Tuesday, June 24, 2008

Wrenching with Sweet

By Chris Sweet

It's been more than 15 years since I first started racing triathlons. For those first races I borrowed my mom's steel Ross 10 speed (that's 10 gears total for you newbies!). The bike was too big for me and never intended for racing in the first place. During one of my first kids triathlons my chain fell off at least two times during a six mile ride. I think I managed to win the race, but the important lesson I learned was about bike maintenance. While I was fixing the chain and getting passed, I vowed to learn everything I could about how my bike worked. After that race I began taking bikes apart and putting them back together so that I knew how each piece worked. In the long run, this has saved me a lot of money, but more importantly I have a dialed in bike on race day as well as the knowledge to handle almost any mechanical problem that may occur.

When I found out that my new Evotri teammate, Charlie who lives in the boonies did not have a BMC dealer anywhere in the vicinity to assemble his new bike, I said no problem, I'll put it together. This video compresses Charlie's bike build from a couple hours down to a couple minutes. Hey, I'm good, but not that good!

Here's how the 2008 Evotri Team Bikes are spec'd:

BMC TT02 Frame
Easton EC 90 Aero Fork
Zipp 606 clincher wheelset with Wireless Powertap
Zipp Vuka aerobars
Zipp VumaQuad Crankset
Full SRAM Force groupset

If you want to improve your wrenching skills I recommend either of these books: The Bicycling Guide to Complete Bicycle Maintenance and Repair (5th edition) or Zinn and the Art of Road Bike Maintenance (2nd Edition). A few of the best websites are: Sheldon Brown's Bicycle Technical Info and The Bike Website.

Don't be afraid to try something yourself. Yeah, you'll probably screw something up along the way, but figuring out what you did wrong is one of the best ways to learn!