Team Saxo Bank, formerly known as Team CSC, is one of the most successful professional road teams in recent history. In 2008 alone, riders won the Tour de France, Milan-San Remo, and time trials in California and the Beijing Olympics, all very equipment-reliant events. After several years, Cervélo has been replaced by Specialized as the team's bike supplier, and Specialized is also replacing their trustworthy Sidi shoes. How do the marquee riders Frank and Andy Schleck, Fabian Cancellara and Jens Voigt make the leap?
The team, lead by 1996 Tour de France winner Bjarne Riis, is in Majorca, Spain for a team camp, and Dr. Andy Pruitt, consulting designer of Specialized Body Geometry and its resident fit expert, is holding fittting sessions with Saxo Bank riders to determine their optimal fit on the Specialized S-Works Tarmac SL2 and Roubaix SL2 road bike, and Transition time trial machine. Pruitt and some Specialized product managers are also spending ample time dialing in the new shoes, an often-overlooked but important contact point akin to handlebars and saddle.
Saxo Bank's Frank Schleck finishing his BG F.I.T. session in Majorca, Spain
Specialized, based in Morgan Hill, California, holds its Specialized Bicycle Components University in-house, having recently expanding its facility. I graduated from its three-day BG F.I.T. class in April 2007, and despite knowing all there is about proper fit, learned several things about feet types, leg types, small tweaks and saddle positioning. I was mostly interested in finding my optimal position so I could apply my personal data to all the bikes I test throughout a given year. I've transferred the information to other brands of bikes, shoes and saddles, and have been impressed.
In the case of Saxo Bank riders, we're curious if such a dramatic change in equipment will adversely affect the success of Saxo Bank in 2009? The riders certainly aren't wanting anything major to change, nor does Riis, a stickler for detail. Here's a video from Majorca: