As the Scott Foil presentation was
getting underway, I spied on a fresh
face in the back row who I did not
recognize as a regular member of the
journo scrum. No, in fact, it was team
IAM Cycling’s Heinrich Haussler who
showed up to lend some pro-level
credence to the Scott Foil.
Unsure of his demeanor or desire to
take time to talk to some wanky scribe,
I pounced on him at the first opportunity and was pleasantly surprised at
how easy-going he was. Despite being
just days out from starting the Tour de
France, on the following day’s group
ride Heinrich proved himself daringly
friendly by actually letting some journos
ride next to him to get in a selfie.
RBA: You have a long history with
the Scott Foil?
Heinrich: “Yeah, I always ride the
Foil, except at Paris-Roubaix, where
I’ll ride the Addict over the cobbles
because not only is it a bit more
comfortable, but you have to get the
power to the ground through all the
vibrations. I start the race on the Foil,
but then before we hit the first cobble
section I will swap bikes.
RBA: Swapping bikes?
Heinrich: Yes, because, again, it’s
very important to get the power down
without the bike skipping around; you
don’t want to end up coasting on the
cobbles! We have it planned that just
before the first section the team car will
be there with a bike. Ever since all that
talk about Cancellara and the motor
bike, we’ve had to make the swap more
official. The bikes have a special seatpost and forks with more flex, and then
we run special Schwalbe tires, usually
between 45 to 54 psi.
RBA: This is the second new bike
launch I’ve been at this week where
the engineers talk about an increase
in comfort, but then the riders
present talk about how much they
Heinrich: To me, comfort is not a big
thing. I know there’s a lot of talk about
comfort, but when you’re racing, you
need to trust your bike, and a stiff bike
is really what translates best in building
RBA: You just got on this new
Foil, and with just over a week
until the Tour de France starts,
is that enough time to get
acquainted with it?
Heinrich: Yeah, for me it’s no
problem. Some guys are real
particular with their bikes—like if
they get a new saddle that isn’t broken in or sits a little taller, that can
throw them off—but I’m not like that;
I can just jump on the bike and race.
RBA: Have you ridden tubeless
Heinrich: No, not yet. I know they
are coming along, but we just don’t
get the feeling we want out of them.
RBA: How does your tire setup
Heinrich: It all depends on the
race, road conditions and what tires
we run. I mean, with the roads in
France we’ll usually run lower
pressure, and at the Classics it can
be anywhere between 50 to 80 psi.
With the 23c tire, we usually run
between 100 to 109 psi.
RBA: How much has the sport
changed with the new technology?
Heinrich: Ah, man, it’s so different. Back in the old days everyone
would just run aluminum wheels
with 8 bar and just—bang, bang,
bang—go at it, you know. Back then
so much was all the same, but now
there are so many choices about
everything. You can ask any three
guys about their equipment or
training and it’s all over the place
about what they prefer, what they
eat, what their recovery is.
RBA: What does your training
look like for the next week headed
into the Tour de France?
RBA: None at all?
Heinrich: No way, nothing. My
plan is to eat bad food and have
some beers; it’s the only way to
recover. With so much going on
now, it’s not just the legs that get
fatigued, but the mental side is
tough too. My parents came to visit
and I just had twins, so there’s all
that as well; I’m just gonna go home
and chill. Like everything else, it’s all
different with everyone. I just know
what works for me and knowing
what comes with the Tour; I know
I need to take a total break. Some
of the old guys might grab their gut
and figure they should get back at
it and get some more miles in—
Team IAM rider Heinrich
Haussler was on hand at
the launch of the Foil.