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Pro bike: April 7, 2005

Suzy Peters' Velo Bella Orbea Dama Race

Photos ©: Russ Wright/Abbiorca.com

Pretty in pink

By John Stevenson

Rare TA cranks
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It gleams!
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Fizik Aliante saddle
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Crank Bros pedals
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A front view
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Zero Gravity brakes
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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 in answer to the question "Who are we", team head honchess Sabine Dukes writes on the team website: "Recently a team manager from a professional women’s cycling team called Velo Bella, 'the most professionally run, high quality racing organization he's ever seen here in the US.' Well, that shocked us because we really don’t know what the hell we’re doing."

One thing the team is doing lately is getting right into the thick of Californian racing. A vast throng of Velo Bellas turned out for the season-opening McLane Pacific a couple of weeks ago, among them Cat 2 rider Suzy Peters, one of the many Velo Bellas who cross over between road and mountain bike racing during the season.

Velo Bella rides Orbea's women-specific Dama Race model, with Columbus Altec aluminium tubing and Zeus carbon fiber stays and forks. Orbea claims a frame weight of 1226g for a 53cm frame, and Peters' complete bike weighs just 15.1lb (6.86kg) thanks to a light frame and some carefully-chosen weight-saving components.

Like many teams outside the rarefied heights of the ProTour, Velo Bella is equipped with components from a wide range of suppliers as the team pulls in sponsorship from all corners for its highly visible pink-clad riders. The transmission of Peters' Orbea Dama race is mostly Campagnolo Record, and most of her team-mates push round Campagnolo Chorus cranks, but along with team-mates Melodie Metzger, and Aimee Vasse, Peters uses 165mm Specialties TA Alize cranks. Specialties TA isn't a name you hear very much of late - the French company's Cyclo-tourist cranks were once very popular with, unsurprisingly, bike tourists - but TA is one of the few companies that makes a wide range of crank lengths, including the 165mm arms Peters prefers.

The cranks turn on a Phil Wood titanium bottom bracket, and Velo Bella riders push them round with Crank Brothers Quattro Pro pedals. The team is currently using the Quattro SL, but will be on the high-zoot Four Ti version as of the Sea Otter Classic later this month.

Stopping duties are taken care of by Campagnolo Record levers pulling the 2005, titanium-hardware version of Zero Gravity's popular lightweight brake calipers, a component spec that no doubt helps keep the overall weight down.

Also helping in the gram-counting department are American Classic's carbon wheels. American Classic claims weights from just 1025g/pair for these custom-made, low-spoke-count, 38mm-rimmed wonders which turn on American Classic's own lightweight hubs. Team members also use American Classic 350 and 420 wheels with aluminium rims. American Classic also supplies the team's bottle cages, and the wheels are shod with Schwalbe tubular tyres.

VeloBella uses fizik saddles and riders have a choice of the Aliante, Arione, or Vitesse kodels. Peters goes for an Aliante, which sits on a Easton EC70 Composite seatpost.

Up front, Easton also provides the team's directional control, with EC90 Equipe Pro Bend handlebars and EA70 stems. Mounted on the bar is a Ciclosport HAC4+ computer.

A host of other equipment suppliers also helps to keep Velo Bella on the road, including Sidi, with Genius 5 Women’s shoes; Catlike-USA helmets; Hincapie Sports clothing; Zeal Sports eyewear; Tumbuk2 luggage; GU Sports nutrition and performance testing by the UC Davis Medical Group.


For a thumbnail gallery of these images, click here

Images by Russ Wright/www.AbbiOrca.com

Full specification

Frame: 2005 Orbea Dama Race
Fork: Zeus (by Orbea) FCM full carbon
Color: Linea Pink
Total Bike Weight: 15.1 lbs

Cranks: Specialties TA Alize 165mm, 53/38
Bottom Bracket: Phil Wood Premium Ti with Alloy cups.
Chain: Wipperman 1008
Front derailleur: Campagnolo Record
Rear derailleur: Campagnolo Record
Brakes: Zero Gravity OG-05 Ti
Levers: Campagnolo Record
Sprockets: Campagnolo Record 12-25


Wheels: American Classic 38mm Carbon; 16/20 spoke pattern, Sapim CX-Ray Spokes
Tyres: Schwalbe Stelvio Tubular 22mm (or Schwalbe Evolution Clinchers)

Bar: Easton EC90 Equipe, Pro Bend
Stem: Easton EA70
Pedals: Crank Brothers

Seat post: Easton EC70 Composite
Saddle: Fizik Aliante Ti
Computer: Ciclosport HAC4+
Bottle Cages: American Classic