New Machine for IndyCar’s Scott Dixon
For IndyCar driver Scott Dixon, two-wheel speed translates into four-wheel speed. The 2008 Indy 500 champ (and four time IndyCar Series champ) is something of a bike nut who’s fascinated with the tech side of cycling. He also uses cycling and triathlon as a way to stay fit and prepare for the extreme mental and physical demands of making a living at 200+ mph.
Dixon, a New Zealander who lives in Indianapolis, will be racing the No. 9 Target car of the powerhouse Chip Ganassi Racing team in Sunday’s 100th running of the Indianapolis 500. But before his hectic weekend, Dixon stopped by his local bike shop, Bicycle Garage Indy North, where SRAM® and shop tech staff helped him dial in his new two-wheel ride – a Trek® Madone with SRAM RED® eTap® and Zipp® 404 Firecrest® Carbon Clinchers. The wheels featured custom decals with Dixon’s car No. 9 and Target® car lightning bolt. Dixon’s new bike was set up with 170mm cranks, 53/39 chainrings and a 11-28 cassette.
“That’s trick,” was Dixon’s initial reaction.
SRAM Technical Ambassador Micah Van Horn and BGI staff worked with Dixon on the final setup. They worked on placement of the remote shifting SRAM Blips. Dixon opted for Blips in the drops, perfect for shifting in corners or sprints, or when the hammer’s down. They then went through SRAM RED eTap’s race-car-inspired paddle shift logic. It’s a logic that is simplified for speed: right lever makes it harder, left lever makes it easier, both levers to change the front ring.
No big surprise, Dixon got that right away.
“When you hear of new technology coming out, you just want to see it. You want to touch it. You want to feel it,” Dixon said. “There have been other systems out there, but this one is just so refined I think is the really cool part. It’s light. It’s wireless. It’s fast. It has a different kind of technique to using it…. The sense of ease of me using it for the first couple of times, it just makes sense.”
He added that as a racecar driver in a tech-driven sport “you always want to have the hottest new thing, and this by far is the hottest coolest new thing out there.”
Cycling and triathlon has been a passion of Dixon’s for many years. Drivers at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway will ride their bikes around the famed 2 ½ mile oval when the track is closed to cars.
“Bikes are really trick and there’s so many cool features about them,” Dixon said. “The biggest thing for me, obviously, motor racing is my bread and butter, or my passion, but triathlons and road biking supplement it very well and have a lot of similarities as far as it’s quite technical, it’s all about strategy.”
“IndyCar is one of the few that doesn’t have any assists. It doesn’t have any power steering, anything like that, so your physical fitness is a big factor especially on the road and street courses but then even on the ovals where mentally it’s so draining. If your body’s physically fit you’re not working, ‘oh, man, my arms are sore or my legs. I’m tired.’ You can think that much clearer. That’s where I love both sports a lot but it really benefits me for my day to day job.”
We wish Scott all the best for Sunday’s Indy 500.