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2005 Pro Team bike reviews

This year's models

By the Cyclingnews technical team

Welcome to Cyclingnews' 2005 review of the bikes the pros will be riding in this season. During the course of this year, we'll bring you a selection of images and specifications of this year's latest and hottest; in other words, a feast of veritable bike porn!

A winner in waiting
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Ryan Cox's Barloworld-Valsir De Rosa King X Light

As the carbon revolution was gaining ground and interest, the original De Rosa King turned more than a few heads when it was first spotted in the pro peloton. It was mid-2002 when Swiss Tour veteran Laurent Dufaux and a few other members of his Alessio team began testing early prototypes of the 'heart' company's first all-carbon machine, before using the King in that year's Tour de France. Ryan Cox's 2005 De Rosa King X Light is their latest incarnation.

Cadel Evans' Davitamon-Lotto Ridley Damocles
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Cadel Evans' Davitamon-Lotto Ridley Damocles

When Belgian superteam Quick.Step-Davitamon split into Quick.Step and Davitamon-Lotto end the end of 2004, one team stuck with Time's Special Pro carbons, while the other went searching for a new bike sponsor. Davitamon-Lotto manager Hendrik Redant was the one who went looking, and decided to go Belgian with the Ridley Damocles.

Trent Wilson's Colombia-Selle Italia Corratec,
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Trent Wilson's Colombia-Selle Italia Corratec by Mauro Sannino

One may have thought the change of bikes supplier from Italian to German was a strange one, particularly for an Italian registered team like Colombia-Selle Italia, but Trent Wilson's Corratec by Mauro Sannino is in fact built by a famous frame builder from Turin.

Bobby Julich's CSC Cervélo Soloist
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Bobby Julich's CSC Cervélo Soloist

As the final day of Paris-Nice dawned, American CSC rider Bobby Julich looked likely to hang on to the overall lead that he took on stage five - at least if Bjarne Riis' powerful and dedicated team had anything to say about it. The bike that carried Julich to this point is one of the team's fleet of 2005 model Cervélos. But rather than the super-light R2.5 Bayonne or the new R2.5 carbon, Julich has been aboard a Soloist, one of the most affordable frames in the Cervélo range.

 

Michael Barry's Discovery Channel Trek Madone,
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Michael Barry's Discovery Channel Trek Madone

When the Discovery Channel Pro Cycling Team announced their intention to race the Tour de Langkawi last December, many expected 2003 winner Tom Danielson to be wearing the #1 dossard as designated team leader. However, when Cyclingnews rocked up to the riders' hotel in Langkawi on the eve of the race, lucky 21 was in fact Canadian Michael Barry. We take at look at his Trek Madone.

Jittery Joe's-Kalahari team bike
Photo ©: Louis Garneau
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Jittery Joe's Louis Garneau LG 6.2

US domestic team Jittery Joe's is probably the first pro team to be equipped with both bikes and clothing from teh same company: Canada's Louis Garneau. But like most other Continental teams, Jittery Joe's pulls the gear that's hung on its team bikes from a wide range of sources - none of your ProTour team component monoculture here! For more, take a look at Jittery Joe's Louis Garneau LG 6.2.

Gilberto Simoni's 2005 Lampre-Cafitta Cannondale Six13.
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Gilberto Simoni's Lampre-Cafitta Cannondale Six13

It took a keen eye to observe that Gilberto Simoni's Cannondale Six13 was slightly different from the rest. Okay, his Fi'zi:k Arione Carbon was unlike any of his team-mates. Lampre-Cafitta head mechanic Giancarlo Cambiť tells Cyclingnews that the Southern Cross-styled saddle was especially made for his first trip Down Under, but that's not the only difference as we found when we looked closely at Simoni's Six13.

Dream Machine
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Nathan O'Neill's Navigators Insurance Colnago Dream

2005 Australian time trial champion Nathan O'Neill had a dream start to the year, taking his second consecutive national title - his sixth in total - aboard his Colnago Dream TT machine earlier this month. Before his C-50 race bike arrives in Langkawi, we take a look at his Colnago Dream training machine.

Floyd Landis's Phonak BMC SLT01
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Floyd Landis's Phonak BMC SLT01

When the Phonak team regained its place in the ProTour after cleaning house over the winter, there must also have been sighs of relief in Grenchen, Switzerland, home of the team's long-time bike sponsor BMC. The two Swiss entities have been one of the most distinctive partnerships in professional cycling for the last few years, and Phonak's distinctive livery has been as much a part of the peloton's bike fleet as its riders.

 

Wendy Simms Brodie Spark
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Wendy Simms Brodie Spark

Wendy Simms is a top privateer mountain bike racer, making the long treks down from her native Canada to campaign the NORBA cuircuit. Without a full factory ride, Simms has begged, bought and borrowed the components to put together her very idiosyncratic Brodie Spark hardtail.

Sarah Kerlin's Velo Bella Rock Lobster.
Photo ©: Tim Brennan
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Sarah Kerlin's Velo Bella Rock Lobster

One of five American women that took on the might that is European cyclocross at the 2005 'Cross World's in St. Wendel, Germany this January, Velo Bella's Sarah Kerlin took a very respectable top 20 placing and finished as the second-best American rider behind veteran Ann Knapp. The bike she rides on tackles similarly formidable opposition, going up against the Giants and Bianchis of the world.

Sarah Kerlin's Velo Bella Rock Lobster.
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Suzy Peters' Velo Bella Orbea

Californian women's team Velo Bella is one of the less mainstream outfits on the US women's circuit. With a huge roster, its membership runs the full cycling gamut from recreational riders to elite racers and one of its up-and-coming riders is Suzy Peters who, like the rest of the team, rides Orbea's women-specific Dama Race.

Cameron Chamberís Gary Fisher Sugar 292.
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Cameron Chambers' Fisher Sugar and Rig

Cameron Chambersí Rig Two-Niner Singlespeed.
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Gary Fisher introduced its first 29-inch-wheeled mountain bikes in 2002. The concept had just started to gain popularity throughout the industry. Nowadays Fisher, among other manufacturers, is solidly behind two-niners. To help promote its line, Fisher opened up a couple of sponsorship spots just for two-niner riders. In 2005, one of those riders, Cameron Chambers of Great Bend, Kansas, rode his Sugar 292 to victory in the NORBA Solo 24-Hour National Championships earlier this year, proving, at the very least, that 29in wheel bikes are competitive with regular 26in machines..

Chambers has two choices of two-niners when he races. The full-suspension Sugar 292 is his standard bike but for special occasions, or for a course that suits it, he can pull out the pearl purple Rig Two-Niner Singlespeed.

Christine Thorburn's Orbea Dama Race
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Christine Thorburn's Webcor Orbea

You find an astonishingly wide variety of equipment in the women's peloton as sponsors, team managers and mechanics juggle the issues of getting bikes and parts to properly fit smaller and differently-proportioned female bodies, and pull together top-quality gear within the smaller budgets of women's teams.

One squad that's not struggling to get the right bikes for its female riders, however, is Webcor. Bike sponsor Orbea makes two women-specific models, the Mitis Dama and Dama Race, and the latter is the standard issue for Webcor's female racers including 2004 Olympian and US time trial champion Christine Thorburn.

Chris Eatough's 'home' Trek Top Fuel 110.
Photo ©: Steve Medcroft
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Chris Eatough's Trek Top Fuel

After a 6:59:48 finish in the Wilderness 101, a 101-mile endurance race in Central Pennsylvania mountain country, Chris Eatough sat on a foldaway camping chair entering an inventory of all the food and drink he consumed for his training log. After watching him glide over a rocky downhill out on the course and power the final flat three miles of the race, it's easy to understand why Eatough is so successful at endurance racing; he can flat out hammer full-on for more hours than a normal person spends sitting in a cubicle at work.

Propped against a post five feet away from him at the Wilderness 101 finish was the machine that carried him up and down the mountains around State College, PA, (home of Penn State University) that day. The Trek Top Fuel, made with Trek's 110 OCLV carbon fiber frame material, is basically the production model, Eatough says. "This is the stock full-suspension frame with the carbon front and rear triangle and carbon rocker arm."

Amber Nebenís Stevens
Photo ©: Chris Davidson
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Amber Neben's Buitenpoort - Flexpoint Team Stevens Vuelta SL

I first worked with Amber Neben last year when she was a member of the T-Mobile squad based in the US, writes Chris Davidson. She is very particular about her bikes and their fit, as a mechanic it is great to work with her as she is very direct and specific with her feedback. Last year she was aboard a pink carbon Giant, however this year (and for 2006) Amber is riding for the Dutch power house squad Buitenpoort - Flexpoint, directed by former pro Jean-Paul van Poppel. Her new team rides the all aluminum Vuelta SL from the German manufacturer Stevens. I had a chance to scope out her current ride in Park city this summer at US Nationals. She flew into Utah with no team or support, so she rung me for some bike help. As it turned out, the airlines had done some damage in the process.

Barry Wicks' Kona The King
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Barry Wicks' Kona The King

What's tall and fast and orange all over? No, this isn't one of those jokes you find in the Big Book of Gags for Seven Year Olds, but it is a trick question; one that has two answers. Because depending on what race you're watching, the answer could be Ryan Trebon or Barry Wicks, Kona's basketball team-sized pro mountain bike and cyclocross racers.

To understand the choices the tall boys make in their bike setup, we got a closer look at Barry Wicks' Kona 'The King' Scandium-framed full-suspension mountain bike at U.S. Nationals in September.

Judith Arndt's Fuji Team Issue Carbon
Photo ©: Mitch Friedman
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Judith Arndt's Nurnberger Fuji Team Issue

Judith Arndt's achievements are very impressive, a long list of victories in the most important women's races all over the globe. Last year she added the women's elite rainbow stripes to her quiver. For 2005 she hits the road for Equipe Nurnberger aboard the latest carbon offering from her bike sponsor Fuji.

Maureen Bruno-Roy's IF Planet Cross
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Maureen Bruno-Roy's IF Planet Cross

In a special three-part tech series from the 2005 US Cyclocross Nationals, we talked to Maureen Bruno-Roy, who rode her Independent Fabrication Ti Planet Cross into a national championship jersey in the women's 30-34 master's race and third in the women's elite race.

Shannon Skerritt's Vanilla Cross
Photo ©: Robert M. Huff
(Click for larger image) U.S. Master's 35-39 national cyclo-cross champion Shannon Skerritt  and his Vanilla Cross bike. Skerritt says that although the championship jersey (his first) is on his laundry pile right now, it will probably be framed and hung with respect in his home in Portland.

Shannon Skerritt's Vanilla Cross

Next up in our special three-part tech series from the 2005 US Cyclocross Nationals, we take a look at Master's 35-39 national champion Shannon Skerritt's custom-built Vanilla Cross.