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Pro bikes, January 14, 2008

Ben Jacques-Maynes' Bissell Pro Cycling Team Pinarello Montello FM1

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Photo ©: James Huang

Lighter and faster

By James Huang

An upgrade to Torayca 50HM1K fiber
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We don't know exactly what Pinarello's 'Airflow System' is
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SRAM's TT shifters grace the front end.
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The rear brake looks surprisingly wide
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No titanium spindles to be found here.
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Jacques-Maynes tests his position
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With seven NRC wins and a third place finish in the Tour of California prologue in 2007, seven-year professional Ben Jacques-Maynes is one of the best known racers on the US domestic road circuit and carries on into the 2008 season with the Bissell Pro Cycling Team. The team's title sponsor is perhaps equally well known for its line of vacuum cleaners, but it also boasts a strong history of pro cycling sponsorship as well. As part of the "company's commitment to healthy living both inside and outside the home," Bissell was previously a supporter of the now defunct Discovery Channel team. In addition, Bissell President and CEO Mark Bissell is even a member of the Board of Directors at the USA Cycling Development Foundation.

In light of the seemingly tenuous nature of corporate sponsorship these days, the Bissell team enjoys a increasingly rare sense of stability. "In ink, we have the next three years," said Team Manager Mark Olson. "But the reality is Mark [Bissell] is very committed. He's very passionate about the sport and he's put a lot into the sport, not just in our program but throughout US cycling. As long as we're doing a good job and we're delivering a high quality program I think he'll be there as long as we want to do this. So we're very stable financially, and the same with Bob Hughes of Advantage Benefits. He's been there the whole time and is committed for the long term."

Jacques-Maynes continues again as team leader but new additions to the team will lend extra support. "We've added quite a bit of talent going into next season. We definitely added some depth," continued Olson, who co-manages the team with his wife, Cheryl.

Considering that the '08 race calendar will consist almost exclusively of US domestic events, the team is extraordinarily well supported. Key equipment sponsors include Pinarello, SRAM, Easton, Speedplay, Giordana, DMT, Bell, and fi'zi:k among others. "It's crazy," said Olson. "That took a lot of hard work behind the scenes and I think a lot of it has to do with that fact that we've always stuck to our guns to have a really high quality, high caliber roster. We've always stuck with that no matter what. We've had chances with other riders but we've always went back to the roots and I think, over time, that's delivering some value back to the sponsors. It's not just about winning races. Obviously, that definitely helps, but having high quality people represent your products and things, that's what really has really paid off in the end."

Jacques-Maynes will compete aboard a pair of brand-new top-end Pinarello machines this year: the all-new Prince Carbon for road events and the updated Montello FP1 for time trials. The Montello FM1 uses the same molds as the previous generation Montello FP8 so it shares its already curvaceous form. An upgrade to Torayca 50HM1K carbon fiber, however, has reportedly not only shed nearly 200g but also improved the ride quality and overall performance. Claimed frame weight is approximately 1150g.

Wind-cheating features include the usual deeply profiled tubing, a smooth transition from the back of the fork crown to the slightly dropped down tube, and a heavily shielded rear wheel. A conventional aero-profiled seatpost offers the convenient adjustability of a non-integrated design, while the cleverly designed seatpost clamp maintains the frame's slippery profile.

Jacques-Maynes' machine was well outfitted when we caught up with him during a wind tunnel session at Colorado Premier Training in Fort Collins, Colorado. Key bits include SRAM RED derailleurs and brake calipers, SRAM's TT shifters and brake levers, and Easton's integrated carbon fiber Attack TT handlebar. However, the California resident had taken delivery of his new Pinarello just hours before and proper race wheels weren't on hand just yet. Even with a temporary track-specific Easton EC90 TKO Carbon front wheel and relatively heavy clincher-compatible disc wheel, total weight was still a reasonable 8.4kg (18.5lb). His actual race wheels will include an Easton EC90 Aero front wheel and Zipp rear disc, though, bringing that figure down as much as 700g or more. According to Jacques-Maynes, that Zipp rear wheel will be swapped to an Easton version once that model's development is completed, and he'll also fit his preferred Rotor Q-Rings when he gets back home.

Olson is decidedly focused on the team's goals for the upcoming season, which kicks off in just a few weeks' time at the Tour of California. "Our main goal for next year is pretty simple; we want to win races," he said. "If the NRC is looking good for one or two of the guys or the team NRC is looking good, or likewise for the USPRO tour, then we might switch our focus a little more to going after an overall title like that. But right out of the gate, with the talent that we have and the infrastructure we have in place now, we want to go out and deliver to our sponsors with race wins."


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Images by James Huang/Cyclingnews.com

Full specification

Frame: Pinarello Montello FM1, Torayca 50HM1K monocoque, 53cm
Fork: Pinarello FP8, Torayca 50HM1K

Critical measurements
Rider's height: 1.85m (6'1") ; Weight: 74.8kg (165lb)
Seat tube length, c-c: 482mm
Seat tube length, c-t: 530mm
Top tube length: 545mm
Saddle height, from BB (c-t): 797mm
Saddle nose tip to C of bars: 583mm
C of front hub to top of bars: 523mm

Bottom bracket: SRAM GXP BlackBox
SRAM Rival OCT, 53/39T, 180mm
Chain: SRAM PC1050
Front derailleur: SRAM RED
Rear derailleur: SRAM RED
Brakes: SRAM RED
Levers: SRAM TT
Rear sprockets: TBD


Front wheel: Easton EC90 TKO
Rear wheel: HED disc
Front tyre: Gommitalia Espresso tubular
Rear tyre: Continental GP4000 tubular

Bars: Easton Attack, 38cm (c-c)
Stem: Easton EA90, final dimensions TBD
Headset: Pinarello integrated
Tape/grip: TBD

Pedals: Speedplay Zero Stainless
Seat post: Pinarello carbon
Saddle: Pinarello MOST XLR XP

Total bike weight: 8.4kg (18.5lb) (with temporary wheelset)