Back in Singletrack Issue 115, Chipps had a chat with Trek’s top Enduro mechanic, Ray Waxham, and had a look inside his sack of tools.
Words Chipps & Ray Waxham
Kit Bag is our chance to have a nosy inside the bags carried by riders from different branches of the mountain bike tree. Each bag has been refined over the years by its owner – adding bits when they’re needed, chucking stuff out that’s just adding weight and bulk until, hopefully, the rider ends up with the perfect combination of usefulness and portability for their particular needs.
a top rider is often helped by a top mechanic. This issue we’ve stepped away from actual riders’ bags, to look inside the toolbox of Trek’s top enduro mechanic, Ray Waxham.
Ray doesn’t have an official job title, but he reckons he’s “something like Team Manager and Head Mechanic for Trek Factory Enduro Team” and he’s been with the company since 1999. It’s his job to make sure that Trek’s sponsored enduro riders are supported wherever they’re competing around the globe.
This includes all EWS races and other events like Tweedlove, where we caught up with him. Ray consistently travels with 150–200kg of gear between races, including spares, tools, tyres, rims, more spares, and some clothes.
And he’s never without this toolbox, custom-fit to his refined selection of essential tools.
1.Stem laser alignment tool
I made a tool to verify the stem is straight to the wheel. All the team uses the same model stem, so my V-block is sized to fit that model. I move the Di2 clamp out of the way then point at the tyre seam. Granted the wheel may be slightly off dish, so I just look for consistency of distance of laser dot to the tyre seam as I point further forward. Takes the guesswork out!
2.Unior travel truing stand
I don’t always have the luxury of access to a full truing stand. This tool gets the job done in a much more travel-friendly way. Just stretch the Velcro strap of the tool around the fork or seatstay of bike and move the indicator of the tool close to the rim surface. Instant truing stand without removing the wheel.
3.World’s slimmest full-size hacksaw
Because you always need to saw stuff, right?
4.Wheel rebuild tools
Rim changes are a fact of life in racing, and anything I can do to speed the process or make it less difficult is beneficial. I cut two screwdriver-type spoke wrenches (hex drive spoke nipples) and brazed them to some ¼in hex stock for use in a small drill or ratchet driver. One of the tools I include is a depth pin, so I can ensure all spokes start with the same number of turns.
5.Rapid Prototype hook for cable management
Our Trek bikes have a port in the middle of the underbelly of the downtube where we can secure all the loose cables or even mount a Di2 battery. Full housing without this lash point proved to be noisy, so this feature was installed on recent mountain bikes. The issue is that if you cut the zip tie to service one of the cables, it is very difficult to rewrap a zip tie around the bundle again. This little hook allows me to fish out all the cables and pull them to the window to verify they are all captured, and then guide a zip around the bundle and back out of the frame. Greatly reduces foul language while servicing a bike.
6.Knipex pliers: What can I say?
They make the best pliers I have found. I dedicated a whole pallet to the most commonly used ones I travel with. The collection at home keeps getting bigger. And the hole puncher? That’s for fine-tuning race numbers, of course.
7.EVT Tyre pressure gauge
Tyre pressure is very important in all forms of racing. Our discipline uses tyre sealant which fouls most gauges in under a month of use. The EVT gauge retains accuracy by including a bundle of cotton between the gauge and where it attaches to a valve. If it does ever show signs of contamination, the red barrel opens up to change out the cotton. Smart and accurate, and no batteries to replace.