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Pro bikes, March 31, 2009

Daniele Nardello's Fuji SL1

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Photo ©: Mark Gunter

Curtain call for an Italian veteran

By Les Clarke

The Oval Concepts stem fitted to Nardello's machine
Photo ©: Mark Gunter
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Fuji opts for beefy monobox-style chain stays
Photo ©: Mark Gunter
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Aluminium is used for the dropouts,
Photo ©: Mark Gunter
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Nardello's Prologo Scratch Pro TR saddle
Photo ©: Mark Gunter
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Sixteen-year veteran Daniele Nardello (Fuji-Servetto) will cap off his decorated career in the coming days with runs at some of cycling's hardest one-day races: De Panne, Ronde van Vlaanderen and Gent-Wevelgem.

A professional since 1994, Nardello has seen his fair share of bikes built from a variety of materials. He spent most of his career on Colnagos having ridden for various incarnations of the old Mapei team for nine years, then a move to Telekom in 2003 meant a switch to Pinarello. Another switch - this time to Giant - came in 2004 as the squad became T-Mobile and he will now finish things off aboard a Fuji.

Nardello has always been a man for the Classics with a powerful 1.81m and 73kg (5' 11", 161lb) build custom tailored for long, tough days in the saddle. Even so, team sponsor Fuji are confident enough in the strength of their flagship SL-1 to put him on their lightest machine as he attacks the cobbles.

Fuji use a mix of SB60 carbon fibres for stiffness in combination with high-strength M30S fibres for durability, all of which is wrapped in a tightly woven top sheet. Aluminium is reserved solely for the head tube, bottom bracket sleeve and dropouts to yield a claimed weight of just 890g for the frame plus another 350g for the matching all-carbon fork.

Nardello's SRAM Red component group has become an increasingly popular choice in the pro ranks - SRAM-sponsored ProTour teams have now increased to four with the recent addition of Saxo Bank squad - but some other bits are notably more rarely seen.

Each of the stainless steel spokes on his Cole Products Shuriken Carbon Lite T-50 wheels attach at the hub via a cylindrical aluminium barrel that is free to rotate slightly under stress. Cole claim this makes for improved wheel durability by reducing off-axis forces and also allows for higher spoke tensions.

Connected at either end are otherwise fairly conventional alloy hubs with cartridge bearings and 50mm-deep carbon rims wrapped in Hutchinson rubber.

Likewise, Fuji-Servetto marks the first time we've seen Xpedo pedals at this level of the sport. Nardello uses the top-end Thrust model, fitted with a magnesium body, two bearings and two bushings per pedal, and a large platform for firm power delivery.

Rounding out Nardello's build kit are a carbon seatpost and stem and alloy bar from Oval Concepts, a Scratch TR Pro saddle and bar tape from Prologo, and a pair of Elite Custom Carbon cages. Total weight is 7.02kg (15.5lb) in standard road race trim.

Nardello may be bringing a close to his career as a racer but he won't be heading into the sunset just yet. After next Wednesday's Gent-Wevelgem, Nardello will transition to another role with Fuji-Servetto as directeur sportif.

So while fans may no longer get to see Nardello race his Fuji SL-1 in the heat of competition, locals may see him aboard it yet on less stressful sojourns - and hopefully with a smile on his face.


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Images by Fuji Bicycles

Images by Mark Gunter/www.pbase.com/gunterphotograph

Full specification

Frame: Fuji SL C10 Superlite carbon, size M/L
Fork: Fuji FC 330 carbon

Critical measurements
Rider's height: 1.81m (5'11") ; Weight: 73kg (161lb)
Seat tube length, c-c: 490 mm
Seat tube length, c-t: 518 mm
Saddle height, from BB (c-t): 744 mm
Tip of saddle nose to C of bars (next to stem): 595 mm
C of front wheel to top of bars (next to stem): 598 mm
Top tube length: 555mm (horizontal)

Front brake: SRAM Red
Rear brake: SRAM Red
Brake levers: SRAM Red DoubleTap
Front derailleur: SRAM Red
Rear derailleur: SRAM Red
Shift levers: SRAM Red DoubleTap
Cassette: SRAM OG-1090, 11-21T
Chain: SRAM PC-1090
Crankset: SRAM Red, 172.5mm, 53/39T
Bottom bracket: SRAM Red GXP

Wheelset: Cole Products Shuriken Carbon Lite T-50
Front tyre: Hutchinson tubular, 22mm
Rear tyre: Hutchinson tubular, 22mm

Bars: Oval Concepts R700 Ergo road 26.0mm, 42cm (c-c)
Stem: Oval Concepts R900 Carbon RBT 26.0mm, 140mm x -6º
Headset: Cane Creek integrated
Tape/grip: Prologo

Pedals: Xpedo Thrust
Seat post: Oval Concepts R900 Carbon TBT
Saddle: Prologo Scratch Pro TR
Bottle cages: Elite Custom Carbon
Computer: n/a
Other accessories: n/a

Total bike weight: 7.02kg (15.5lb)