This article originally published on BikeRadar
George Hincapie is racing a record-setting 17th Tour de France this year and BMC company owner Andy Rihs presented the affable veteran with a special gift: a custom finished BMC TeamMachine SLR01 celebrating not only a milestone in racing history but as it turns out, Hincapie's birthday, too.
Hincapie's machine isn't special for any of its equipment. In fact, it's a bone stock BMC TeamMachine SLR01 frameset with a standard team-issue build kit, including the Shimano Dura-Ace Di2 transmission, SRM crankset, Easton EC90 Aero wheels, Continental tubular tires, Shimano pedals, Easton cockpit, and fi'zi:k saddle. The only notable difference from a standard consumer frame is the stainless steel rear derailleur hanger that the team uses for better shift performance and improved durability in a crash.
The rear of the bike is even equipped with the team's usual carbon fiber number plate holder but Hincapie said he has no intention of actually racing it. It's simply too special a possession and one that he would prefer to display in the safety of his own home.
The finish is indeed highly personalized with a gold-on-black paint job, several small '17' decals with Eiffel Tower outlines, and a number of phrases and icons referencing Hincapie's well-known demeanor: "Big George's SLR01", "gentleman's round", and a small hat on the down tube.
The fit reflects Hincapie's usual race setup and the bike is still admirably light at 7.32kg (16.14lb) as shown here. Hopefully once the season is over, though, Hincapie won't pay much attention to his power outputs and will only reflect serenely on what will have been a memorable career.
Special graphics adorn George Hincapie's (BMC) commemorative gift