tubed frameset in the 92, 93 and 94 Tours.
great info!jhr
Mar 13, 2003 5:53 AM
Do you know did Indurain use only the Oria steel bike exclusively in those years or did he ride a tvt (or aluminum) on some of the climbing stages?