Trek 5500 bicycle used by Lance Armstrong in the 2000 Tour de France


American professional racing cyclist Lance Armstrong (b. 1971) may have written a book called It’s Not About the Bike, but his seven Tour de France victories, now annulled as a result of a 2012 investigation by the United States Anti-Doping Agency (USADA), all benefited from increasingly advanced racing bicycles.

For almost a century, race bikes used steel tubing construction. Steel was stiff and durable, but was also relatively heavy. High-quality steel frames without wheels or components weighed around 3.75 to 4.5 lbs. Because a lighter bike has a significant advantage on long climbs in the mountains, bike manufacturers attempted to reduce weight as much as possible. During the 1980s, modern manufacturers began experimenting with lighter and more versatile construction materials such as aluminum alloys, titanium, and most recently, carbon fiber. Armstrong’s, now-voided, first Tour de France victory in 1999 was on a carbon fiber Trek 5500. The 5500 frame was still comparatively heavy by modern standards, weighing around 3.85 lbs. At the time of his second tour attempt in 2000, Armstrong was riding both the 5500 frame, as well as a lighter and more advanced 2.75 lb Trek 5900 frame for the mountain stages. Other weight savings and technological improvements found on both bicycles include a larger 1 1/8” steerer tube, a threadless headset, and 9-speed Shimano Dura Ace components.

Armstrong brought several bikes to the 2000 Tour de France. This particular bicycle was raced on some of the flatter stages, such as Stage 11 from Bagnères-de-Bigorre to Revel in Southwest France, as well as the final stage on the Champs-Élysées in Paris. During the 2000 Olympics in Sydney, Australia, Armstrong used this bike as a spare, but did not ride it in competition.

Date Made: 2000Used During Certain Stages: 2000-07-01 to 2000-07-21

User: Armstrong, LanceMaker: Trek USA

Location: Currently not on view

Used: BicyclingRacingRelated Event: Tour de France


See more items in: Culture and the Arts: Sport and Leisure, Bicycling, Sports & Leisure, Lance Armstrong


Exhibition Location:

Credit Line: Trek USA

Data Source: National Museum of American History

Id Number: 2005.0214.01Accession Number: 2005.0214Catalog Number: 2005.0214.01

Object Name: bicycle

Physical Description: metal (part material)rubber (part material)Measurements: overall: 40 in x 18 in x 65 in; 101.6 cm x 45.72 cm x 165.1 cm


Record Id: nmah_1294955

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