Lighter and faster
By James Huang
An upgrade to Torayca 50HM1K
We don't know exactly what
Pinarello's 'Airflow System' is
SRAM's TT shifters grace
the front end.
The rear brake looks surprisingly
No titanium spindles to
be found here.
Jacques-Maynes tests his
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
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
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
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."
For a thumbnail gallery of these images, click here
Ben Jacques-Maynes will ride a new Pinarello Montello FM1
during this year's time trials.
An upgrade to Torayca 50HM1K fiber
reported drops nearly 200g from last year's Montello FP8.
We don't know exactly what Pinarello's 'Airflow System' is
but it's probably not slow.
The new Pinarello Montello FM1 strikes the same profile
as last year's model, although that's anything but a bad thing.
The carbon fork includes a extended crown
to ease the airflow to the down tube.
Naturally, cables are internally routed.
The seat tube closely follows the arc
of the rear wheel.
A conventional telescoping seatpost
makes for easy adjustments.
Where do the pieces start and begin?
From this angle, everything looks like one smooth, cohesive piece of equipment, which is exactly how Pinarello hopes the air sees it, too.
A clever seat clamp design
maintains the frame's sleek lines.
There's lots of carbon fiber here as usual
, but in this case it's more for aerodynamics than stiffness.
The Easton Attack TT integrated aerobar
is claimed to weigh just 350g.
Yikes, how much handlebar drop
does Ben Jacques-Maynes run?
This rat's nest will be cleaned up by the time
the Tour of California comes around. As it turns out, cable housing is extraordinarily detrimental to aerodynamic performance.
SRAM's TT shifters grace the front end.
Jacques-Maynes' bike was fitted
with a track-specific Easton EC90 Carbon TKO front wheel for now, but will eventually be swapped for a lighter and sleeker EC90 Aero.
Jacques-Maynes uses a SRAM Rival OCT crankset
since none of the carbon models are offered in a 180mm length. Rotor Q-Rings will be fitted in the coming weeks.
A SRAM Red front derailleur
is fitted up front… but chances are the chain will reside almost exclusively in the big ring.
The rear brake looks surprisingly wide
compared to the narrow frame.
No titanium spindles to be found here.
Jacques-Maynes tests his position
in the Colorado Premier Training wind tunnel.
Frame: Pinarello Montello FM1, Torayca 50HM1K monocoque, 53cm
Fork: Pinarello FP8, Torayca 50HM1K
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
Cranks: 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
Pedals: Speedplay Zero Stainless
Seat post: Pinarello carbon
Saddle: Pinarello MOST XLR XP
Total bike weight: 8.4kg (18.5lb) (with temporary wheelset)