The end of July marks, as it does every year (or almost), the end of the men’s Tour de France. And as every year, after publishing a few articles about the new bikes seen at this Grande Boucle, I share some “behind the scenes” with you.
I spend a lot of time with the mechanics, either at the start of the stages or near their hotels, which was much easier this year given that the paddocks were inaccessible even to accredited journalists due to Covid.
A chance to discuss with the mechanics, but above all to take lots of pictures of their work and some details. I take this opportunity to thank them for their welcome, kindness, patience and ingenuity.
Some riders prefer to be perfectly “fixed” in their saddle. In the past we used sandpaper for lap times, now it’s a silicone material, much less extreme and which should allow the shorts to last a bit longer.
GPS Beacon Fixation
Placed under the saddle, mechanics are provided with a specific support, after which it is up to them to attach it to the saddle rails via rails.
Check out the Keo 2 Max pedals
While the majority of runners use the Keo2 Blades when partnered with Look, at Movistar, a few runners prefer the feel of the Keo 2 Max with their steel spring rather than a carbon blade.
Disc brake support
This is the training bike of a rider who took advantage of the Tour to bring it in so that the mechanics could carry out maintenance and in particular bleed the hydraulic circuit.
There is no specific deadline, the cleaning is done “as needed”. Mechanics also take the opportunity to uncover some discs that may have moved slightly if they were overheated.
This maintenance also includes a thorough cleaning of the caliper pistons, which can become sticky from brake dust. Clean with a special brake product using a cotton swab, then relubricate with brake fluid.
If necessary, the pads are replaced.
Positioning to the millimeter
With almost 30,000 km a year on their bike, cyclists need to be perfectly positioned. Mechanics use very precise tools and have every rider’s ribs down to the millimeter. The template allows them to adjust everything perfectly, down to the pitch of the saddle, with an accuracy of 0.1°.
a big cleanup
It is a habit, every night the bikes are thoroughly washed and lubricated. Every runner leaves with a nearly new bike the next day. Before the arrival of the first bicycle cars, mechanics transformed vehicles.
When they arrive, bikers tell the mechanics if there’s anything wrong with their bike. All screws are checked, tires or hoses too and replaced at the slightest risk.
Arkea-Samsic team mechanics in front of Naïro Quintana’s new mount, the new Canyon Ultimate.
In case of victory, mechanics are also part of the party here at Israel Startup Nation after Hugo Houle’s victory.