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Pro bikes, April 26, 2006

Antonio Cruz's United Team Issue

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Photos ©: James Huang/Cyclingnews

Can't find a bike sponsor? Make your own

By James Huang in Georgia

Carbon-rimmed Easton Tempest II rims
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Cruz’s race bike
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Arundel Bicycle Company
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Component sponsor Easton
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Each rider on the team
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Many riders strive for a narrower Q-factor
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The integrated head tube
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The Easton CNT carbon rear end
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The Toyota-United Pro Cycling Team is special in that a wholly new bicycle brand was created from scratch in order to act as the bike sponsor for the team. Team director Harm Jansen openly admits that creating an entirely new brand of bicycle was "a lot of work", but it was a decision that was born out of necessity. According to Jansen, "it was hard for the organization to find a good sponsorship. Part of the idea behind starting our own brand was also to help further develop name recognition for the team," so it's easier to market the United bikes. Eventually, we'd like to earn a small piece of market share as we're also trying to sell these bikes on the web to help generate revenue for the team."

Regardless of the hardships involved for team management, the team riders certainly benefit as each of them receives two fully custom-built frames to use for racing and training. Antonio Cruz, a former USPRO criterium champion and ex-team-mate of Lance Armstrong's is one of the beneficiaries, and we took a look at his bike just before the final stage of the Tour de Georgia on Sunday.

Cruz's frame uses an Easton Scandium main triangle mated to an Easton CNT-enhanced carbon fiber rear end for comfort, but they're "full-on racing machines and we're very happy with the way the bikes perform," Cruz told Cyclingnews. Cruz's Argentinean Toyota-United teammate, Juan Jose "JJ" Haedo, is also apparently quite satisfied with his custom machine as he fired off the sprint win in today's final Tour de Georgia stage in Alpharetta.

Toyota-United is still working on a few aesthetic details on their purpose-built rigs, but plans on offering team replica bikes to consumers through its web site as a means of generating additional revenue for the team . Although each of the team rider's main bikes are fully custom, the spares use "stock" sizes and publicly offered versions will share the identical geometry and parts kits.


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Images by James Huang/Cyclingnews.com

  • The team bikes for the Toyota-United Pro Cycling Team were not just custom-made for each rider; the bike company itself was created expressly for the purpose of becoming the bicycle sponsor.
  • Cruz’s race bike uses a standard issue Dura-Ace 10spd drivetrain, including crankset, chain, derailleurs, and cassette. Like many in the peloton, Cruz ran a 12-27 out back for the Brasstown Bald Mountain stage, but otherwise normally runs an 11-23.
  • Carbon-rimmed Easton Tempest II rims and Vittoria Corsa Evo tubulars fill out the rolling stock for Cruz and the rest of the Toyota-United team.
  • Component sponsor Easton is also tapped for the cockpit, which includes an EC90 Equipe Pro carbon fiber bar. Cruz apparently needed a different stem at the last minute as he was spotted here at TdG with a Bontrager Race X Lite model with the logos covered in electrical tape.
  • Arundel Bicycle Company is a small player in the bicycle world, but their Trident carbon fiber bottle cages are good enough for Cruz.
  • Many riders strive for a narrower Q-factor on their bikes, but Cruz actually runs a 3mm pedal washer behind each of his Dura-Ace pedals to widen his stance.
  • Each rider on the team is likely very thankful that they are able to choose their own saddles. In Cruz’s case, a Selle Italia Flite Trans Am Gel Flow does the trick.
  • The Easton CNT carbon rear end is joined to the aluminum front end via a large “Monobox”-style connection down by the bottom bracket.
  • The integrated head tube on the Toyota-United team bikes offer a clean look and allow for greater separation between the top tube and down tube for increase front end strength.
  • The man and his machine - ready for work before the last stage of the Tour de Georgia.

Full specification

Frame: United Bicycle Easton Scandium main triangle with Easton CNT carbon stays
Fork: Easton EC90SL
Colour: Team Toyota-United Pro Cycling

Critical measurements
Rider's height: 175cm/ 5'9"
Rider's weight: 66kg/ 145lbs
C of BB to C of seat tube: 460mm
C of BB to T of seat tube: 520mm
C of BB to T of seat: 730mm
Top tube length: 56.5mm (virtual C-C)
Tip of saddle nose to C of bars: 530mm
C of front wheel to top of bars: 525mm

Cranks: Shimano Dura-Ace FC-7800, 172.5mm, 39/53
Chain: Shimano Dura-Ace
Front derailleur: Shimano Dura-Ace FD-7800
Rear derailleur: Shimano Dura-Ace RD-7800
Brakes: Shimano Dura-Ace BR-7800
Levers: Shimano Dura-Ace ST-7800
Rear sprockets: Shimano Dura-Ace CS-7800, 11-23


Wheels: Easton Tempest II Carbon tubular
Tyres: Vittoria Corsa Evo CX 21mm

Bar: Easton EC90 Equipe Pro, 42cm (c-c)
Stem: Bontrager Race X Lite (w/ logos covered), 110mm (c-c)
Headset: Cane Creek IS-2 Integrated

Pedals: Shimano Dura-Ace PD-7800
Seat post: Easton EC90 Zero
Saddle: Selle Italia Flite Trans Am Gel Flow
Bottle cages: Arundel Trident carbon
Cycle computer: Cateye Micro Wireless

Total bike weight: 7.53kg/ 16.6lbs