Wednesday, 19 August 2009

Punt week, Team Radioshack

We are all aware of the looming new Lance Armstrong team, either Radioshack or the Shack depending on which reports are correct. Speculation on who will join is rife, and for good reason Lance (love him or hate him) is a legend. Due to his financial committments and being a bit of a product junkie many expect there to be a Trek/Sram love in.

Well I can kind of agree, but for a moment lets just think outside the box. As Lance has a smart and commercial brain on him some decisions may be made on those fronts also.

What if Radioshack were not to use the Trek Madonne. It would be a bold move, but lets remember Lance had nothing to do with the developement of this current bike. So keeping it within the family, how about Radioshack switch to Gary Fisher road bikes. This may at first sound an odd proposal but weigh it up. Commercially it makes sense if Trek Corp are serious about developing the Fisher brand into a desireable product. The Lance effect is not to be under estimated in that when Lance was riding and winning the Tour like most people put on shoes in the morning sales were high and it was happy days for the Trek bike brand. Post Lance, and up until the new Madonne launch sales were poor. Lance could offer his midas touch to the brand, increase sales and have two viable products in the market place. Also in the back of my mind the fact that the Fisher brand came about because of the demise of the Le Mond brand would also make for an interesting twist.

The presumption again would be to say he will be on the Bontrager brand as it's part of the group. LA has long had a relationship with Steve Hed, so an option to run their complete line is another possibility. My guess is that there is a strong chance that the wheels may be a mix of the above plus Zipp, but maybe relogoed for the Team. With all of the best toys available to play with, it must be tempting to use the best tool for the given task.

Lance is a Concor man and my guess is that the saddles will have a San Marco label on them or it could be a free for all. I think in these days of having synergy between all the parts on the bike it is unlikely that multiple suppliers will get a look in.

Bars, Stems etc
Bontrager again would be the obvious choice, but Zipp maybe another consideration. They make some cool stuff and no doubt would benefit from the Armstrong effect.

If this isn't SRAM Red I'd be surprised, except if that they end up using the next version on from Red. From a business sense Force would be a great marketing ploy. But being a weight weenie and tech freak this would seem unlikely.

To find out how I do on this one we will have to wait a little longer than the September the 1st transfer deadline.

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