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 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 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 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 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|
| 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|