Keeping it local
By John Stevenson
It's fitting that Denmark's top-ranked division II
squad EDS-fakta should ride Danish bikes, and so Scott Sunderland
and team-mates roll on Principia frames, made in Nørresundby
in the north of Denmark.
Refreshingly, there's no marketing mystique woven
around Principia's frame material. It's right there in the company's
info: 7020 aluminium, (4.5 percent zinc, 1 percent magnesium). Principia
seem to believe that it's not what material you use but what you
do with it that matters and what Principia have mostly been doing
with 7020 aluminium is called the 'Ellipse Project.'
Ellipse Project is Principia's way of strengthening
and stiffening the head tube and bottom bracket by using the elliptical
shapes that provide the name, but also by tapering the head tube
and steerer so that the top of the steerer is 28.6mm (1 1/8in) and
the bottom is 31.8mm (1 1/4in). This makes for a stiffer steerer
in the all-carbon Isaac fork and allows use of a larger bottom bearing
in the Principia custom headset.
EDS-fakta uses two of Principia's frames, the REXe
Pro and the RS6e. Given his propensity for going up hills fast,
it's no surprise that Scott Sunderland uses the lighter of the two,
the RS6e shown here. Principia claim there's only 60g between them,
but when you're heading for Graz
over the Gaberl and the Wenisbuchplatte, every gram helps. And
sheer guts doesn't hurt either.
One factor in the team's choice of Principia as a
bike sponsor was the exclusiveness of the deal. As the team's Mikael
Kyneb puts it, "These bikes are incredible, a fantastic bike.
They are very stiff and comfortable. BUT also we are the only Pro
Team sponsored by Principia this year - and that had also an influence
for us. We know whenever there could be any problems they will be
there 100 percent for us."
A few team members are riding standard production
bikes, but most are on custom-made frames.
EDS-fakta's bikes are hung with a combination of Shimano
and Ritchey components. From Osaka, comes the gears and brakes while
Ritchey who I'm going to have to stop thinking of as
a mountain bike company if I see much more of its stuff on pro bikes
comes in with bar, stem, spokes, tyres, skewers, rims and
Those Ritchey wheel components are used in EDS-fakta's
'conventional' wheels and the team also has sponsorship from French
hoop giants Mavic, who provides the almost-ubiquitous Ksyrium wheels.
Rounding out the spec, EDS-fakta riders use a variety
of saddles from the Selle Italia quiver, and push round Time Equipe
A couple more close-ups