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Giro finale
Photo ©: Bettini

7UP/NutraFig's Cannondale CAAD5

Photo ©: John Lieswyn


By John Stevenson

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Photo: ©
John Lieswyn

7UP/NutraFig, the American team captained by Cyclingnews diarist John Lieswyn is aboard US-made Cannondale frames for 2002, after riding Australian-built frames with a Japanese name last year. The switch certainly seems to be a positive one. As team mechanic Chad G puts it, "We want to support the North American bicycle industry and Cannondale has always been a strong supporter of racing in North America."

There's other advantages too, given the domination of criterium racing in the US: "Cannondale geometry incorporates a higher bottom bracket making the bike criterium friendly."

It's always interesting to see what parts mix you find on the bikes ridden by smaller teams like 7UP/NutraFig. While the Telekoms and US Postals of this world can just pull up outside Shimano or Campagnolo's warehouses and load up a truck for the season, teams with lesser profiles tend to have a more eclectic mix of running gear.

This is the case with 7UP/NutraFig. The bikes run on a mix of Shimano (gears and brakes) and Ritchey (wheels, bars, stems and chainset) with one or two bits from elsewhere like Campagnolo's Hiddenset handling the steering, Wipperman Connex chains and Time pedals.

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Photo: ©
John Lieswyn

Team mechanic Chad G is enthusiastic about the parts mix, especially the Ritchey components. He singles out the Ritchey cranks for praise: "The cool thing about these cranks is that they have a hidden fifth arm; making them extremely light, yet stiff. They also have a more narrow profile compared to the competitors that is, a lower q-factor."

Another Ritchey component is also a Chad G favourite, the WCS stem. "Like the V Crank, the WCS stem is cold forged from 2014 alu. The stem also comes with a four bolt face plate. This is a great feature in a stem. The four bolts tend to reduce clamping stress on the bar. As a side note, the team has been using the WCS stems for a few seasons now and I have yet to have one bolt strip, or a stem fail in anyway. The are the most reliable stems I've ever used."

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Off center
Photo: ©
John Lieswyn

The there's the wheels. "The race wheels we are using are Ritchey WCS Z Deep Section (DS). 16 spokes front, and 20 rear. The cool thing with the wheels are not only their incredible light weight but the OCR (off center rim) design. The OCR rear rim means that the spoke holes are closer to the left side of the rim. This in turn practically eliminates the dish of the wheel. The spoke tension between the drive and the non drive side of the rim differs by less than five percent. As the mechanic, this makes me quite happy cause I don't have to true and tension the wheels all the time; so far they've been staying dead straight. "

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Photo: ©
John Lieswyn

While the team rides production frames, something Cannondale has pulled out all the stops for is custom time trial bikes. "These frames are not in production. They are custom made for our team. Cannondale made the frames with a 74degree seat tube angle. Also on the TT bike is pre-production Ritchey aero bars. Ritchey has been working closly with us to develop a ergonomic, light weight areo bar. The bars in the pic of a one a few different pairs we been experimenting with.

Full specification

Frame: Cannondale CAAD5 (non integrated BB to allow use Ritchey cranks)
Fork: Cannondale Slice Si full carbon manufactured by Time
Colour: Silver

Cranks: Ritchey WCS V crank53/39
Bottom bracket: Shimano Dura-Ace
Chain: Connex made by Wipperman
Front derailleur: Shimano Dura-Ace
Rear derailleur: Shimano Dura-Ace
Brakes & levers: Shimano Dura-Ace
Rear sprockets: Shimano Dura-Ace


Hubs: Ritchey WCS
Spokes: Ritchey bladed
Rim: Ritchey DS
Skewers: Ritchey Titanium
Tires: Ritchey Road Logic Race Slick (Open)

Stem: Ritchey WCS
Bar: Ritchey WCS
Tape: Time (made by Off the Front)
Head set: Campagnolo Record integrated

Pedals: Time Equipe Pro Mag Ti
Seat post: Ritchey WCS
Saddle: Serfas Aria Ti or Terrazo Ti

More information: Cyclingnews teams database, 7UP/NutraFig's website, Cannondale's website