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Tour Tech – What was Lance riding?

Several sharp-eyed viewers noticed that Lance Armstrong was riding what appeared to be a standard team-issue 5900 Superlight during Monday's stage to Luz-Ardiden. When VeloNews contacted Trek to inquire as to why Armstrong was not riding that nifty new Madone 5.9 and instead riding what appeared to be 2003 technology, spokesman John Riley informed us that Armstrong was actually riding another all-new 2004 Trek bike. The bike on which Armstrong won Monday's tumultuous stage was, in fact, a much-updated 2004 Trek 5900 Superlight. Riley said the new bike takes carbon fiber construction to the

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By Andrew Juskaitis, VeloNews Technical Editor

Photo: Graham Watson

Several sharp-eyed viewers noticed that Lance Armstrong was riding what appeared to be a standard team-issue 5900 Superlight during Monday’s stage to Luz-Ardiden.

When VeloNews contacted Trek to inquire as to why Armstrong was not riding that nifty new Madone 5.9 and instead riding what appeared to be 2003 technology, spokesman John Riley informed us that Armstrong was actually riding another all-new 2004 Trek bike.

The bike on which Armstrong won Monday’s tumultuous stage was, in fact, a much-updated 2004 Trek 5900 Superlight. Riley said the new bike takes carbon fiber construction to the outer limits of Trek is able to do. The new bike is 100 grams lighter than the Madone 5.9 (which is 45 grams lighter than the current 2003 5900 Superlight).

This 145 grams of weight savings over current 5900 will allow Armstrong to run the full 2004 Dura-Ace STI shifting system and “sensible componentry and wheels” and still bring the overall weight of his ride right down to the UCI limit.

According to Riley, “this new 5900 has been redesigned to allow the use of a standard issue lower headset cup (unlike the current 1 1/4-inch lower cup design which mandates a special headset).”

Tour Tech - What was Lance riding?

Tour Tech – What was Lance riding?

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He went on to assert that “the new bike is as stiff as the current 5900 but significantly lighter, it’s the best of both worlds. That’s all I can say for now.”

You also might have noticed that after the tumultuous stage, Armstrong complained of “shifting problems.”

Shimano’s Chris DiStefano said he and his crew were taken aback by the problem and contacted team mechanics right away.

“When Lance crashed yesterday, [Iban] Mayo fell right on top of his bike,” DeStefano said. “This cracked his driveside chainstay, which then caused some serious alignment issues. Obviously, this affected his bike’s shifting performance, causing gears to skip which caused him to then pop out of his pedal.”

So there you have it, the technical side of one of the most dramtic stages in recent Tour history.

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