By: Ben Delaney
Custom jigs for cleat placement and bike set-up, favourite tools and more
At the Tour de France,
team mechanics' roles require a few skills: logistics, presentation
and, yes, wrenching quickly and competently on scores of bikes.
with tactics for a race, each team cooks up its own strategy for
dealing with the seemingly endless array of moving parts. Most teams mix
a blend of old school and new school techniques, from storing rider
measurements and parts inventories on digital spreadsheets to applying
tubular glue by hand.
Some of the most interesting tools are those custom-made for particular jobs, such as the jig Orica-GreenEdge
uses for replicating cleat positioning on multiple pairs of shoes for a
given rider. If you have ever been frustrated by getting a new pair of
shoes and struggling to get the cleats just right, then you can
sympathize with a pro rider not wanting to deal with this scenario
Even relatively straightforward tasks like measuring
saddle height have dedicated tools. While most amateur riders — and even
some pros — will settle for a tape measure, pro mechanics need
something more exacting, so metal rods that anchor at the bottom bracket
and clamp down atop the saddle are used.
You might be content to measure saddle height with a tape measure. Tinkoff-Saxo's Rune Kristensen is not
BikeSettings.com makes a few frame jigs that are popular with pro mechanics for measuring X and Y axis points on a bike.
mechanic Ian Sherburne uses digital angle gauges, among other tools, to
dial in riders' exact preferences, and ensure that the spare second and
third bikes match the primary bikes in every way.
BMC's Ian Sherburne doesn't 'eyeball' angles; he measures them
the more straightforward tools, such as Allen keys, chain whips and the
like, Tour de France mechanics fall mostly into one of two camps: use
everything provided by a sponsor, or pack their own.
we choose not to have a tool sponsor so we can choose our own based on
what we need and what we prefer," said mechanic Rune Kristensen. "Each
mechanic has his own private tools."
For Kristensen, whose toolbox contains a mix of brands, his favorite tool is easy to name: the preset torque wrench.
mechanics always have a tidy organization for their toolboxes; others
are a bit more jumbled. But one universal rule always applies: never
touch the mechanic's tools.
Check out the huge gallery above for a detailed look at many of the tricks of the trade employed at the Tour de France.
What type of tool is this, you ask? Not yours, that's what
Article Source: Cycling News