Lance Armstrong’s Motorola team bike is being sold by British coaching company trainSharp for £5,000.
trainSharp said on Twitter: “Like him or loathe him, Lance Armstrong rode one of the most classic Eddy Merckx bikes in history and we have it for sale. For only £5,000 you can own this historic machine! Email firstname.lastname@example.org to purchase."
Armstrong turned pro with the American Motorola team 1992 and was riding an Eddy Merckx bike similar to this one when he won the World Championship road race in 1993 in Norway.
His career at Motorola overlapped with that of Sean Yates, now a coach at trainSharp, which suggests we can be reasonably certain that the Armstrong bike is genuine.
The Eddy Merckx frame appears to be made from Columbus Genius tubing, which was launched in 1991 and was one of the first oversized tubesets. It was ‘differential shape butted’ and was known for excellent lightness, maximum resistance to stress and optimal rigidity. However, it’s unusual to see a Columbus Genius sticker on Motorola team bike – they were more commonly made from Columbus MXL and known as the MX Leader.
The decal at the top of the down tube looks like the same 'Belgium Handmade' one that the original Motorola bikes featured.
Armstrong rode a 58cm frame, and this one looks to be the right size. Armstrong’s name is at the rear of the top tube, with a Motorola team decal at the front. The top tube features a braze-on number peg, a common feature of pro race bikes.
The fork is pantographed with the ‘EM’ Eddy Merckx logo.
The bike is equipped with a Shimano Dura-Ace 7400 eight-speed groupset. The seatpost also looks like the fluted Dura-Ace original but it's hard to determine the make and model of the bar and stem.
The wheels look as though they could have been the original tubular rims that Armstrong used, but it’s unlikely that the tan-wall tubs themselves are original – though they've seen plenty of miles and the Vittoria label on the rear is well worn.
Armstrong’s favourite saddle was the Selle San Marco Concor Light through his Tour de France ‘winning’ years at US Postal but he rode various models earlier in his career, including the Selle Italia Flite. This Avocet model could have been the previous owner's personal choice.
The Look pedals probably aren't Armstrong’s either – Armstrong used Shimano – and were probably added at a slightly later date.
If it's geniune, we'd guess the bike and most of its build are from the 1993 or 1994 season.
We’ve contacted trainSharp for more information about the bike and its provenance and will update this page when we have more details.
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Simon Smythe is Cycling Weekly's senior tech writer and has been in various roles at CW since 2003. His first job was as a sub editor on the magazine following an MA in online journalism (yes, it was just after the dot-com bubble burst).
In his cycling career Simon has mostly focused on time trialling with a national medal, a few open wins and his club's 30-mile record in his palmares. These days he spends a bit more time testing road bikes, or on a tandem doing the school run with his younger son.
What's in the stable? There's a Colnago Master Olympic, a Hotta TT700, an ex-Castorama lo-pro that was ridden in the 1993 Tour de France, a Pinarello Montello, an Independent Fabrication Club Racer, a Shorter fixed winter bike and a renovated Roberts with a modern Campag groupset.
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