Forgot Password?
Connect With Us Facebook Twitter YouTube Google+
Sun 23rd Feb 2020
© John Levison
IMSA Bikes: Badmann's CAT Cheetah
Posted by: John Levison
Posted on: Saturday 9th April 2011

Bookmark This  |  Print This Page  |  Send To A Friend  |  Post A Comment

Having spent the afternoon in the transition area in Port Elizabeth ahead of the Spec Savers Ironman South Africa tomorrow, it was clear that there were two 'major' events that drew most of the attention from the media and Age Group athletes who were going about their business.

One, hardly surprisingly, was the arrival of Chrissie Wellington who really is the athlete that people want to see racing here. More on that shortly.

The second was the arrival of Natascha Badmann, or more specifically, her head-turning Cat Cheetah bike. While Natascha has been associated with the bike for well over a decade, it can still turn heads. We take a look at it here.

(Pictures are copyright John Levison and Richard Stabler)

Natascha Badmann's Cat Cheetah

This is actually 'mark II' in terms of Badmann's Cheetah bikes, her first being too badly damaged in her terrible crash at Kona in 2007 (read more on her recovery HERE). "With a name like 'Cheetah', I feel it belongs here in South Africa!" Natascha told me.

The full carbon machine was (is?) somewhat ahead of its time, and was built specifically to Badmann's needs. The handlebars (don't) feature a base-bar - this bike is designed to be ridden in the aero position, the handlebars and deep carbon forks are built in one piece with the arm rests rising from the front axle, known as 'X Forks'. Due to this, there is no stem in the conventional sense.

The (hydraulic) brakes are located behind the front forks and under the bottom bracket area. The unusual element in the operation of those brakes is the location of the brake levers, which seemed to confuse most of the observers surrounding the bike who couldn't see them. They are actually operated by a 'twist' of the first part of the tri-bars extensions, and not by a typical lever. The absence of base bar and brake levers makes an interesting front end to the bike.

Natascha Badmann's Cat Cheetah

The top tube - such as there is a 'tube' - also features a drinks reservoir (the bike has no frame mounted bottle cages), and on the image above you'll see the drinking straw to access the contents. Cleaning must be a little tricky!

Natascha Badmann's Cat Cheetah

The Control Tech saddle is ultra-light, solid carbon and clearly Natascha must be very comfortable when riding this bike as the saddle certainly isn't going to be providing anything soft for the backside to rest on. Reflecting her cycling prowess, Natascha has a huge 56-tooth Dura Ace front chain-ring on CAT branded carbon cranks and chooses Speedplay pedals.

Twin Hed 3C tubular trispoke wheels are her race wheels here, the rear wheel the deeper rimmed model. The front wheel doesn't even feature a quick release lever, and requires and Allen key to reomve in the event of a pucture.

Natascha Badmann's Cat Cheetah

Like many athletes we see, Natascha's bike still bears the race sticker from her last race in Kona (2009), while below (right), there is an interesting contrast to all of the carbon and technological features; no speedo or power meter, simply a cheap digital watch taped to the handlebars!

Natascha Badmann's Cat Cheetah

Related Articles
© Getty Images for Ironman
IRONMAN South Africa - Port Elizabeth, Sunday 10th...
Posted on: Mon, Apr 11, 2016 at 11:01
Finland takes Gold as Cheetham and Gossage complete...
Posted on: Sun, Apr 10, 2016 at 15:00
While the women’s race today at IRONMAN South...
Posted on: Sun, Apr 10, 2016 at 14:17
An awful lot of major international podium places...
Posted on: Mon, Apr 7, 2014 at 10:00

Have Your Say