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Pro bikes, March 23, 2009

Matt Wilson's Team Type 1 Orbea Ordu

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Photo ©: James Huang

Stealth fighter

By James Huang

Team Type 1 rider Matt Wilson's Orbea Ordu is certainly one of the more distinctive time trial rigs on the circuit, eschewing smooth fluid curves for harder creases and sharper edges that are more reminiscent of a certain warbird than most other aero bikes.

The aggressive lines start right up front with the Ordu's unique head tube treatment, which supposedly reduces drag while still offering the front-end rigidity and steering precision of a traditional 1 1/8" steerer. The hourglass profile transitions to an airflow profile in the midsection while the upper and lower portions smoothly blend into the top tube and down tube.

The down tube's teardrop profile and the nominally level top tube's triangular cross-section are fairly conventional but the seat tube diamond shape is anything but. Orbea claim the four-sided shape offers a better combination of drag and frontal area than a typical airfoil - perhaps, but it looks keen either way.

A deep rear wheel cutout extends from the seat stays to down below the bottom bracket shell and the diamond profile up top is carried straight through to the seatpost and matching low-profile collar. The compact seat stays and raised chain stays slightly reduce frontal area, too.

Claimed weight for the frame, fork and headset is an impressive 2020g (51cm).

Shimano provides Wilson and his teammates with a diverse range of equipment including the component group, wheels, pedals, and handlebar and stem. Like many teams, though, time trial bikes are fitted with a second-tier package - in this case Shimano's Ultegra SL - to save a bit of money while still retaining most of the performance of the top group.

In addition, Wilson's bike is fitted with a PRO Vibe 7s Hushovd signature-edition stem plus a carbon fiber PRO Missile semi-integrated aero bar complete with a flat base bar and straight extensions whose length is adjusted via a handy collet system.

More Shimano labels are found up front with the Dura-Ace WH-7850-C50-TU carbon tubular wheel but matched out back is an unlabeled Zipp 900 disc. Both are wrapped with 22mm-wide Continental Sprinter tubulars.

Total bike weight is a race-ready 8.13kg (17.9lb).

Team Type 1 founders - and team members - Phil Southerland and Joe Eldridge have certainly established lofty ambitions for the years ahead. Both were diagnosed with Type 1 diabetes early on in life - Southerland at seven months old and Eldridge at ten years old - yet hope to "show the world that people with Type 1 diabetes not only can manage their condition and excel physically, but they can also achieve their goals, dreams, and potential."

Among those goals, dreams, and potential is an invitation to the 2012 Tour de France.

Wilson himself may not be diabetic but he has suffered his own physical hardships having been diagnosed with Hodgkin's disease back in 1999 while a member of the Australian national team. Wilson thankfully not only recovered but went on to claim the Australian national road title in 2004.

Race results are still high on the team's priority list but Team Type 1 obviously has a bigger message to send. Even if the team doesn't meet its TdF goals, we might argue that Team Type 1 has already proven plenty.


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Images by James Huang/Cyclingnews.com

Full specification

Frame: Orbea Ordu, 54cm
Fork: Orbea Ordu

Critical measurements
Rider's height: 1.83m (6' 0") ; Weight: 72.3kg (160lb)
Seat tube length, c-c: 540mm
Seat tube length, c-t: 583mm
Saddle height, from BB (c-t): 783mm
Tip of saddle nose to C of bars (next to stem): 595mm
C of front wheel to top of bars (next to stem): 525mm
Top tube length: 549mm
Head tube length: 104mm

Front brake: Shimano Ultegra SL BR-6600-G
Rear brake: Shimano Ultegra SL BR-6600-G
Brake levers: Shimano Dura-Ace BL-TT78
Front derailleur: Shimano Ultegra SL FD-6600-GF
Rear derailleur: Shimano Ultegra SL RD-6600G-SS
Shift levers: Shimano Dura-Ace SL-BS78
Cassette: Shimano Dura-Ace CS-7800, 11-23T
Chain: Shimano Dura-Ace CN-7900
Crankset: Shimano Ultegra SL FC-6600-G, 175mm, 54/44T
Bottom bracket: Shimano Ultegra SL SM-FC6601

Front wheel: Shimano Dura-Ace WH-7850-C50-TU
Rear wheel: Zipp 900 tubular
Front tyre: Continental Sprinter tubular, 22mm
Rear tyre: Continental Sprinter tubular, 22mm

Bars: PRO Missile Flat Carbon TT w/ straight extensions, 42cm (c-c)
Stem: PRO Vibe 7s Hushovd Pro Series, 120mm x -6º
Headset: FSA integrated
Tape/grip: PRO

Pedals: Shimano Ultegra SL SPD-SL PD-6620-G
Seat post: Orbea Ordu
Saddle: Selle Italia SLR T1
Bottle cages: Arundel Dave-O
Computer: n/a

Total bike weight: 8.13kg (17.9lb)