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Pro bikes, February 20, 2007

Ivan Stevic's Fuji Toyota United Team Issue

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Photo ©: Steve Medcroft/Cyclingnews.com
The team uses Michelin tires.
Photo ©: Steve Medcroft
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The cockpit on Ivan Stevic's race machine.
Photo ©: Steve Medcroft
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Riders choose their own saddles;
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The bottom bracket area of the Fuji Team Issue.
Photo ©: Steve Medcroft
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By Steve Medcroft

In an innovative way to raise money last year, the successful domestic Continental team Toyota - United chose to forego a conventional bike sponsorship in favor of creating its own United bicycle brand developed in cooperation with Easton . However, sales of the bikes through the team's web site weren't what team owner Sean Tucker thought they could be. Therefore, Tucker abandoned his unconventional approach for 2007 and brought in well-established Fuji Bicycles to outfit the team with bikes for the new season, which the riders received when they gathered in Thousand Oaks, California this past January. "We really needed distribution," he said. "It was something we lacked last year. Fuji has dealers all over the world."

Head mechanic Shane Fedon says that the United Team Issue Fuji uses Fuji's Carbon C7 frame and is equipped with a unique Shimano and Bontrager build specification that differs from Fuji's standard Team Issue. "The Team Issue is our mainstay frame," Fedon said as he prepped Ivan Stevic's bike for a long training ride in Thousand Oaks. "We also have the SL-1; a lighter frame we use specifically for our climbers."

The bikes come equipped with full Shimano drivetrains, including pedals (riders also wear Shimano shoes). "We run all Bontrager wheels, including the deep dish (Aeolus) 5.0 for the race bikes," Fedon said. Toyota - United's choice of race wheels is also not just limited to the tubular version - the team is also committed to putting the 5.0 clincher into general racing use. "(The clincher) is a new wheel for us. Generally, in the history of racing, you want to be on a tubular. But the clincher technology is advancing so far that Bontrager asked us to give it a fair shot and we're running fifty percent clinchers and fifty percent tubulars on the same exact wheel to let the guys see that the clinchers are just as good."

Training and racing wheels alike are wrapped in Michelin rubber and Fedon says many of the guys run SRM power meters on their training bikes. "We're not sponsored by SRM, though," he adds, "The riders provide their own equipment." The same goes for saddles: "We didn't want the guys to be locked down to one saddle so as long as it's white (to match the team bike look), they can choose whatever saddle they want." Looking over the team truck, it seemed that most riders were quite comfortable on either a fi'z:ik or Selle Italia saddle.

As for custom touches on his bikes, Fedon says Stevic takes the stock setup. "He's not too fussy. So long as we make it ride perfect for him."


For a thumbnail gallery of these images, click here

Images by Steve Medcroft/Cyclingnews

Full specification

Frame: Fuji High Modulus C7 Carbon w/12K Custom Weave Carbon Strands and shaped ride tuned Energy Transfer Chainstay
Fork: FC-440 Fuji Carbon Monocoque
Available sizes: 49cm, 52cm, 54cm, 56cm, 58cm, 61cm

Critical measurements
Rider's height: 1.70m (5'7") ; Weight: 70kg (154lbs)
Seat tube length, c-c: 500mm
Seat tube length, c-t: 540mm
Saddle height, from BB (c-t): 710mm
Tip of saddle nose to C of bars: 552mm
C of front wheel to top of bars: 510mm
Top tube length: 544.6mm (virtual)

Cranks: Shimano Dura-Ace FC-7800, 39/53T
Chain: Shimano Dura-Ace CN-7801
Front derailleur: Shimano Dura-Ace FD-7800
Rear derailleur: Shimano Dura-Ace RD-7800-SS
Brakes: Shimano Dura-Ace BR-7800
Levers: Shimano Dura-Ace STI Dual Control ST-7800
Rear sprockets: Shimano Dura-Ace CS-7800, 11-23T


Tyres: Michelin Pro2 Race, 700x23c
Wheels: Bontrager Aeolus 5.0 tubular race wheels

Headset: Cane Creek IS-2

Pedals: Shimano Dura-Ace SPD-SL PD-7810
Seat post: Bontrager Race X Lite
Saddle: fi'zi:k Arione

Total bike weight: 7.63kg (16.71lb)