It's a secret ... sorta

News & Results

07/13/2003| 0 comments
by Dave Osborne
Armstrong's Trek Madone 5.9. Reportedly weighs in at 1.43 kg (3.17 lbs) for frame and fork only (based upon a 58 cm bike).
Armstrong's Trek Madone 5.9. Reportedly weighs in at 1.43 kg (3.17 lbs) for frame and fork only (based upon a 58 cm bike).

It's a secret ... sorta

A discussion of new bike equipment designed to make the riders go even faster in the mountains.

I love reading sports car magazines that have ?spy photos? of new models or changes for the coming year. Some are highly disguised while others are obviously exposed for publicity. <?xml:namespace prefix = o ns = "urn:schemas-microsoft-com:office:office" /?>


There is no shortage of unofficial new products at the Tour de France. It?s hard to disguise when they are out in the open for the world to see. What may not be easily seen is the development and specs pertaining to the components. It is truly cutting edge technology.


Cannondale has even started a campaign for a UCI rule change by saying, ?Legalize My Cannondale? on team Saeco jerseys! This is in reference to the new CAAD 7 frame with Optimo tubing. Essentially, the main triangle is carbon fiber while the stays and head tube are aluminum. The ?unofficial? weight of the entire bike is 6.7 kg (14.77 lbs). In order to meet the UCI minimum weight rule of 6.8 kg, Saeco apparently used a heavier seatpost and water bottle cage. I guess the makers of Cannondale in the good ole <?xml:namespace prefix = st1 ns = "urn:schemas-microsoft-com:office:smarttags" /?>
don?t care much for old-fashioned UCI weight restrictions! Actually, the frame has met and exceeded durability and stress tests and Cannondale executives are confident with the bike.


Another obvious new frame is that of soon to be race winner Lance Armstrong with USPS. The Trek Madone 5.9 reportedly weighs in at 1.43 kg (3.17 lbs) for frame and fork only based upon a 58 cm bike. You might find bits and pieces of it if you go back to Meaux where Armstrong crashed one of these frames on stage 1. Look for slivers of OCLV carbon fiber!


In order to calculate the entire weight of the bike, you have to add in the weight of Shimano?s new 10 speed DuraAce group. If only photojournalists would carry a few wrenches and a scale with them! I can?t wait for the war to break out between the Campy and Shimano guys about which will weigh less!  


Speaking of Campagnolo, they are secretly showing off their new Record carbon fiber line. The layers are no longer bonded at 90 degrees and are now multi directional. This creates greater strength regardless of the directional stress. Besides, it sure looks cool, just like the carbon accessory parts on my Ducati!


Have I mentioned carbon fiber yet? I bet Tyler Hamilton is wishing Cervelo made collarbones!    Instead, he is settling for the new carbon fiber R2.5 frame.    Cervelo says the frame is less than 1 kg (2.2 lbs). It has withstood stress tests in the lab and on the road in the Tour. It may not look that unusual, but be assured it is helping
get over the top.


In review, can you say carbon fiber? You better start practicing. I can tell you this much, it?s a lot easier to spell and say than "aluminumum"!


For further info, see for example:


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