Friday, 30 September 2011

Big Mig and his Espada

Designed in 1994 with the help of Ing Giacchi, an aerodynamics engineer who worked in Formula One, the Espada, like the Lotus Sport, was composite monocoque that at the time was still a rarity in the cycling industry. Like the Lotus, the Espada did away with the downtube and seatstays, but unlike the Lotus the Espada shape reassembled more of an arrowhead shape with the point forming the headtube. The most striking feature of the Espada was its large carbon chainstays that featured a cutaway for the chain to run through. The first version was made for the track and Indurain’s hour record attempt and then was modified for the road. The bike was specifically constructed for Indurain, and thus only four were ever constructed. What made the Espada so significant is that like LeMond five years earlier, the winner of the Tour de France had embraced new technology and used it to devastating effect on the racecourse.

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