Tool Kings Prepare for the World Cup

May 27, 2016 at 22:44
by Irmo Keizer  
The UCI Mountain Bike World Cup is at the very front of development of mountain bike technology. All the newest gear arrives here first before it hits the shops. Riders have a full support crew, making sure they can concentrate on riding as hard as possible. Mechanics are part of this support crew, and can be found cleaning, fixing and tuning bikes. Here's a little insight into this elite crew of tool men to see how they prepare for the World Cup at La Bresse.

 We check everything on the bikes including the tires. These we change to new ones two days before the race and prepare the spare wheels with the same tires at the same time. We don t do a full rebuild but always do a very good cleaning of the pedals drivetrain and chain and check the fork. Besides this we do a general checkup we check the brakepads. We will change these tomorrow so they are broken in but new on race day. As for the suspension setup this remains the same. We do check the wheels every single time Mavic as we want to make sure these roll as frictionless as possible. We just take real good care of our riders.
Eddy Le Clainche

bigquotes We check everything on the bikes including the tires. These we change to new ones two days before the race and prepare the spare wheels with the same tires at the same time. We don't do a full rebuild but it's always good to do a very good clean of the pedals, drivetrain, and chain and check the fork. Besides this we do a general checkup, we check the brake pads. We will change these tomorrow so they are broken in but new on race day. As for the suspension setup, this remains the same. We do check the wheels every single time (Mavic), as we want to make sure these roll as frictionless as possible. We just take real good care of our riders. - Eddy Le Clainche

 For a World Cup I always check everything on the bike. Check if everything is tightened and in good working order. For this race Yana Belomoina will run a single ring setup for the first time running a 30T up front and a 11-42 cassette on the rear. Yana tests it during the training and if necessary I will change anything afterwards. Normally it is just a matter of a good checkup. Last week was very muddy so I check all the bearings and replace whatever is necessary. All races are important so each is important. But Yana will tell me if anything is wrong. And ofcourse it s a woman s bike so it should be beautiful. So I make it shine and make it look good.
Maksym Gravylenko - CST Superior Brentjens MTB Team

bigquotesFor a World Cup, I always check everything on the bike. Check if everything is tightened and in good working order. For this race, Yana (Belomoina) will run a single ring setup for the first time, running a 30T up front and an 11-42 cassette on the rear. Yana tests it during the training and if necessary I will change anything afterward. Normally it is just a matter of a good checkup. Last week was very muddy, so I check all the bearings and replace whatever is necessary. All races are important, so each is important. But Yana will tell me if anything is wrong. And of course, it's a woman's bike so it should be beautiful. So I make it shine and make it look good. - Maksym Gravylenko - CST Superior Brentjens MTB Team

 We have to keep the bikes clean. We make sure the bikes are dialled in and fresh for race day. This week is a good example as we have to keep an eye on the weather as it changes rapidly. We test tires we have several tread patterns ranging from low knob to full knobs and intermediate treads which riders test. Small adjustments and tweaks are made to pressure according to each course and rider. Two days before race day we go through the whole bike. We more or less replace everything. New cables housing chain grips and often the rear tire. The front ring stays on for several races most of the time although these do change according to the course. Riders then do a shake down and last tweaks to the suspension are made. Come race day we do a final check and decide on tires and do final tweaks where necessary. On saturday one day prior to race day we will decide on what tires to run on spares and race bikes. We have fourteen wheelsets ready to go with several tire choices. As for suspension setup some leave it exactly the same whilst others make small changes per course for example by putting up the pressure a bit on steep courses like this. Lea Davison is running a dropper post here in La Bresse which gives her more control. We like to think we come prepared for anything they ask us to do.
Brad Copeland, Specialized Factory Racing

bigquotesWe have to keep the bikes clean. We make sure the bikes are dialed in and fresh for race day. This week is a good example as we have to keep an eye on the weather as it changes rapidly. We test tires, we have several tread patterns ranging from low knob to full knobs and intermediate treads which riders test. Small adjustments and tweaks are made to pressure according to each course and rider. Two days before race day we go through the whole bike. We more or less replace everything. New cables, housing, chain, grips and often the rear tire. The front ring stays on for several races most of the time, although these do change according to the course. Riders then do a shakedown and last tweaks to the suspension are made. Come race day, we do a final check and decide on tires and do final tweaks where necessary. On Saturday (one day prior to race day) we will decide on what tires to run on spares and race bikes. We have fourteen wheelsets ready to go with several tire choices. As for suspension setup, some leave it exactly the same whilst others make small changes per course, for example by putting up the pressure a bit on steep courses like this. Lea Davison is running a dropper post here in La Bresse which gives her more control. We like to think we come prepared for anything they ask us to do. - Brad Copeland, Specialized Factory Racing

 We look at each rider individually to see what they need. We fully check all bikes plus for example should it rain we make sure everyone starts with a fresh sets of brake pads. As for this weekend it seems we might get rain so we are preparing mud tires for the riders. Our riders have their bikes at home and when they bring it to the race they inform us on what should happen although we do check them as well. Tire choices are very personal and our sponsor Continental offers three choices of sidewalls with several different rubber compounds as well. It is up to each rider to see what they like and this is what they test themselves. On the techzones we only carry one type though.
Martin Tinger, Focus XC Team

bigquotesWe look at each rider individually to see what they need. We fully check all bikes, plus for example, should it rain, we make sure everyone starts with a fresh set of brake pads. As for this weekend, it seems we might get rain so we are preparing mud tires for the riders. Our riders have their bikes at home and when they bring it to the race they inform us on what should happen, although we do check them as well. Tire choices are very personal, and our sponsor Continental offers three choices of sidewalls with several different rubber compounds as well. It is up to each rider to see what they like, and this is what they test themselves. On the tech zones, we only carry one type though. - Martin Tinger, Focus XC Team

 All riders have the choice between either a hardtail or a full suspension. They have training bikes at home and at the race we have their race bikes ready for them. During the days prior to each race we check the bikes and make all necessary changes such as tire choices and suspension setups. As for setup these do change per venue but only a bit. Plus as riders change to another type of bike this will have an influence on tire choice and suspension setup as well. Furthermore each day we do a proper cleaning and check with the rider if all works well and is functioning as it should. Come race day we check everything.
Sylvain Golay, BMC Mountainbike Racing Team

bigquotes All riders have the choice between either a hardtail or a full suspension. They have training bikes at home, and at the race we have their race bikes ready for them. During the days prior to each race we check the bikes and make all necessary changes, such as tire choices and suspension setups. As for setup, these do change per venue, but only a bit. Plus, as riders change to another type of bike, this will have an influence on tire choice and suspension setup as well. Furthermore each day we do a proper cleaning and check with the rider if all works well and is functioning as it should. Come race day, we check everything. - Sylvain Golay, BMC Mountainbike Racing Team

 My job is taking care of all the bikes at the race and between races. I always prepare all bikes at home and check all bearings and wheels the cassette brakes rotors tires and suspension. I try to arrive at the race with almost a new bike basically so that we have a bit less stress at race days. We do try several tires at races and I often discuss with Nino in between races on any changes in setup. With regards to suspension he does most by himself which he tweaks from his base setup. He knows exactly what he wants. We know what he needs and wants. We ve worked together for a long time which helps. As for the chain we put a new chain on two to three days before the race. He has to run it in and check if everything is in order. That s why I want to come to a race with perfect bikes. If you start working on it on the World Cup you never know. You never know if you tighten and loosen stuff over and over again.
Yanick Gyger, Scott Odlo, MTB Racing Team

bigquotes My job is taking care of all the bikes at the race and between races. I always prepare all bikes at home and check all bearings and wheels, the cassette, brakes, rotors, tires and suspension. I try to arrive at the race with almost a new bike basically, so that we have a bit less stress at race days. We do try several tires at races, and I often discuss with Nino in between races on any changes in setup. With regards to suspension, he does most by himself, which he tweaks from his base setup. He knows exactly what he wants. We know what he needs and wants. We've worked together for a long time, which helps. As for the chain, we put a new chain on two to three days before the race. He has to run it in and check if everything is in order. That's why I want to come to a race with perfect bikes. If you start working on it on the World Cup, you never know. You never know if you tighten and loosen stuff over and over again. - Yanick Gyger, Scott Odlo MTB Racing Team



48 Comments

  • + 87
 Happy to see a really good coverage of other discipline. Well done PB.
  • + 44
 At the end of the day, xc is probably the sort of mountain biking most people on here do, or at least started out with, i love all forms of biking, bring it on !
  • + 13
 @pigman65: agree 100% ! Thanks for all the XC content PB!
  • + 2
 @MisterJones Maksym Gravylenko - CST Superior Brentjens MTB Team - "But Yana will tell me if anything is wrong" - yeah man, your cap says CST Tires and the bike uses Maxxis Tires , excuse me please, am I wrong.
  • + 9
 @FabienTT: same company I believe. Cheng Shin Tire owns Maxxis.
  • + 2
 @Someoldfart: you are correct, they do.
  • - 18
flag petegson (May 28, 2016 at 13:06) (Below Threshold)
 @pigman65: not sure if most people where i live ride around on crappy bikes with shit geometry wearing a gimp suit. Its as far one way as down hill is in the other direction.
  • + 1
 @Someoldfart: Thanks gentleman ยก
  • + 6
 @petegson: but you live somewhere that those bikes are ideal for? No real hills around Brisbane so no real need for slack bikes.
  • + 3
 @shmoodiver: mate there are 12 downhill tracks within an hour from Brisbane...
And that's just the legal ones
  • - 1
 @shmoodiver: I dont live in brisbane. But yes brisbane is full of roadies lost at mt cootha
  • + 56
 I wouldn't mind seeing more material on the mechanics; Who they are and how they got to where they are. They may not be racing, but it's still a relatively elite job that they have.
  • + 13
 They are the unsung hero's of any world cup race.
  • + 7
 Yup. It'd be really cool to hear their stories about how they ended up team mechanics. I'd read that piece.
  • + 21
 If they're gonna report on what kind of maintenance/repairs mechanics do at the WC level, I wish they would've done so on the DH and/or Enduro circuit. Obviously those bikes take much more of a beating that XC bikes do, thus I would imagine their maintenance schedule(s) are much more intense. What's the average shelf life of a WC DH frame, and provided a wheel makes it through a race weekend unscathed, how long do they keep running it?
I'd also like to see what they do after a big-ass endo etc. Like do they automatically swap the frame out, or do they check it for straightness and/or cracks first. Same with the wheels.
  • + 6
 Definitely love to see this same type of article WC DH mechanics. Those guys are prepping a bike to work for less than 5 minutes so I'm sure the set-up is way different. I've heard that some guys runs the spokes so loose that the rims when absorb and bend around rocks, but it's one run and done. And I think I remember seeing the Syndicate guys run a lot of the bearings without any grease so they run faster.
  • - 4
flag savage47 (May 28, 2016 at 12:21) (Below Threshold)
 @adrock-whistler: Without grease?? So the Bering can overheat and seize halfway down the hill. My buddy is the engineer for a certain Ogden wheel company. And they only had to change wheels 2 times las season. Hubs are serviced a lot!!!
  • + 7
 @savage47: This was this video I was thinking about: www.youtube.com/watch?v=ec_2f4H7qlY&list=PLKBmmHsu3RhRb7GQuDXbGNgRi_zaH3esX&index=2

Scroll to 4:35. Marshy takes the grease out, and just oils the bearings. And runs them down on a drill until they're nearly worn out. Pretty nerdy stuff, but I love it.
  • + 3
 Even as an XC'er I'm curious about the DH guys. What's with all the wheelbuilding that goes on? Pretty close to the race start, but I guess the mechanics are getting paid so might as well put them to work. Fresh tires, brake pads, and chain every race?
  • + 0
 @savage47: no seriously, they do
  • + 1
 @racerfacer: Thats a Bottom Bracket not wheel hubs!!!! Guess you pay to have your bike worked on!!!
  • + 17
 Sees xc coverage...

Immediately scrolls to the below threshold threads Big Grin

But really, thank you pinkbike for more coverage. Show us all the disciplines!!!
  • + 5
 Wish I could afford to maintain my bike like that. Just riding a bike everyday in all weather conditions beats it up. Seems like I no sooner discover and fix play in my swing arm bushings than I find out my brake pads are shot my chain's at its wear limit, my headset bearings have play etc. I can't keep up! These folks are elite enough to get full rebuild after every ride. That's awesome.
  • + 8
 Great story...The specialized guy Brad Copelands neck was a bit scary though
  • + 7
 He looks like Bob from bob's burger
  • + 5
 @TheAngryGoldfish: holy crap, he really does!
  • + 5
 some sweet facial hair going on, especially in the specialized pit. nice bikes btw
  • + 2
 Yeah, that guy must be at least 7' tall
  • + 8
 Looks like Michael Cera in a witness protection program Smile
  • + 4
 @Thustlewhumber: Throw on blue overalls and a green shirt/hat and you have a real life Luigi
  • + 5
 I always check my bike at home too!!! wow, I am like a pro!!!!
  • + 3
 True unsung heroes of the sport.. Just think of all the world cups XC and DH that wouldn't be possible if these guys didn't wrench away outside the spotlight.
  • + 2
 That kind of intensity is too high for me to comprehend haha. It makes me jokingly think of riding my bike to school in Jr.high, and then having a pit crew at the bike rack standing by to rebuild it. Pretty cool though.
  • + 3
 Dear Yanick Gyger, please come to my house and service my bikes, many thanks ...
  • + 4
 I could use there throw away drive train parts,gears,chains,tires wow
  • + 3
 All i see is Bobs Burgers at the Specialized pits.
  • + 2
 But where are the tool box pictures though?!!?
  • + 2
 Where are the aprons and dirty hands??
  • + 1
 CST-guy is holding bike w maxxis tyres... WTF?
  • + 2
 Maxxis is owned by CST
  • + 1
 if it rained has much as here this night, it's gonna be nasty!
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