Pro Bike: Daniele Nardello’s Fuji SL1

Curtain call for an Italian veteran

Sixteen-year veteran Daniele Nardello (Fuji-Servetto) capped off his decorated career this spring 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 finished things off aboard a Fuji.

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

Fuji build the sl-1 with a mix of high-stiffness and high-strength fibres to impart a stiff yet strong structure: fuji build the sl-1 with a mix of high-stiffness and high-strength fibres to impart a stiff yet strong structure
Mark Gunter/

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 the Saxo Bank squad – but some other bits are 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. 

Aluminium is used for the dropouts, bottom bracket sleeve and headset inserts: aluminium is used for the dropouts, bottom bracket sleeve and headset inserts
Mark Gunter/

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 have brought a close to his career as a racer but he won’t be heading into the sunset just yet. After Gent-Wevelgem he transitioned 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.

The oval concepts stem fitted to nardello’s machine measures a rangy 140mm: the oval concepts stem fitted to nardello’s machine measures a rangy 140mm
Mark Gunter/

Bike specification

  • Frame: Fuji SL C10 Superlite carbon
  • Fork: Fuji FC 330 carbon
  • Headset: Cane Creek integrated
  • Stem: Oval Concepts carbon 140mm
  • Handlebars: Oval Concepts Alu 420mm
  • Tape/grips: Prologo
  • 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  
  • Pedals: Xpedo Thrust 
  • Wheelset: Cole Products Shuriken Carbon Lite T-50  
  • Front tyre: Hutchinson tubular, 22mm
  • Rear tyre: Hutchinson tubular, 22mm  
  • Saddle: Prologo Scratch Pro TR
  • Seatpost: Oval Concepts alu/carbon
  • Bottle cages: Elite Custom Carbon   

Critical measurements       

  • Rider’s height: 1.81m (5ft11in)
  • Rider’s weight: 73kg (161lb)
  • Seat tube length, c-c: 490mm
  • Seat tube length, c-t: 518mm
  • Saddle height, from BB (c-t): 744mm
  • Tip of saddle nose to C of bars (next to stem): 595mm
  • C of front wheel to top of bars (next to stem): 598mm
  • Top tube length: 540mm (actual)
  • Total bicycle weight: 7.02kg (15.5lb)