Now officially retired from professional racing, Magnus Backstedt still cuts an imposing figure as he walks across the car park towards us to pose with his new Viner bike. We’ve just spent the day riding with the 2004 Paris-Roubaix winner, the reason for which will become apparent in a forthcoming article, but for now here’s a look at his very special bike.
Backstedt is now integral with the new Team Magnus Maximus Coffee.com Continental pro team, which contains a flock of young talented Swedish riders including Freddy Johansson, but also Brit Daniel Patten. The aim of the team is one of developing young riders, and will provide an ideal opportunity for the Backstedt to give something back to the sport and to support new riders coming up through the ranks. With an impressive list of race wins including a stage of the Tour de France, Backstedt will undoubtedly have much to offer the young guns looking to extract as much knowledge as they can. And from chatting with Backstedt, he looks to be relishing this new challenge in his career.
The team is rapidly taking shape and has found support in Viner Bikes, an Italian company, founded in 1947, which still hand builds much of its bike range. Backstedt isn’t your typical rider though, and so required a custom build. Luckily, Viner quite happily supply custom frames and so built a 60cm carbon frame. A tube-and-lug construction process has been used and the frame is finished in what can only be described as ‘a paintjob that’ll stand out in the peloton’ – not that you’ll miss the imposing figure of the Swede anyhow.
Getting a bike to fit such a tall frame requires special attention to detail. So Backstedt and the team have been able to draw on the services offered by Body2Bike.com, a fitting company headed by CSC head mechanic Henk van Lijsdonk and world-renowned soigneur Robyn Taylor.
Other sponsors include Italian company Miche, but unfortunately for Backstedt his shipment of components hadn’t arrived yet so a mainly Campagnolo Record 10-speed groupset had to suffice. Interestingly, a Shimano Dura-Ace 7800 chainset with 180mm length arms was pressed into the bottom bracket shell. Brakes were supplied by Miche however, with cool-looking carbon calipers.
Elsewhere it’s a bit of a mix. A rather bashed up but otherwise comfortable San Marco Regal saddle sits atop an American Classic seat post, and to get the reach that the 6’ 4” rider needs a custom-made 150mm FSA stem is fitted. Backstedt clearly likes his drops of the traditional round shape, and has fitted a 3T Rotundo Pro bar wrapped with Fizik bar tape. Like many pros, the Swedish powerhouse chooses Speedplay pedals to direct his wattage through the drivetrain. Vredestein tubular tyres are wrapped on some non-branded carbon rims, but since the hubs were labeled Reynolds it’s not too hard to guess their origin.
And the most surprising thing about the complete bike? Just how light it was in the ‘loft it in the air’ test. We didn’t have any scales to hand, but it can’t have weighed much more than 16lbs.
More on the team and you can get your hands on some Magnus Maximus coffee here www.MagnusMaximusCoffee.com