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5x BOTW: The Bikes of Fr2012

This edition of the Bike of the Week feature details not one, but five bikes, making it the first 5x BOTW, FWIW.  The bikes in question were all part of Fr2012, an NYC Velo Tours-sponsored weeklong attack on the Southern French Alps.

Ian’s bike is the carbon fiber Opal, from the venerable Spanish marque Orbea, which came his way when he was part of the CRCA Junior Racing Program (a program that he helped to re-launch).  He’s now had the bike for a number of years, and it served him well as the French tarmac headed skyward.  Ian’s Orbea is outfitted with a mix of Shimano Ultegra 6600 and Dura Ace 7700 parts, not the latest-and-greatest, but more than up to the task, even the bike-racer-friendly 130mm stem and flo-purple Knog light (and Helen’s Cycles water bottles).

Jack’s bike is a Cervelo R3, a white carbon beauty that, when paired with the latest Shimano Ultegra 6700 gear, helped him set the pace as the Fr2012 crew tackled the nearly 75,000 vertical feet of ascension over the 6 day trip.  Jack’s brand-appropriate (ahem, Ian) water bottles did not slow down his Strava-insprired attack on the Alpe d’Huez, nor his sunset lead-out on the Galibier.  Not surprisingly, the Easton EC90 Equipe carbon handlebars and Cane Creek Crosstop levers aided finish-line one-hande-wheelie victory salutes.

Troy’s custom titanium Eriksen cyclocross bike may seem like a fish out of water on a predominately paved bike trip, but its S&S Machine Co coupler system allows him to pack it neatly into a suitcase (and avoid the increasingly nasty airline bike-handling fees).  Troy swapped the stock knobby tires for 23mm slicks on his White Industries-hubbed custom wheels, but kept the rest of the bike cyclocross-ready, including a Campy groupset and TRP cantilever brakes.  Troy’s Eriksen also sports a rarely-seen Syncros Revolution crankset.  Made of tubular steel, yet still lightweight and ultra-strong, these cranks were rare when they were available new 15 years ago, and almost never seen today.

Ian’s custom steel Independent Fabrication Crown Jewel road machine also uses S&S Couplers to facilitate air travel.  Ian’s Somerville, Mass-made Indy Fab is painted in a champaign-like hue, suggesting a titanium composition to the casual observer, remaining understated, like the rider himself.  His bike is set up with Shimano’s Dura Ace 7800 group and a pair of hand-laced wheels, perfect options for a week’s worth of Euro-riding.

Andrew’s Independent Fabrication Ti Crown Jewel rounds out the group’s equipment. The Ti CJ is, like Troy and Ian’s bikes, outfitted with S&S couplers, to many the best option for setting up a travel bike.  Andrew’s bike uses 2010 model year SRAM Red parts and a set of NYC Velo’s signature wheels (custom Industry 9 20/24-hole hubs, Sapim CX-Ray spokes, Stan’s Notubes Alpha 340 rims, and Hutchinson Atom 700x23mm tubeless tires).  The bike also utilized Chris King’s (the Pride of Portland) headset and bottom bracket, as well as Ritchey WCS handlebars, stem, and seatpost and a Fizik Antares saddle.  Weighing in at around 16 pounds, it proved to be a fitting piece of equipment for a weeklong ride in cycling’s Promised Land.