The American Slipstream/Chipotle pro cycling team has started to gear up for the 2008 season with new team bikes and colours.
The American theme continues with the team maintaining its partnership with Felt bikes. The international team comprising of ProTour riders Dave Zabriskie (USA), Christian Vande Velde (USA), Tom Danielson (USA), David Millar (GBR), Magnus Backstedt (Swe) and Julian Dean (NZl) will be racing Felt's top of the line production models. This comprises of DA, F1, F1 Sprint and Z1 frame and forks.
All team bikes come equipped with Zipp wheels. Interestingly, and the only departure from the all-American theme, is the running of a Shimano rather than a SRAM drivetrain. The bike graphics will compliment the striking Argyle team strip.
On a recent trip to Saddleback, UK importers of Felt, we had a chance to look at some of the new 2008 Felt road bikes. With Magnus Backstedt living down the road and signing for Slipstream in 2008 we also got the lowdown on some of the 2008 team bikes.
This Z1 frame is intended for big Maggy and looks likely to be his frame choice for the Classics. The Z1 is a more compact compared to the F1 and has a slightly more relaxed geometry. The internally ribbed bottom bracket and seatstay junction is also bigger and should cope better with the Swede's big power.
Felts strong reputation at building fast triathlon machines shows with their new DA triathlon time trial bikes. The Bayonet Fork System improves the performance at the leading front edge. It also increases front end stiffness and allows the use of a 1'' integrated headset. This further reduces the front area for better aerodynamic efficiency.
Cables are taken rearward behind the bar and are internally routed. A very neat touch and one that'll save hours of fumbling in the internal guides. The stem can be adjusted for angle in 10 degree increments.
Aerodynamic profiling extends to the rear brake. The guide for the rear brake exits out of the downtube above the bottom bracket. The rear brake is tucked behind the downtube and mounted to the chainstay.
Horizontal dropouts allow the rear wheel to be moved into the shape of the seat tube cut out and should accommodate for varying tyre profiles.
Seat post is of the twin cradle variety and gives a range of saddle positions, all within the UCI limits. The post clamp is a two piece item and saves the frame should you get over enthusiastic when tightening.
Felt will also introduce replica Slipstream/Chipotle F1 bikes into their range. Additional less expensive models will follow at a later date.