Looking after a legion of racers, from the top professionals who need shock re-valves to amateurs who are just asking for a set of brake pads, requires quite an investment on wheels that needs to be able to show up at different venues all over North America. For SRAM, this called for a custom Freightliner truck and trailer that serves as home base for their race mechanics at cross-country, downhill, enduro, and slope events all over North America.
Last weekend saw Big Red make an appearance at round five of the Enduro World Series in Aspen, Colorado, before starting its journey up into Canada to another famous ski resort that you may have heard of before: Whistler. As you might expect, a unit this large isn't just a plug-and-play sort of thing when the team does arrive at a new venue, with it taking most of the day to set up, which is the job of Evan Warner, John Dawson, Chuck Perryman, Keaton Ward, and whoever else is on hand.
Setup can take most of the day, but it's a refuge from the sun or rain once it's completed. You better have a red shirt on or be a sponsored athlete if you're in here. Need an M4 bolt, one foam ring for your 32mm BoXXer, and a MatchMaker X clamp? You've come to the right place. ''I've bored this out twice and it's still too big,'' I said the last time I used one of these. Yeah, I don't think they'd let me play with it. What happens on the road, stays on the road. This hand dyno was made to check that shock bleeds are free of air. Yes, that's a BoXXer being used as a handle. A nitrogen tank and every hand tool under the sun can be found in the trailer. Need some emergency work done in a crunch? Rumor has it that bringing a small bottle of whiskey can speed things up.
Inside the truck, you'll find bits and pieces for every single SRAM and RockShox product that might ever need servicing, from the smallest bearing to entire shocks, forks, and wheels - remember that the guys in this truck have to be just as prepared for a professional cross-country racer in need as they do for an amateur slope rider. In other words, it's a rolling warehouse, but Evan and co. also do enough custom work that a small lathe is also on hand that's used to manufacture one-off shock hardware or anything else that isn't readily available. Suspension service, both routine maintenance and custom valving, is also done in the truck, and there's even a portable hand dyno, built using an old BoXXer chassis for a leverage-providing handle, to double check shock bleeds.