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In F1, they tell you what wheels they're racing with(13 posts)

In F1, they tell you what wheels they're racing withBrian C.
Jul 11, 2001 9:56 AM
Wish they'd do the same in TDF coverage.
Is there a site with all bike stats you want to know?

BTW, while watching the race at the office this morning, I got into a debate with a non-biker who said TDF bikes might have Pinarello or Trek plastered all over them, but they're not made at the factory. They're hand made to cyclists' specs and the name goes on after the fact. Is this true?
Jul 11, 2001 10:38 AM
Quite possibley. The classic example is Lance riding a Litespeed Blade in the 1999 time trials with "Trek" stickers all over it. For the top riders, they get hand made bikes. As a bike manufacturer, you want you top sponsored riders to have bikes that fit them perfectly.

A couple of years ago, Pantani shows up in a sloping top tube, compact frame bike, custom made for him becuase he liked the "look" even though his bike company didn't mass produce one yet.
There's two issues herewscott
Jul 11, 2001 10:53 AM
1) Custom Geometry, typically pros know what Geometry works for them, and will be supplied with bikes that have tubes cut to their specs. You may or may not be able to get a custum bike from that company. If you hear them say this or that is a stock bike, that means it's the same one you would buy. Usually this has something to do with the manufacturing process, such that, custum bikes can't be built (I believe this is the case with the Trek OCLV bikes).
2) Actually riding someone elses bike. Usually only the top names can get away with this, since the team runs the risk of pissing the sponsor off if some riders are actually riding non-sponsers bikes. So, yes in fact you can see someone riding a trek or pinarello and it could be another companies bike but this by far is the exception not the rule. Like the other poster said, Armstrong rode a Litespeed blade for his TT bike badged as a Trek, until Trek made him one that was up to snuff (I don't think you or I could buy that bike, but I might be wrong). I saw Tim Johnson, the cyclo-cross rider on a IF steel cross bike badged as a Lemond (Saturn's sponser), last year.
Armstrong rides a stock TrekDuane Gran
Jul 11, 2001 11:20 AM
Based on what I have read, Armstrong rides on a standard 58cm Trek frame. It is the same one you or I can purchase from a shop. By and large the riders are on custom frames, but the general workmanship of the frame is identical to what you can purchase yourself. Many of the companies do custom builds for us regular folks too.

I wouldn't doubt if some extra care in the QA process doesn't happen for the team bikes. I would expect someone personally overseas the testing of the frames before they are given to the team. That is just my assumption, and it shouldn't surprise us if they get a bit better treatment and care than the buying public.
Armstrong rides a stock TrekMel Erickson
Jul 11, 2001 2:21 PM
The son of one of my wifes co-workers (how's THAT for a connection) actually worked on a Trek ridden by LA in last years tour. It was definitely a one off, however, it was not the only bike he rode. The bike was fabricated at Trek's home office in Waterloo, WI in a small building on their site. Security was tight and he couldn't talk to anyone about the details of the bike. Couldn't even tell his mom. He felt very good about his part in building the bike and LA sent him and his co-workers a personal thank you. I don't know if they built him another bike(s) for this years tour but will try and find out if y'all are interested.
Jul 11, 2001 11:36 AM
I only know of a few.

MBK in France is the equivalent of a Huffy in the USA. But Cofidis rides them, right? Nope. Those are Cyfacs, which Jean Delatour also rides under the Cyfac name. Cyfacs are always custom, by the way.

The Trek road bikes for Postal aren't custom. It's something about the way Trek makes them. They use a mold, or something like that, and it is very expensive to make a custom mold. The time trial bikes are Treks, as they also were in 2000. Those probably are customized, at least for Lance. In 1999, Lance used a custom Litespeed painted as Trek. Not anymore--it's now hanging in his garage.

Festina has bikes hand-built by Specialized. Hand built certainly means they are custom frames.

As for the rest, I doubt you'll find anyone riding a Colnago or Pinarello that isn't the real thing. Both of these companies have strong racing traditions and are probably quite willing to customize their frames to the riders. But more likely it works the other way around--their standard frames are based on the geometry that the riders want. That's supposed to be part of why companies put so much money into sponsoring teams.
MBK equal Huffy??PaulCL
Jul 11, 2001 12:06 PM
Bummer. I was in France in March and was in a bike shop filled with MBKs. They also stocked and sold Pinnarello, Colnago, plus a few other high end bikes. It was a good looking bike, but then again, Huffy's can "look" good too! In fact, I remember one MBK built up with Chorus 10spd. Almost seems a waste to put Chorus on a Kmart bike. Are you sure???
MBK equal Huffy??ScottV
Jul 11, 2001 4:42 PM
I don't know if I would say that but he is right when he says that the MBK bike are made by Cyfacs. I beleive they also make the bikes for Française Des Jeux.
So how does the sponsership work?wscott
Jul 11, 2001 4:55 PM
Do Gitane (FdJ) and MBK pay money to the teams to use the other companies bikes as billboards? Since both of these really are bike companies, wouldn't they be pissed that their "sponsored" team isn't riding their bikes? Why not just ride the Cyfacs badged as Cyfacs if they are providing you with the bikes? Someone enlighten me!
MBK equal Huffy??madbadger
Jul 12, 2001 5:30 AM
MBK bikes are made by Motobecane, remember Stephen Roche 1985 Tour in a Motobecane jersey. The bikes are certainly not low rent, don't confuse a cheap high street name with a pro's race bike, there is a difference!
That's what I heardmr_spin
Jul 11, 2001 5:17 PM
Someone from France told me that MBK were low-end bikes in France, roughly equivalent to Huffy. I've never actually seen one myself.

Check out this link:
Regarding OCLVbigdave
Jul 11, 2001 9:06 PM
I'm surprised someone with an OCLV hasn't chimed in yet... I don't have one, but I think this is the process.

The OCLV process is the one that produces all of the lugged areas of the frame... the headtube, the bb and the seat/top/seatstay junction. These parts of the frame are indeed fixed, as they likely only have molds for the various sizes they produce. (Meaning seat angle, head angle are all pre-determined) These are carbon pieces, and then carbon tubes are bonded to these lugs to produce a frame. In concept, it's very similar to the previous generation of Trek carbon bikes, which used alloy lugs and carbon tubes... and I believe Look does the same on some of their frames. (whereas Kestrel and some others do not use lugs... the whole frame is one single mold)

So, that being the case, I would not be surprised at all if the top tubing lengths were customized for the riders... ie: shorter or longer top tube. I believe this is technically possible with these frames, but Trek doesn't do it for just anyone.

Anyone with an OCLV, please feel free to set me straight if I was off... it's just the way I thought the process worked.

Regarding OCLVSpyder Ryder
Jul 11, 2001 11:57 PM
Optimum Compact Low Void s what OCLV stands for its the process that they use to make the carbon fider not the processing of the bike. It has to do with the amount of air in the carbon fiber as it hardens. you use less fiber and make it stronger too. Go to for the complete story. The lugs and tubes are carbon and they epoxy them together.