The unsung heroes of bike festivals: Tech Support

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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.

The show's only just opened but the queue has started
The show’s only just opened but the queue has started
Todd acts as receptionist, filtering repairs
Todd acts as receptionist, filtering repairs
The line is constant throughout the day
The line is constant throughout the day

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).

Tim Flooks gives a tutorial in fork servicing
Tim Flooks gives a tutorial in fork servicing and repair.

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 ticket
The ticket system keeps track of what is needed and when the bike came in.
Brake bleeds are
Brake and Reverb bleeds are common issues and easily resolved.

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.

Another bike gets booked in
Another bike gets booked in.
If you're pro you can get parts serviced
If you’re pro you can get parts serviced.
new cables and gear adjusting
New cables and gear adjusting takes a bit longer.
The line
The line of bikes awaiting attention.
Quick shifting tweaks aren't even recorded
Quick shifting tweaks aren’t even recorded.
Bike fix and tutorial
Bikes are fixed and tutorials are given throughout the day.

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.

The team need feeding
An army marches on it’s stomach. Lunchtime is golden.
Supply drop
Supply drop.
Powered by caffeine
By mid afternoon there’s a need for stimulants.
The queue's still there mid afternoon
And the queue’s still there mid afternoon.

More complicated jobs need a more comprehensive toolset. Inside the truck is the best equipped workshop you’ll likely ever see.

Proper fettling has a place inside the truck's workshop
Proper fettling has a place inside the truck’s workshop.
Parts for just about everything
Parts for just about everything.
Proper tools are kept inside the truck
Proper tools allow for serious fettling on the world cup circuit.
A tool for every job
A tool for every job.


Shock service
Carsten begins a shock service.

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.

Everything a mechanic needs
Grateful customers are appreciated.
Another happy customer
Another happy customer.

And even the pro rider’s are grateful…


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