Trek have developed a reputation for delivering fresh, custom painted bikes to their top riders competing in high-profile events and for this year's Tour de France, general classification favorite Andy Schleck and his brother Fränk will both toe the start line aboard Luxembourg-themed Madone 6.9 SSLs in homage to their home country.
Schleck's Tour de France Madone is notably more serious looking than the standard team issue bike, swapping the usual lighter hues for a much darker black background. Light blue stripes adorn the main triangle and seatpost mast, blue Trek logos are tacked on to the inner surfaces of the chainstays and fork blades, and even the headset cone and single headset spacer are covered in Leopard Trek's trademark shade.
Trek have also fashioned their own "modern interpretation" of Luxembourg's iconic lions on the seat tube, further embellished with a pair of crossed hammers that are said to signify the brothers' "tenacious work ethic". While the frame itself is made in Waterloo, Wisconsin, the top tube proudly points out that the rider was "Made in Luxembourg".
Somewhat surprisingly, Trek will offer this special paint scheme to us lesser mortals through their Project One custom program effective immediately – though it's perhaps unlikely that buyers can opt for the "Andy – Made in Luxembourg" tagline found on Schleck's bike.
Most of the equipment on Schleck's bike mirrors the setup he used when we saw his bike earlier this year, including the Shimano Dura-Ace Di2 group, Bontrager alloy Race Lite VR bar and ultra-long Race XXX Lite carbon stem, and the traditionally shaped and firmly padded Bontrager saddle – which is now an official addition to the company catalog under the 'Team Issue' moniker.
This particular variant has a standard Dura-Ace crankset instead of an SRM power meter, though, and team mechanics have also added a satellite shifter to help the lanky climber maintain his rhythm when holding onto the bar tops. And after last year's 'Chaingate' debacle – plus a few more incidents since then supposedly attributed to mismatched chainring combos – there's finally a custom etched AceCo K-Edge chain watcher installed, too.
Schleck will make use of yet another set of new Bontrager carbon fiber tubular wheels after the debut of the 50mm-deep set back in January. This latest Aeolus 3.0 model retains the carbon fiber hubs and generous rim width but ratchets down to a lighter 36mm depth for climbing.
Combined with the feathery Speedplay Zero Nanogram pedals, it makes sense then that Schleck's bike is substantially lighter than the last time we profiled it. Total weight is now a just barely UCI-legal 6.86kg (15.12lb), including a pair of Bontrager Race X Lite carbon cages and a Bontrager Node 1 computer.