Service Course: Andy Potts
images by Nick Salazar
Sep 16, 2013  hits 151,482

TriRig Service Course
TriRig Service Course
Andy Potts posing with his brand new race bike, finished off with an Omega SV brake. Our goal was to aggressively clean up the front of the bike, leaving nothing for the wind to see beyond the bars and the frame. I think the final result is a big success.
Andy Potts posing with his brand new race bike, finished off with an Omega SV brake. Our goal was to aggressively clean up the front of the bike, leaving nothing for the wind to see beyond the bars and the frame. I think the final result is a big success.

Today we're introducing a new type of feature to the site: the TriRig Service Course. The name 'Service Course' generally refers to any kind of bicycle mechanic services rendered to professional athletes, from simple race-day tune-ups to completely custom one-off fabrication projects. Accordingly, it's the perfect name for this new series of features. We are going to focus on some special projects that we do for some correspondingly special riders.

To be clear, the 'Service Course' designation won't be used for ALL of our builds. Just the ones that we consider to be unique, extra special, or for another reason worthy of special attention. Often this will be bikes we build up for pro athletes, but on occasion other bikes might make the cut as well.

For our very first Service Course article, we tore apart two brand new Kestrel 4000 bikes belonging to Ironman champion Andy Potts , and completely reworked the front end to make it as slick as possible. We hid all the wires, replaced the stock brakes with Omega SV calipers, and gave Andy a bike he can be proud of.

Andy is a good friend of the site, and we keep in touch on a somewhat regular basis. And just as you see me do all over this website, I'll often talk to Andy about the fact that he could clean up certain aspects of his bike. When he got his 2014 Kestrel 4000 rigs with Di2 9070, I had a chance to see them firsthand and do some preliminary work on just one of them. But I told him I'd really like to take another crack at it and really hide those Di2 wires. A few weeks later, Potts dropped off two bikes. One was the same bike onto which I'd already installed an Omega SV prototype. The second was a fully-built spare bike, which had a complete component kit, but needed to be completely gutted and re-cabled in order to replicate Andy's position.

I told Andy what I wanted to do with the wires, and that it would involve some pretty special custom work. For those of you who like to replicate the custom stuff we do at TriRig, this isn't an easy one. In fact, this is at a high enough level that I don't think any bike shop would be willing to do it for you. They might even tell you that internalizing Di2 9070 components on this kind of setup isn't possible. And to be sure, it isn't easy. But it IS possible. I told Andy what I was going to do, which included stuffing the Di2 junction box inside the frame, rewiring the shifters, and modifying the frame's top tube hole to fit all the new wires. Andy liked the plan of action. He gave me the green light to proceed, and his session at the TriRig Service Course was officially ON!

In essence, we were were planning to clean up his front end, and get rid of every bit of exposed hardware, leaving nothing but the bars and the frame. Potts' Kestrel 4000 bikes don't have the ultra-clean integration you'll find in bikes like the Trek Speed Concept or the Cervelo P5 , so our mission would require some creativity, and the courage to go 'off-the-books' with our modifications. At this point, the best way for you to see what we did is just to go through the gallery. The images are self-explanatory, and offer a better explanation than I could put together in words. So have a look, and enjoy! Thanks for reading.



  • Andy Potts posing with his brand new race bike, finished off with an Omega SV brake. Our goal was to aggressively clean up the front of the bike, leaving nothing for the wind to see beyond the bars and the frame. I think the final result is a big success.
  • Andy Potts at TriRig Headquarters, picking his bikes up from their Service Course treatment.
  • This is the workshop at TriRig HQ. The far right wall is our cyclorama - as you can see, it blends smoothly into the floor which is helpful for photography because it eliminates the appearance of a horizon. You might also notice there isn't a terrible amount of clutter in the workshop. As with cables on the front of a bike, I try to keep things clean in the shop. The most-commonly-used tools are on that pegboard, but a lot of tools and parts are stored in various tool boxes around the shop. One tool box is visible in the center of the image. Another one is just off-camera on the left side. Potts' bikes are on the left and center of the image - that bike to the right is the Felt B2 we recently <a href='2013_07_Felt_B2_Review' >reviewed</a >.
  • This is how Andy's bike came to me. Those cables are just appalling. They're electronic, which means they don't require a straight path, which means we can go quite a long ways in hiding them.
  • From the front, that cable situation isn't quite as bad, since a lot of the frontal area hides within the profile of the head tube. But we can do MUCH better than this.
  • One thing we had to change on Andy's second bike was the choice of extensions. Shimano has recently developed a big J-bend for its PRO Missile bar. The 15-degree extension that's standard on the bar is a far better option in my opinion, and the one that Potts prefers. So we had to swap out the extensions. Unfortunately, because of how the Missile's cable routing works, changing the extensions means you have to reroute everything, undoing every bolt on the bar.
  • Another weird thing about Andy's second bike is that Shimano shipped it with the one-button sprint shifters that only control the rear derailleur. I don't know why ANY triathlete would want to forego control over the front derailleur, and Potts agrees. So we decided to swap out those shifters for the standard two-button versions.
  • Potts' Kestrel 4000 on the work stand. If you look closely, you'll probably notice a few nice parts in the background.
  • I already installed an <a href='store.php?c=omega' > Omega SV </a > brake up front for Potts, last time I saw him. But this time I'd be putting one on his other bike, as well as putting an SV on the rear of both bikes.
  • The <a href='store.php?c=omega' > Omega SV </a > looks great on the front of the Kestrel 4000 bike.
  • This is what things looked like before we cleaned them up.
  • The Shimano PRO Missile bar is a MESS to deal with.
  • Once I finished, this was all that was left: up front, a bare cable running right in front of the head tube for the Omega SV brake, and just behind the head tube sit the brake cable, and a bundle of Di2 wires tied together with electrical tape. This is as clean as things get for the Kestrel 4000.
  • Here's another shot of the front cable situation. We kept things tucked nice and tight right against the steerer tube, to keep them out of the wind.
  • Here's what the TRP 726R rear brake looks like on the Kestrel. It's not the easiest brake to work with ..
  • And here's the <a href='store.php?c=omega' > Omega SV </a > mid-install. With the cover removed, you can see just how simple the brake really is.
  • Even with the crank installed, the Omega SV can be adjusted with regular wrenches ...
  • ... even the stance width adjustment screw for the Omega SV is accessible through this gap between the chainrings!
  • The final installation for the <a href='store.php?c=omega' > Omega SV </a > in its application as a rear brake on Andy Potts' Kestrel 4000 SL.
  • The Omega SV presents a smooth, elegant shape to the wind, and is a great choice up front AND here beneath the bottom bracket.
  • From the wind's perspective, the brake isn't even there!
  • This is why we go through all the trouble: you've never seen a Kestrel 4000 quite this clean, because no one else does all the custom routing I did for Andy's bikes.
  • And here's Andy's second bike, looking virtually identical to the first. There are little cues that let me know THIS is the race bike, and the other one will be his training rig. For example, the head tube cable stop on this bike was swapped out for a light weight aluminum piece that saved about 7g over the original. Little touches like that were put all over the bike to make the rig even better than its already-very-nice twin brother.
  • Andy Potts' twin Kestrel 4000 bikes, just hanging out at TriRig Headquarters.
  • More beauty shots of the twin Kestrel rigs.
  • This is one clean, lean, mean machine.
  • Hindquarters shot of Andy Potts' Kestrel 4000.
  • One more beauty shot of the full rig.
  • This bike has Dura-Ace Di2 9070 all over.
  • Another detail shot of the custom wiring path.
  • Di2 shifting.
  • Potts races on Dura-Ace C75 tubular hoops.
  • Just before he left, Potts noted that he might later put a single bottle cage behind his saddle, but didn't know what kind of contraption he needed. I insisted that the easiest way to go is to just a couple zip ties. 'How do you do that?' he asked. And so I showed him. This Adamo saddle now has four zip ties on the back - two of them are easily visible, and are grasping the saddle rails. Two more are higher up on the bottle cage, and tie directly into a hole I drilled into the rear 'hook' of the Adamo. This whole procedure took about two minutes, and gave Potts a rock solid cage to use.
  • From this angle, the difference actually doesn't look as striking as it really is. But Potts can rest easy now, knowing we've squeezed every last ounce of speed from his Kestrel 4000 rigs.

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