Tour De France 2017 – Worst Jobs For A Cycling Team Mechanic

Tour De France 2017 – Worst Jobs For A Cycling Team Mechanic


– Pro cycling mechanics are certainly some of the best loved, and possibly, the most patient members
of the pro cycling world. They’re certainly very patient with our repeated requests
for pro bikes and tech. But they also have to deal
with a lot of very tough jobs. So we’re at the Tour de France. We thought we should ask them what their least favourite
daily jobs were on tour. What has to be one of the most repetitive, and possibly one of the
slightly more difficult, jobs that team mechanics
have to do repeatedly is to measure pro cyclist’s bikes and get their positions
millimetre perfect. Pro cyclists can, at one end, be a particularly picky bunch of people when it comes to making sure
that their bike is set up just right for going as fast as possible. So it means that team mechanics who employ jigs like the one behind
me here, a LottoNL-Jumbo, they’ve probably all got spread sheets that they’re shared into
that mean that they can see every rider’s preferred bow width, or every rider’s preferred … We just saw them measuring
the tip of the lever, to the centre of the fork distance. I don’t know how you define that. Every rider’s preferred reach. Because there are so many
measurements on a bike. So many measurements to get right. And when you do get them all right, the bike feels perfect and it’s maybe a win or lose
difference for your rider. So, Risto, what is the worst job that you have to do as a pro mechanic? – As you know, talking to
the media, first-fully. (laughing) – But I would say, from my side, is the chasing down the
millimetres from the guys. So it’s tough. The positions is one thing. What you have to do, and get always right. Another thing is always about
the traveling: the packing. That you have everything with you. That you’re not missing anything. That’s also one thing. – So there are so many guys that can actually notice
the difference between, like a saddle height
being a millimetre higher or a millimetre lower. – Yeah, just some guys even sometimes say that they feel bad for that. That they feel it. So the guys that have been
half of their life on the bike, they feel the millimetre rightly. – Cool, thank you. – The stages where the
riders have a long transfer, let’s say by an aeroplane or something. And then the staff have
to transfer by car. That’s just a long drive, like takes all day or all night, and kind of a waste of time. I mean, the Tour de France is a race like any big stage
race, where you have to, where you have to, you know,
do a whole lot of jobs, and any time where you lose
7 or 8 hours in the day, just driving a vehicle from A to B, to me that’s waste of valuable
time where you could be, like, gluing tyres for example. (laughs) – I was gonna say, that must
be said of your feeling, because in front of us now we
have how many pairs of wheels? – [Bike Tech] That’s
about 15 sets of wheels. – [Interviewer] 15 sets of wheels, and the equivalent
number of tubs behind us. I’d happily drive 8 hours to
not stick 15 tubes of tyres on. – I recon one of the
toughest, most repetitive, and possibly most tedious jobs as a pro cycling team mechanic, is gluing , stretching, and then
fitting tubes for the tyres. A team might get through,
let’s say, 100 tubular tyres in the course of a three week race, so that’s a lot of replacing flat tyres. A lot of taking tyres off the rim. A lot of stretching them,
a lot of glueing them. So to get around that, they
actually carry pre-stretched tyres on their team trucks. So they’ve got old rims
they might have used at a race like Parry Dubai
or something like that. They put two layers of glue
on the tube of the tyre, just so the base tape of the tub has soaked up a bit of glue, meaning that you have to
put one layer of glue on, then stick the tube of the tyre on, in order to prep. And they carry those around
in the back of the truck, for then the punctures happen, which is probably every
day, let’s face it. And then they fit them,
and then they glue them. So before the Tour de France here, which means they’ve got a
lot of stretching to do. Apparently they only fitted 30 to 40 new ones the other day. I reckon I’ve fitted about 10 in my life. And I feel like I’ve done a lot. – So what is the worst
job that you have to do as a pro cycling team mechanic? – I think it’s gonna
be working in the rain. And especially in the race,
when it’s really (bleep) wet and you have to pull out to
change a wheel or something. That’s (bleep). – Well, there we have it. A non-exhaustive sample of
some of the least favourite jobs of the mechanics of
the pro cycling peloton. But, interestingly, a few
of them couldn’t really think of least favourite jobs. Which just shows the level
of dedication to their job, and their love for the sport. Don’t forget to give
this video a thumbs up and hit share too. To subscribe to our channel, all you need to do is click on our logo, which is on the screen right now. There is also a link
to our shop on screen. To see all of our videos
from the 2017 Tour de France, click right there. And bike maintenance is
something you really need to do. Check out our full bike
maintenance playlist, click right there.

71 thoughts on “Tour De France 2017 – Worst Jobs For A Cycling Team Mechanic

  1. Let us know what would be your worst or favourite job if you were a Pro Team Mechanic in the comments below 👇

  2. You know how every year someone or team at the TDF is reported as having stomach problems? Well, that someone or team is not washing their own clothes.

  3. Nice video subject. 2:30 – Is the issue then one of safety of working in an open support-truck area while it is moving/traveling, or one of the fumes from the gluing of the tires? I would think that either issue would be remedied with intelligent support-truck design. Second question – based on the numbers of tires done – are some pros riding on tires they used the day before? I would have thought that they'd get new tires for each new stage. ('tyres' for those who insist on spelling the word incorrectly)

  4. I have a small Business where we put on cycling events and the worst thing is setting up and taking down. Saying that I can only imagine that pulling out the awning in hooking up the generator's houses air compressors and then having to pack everything up and move to the next event is a pain in the butt

  5. Gluing tubs? Changing a flat in the rain?! Cry me a river!

    Be thankful you weren't a bike shop mechanic working during a full Ironman triathlon!

    Tri bikes are a f*cking nightmare! Insanely expensive bikes are shellacked in dried urine (and sometimes feces)! And triathletes are total shite about even the bare minimum of bike maintenance or cleaning!

    You haven't lived till you've powerwashed all the dried, corrosive urine off hundreds of tri-bikes (or tried to) before trying to disassemble said Urine-Corroded-Bikes for shipping.

    Having a neglected $9,000 USD tri bike in your stand, that reeks like urine from several meters away, is quite common.

  6. At least they get to work on nice light bikes. I had a summer job as a mechanic and I always worked with dirty heavy 20kg bikes with sh**ty components…

  7. I am sorry, don't have the patience to look for the email icon. My question is, "why is it that the biggest event in cycling is going on and we do not have any video feedback from you or even just a capture of the last 30 mins?" I mean you did that for the HUMMER CHASE. I think this is where it matters the most. All true cyclists want to hear and see feedback of the best from the best.

  8. This is probably more a job for the soigneurs, but applying chamois cream to riders' bib shorts would be the worst job in pro cycling.

  9. other than a rider getting the spare bike, why would they need their bike measuring up again? dont they keep it as is for the duration of the tour?

  10. пока вы хвастаетесь велосипедными власть украинеы возможно убивает не в чем неповинных людей перекрываясь своею тупостью

  11. I'm the type of guy where if someone had set up a bike for me and I could feel the saddle being 1mm off, I would just say "here hand me that wrench" and try to adjust it myself instead of having the mechanic do it. Then again I'd probably want to set it up myself in the first place. I hate when people work on my stuff for me.

  12. I hate changing chains. I broke my chain and chain breaker because I buy cheap parts. Not to mention it's also greasy…

  13. If I could work for a pro cycling team, I would be more than happy to do ANY job…. do the laundry, clean the toilet, no problem.

  14. I agree that driving between stages is not fun. As a spectator, I have sat in traffic jams for several hours to get off a mountain to go to the next stage

  15. When travelling between A and B, they should have a workshop in the back of a truck so the mechanics can continue their work whilst on the go.

  16. My choice for worst jobs as a pro team mechanic would be:

    – Routing internal cables
    – Gluing tubular tires
    – Repairing bikes during bad weather
    – Parts inventory management
    – Washing bikes

    Nevertheless, these mechanics will always do these jobs even in the toughest conditions. They are the true unsung heroes of pro cycling. Gained my respect forever.

  17. #torqueback how do team cars and buses get to different continents? Do they rent cars/buses and apply liviries?

  18. Why doesn't the bike industry make enough road tubeless for racing? Lightweight, no gluing and they could be a huge time saver and more economical, even being installed in the back seat of a team car. With sealant can even save a win. After a puncture, Just remove it and donate to a needy person for repair and reuse. a product the pros would more readily adopt than disk brakes.

  19. Years ago I knew a guy who had been a pro mechanic back when 6 speed free wheels were common. he said he would often have to change about 20 free wheels every night and every rider wanted their own ratios.

  20. Gluing tires, getting the millimeters right, and then having to wash the team cars, buses and trucks after all of that. Sponsors insist.

  21. Do you guys have a video talking about this stretching of tires and tubes (and gluing, what is that)? I've never heard of that till this video. Is this something the lay cyclist needs to worry about?

  22. So…when stuff gets left behind…bikes get left behind at the roadside after a change? I mean there are water bottles everywhere, surely a bike or two gets missed.

  23. That millimeter sensitivity thing is bullshit. It's just something they want to think of as them having these finely honed senses that only years of "professional" riding can achieve, and that it's somehow impressive and prestigious. Meanwhile us normal people might instantly think of popular children's stories such as "The Princess and the Pea".

    But no. You can't tell if it's a millimeter wrong. Sorry to burst your bubble, but you're not fooling anyone.

  24. Hello, mountain biker here, I want to ask, how could road cyclists got so many puncture in a race? I thought flat smooth tarmac won't "hurt" the tyres.
    Sfbe

  25. Lasty-come on buddy, you are in the big leagues now. Have Si loan you some hair product. #WoodyTheWoodPeckerHair

  26. I'd gladly do repetitive bike maintenance tasks while someone else pays my travel expenses through Europe, whilst still giving me a wage..

  27. Strange thing is, at school when getting careers advice, there was never anything like 'mechanic for a pro cycle team' category. It is such a specific job that you could only do if you love the sport so having a worst job within the job itself is comparatively not so bad.

  28. Geraint Thomas road half way through the Tour of France on the wrong bike and no one noticed.
    Bike Fitting is half science and half feel. There is no such thing as the right position. There is a range of what is right. The more adaptable a cyclist is the larger the "range of right". Adaptable can be physical or psychological. So a main factor of bike fitting is personality. There are people who everything must be "just so" up to "rough enough is good enough". MM right or CM right.
    Cyclists need to forget about small differences. Its training and desire that get results.

  29. Fixing a dropped chain while running alongside a rider that is still moving forward – Orica Scott mechanic did it in the Giro Rosa TT this week for Annemiek Van Vleuten and only chopped up his finger a little bit.

  30. Hey GCN I need your help! I am 14 and started cycling when i was 11 and i done a few races till i was about 12 and a half then when i wenton holiday I had a foot injury and I got lazy and never went back. I want to go back to training and want to work to be a pro. Any tips on how to get to pro. Thanks very much Connor

  31. Someone tell this speaker to SLOW DOWN – Breathe – Get some cadence, pause between sentences, emphasis into your speech – don't be Speedy Gonzalez – listeners understand only half of what you're saying !

  32. So, none of the mechanics mind sticking their body out the back of a moving car in the middle of a race to reach down with their fingers and fix the rear derailleur?

  33. Re last point of video (no pun intended) all jobs are equally least favourite and for those mechanics it's just a job 😂

  34. As a home garage bicycle mechanic, I would be honored to go into any pro cycling team and do tire glueing!

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