Inside Lance Armstrong TREK 5500 OCLV US POSTAL 1999

In 1999 Trek Bicycles became the first bike manufacturers outside of Europe to win the world’s most prestigious bicycle race, the Tour de France, with US Postal Service leader Lance Armstrong‘s triumphant performance.
Armstrong and his unrelenting teammates race on stock Trek 5500 OCLV carbon frames, making them the only team in the Tour de France to race on frames identical to those that are available to consumers around the globe. Thanks to Optimum Compaction, Low Void (OCLV) technology, the 5500 was the world’s lightest production frameset, weighing in at a scant 912g.

Lance Armstrong’s Trek 5500 was the first full-carbon frame to be piloted to Tour de France victory.

Lance Armstrong was the first man to Win the Tour de France on a full-carbon bike (1999).

Shimano supplied the groupset for the first time and, by 2000, the quill stem had also been replaced by a tapered steerer as the modern bike took shape. In 2003, Shimano Dura-Ace went to ten-speed and the Japanese firm’s latest gruppo was used for the first time on a machine said to be the lightest ever used in the Tour – Armstrong kept weight down further by using a downtube shifter on mountain stages.

Lance Armstrong Trek 5500 OCLV US Postal Service

When Lance Armstrong returned to racing with the US Postal team in 1998, Trek was using the team to push its OCLV carbon bikes.

OCLV stands for Optimum Compaction Low Void, which is to do with the way the carbon fibre layers are laminated in their frames. The process was carried out in house in Waterloo, Wisconisn and matched the aircraft industry standards for carbon fibre.

Thanks to Optimum Compaction, Low Void (OCLV) technology, the Trek 5500 was the world’s lightest production frameset, weighing in at a scant 912g.

LANCE ARMSTRONG