Sunday, February 4, 2007

Fast Freddy's Stars and Stripes v. Trek's Tricolor Splash

Fred Rodriguez, US Champ in 2000, 2001 and 2004 has had 3 different commemorative bicycles by 3 different builders: Moser, Merckx and Ridley.

The Moser. This particular bike was set up for the 2002 Giro- cyclingnews reported:
Of note is the typical sprinter's top gear of 53 x 11 - and also the sprinter's 'oh no it's the mountains' 39 x 25 low! As far as we know, Fast Freddy was the only rider in this year's Giro using Crank Bros Egg Beater pedals, a light weight design that's crossed over from the MTB world.

The Ridley. Taken at the 2005 Wachovia Cycling Series. Photo from Operation Gadget.

Both of these blow away Trek's bike for Hincapie posted earlier. Why can't Trek give Hincapie a sharp looking bike? Despite the fact that most euro wannabes won't touch a Trek, its bikes are race proven. It seems, though, that they ignore the look of a bike.

A bike can be/is art. A great paint job can accentuate a bike's lines as well as its technological advances and use of materials. There's so much more that Trek could have done, instead of the tricolor splashes. They could have used Hincapie's Classics campaign as a way to promote the signature frame. Although he has yet to win one of the monuments of cycling, Hincapie has been on the podium: Flanders (2006) and Paris-Roubaix (2005). He is really the only American rider who regularly slugs it out with the Euros on the pave. Trek has failed to support the current US champ and lost marketing opportunity.

Maybe Trek, like the rest of the general American public only cares about cycling when it comes to the Tour. If true, that's just sad.

You can see a photo of the Merckx at Fast Freddy's website.


Radio Freddy said...

Funny how Trek is not revered as the PRO brand. I had this discussion last week while in my local shop. The mechanic was tuning-up a Disco Madone and I commented on how cool it looks. He said the owner is always faced with others make fun of him for riding a Trek. How many top level victories does a brand need to be validated? Trek can claim TDFx7, Vuelta, Giro, and Ghent-Wevelgem to name a few. Is it about a European pedigree? If so, what about Cannondale? Those babies look PRO as hell and seem to fit right in the Euro peloton. Check out the Lampre Six13 or the Saeco version in the 2004 Giro. Does it boil down to their asthetics, the PROs who ride them, PRO victories or a combo of each? Or, is the lust factor lost becuase Trek offers a complete bike range?

fasterjim said...

I think Trek has diluted its brand. For example, why put Bontrager wheels, stems etc. on a low end bike? It would make more sense to keep that "name" for the high end.