Bikes & Tech: Page 522

Bike and gear reviews, maintenance how-tos, and tips

Tour de France: that last download.

As the workmen traveling with the Tour de France for the past three weeks were happily breaking down the press room for the final time, we pulled a few good shots off the 64meg chip on Lennard Zinn’s digital camera. As Lennard flies home after a year in Europe, we thought we’d share a few of those shots from the last days of the 2001 Tour de France.

Technical FAQ with Lennard Zinn: Ullrich’s superlight ride (updated text)

Jan Ullrich has done everything he can to lose weight off of his body. He and his mechanics have also gone to extraordinary lengths to take a full kilogram off of the bike he uses in the mountains. The big German also has some particular preferences about his components, and his mechanics and suppliers clearly bend over backward to accommodate them. Ullrich’s climbing frame is a lighter version of his Pinarello Prince. It appears to have standard Prince carbon fork and seatstay wishbone, but the aluminum main tubes have thinner walls, and the down tube is smaller diameter. As his climbing

Technical FAQ with Lennard Zinn: Armstrong’s setup on L’Alpe d’Huez

After Lance Armstrong found on L’Alpe d’Huez that he wanted a 22 and did not have it, he did something about it for the beyond-category climbs of the Tourmalet and Luz Ardiden today. He once again used a 12-23, but it was not a standard cog distribution. He had an extra two-tooth gap lower down and used one-tooth gaps at the top. The smallest two cogs were titanium on his cassette, while the last seven of his nine cogs were blue aluminum Specialities T.A. on his Mavic Ksyrium SSC SL wheel. The top three cogs were 21-22-23 (so the entire set went 12-13-14-15-17-19-21-22-23). The front inner

Technical FAQ with Lennard Zinn: U.S. Postal team Treks

There are four different colors of Treks you will see U.S. Postal racing on in the Tour. These are two different road bikes and two different time trial bikes. The two road frames you can buy, and there is no difference between them and models sold in bike shops. The two time trial frames are strictly team issue. This use of stock frames is unique at that level of racing. Almost all top riders have frames custom built especially for them, often by a manufacturer other than the one whose name is on the frame. In fact, Trek claims that Lance Armstrong's two Tour victories were the only ones

Technical FAQ with Lennard Zinn: TdF wheel selections

In addition to the teams mentioned yesterday, Kelme is also using wheels with carbon braking surfaces – namely Shimanos with carbon rims. Like Shimano’s aluminum wheels, they have paired spokes with their heads in the side of the rim and nipples at the star-shaped hub. Kelme uses Shimano’s red cork brake pads with them. ADA also makes a rubberized cork pad for carbon rims that are claimed to provide consistent braking on carbon rims, even when wet. Its pad fits in both Shimano and Campagnolo brake-pad holders, but not in Corima pad holders. Telekom has been using ADA pads in the past but

Technical FAQ with Lennard Zinn: Pro riders’ wheels

The wheels are arguably the most important part on a bicycle and are thus the source of constant efforts for improvement, and, for a team, to find an edge over, or at least parity with, the other teams. There are a number of physical properties of a wheel that teams have to consider. A gram of rotating weight out at the rim is worth about two grams on the frame, so weight reduction is obviously critical. Wheels are big egg beaters of the air, and any reduction in their aerodynamic friction can pay off, especially when the rider is not sheltered in the peloton. In order that the rider can

Technical FAQ with Lennard Zinn: Look time trial bikes

Look time trial bikes, which took a black eye a few years ago with some weak forks, pulled off the ultimate Tour victory – an entire team winning a stage on them. This, the day after Laurent Jalabert notched a win with a Look road bike, and two days after Stuart O’Grady took over the yellow jersey riding yet another. There are more Look bikes in this Tour than any other make, as four teams (Credit Agricole, Kelme, Big MAT and CSC) are riding them. That puts Look ahead of Pinarello, which has three teams (Telekom, iBanesto and Fassa Bortolo), and Colnago, which has two (Rabobank and Mapei).

Simoni wraps up Giro; Cipo’ takes his fourth stage

Mario Cipollini won a sprint spread across the full width of the road to take the final stage and his fourth win of the 2001 Giro d’Italia and the 34th of his career. Once again, Danilo Hondo was right alongside him but lacked that little bit of extra speed and forcefulness. And eight years after he won the amateur Giro d’Italia, Gilberto Simoni has won the professional Giro by 7:31 over Abraham Olano, the largest margin since 1973, when Eddy Merckx beat Johan De Muynck by 7:42. Stage 21 traversed a flat, straight trajectory from Arona along Lago Maggiore and southeast to Milano, where 10

Pink jersey wins a stage on a gray day

With Dario Frigo fired for doping, there was nobody else to worry about, and Gilberto Simoni could throw caution to the wind and make an audacious 49km solo to get the stage win he felt had been missing from his Giro victory. After this rainy, 181km stage amid dampened spirits, Simoni now leads second-placed Abraham Olano by 7:31. The riders ascended twice the first-category Mottarone climb rising above the western shore of Lago Maggiore. The first time up, Matthias Kessler broke away, and Danilo Di Luca caught and dropped him. Giuliano Figueras (Panaria) and Marzio Bruseghin (iBanesto.com)

Shattered Faith

I had not realized how much I had wanted to believe in Dario Frigo until the news came of his departure from the race. For weeks, I had been attending daily press conferences with him – every day that he was in the pink jersey and after his time trial stage win. I had started mulling over in my mind what I would be writing about him on Sunday night or Monday to wrap up the Giro in VeloNews. I would have been writing, whether he had managed to take back the jersey on the (cancelled) stage 18 or stage 20 or not, about what a breath of fresh air he had been. This young man’s appeal was