Skip to main content

Race tech: Team mechanics at Tour Down Under

Image 1 of 27

Because this jig locates off the front and rear axles, it can be used on the workstand and doesn't require flat ground.

Because this jig locates off the front and rear axles, it can be used on the workstand and doesn't require flat ground. (Image credit: Jonny Irick)
Image 2 of 27

Astana's mechanics not only have bikes to prep but race radios to hand out, too.

Astana's mechanics not only have bikes to prep but race radios to hand out, too. (Image credit: Jonny Irick)
Image 3 of 27

Carbon dropouts supplied by Scott are the exact same as what's used on Orica-Greenedge team bikes so if it fits here, it'll fit there, too.

Carbon dropouts supplied by Scott are the exact same as what's used on Orica-Greenedge team bikes so if it fits here, it'll fit there, too. (Image credit: Jonny Irick)
Image 4 of 27

Race radios are supplied by the race organizer to each team.

Race radios are supplied by the race organizer to each team. (Image credit: Jonny Irick)
Image 5 of 27

Team mechanics can't always follow the team so riders are usually equipped with kits in the event of a puncture.

Team mechanics can't always follow the team so riders are usually equipped with kits in the event of a puncture. (Image credit: Jonny Irick)
Image 6 of 27

RadioShack-Leopard's tubular repair kit.

RadioShack-Leopard's tubular repair kit. (Image credit: Jonny Irick)
Image 7 of 27

Like many teams, Sky supplies its riders with a spare tubular and pump stuffed into a cut-off water bottle for training rides.

Like many teams, Sky supplies its riders with a spare tubular and pump stuffed into a cut-off water bottle for training rides. (Image credit: Jonny Irick)
Image 8 of 27

This Cannondale rider instead uses a fully enclosed container specifically made for the task.

This Cannondale rider instead uses a fully enclosed container specifically made for the task. (Image credit: Jonny Irick)
Image 9 of 27

This Euskaltel-Euskadi Orbea Orca is conveniently sized such that a full-length frame pump will fit.

This Euskaltel-Euskadi Orbea Orca is conveniently sized such that a full-length frame pump will fit. (Image credit: Jonny Irick)
Image 10 of 27

Another homemade open-topped repair kit.

Another homemade open-topped repair kit. (Image credit: Jonny Irick)
Image 11 of 27

This Sky mechanic's toolbox is impressively neat and tidy.

This Sky mechanic's toolbox is impressively neat and tidy. (Image credit: Jonny Irick)
Image 12 of 27

Note the toe straps attached the handle of this tool box. While they're almost never used for pedals these days, they're awfully handy.

Note the toe straps attached the handle of this tool box. While they're almost never used for pedals these days, they're awfully handy. (Image credit: Jonny Irick)
Image 13 of 27

This truing stand doesn’t look like much but it can be securely clamped to tables and works well for road wheels.

This truing stand doesn’t look like much but it can be securely clamped to tables and works well for road wheels. (Image credit: Jonny Irick)
Image 14 of 27

Orica-GreenEdge mechanic Craig Geater pre-adjusts quick-release skewers on spare wheels to help ensure a fast change.

Orica-GreenEdge mechanic Craig Geater pre-adjusts quick-release skewers on spare wheels to help ensure a fast change. (Image credit: Jonny Irick)
Image 15 of 27

Number plate installation is practically an art in these circles. The ones used at Tour Down Under are particularly thick and sturdy, meaning they're also harder to cut and shape.

Number plate installation is practically an art in these circles. The ones used at Tour Down Under are particularly thick and sturdy, meaning they're also harder to cut and shape. (Image credit: Jonny Irick)
Image 16 of 27

Rented minivans and roof racks required the use of stepladders to retrieve bikes before the start of the stage.

Rented minivans and roof racks required the use of stepladders to retrieve bikes before the start of the stage. (Image credit: Jonny Irick)
Image 17 of 27

Team mechanics carry their wares in a wide range of containers. Some use a soft-sided case like this.

Team mechanics carry their wares in a wide range of containers. Some use a soft-sided case like this. (Image credit: Jonny Irick)
Image 18 of 27

A big part of the bike mechanics' duties is washing bikes. Wash, rinse, polish, repeat.

A big part of the bike mechanics' duties is washing bikes. Wash, rinse, polish, repeat. (Image credit: Jonny Irick)
Image 19 of 27

Hard cases provide the most protection - and they can be locked for security - but they're also heavy.

Hard cases provide the most protection - and they can be locked for security - but they're also heavy. (Image credit: Jonny Irick)
Image 20 of 27

This lightweight setup includes just the bare essentials.

This lightweight setup includes just the bare essentials. (Image credit: Jonny Irick)
Image 21 of 27

Mechanics frequently store tubular glue in big bottles with homemade resealable nozzles.

Mechanics frequently store tubular glue in big bottles with homemade resealable nozzles. (Image credit: Jonny Irick)
Image 22 of 27

The bottle in the middle has solvent to keep glue brushes from hardening in between tire installations.

The bottle in the middle has solvent to keep glue brushes from hardening in between tire installations. (Image credit: Jonny Irick)
Image 23 of 27

We saw more than one steerer tube being cut before the start of the Tour Down Under.

We saw more than one steerer tube being cut before the start of the Tour Down Under. (Image credit: Jonny Irick)
Image 24 of 27

This aluminum sizing jig is impressively portable as compared to some others we've seen.

This aluminum sizing jig is impressively portable as compared to some others we've seen. (Image credit: Jonny Irick)
Image 25 of 27

Quick-release clamps allow this sizing jig to both assemble and disassemble in minutes.

Quick-release clamps allow this sizing jig to both assemble and disassemble in minutes. (Image credit: Jonny Irick)
Image 26 of 27

Saddle setbacks aren't measured off the nose of the saddle. Instead, they're referenced from where the saddle is a particular width.

Saddle setbacks aren't measured off the nose of the saddle. Instead, they're referenced from where the saddle is a particular width. (Image credit: Jonny Irick)
Image 27 of 27

Likewise, this repair stand won't draw many eyeballs but it's simple and durable.

Likewise, this repair stand won't draw many eyeballs but it's simple and durable. (Image credit: Jonny Irick)

This article originally published on BikeRadar

Team mechanics are the unsung heroes of the cycling world, performing their arduous and numerous tasks quietly and with little fanfare – in fact, they're usually only noticed if things go wrong…

Cyclingnews has been at the 2013 Tour Down Under in Adelaide, Australia, this week, and as well as shooting a massive tech gallery we've taken a peek behind the scenes at some of the bits and pieces the race mechanics use to make sure the pros can concentrate on riding.

Just click on the image gallery on the right and scroll through.

This Sky mechanic's toolbox is impressively neat and tidy