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Pro bike: Andy Schleck's LEOPARD TREK Trek Madone 6.9 SSL

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Andy Schleck (LEOPARD TREK) is hoping this Trek Madone 6.9 SSL will carry him to victory this July.

Andy Schleck (LEOPARD TREK) is hoping this Trek Madone 6.9 SSL will carry him to victory this July.
(Image credit: Jonny Irick)
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A bit of tape keeps the extra-long valve stem from rattling.

A bit of tape keeps the extra-long valve stem from rattling.
(Image credit: Jonny Irick)
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Bontrager's Race XXX Lite carbon fiber hubs are used front and rear.

Bontrager's Race XXX Lite carbon fiber hubs are used front and rear.
(Image credit: Jonny Irick)
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The rear Bontrager Race XXX Lite hub uses DT Swiss star ratchet internals.

The rear Bontrager Race XXX Lite hub uses DT Swiss star ratchet internals.
(Image credit: Jonny Irick)
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Andy Schleck (LEOPARD TREK) has taken many of his most trusted lieutenants with him to his new Luxembourg-based team.

Andy Schleck (LEOPARD TREK) has taken many of his most trusted lieutenants with him to his new Luxembourg-based team.
(Image credit: Jonny Irick)
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Trek says each team bike takes roughly ten hours to paint.

Trek says each team bike takes roughly ten hours to paint.
(Image credit: Jonny Irick)
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Andy Schleck (LEOPARD TREK) is using familiar Speedplay Zero pedals.

Andy Schleck (LEOPARD TREK) is using familiar Speedplay Zero pedals.
(Image credit: Jonny Irick)
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Trek's flagship Madone 6.9 SSL uses differentially sized stays but doesn't take it to extremes like some other manufacturers.

Trek's flagship Madone 6.9 SSL uses differentially sized stays but doesn't take it to extremes like some other manufacturers.
(Image credit: Jonny Irick)
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Bontrager is developing these ultra-wide 50mm-deep carbon tubulars with input from the team.

Bontrager is developing these ultra-wide 50mm-deep carbon tubulars with input from the team.
(Image credit: Jonny Irick)
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Bontrager produced a custom saddle for Andy Schleck (LEOPARD TREK) using an older shape shape and firm padding.

Bontrager produced a custom saddle for Andy Schleck (LEOPARD TREK) using an older shape shape and firm padding.
(Image credit: Jonny Irick)
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A short strip of electrical tape helps mark the saddle position.

A short strip of electrical tape helps mark the saddle position.
(Image credit: Jonny Irick)
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Andy Schleck (LEOPARD TREK) is all limb as shown by the huge amount of offset.

Andy Schleck (LEOPARD TREK) is all limb as shown by the huge amount of offset.
(Image credit: Jonny Irick)
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Bontrager skewers are fitted at both ends.

Bontrager skewers are fitted at both ends.
(Image credit: Jonny Irick)
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Trek says extending the steerer tube up all the way through the stem helps prevent crushing the tube while also providing maximum clamp surface area.

Trek says extending the steerer tube up all the way through the stem helps prevent crushing the tube while also providing maximum clamp surface area.
(Image credit: Jonny Irick)
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The steerer tube inside is tapered but the head tube itself is big throughout its length in order to give the down tube and top tube joints more surface area.

The steerer tube inside is tapered but the head tube itself is big throughout its length in order to give the down tube and top tube joints more surface area.
(Image credit: Jonny Irick)
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The Shimano Dura-Ace Di2 front derailleur's two-step shift process should hopefully keep Andy Schleck's (LEOPARD TREK) chain from derailing this season.

The Shimano Dura-Ace Di2 front derailleur's two-step shift process should hopefully keep Andy Schleck's (LEOPARD TREK) chain from derailing this season.
(Image credit: Jonny Irick)
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Andy Schleck (LEOPARD TREK) runs the Dura-Ace Di2 levers high on his Bontrager Race Lite VR bar with the reach shortened up a bit so he can still brake easily from the drops.

Andy Schleck (LEOPARD TREK) runs the Dura-Ace Di2 levers high on his Bontrager Race Lite VR bar with the reach shortened up a bit so he can still brake easily from the drops.
(Image credit: Jonny Irick)
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Trek's trick Dura-Ace Di2 integration kit includes a bottom bracket-located mount for the battery.

Trek's trick Dura-Ace Di2 integration kit includes a bottom bracket-located mount for the battery.
(Image credit: Jonny Irick)
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As the name suggests, the Trek Madone's BB90 bottom bracket shell measures a whopping 90mm wide with the down tube, seat tube, and chain stays all making good use of the extra real estate.

As the name suggests, the Trek Madone's BB90 bottom bracket shell measures a whopping 90mm wide with the down tube, seat tube, and chain stays all making good use of the extra real estate.
(Image credit: Jonny Irick)
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Bontrager carbon-specific cork pads are fitted to the Shimano Dura-Ace brake calipers.

Bontrager carbon-specific cork pads are fitted to the Shimano Dura-Ace brake calipers.
(Image credit: Jonny Irick)
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The internal cable routing is well and yields smooth runs and clean aesthetics.

The internal cable routing is well and yields smooth runs and clean aesthetics.
(Image credit: Jonny Irick)
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Alloy bolts secure the bottle cages on to the frame.

Alloy bolts secure the bottle cages on to the frame.
(Image credit: Jonny Irick)
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Andy Schleck's (LEOPARD TREK) Trek Madone is fitted with a pair of Bontrager Race X Lite carbon fiber bottle cages.

Andy Schleck's (LEOPARD TREK) Trek Madone is fitted with a pair of Bontrager Race X Lite carbon fiber bottle cages.
(Image credit: Jonny Irick)
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An aluminum bar is clamped in the carbon fiber stem.

An aluminum bar is clamped in the carbon fiber stem.
(Image credit: Jonny Irick)
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This is the one of the cleaner Shimano Dura-Ace Di2 installations we've seen on pro bikes.

This is the one of the cleaner Shimano Dura-Ace Di2 installations we've seen on pro bikes.
(Image credit: Jonny Irick)
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An SRM power meter is mounted up with Dura-Ace 7900 chainrings. Surprisingly given Andy Schleck's (LEOPARD TREK) height, the crankarms measure just 172.5mm in length.

An SRM power meter is mounted up with Dura-Ace 7900 chainrings. Surprisingly given Andy Schleck's (LEOPARD TREK) height, the crankarms measure just 172.5mm in length.
(Image credit: Jonny Irick)
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Bontrager's own DuoTrap wireless speed and cadence sensor inserts neatly into the non-driveside chain stay.

Bontrager's own DuoTrap wireless speed and cadence sensor inserts neatly into the non-driveside chain stay.
(Image credit: Jonny Irick)
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The Bontrager Race XXX Lite fork is carbon fiber from head to toe with the exception of aluminum dropouts for durabiilty.

The Bontrager Race XXX Lite fork is carbon fiber from head to toe with the exception of aluminum dropouts for durabiilty.
(Image credit: Jonny Irick)
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Fat 25mm-wide Schwalbe Ultremo HT tubulars were glued up when we caught up with Andy Schleck's (LEOPARD TREK) bike in Palma de Mallorca but team liaison Ben Coates says the riders will more likely use 21mm or 22mm-wide tires for racing.

Fat 25mm-wide Schwalbe Ultremo HT tubulars were glued up when we caught up with Andy Schleck's (LEOPARD TREK) bike in Palma de Mallorca but team liaison Ben Coates says the riders will more likely use 21mm or 22mm-wide tires for racing.
(Image credit: Jonny Irick)

Andy Schleck has managed to retain most of his key support riders from last year with the move to the new Luxembourg-based LEOPARD TREK squad but in terms of equipment, virtually everything else has changed.

He's now on a Trek Madone instead of his old Specialized S-Works Tarmac SL3, Shimano's Dura-Ace Di2 electronic group instead of SRAM Red, Bontrager wheels now substitute for his familiar Zipps, and Bontrager will also supply saddles, stems, and bars in contrast to his old Prologo and FSA bits – in total a monumental shift for a professional athlete that relies so much on his gear.

Despite his youth, Schleck is admirably pragmatic and upbeat about the situation.

"For a lot of riders it's like a disaster but for me, you know, things change – I changed teams!" he told us at the team camp in Palma de Mallorca. "I'm open for every new thing. When you go to a new bike you always notice differences immediately but you also have to get used to it – and the more I get used to it, the more I like it. I'm not allowed to say it's 'f***ing awesome' but it is."

Many riders of his calibre often insist on at least carrying over an old saddle, given how personal an item it is – and regardless of whether it may create a conflict with a new sponsor. However, Schleck is even open-minded there, too, and is already working with Bontrager to get things dialed in with a custom model built upon a discontinued shell.

"The first ones I didn't like but then that's how it works with Trek and us – I gave them feedback and now they made me a saddle which I'm really happy with," he said. "You don't have to accept everything but you have to at least try.

"You cannot get a new saddle and look at it and say, 'It's shit,' you know? You at least have to try it. At first I tried it and didn't like it but now I have a saddle I like. I will have to see how it is on a long distance because it's quite hard but I like a hard saddle and then we go from there."

For sure, the transition was also eased by the fact that team mechanics were able to replicate his old position almost perfectly so while all of the contact points themselves have changed, they're at least in a familiar place.

"I was sitting good on the bike last year and I just want to be close to the position and then look at what we can change," Schleck said. "But really, it's just millimetres."

Most of Schleck's gear consists of off-the-shelf items – even his lighter-weight Madone 6.9 SSL frameset was introduced last year. But the team is, however, already working with Bontrager to develop a new carbon tubular wheelset that eventually will presumably replace the current Aeolus 5.0.

The new as-yet-unnamed model sports the same 50mm section depth as the current model but like Zipp's successful 303, it's much, much wider – measuring nearly 25mm at the tyre bed – for better aerodynamics and improved tyre casing support. Unlike Zipp's familiar profile, though, the new Bontrager rim uses parallel brake tracks.

According to team liaison Ben Coates, the wider bed offers excellent support for the team's current 25mm-wide Schwalbe tubulars, too (though he adds the riders will likely use 22mm-wide tyres during the race season). Ultimately, Coates says the new wheel will serve as LEOPARD TREK's 'workhorse' race wheels for most situations this season.

Neither Coates nor anyone else at Trek or Bontrager would offer up any technical details on the new wheelset but based on the current version, we'd expect Schleck's version to come in somewhere between 1,400-1,500g for the set given the team's use of lighter carbon-bodied hubs with DT Swiss internals instead of the standard Bontrager alloy units.

We do, however, have a total weight for Schleck's complete bike as pictured here: 7.23kg (15.94lb). The missing SRM PowerControl 7 computer head will add a few more grams on top of that but we would expect that swapping in shallower-depth wheels and more typical tires plus switching out the SRM crank for a standard Dura-Ace model will likely bring the total much closer to the UCI-mandated 6.8kg weight limit when it comes time to attack the high mountains.

Specifications

Frame: Trek Madone 6.9 SSL, 58cm H1:
Fork: Bontrager Race XXX Lite, tapered 1 1/8"-to-1 1/2":
Headset: Cane Creek integrated:
Stem: Bontrager Race XXX Lite, 140mm x -17°: include length in cm, center-to-center
Handlebars: Bontrager Race Lite VR, 42cm (c-c): include width in cm, center-to-center
Tape/grips: Bontrager cork:
Front brake: Shimano Dura-Ace BR-7900 w/ Bontrager cork pads:
Rear brake: Shimano Dura-Ace BR-7900 w/ Bontrager cork pads:
Brake levers: Shimano Dura-Ace Di2 STI Dual Control ST-7970:
Front derailleur: Shimano Dura-Ace Di2 FD-7970-F:
Rear derailleur: Shimano Dura-Ace Di2 RD-7970
Shift levers: Shimano Dura-Ace Di2 STI Dual Control ST-7970
Cassette: Shimano Dura-Ace CS-7900, 11-25T
Chain: Shimano Dura-Ace CN-7900
Crankset: SRM Wireless PowerMeter Dura-Ace 7900 Compatible, 172.5mm, 53/39T
Bottom bracket: Trek Madone integrated w/ ceramic bearings
Pedals: Speedplay Zero Titanium
Wheelset: Bontrager 50mm carbon tubular prototype w/ ceramic bearings
Front tire: Schwalbe Ultremo HT tubular, 25mm
Rear tire: Schwalbe Ultremo HT tubular, 25mm
Saddle: Bontrager Race X Lite custom w/ firm padding
Seat post: Bontrager Race XXX Lite seatmast cap
Bottle cages: Bontrager Race X Lite
Computer: SRM PowerControl 7