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Mechanical storm before the Tour de France

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Once everything is finally adjusted, many mechanics go over every bolt again with a preset torque wrench, just to be certain. This is Ivan Basso's bike

Once everything is finally adjusted, many mechanics go over every bolt again with a preset torque wrench, just to be certain. This is Ivan Basso's bike (Image credit: Courtesy Castelli)
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All these brand-new bicycles don't build themselves. The days before the Tour are quite busy for pro mechanics

All these brand-new bicycles don't build themselves. The days before the Tour are quite busy for pro mechanics (Image credit: Courtesy Castelli)
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Some mechanics apply glue with toothbrushes

Some mechanics apply glue with toothbrushes (Image credit: Courtesy Castelli)
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Other mechanics like Giant's Ed Bekhuis use more traditional brushes

Other mechanics like Giant's Ed Bekhuis use more traditional brushes (Image credit: Courtesy Castelli)
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Mounting tubulars sticky with wet glue is not as easy as pro mechanics make it look (

Mounting tubulars sticky with wet glue is not as easy as pro mechanics make it look ( (Image credit: Courtesy Castelli)
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Is that a 3 or a 4mm? Ed Bekhuis' color-coded Swiss Tools eliminates the confusion

Is that a 3 or a 4mm? Ed Bekhuis' color-coded Swiss Tools eliminates the confusion (Image credit: Courtesy Castelli)
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A few Specialized Venge ViAS aero bikes are being built for the first time at the Tour de France

A few Specialized Venge ViAS aero bikes are being built for the first time at the Tour de France (Image credit: Courtesy Castelli)
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The integrated front and rear brakes pose a bit of a learning curve for Specialized-sponsored teams' mechanics

The integrated front and rear brakes pose a bit of a learning curve for Specialized-sponsored teams' mechanics (Image credit: Courtesy Castelli)
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Tinkoff Saxo mechanic Rune Kristensen threads cables and housing into the Venge ViAS handlebar

Tinkoff Saxo mechanic Rune Kristensen threads cables and housing into the Venge ViAS handlebar (Image credit: Courtesy Castelli)
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Lotto NL-Jumbo has multiple road bikes for each rider in the standard Oltre XR2 and endurance Ultimo CV framesets

Lotto NL-Jumbo has multiple road bikes for each rider in the standard Oltre XR2 and endurance Ultimo CV framesets (Image credit: Courtesy Castelli)
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Not everything is picture-perfect before the Tour de France begins. But it will be

Not everything is picture-perfect before the Tour de France begins. But it will be (Image credit: Courtesy Castelli)
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Mechanics pre-stretch tubulars for easier mounting

Mechanics pre-stretch tubulars for easier mounting (Image credit: Courtesy Castelli)
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Paris-Roubaix winner John Degenkolb is riding his Paris-Roubaix bike for stage 4, complete with the single bar-top brake lever

Paris-Roubaix winner John Degenkolb is riding his Paris-Roubaix bike for stage 4, complete with the single bar-top brake lever (Image credit: Courtesy Castelli)
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Vinokourov is no longer racing, but his bike still gets the (mostly) pro treatment before the Tour de France, where he is working as management on Astana

Vinokourov is no longer racing, but his bike still gets the (mostly) pro treatment before the Tour de France, where he is working as management on Astana (Image credit: Courtesy Castelli)
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MTN Qhubeka mechanic Stef van Zundert consults his notes on rider specs while assembling bikes

MTN Qhubeka mechanic Stef van Zundert consults his notes on rider specs while assembling bikes (Image credit: Courtesy Castelli)
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Some mechanics keep spreadsheets. Other use the old fashioned method

Some mechanics keep spreadsheets. Other use the old fashioned method (Image credit: Courtesy Castelli)
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Saddle height, angle and setback are all dialed in for every bike so A, B and C bikes fit identically

Saddle height, angle and setback are all dialed in for every bike so A, B and C bikes fit identically (Image credit: Courtesy Castelli)
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This BIKEsettings.com tool keys off of the bottom bracket for saddle setback measurement

This BIKEsettings.com tool keys off of the bottom bracket for saddle setback measurement (Image credit: Courtesy Castelli)
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Giant bags full of new kit for IAM from Cuore must be sorted and delivered

Giant bags full of new kit for IAM from Cuore must be sorted and delivered (Image credit: Courtesy Castelli)
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New handlebar tape before the race is a given

New handlebar tape before the race is a given (Image credit: Courtesy Castelli)
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Many A bikes are built up new from the box, while many back-up bikes are those that have already seen service

Many A bikes are built up new from the box, while many back-up bikes are those that have already seen service (Image credit: Courtesy Castelli)
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Sometimes the simplest methods of record keeping are the best

Sometimes the simplest methods of record keeping are the best (Image credit: Courtesy Castelli)
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Who gets new gold bar tape at the Tour de France?

Who gets new gold bar tape at the Tour de France? (Image credit: Courtesy Castelli)
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Why, that would be Vino, the reigning Olympic road champion

Why, that would be Vino, the reigning Olympic road champion (Image credit: Courtesy Castelli)
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Look's new 796 time trial bike for team Bretagne-Seche is an eye-catcher

Look's new 796 time trial bike for team Bretagne-Seche is an eye-catcher (Image credit: Courtesy Castelli)
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Astana mechanic works away on a bike

Astana mechanic works away on a bike (Image credit: Bettini Photo)

This article originally appeared on Bike Radar.

As a heatwave swept Holland in the days before the start of the 2015 Tour de France, pro mechanics were working feverishly to assemble, reassemble, fine-tune and polish hundreds of bicycles. BikeRadar went around to visit many of the mechanics as they wrenched away — many with aprons over naked torsos in the heat — and captured the gallery above.

With the Tour this year again including a cobbled stage — many riders are calling stage 4 the Paris-Roubaix stage, as it takes in a few sections of pavé from the spring classic — many teams brought endurance bikes as they would for Paris-Roubaix in addition to standard road and aero road bikes. Since the race this year starts with a time trial, those bikes have to be readied as well. And since each rider requires at least one, if not two, back-up bikes for each type of machine, the total number of bikes adds up quickly.

At this point in the season, riders' positions are solidified, and fit coordinates are standardized across all of their bikes. Some mechanics use spreadsheets to keep track of the data; others use detailed handwritten notes.

But while all the fit coordinates are identical from one bike to the next, the componentry isn't always the same. Most often, the B or C bikes for riders will be lacking a power meter, or have a different power meter, while the A bike has the primary set-up.

Some bikes were being built for the very first time by mechanics, such as the Specialized S-Works Venge ViAS and the Look 796 time trial bike.

Some B or C bikes, however, already carry the battle scars of previous racing, with the telltale scuffs on rear derailleurs and nicks out of the paint.

Tire choice and pressure for stage 4 remained a point of discussion for riders and mechanics in the days before the Tour. While there are cobbles, there are only seven sectors with a total distance of 13.3km — nowhere near the amount in the Paris-Roubaix. So riders want their tubulars to be light and fast across the pavement of the 224km stage. However, riders also want to be as comfortable as possible, with as much traction as possible, across those 13.3km of cobbles.

MTN Qhubeka head mechanic Klas Johansson said his riders will likely start with 6bar/87psi with the hope or expectation that the air pressure will decrease to about 5.5bar/80psi over the first few hours of racing before they hit the stones.

Cannondale-Garmin mechanic Alex Banyay said his riders will be running the same set-up they did back in April at Paris-Roubaix.

Click through the gallery above for a closer look at the pro mechanics at work.