It’s 10am and the Riva Bike Festival is barely open, but already there’s a queue of expectant riders waiting at the SRAM race truck when I drop by. Tim Flooks and the rest of the team have been up since seven a.m. getting prepped for the day’s work and know it’ll be a busy one as usual.
At bike festivals and races across Europe, the team offer support for any rider who’s have issues with their bike. No need to miss a ride or waste a weekend that’s been committed to competition; drop off your bike and they’ll do their best to get you riding again.
Todd deals with booking jobs in while Stefan, Christian, Carsten and Tim deal with repairs.
Bikes are booked in and often turned around within an hour, with each member of the team working on 15-30 bikes a day, and that’s just the ones that are recorded (anything under 15 minutes isn’t as a rule).
A hydro locked pair of forks come in and a tutorial in servicing and repair is offered to the owner, Tim taking the time to show the step by step procedure for a strip down and rebuild as he works on the forks.
The majority of jobs revolve around bleeding; either Reverbs or brakes. Fork strip downs are less common. Anything overdue a service is politely pointed in a dealer’s direction.
Tim has five golden rules:
1) Make sure your bike is prepared before heading off to the event.
2) If you want it fixing bring it clean it. Clean bikes make mechanics happy.
3) Don’t expect new internal cables. It takes too long.
4) Don’t bring broken parts. Bring the parts on the bike.
5) On the last day/after the race it’s your problem. There’s a truck to pack up.
And don’t forget to say thanks.
More complicated jobs need a more comprehensive toolset. Inside the truck is the best equipped workshop you’ll likely ever see.
It’s impressive to watch the speed and skill of the mechanics and just how quick they can turn around a repair and it’s good to see appreciative customers returning for their bikes. It doesn’t take a lot say thanks but it shows you appreciate the free service you’ve received.
And even the pro rider’s are grateful…