Zipp News

Back 5.27.2016

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. Zipp wheels have been part of Dixon’s cycling arsenal for more than a decade.

“I got my first disc wheel in like ’04 or ’05. For me, it’s obviously you’re always looking for any kind of advantage you can get,” Dixon said. “It’s the technology that’s built into it…. Even when I went to the Miami Half (Ironman®) last year, I rocked with an 808 front and a (Super-9) disc rear and TK (fellow driver and triathlete Tony Kanaan) was like, ‘You can’t use that 808 front, you’re going to be blowing off the road.’… I did the whole race, and it was perfect. So, obviously it’s slick and clean and fast but user friendly and does a lot of other things that are built into it that help.”

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.