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Pro bikes, April 28, 2006

Ben Jacques-Maynes' Kodakgallery.com/Sierra Nevada Eddy Merckx Premium

Photos ©: James Huang/Cyclingnews

Aluminium strikes back

By James Huang in Georgia

Jacques-Maynes arguably has more mileage on SRAM’s new road componentry
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Jacques-Maynes’ cockpit
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Jacques-Maynes’ crankset
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Many team bikes in the Tour de Georgia peloton
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Mavic’s tried-and-true Cosmic Carbone SL
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Kodakgallery.com/Sierra Nevada team mechanics
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For Tour de Georgia’s final stage
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The Merckx Premium frame’s front end
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Kodakgallery.com/Sierra Nevada Pro Cycling Team front man Ben Jacques-Maynes has evolved into one of more versatile riders on the continental US racing scene and his Merckx Premium is apparently up to the challenge. Jacques-Maynes says it "handles my racing needs with attitude to spare. It likes to be cornered aggressively, climbs well, and sprints like a cheetah." In a virtual snub to the current market trend, there isn't a thread of carbon to be found in the frame itself. Easton's Flare Scandium tubing is used throughout and is paired with a high-modulus carbon fiber fork developed by Merckx in conjunction with Easton.

Jacques-Maynes' race machine is dressed up in a nearly-complete SRAM Force group, which he has actually been testing for the company since the early development days. "Everyone is talking about the DoubleTap shifting system, and rightfully so as it is a revolutionary engineering feat. Don't miss the brakes, either. They haul you down from speed with one finger action and I have been surprised by how well they work in all conditions."

For wheels, Jacques-Maynes chooses to use Mavic's deep-section Cosmic Carbone SL clincher wheelset for all but the "craziest climbs" (such as Brasstown Bald Mountain), saying that they're "super aero, light enough to ride big climbs and definitely fast enough in the sprint." Speaking of sprinting, he foregoes a carbon cockpit for an oversized aluminum Easton EA70 bar and stem which he feels are a bit stiffer when he's pouring on the power.

Jacques-Maynes' lengthy cyclocross heritage shows through a bit in his pedal choice: the Crank Brothers Eggbeater 4ti. "First, they're very light, at 84g each. They're also very durable, as I've come to find out during the cyclocross season, and the shortened spindle gives me a better biomechanical position while also increasing cornering clearance."

The lack of carbon fiber in Jacques-Maynes' race equipment diet clearly doesn't slow him down much, if at all. He had mentioned at an earlier event that he was putting out "only 1400 watts" during some early-season sprint training, and chances are he was laying down substantially more than that down at the Tour de Georgia as he turned in one of the more consistent performances of the race with three 6th place finishes.


For a thumbnail gallery of these images, click here

Images by James Huang/Cyclingnews

Full specification

Frame: Merckx Premium with Easton Flare Scandium tubing
Fork: Merckx High-Modulus carbon fiber
Colour: Team Kodakgallery.com/Sierra Nevada Pro Cycling

Critical measurements

Rider's height: 185cm/ 6ft 1in
Rider's weight: 73kg/ 160lbs
C of BB to C of seat tube: 515mm
C of BB to T of seat tube: 553mm
C of BB to T of seat: 793mm
Top tube length: 570mm (effective C-C)
Tip of saddle nose to C of bars: 572mm
C of front wheel to top of bars: 592mm

Cranks: Prototype Truvativ HMC, 175mm, 39/53
Chain: Shimano Dura-Ace
Sprockets: Shimano Ultegra CS-6600, 11-23
Pedals: Crank Brothers Egg Beater 4ti
Front derailleur: SRAM Force
Rear derailleur: SRAM Force



Brakes: SRAM Force
Levers: SRAM Force

Wheels: Mavic Cosmic Carbone SL clincher
Tyres: Michelin Pro2 Race, 700x23

Bar: Easton EA70, 44cm (c-c)
Stem: Easton EA70, 120mm (c-c)
Headset: FSA Integrated

Seat post: Easton EC90 Zero
Saddle: Fi'zi:k Aliante

Bottle cages: Specialized Rib Cage
Cycle computer: Custom Cateye Micro Wireless

Total bike weight: 7.89kg/ 17.4lbs