Tom Leaper's Navigators Colnago CT-1

Photo ©: Brad Glazier

A splash of colour

By John Stevenson

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Photo: © Brad Glazier

"Our trailer has a lot more color in it this year," says Navigators mechanic Mike Spilker of the team's 2002 bikes. Last year the American team ran unpainted Litespeed titanium frames. This year they're on the same metal from another ultra-quality marque, Colnago, but this time the bikes are painted.

In terms of prepping the bikes for the team it's meant one small change in routine for Mike and the team's other mechanic. "It has been a change for us, the mechanics, to have to face the bikes and tap the bottom brackets. Kevin and I both worked with titanium bikes last year without paint, so facing was not necessary. But the small amount of prep work has gone well."

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Campagnolo goodness
Photo: © Brad Glazierr

Another change for Mike (insert your own lame 'and the mechanics' gag here) has been switching component manufacturers. "Campagnolo has been a dream for us to build up the bikes with. There was a bit of a learning curve at the start. But now we have the right tools and everything is going really smoothly. I guess this is kind of boring to hear, but that's a good thing from a mechanic's view point. The less work we do the more fishing I can do!"

Surprisingly, given that a welded frame can easily be customised, the Navigators ride standard production frames that "any consumer can own". However, as well as the luscious standard paint finish, Colnago lays down custom paint jobs for a couple of the team. "We have a couple of custom paint jobs for guys that are really cool. Mark Walters, the Canadian champion, has a red and white bike. Kirk [O'Bee], American crit champion, has a stars and stripes bike on the way." We assume Mike means the paint jobs are really cool, and isn't singling out two of the team for 'really cool' status...

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Speedplay pedals
Photo: © Brad Glazier

For most of the bikes' other components, Navigators has stayed with the same sponsors as last year. Speedplay still supplies pedals, while other contact points come from Stella Azzurra (bars, stems and tape) and Fi:zi'k (saddles), as was the case in 2001. Also as last year, those saddles sit on Thomson seatposts.

One significant change is that the team now uses Campagnolo wheels, matching the rest of the bikes' running gear.

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Photo: © Brad Glazier

The team drinks from bottles and cages that are supplied by someone other than the company everyone else seems to use. Randall Marketing makes a wide range of custom bottles for a variety of companies.

Mike says there's nothing unusual about any of the team riders' tastes and preferences in equipment and set-up. However, from the top pic you can see that Tom Leaper is not exactly small. The tall Aussie, who joined the team this year, runs a 62cm frame and 180mm cranks. "No one else comes close to his crank size," says Mike.

Full specification

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Frame: Colnago CT-1 titanium with carbon rear triangle
Colnago Star carbon
Colour: Blue, white, grey, with yellow accents

Cranks: Campagnolo Record 53/39
Bottom bracket: Campagnolo Record
Chain: Campagnolo Record
Front derailleur: Campagnolo Record
Rear derailleur: Campagnolo Record
Brakes & levers: Campagnolo Record
Rear sprockets: Campagnolo Record 10 speed or 11-23

Wheels: Campagnolo Eurus
Spokes: Campagnolo
Rim: Campagnolo
Skewers: Salsa
Tires: Vittoria

Stem: Stella Azzurra
Bar: Stella Azzurra
Tape: Stella Azzurra
Head set: Campagnolo

Pedals: Speedplay
Seat post: Thomson
Saddle: Fi:zi'k
Cage & bottles: Sole/Randall Marketing

More information: Cyclingnews teams database, Navigators' website, Colnago's website

Rider details

             Frame   Top tube   Crank    Bar        Bar     Stem          
             size    length     length   shape      width   length
Tom Leaper   62cm    58.5cm     180mm    Standard   46cm    120mm