Posts by Calvin Jones


58 posts found.

  • Measuring Effective Rim Diameter

    Wheel building begins with having the right components at hand. Basically, these are the hub, the rim, and of course spokes of the right length. Unfortunately, that last part, "spokes of the right length," is not always so simple to come up with. A big part of determining the correct spoke length is using the correct "Effective Rim Diameter" (ERD), a concept that is reviewed in this article.

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  • Wheel Tension App

    Wheel truing can be great fun. It provides us chance to focus on something that should be simple, something that bends to our will, so to speak. Get a cup of good coffee, sit yourself in front of a truing stand, and meditate on making a perfect wheel.

    There are of course many tools that can help you make better wheels. Truing stands, spoke wrenches, dishing tools, and a TM-1 Spoke Tension Meter will make things go right. With the TM-1, you can know the tightness of the spokes overall (average spoke tension) as well as know the relative spoke tension (how tight each spoke is relative to the other spokes in the wheel).

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  • Road Race Support for Team 3M

    The topic of this Calvin's Corner will be the technical support for the 3M Cycling Team. The 3M Corporation is based in the Twin Cities, Minnesota. It is, after all, "Minnesota Mining and Manufacturing." The team is here to race the North Star Gran Prix. This is a stage race for road bikes, and as always it is the preparation that make all smooth and nice for the team.

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  • The Slow-Time is the Right Time for Shop Inspection

    In the bicycle retail business, the slower off-season is the perfect time to do things you've put off during the crazy, busy summer, including a detailed shop inspection. Use this downtime as an opportunity to go through your tools, materials, and equipment to determine what is worn out and needs to be replaced or replenished. When the warmer weather hits, the customers roll in, and the work starts stacking up, you will be ready to crank out the service. Now is also the time to look at new tools that will help you service bikes with new or updated technology.

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  • Thermodynamics: What can it do for you?

    We live in a world of hot and cold, so we might as well put them to use. When you get out of your comfort zone, say, for example, into deep space, you might truly get to experience extreme temperature ranges. Cold so cold that gases become liquids, and hots so hot that metals run like water, or so it is said.

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  • 2013 MTB World Championships

    This article will feature the 2013 Mountain Bike World Championships held in Pietermaritzburg, Republic of South Africa. I will attempt to post current information as it happens, that is, once I am on the ground in Pietermartinzburg on Sunday, August 25th.

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  • The Work Horses of Park Tool

    The new Park Tool factory is big. So big it feels like it takes forever to walk from one end to the other. Just the factory is 200 x 300 feet. You have to walk down aisles of production, packaging, welding, then shipping before you get where you want to go. So with a huge new building, what better excuse is needed to grab a bike? We have a fleet here of 9 rides for your factory cruising pleasure. Each steed is a bit different in what they offer. This article will review of The Wheels of the Park Tool Factory.

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  • 2013 Cyclocross National Champions

    "This year's USA National Cyclocross Championship promises to be epic!!"—Anonymous Elite Racer.

    That might be one way of putting it, because what we are going to be talking about here is a bike race with people wearing spandex, in Madison, Wisconsin, in the middle of January!

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  • Free Bikes 4 Kids, a Minnesota program

    Free Bikes 4 Kids is a non-profit organization based in the Twin Cites area of Minnesota.

    The concept of Free Bikes For Kids is to provide a bike (and a helmet) to a kid who would otherwise not get a bike. Bikes are donated at drop off locations, and what a collection of bikes they are! What are often called "department store" or "big box" bikes, serious BMX bikes, hybrids of well recognized brand names, the occasional Campagnolo® Record® group with requisite Reynolds® 531 frame; all have been seen.

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  • Basic Use of Tools

    A sound working knowledge of tool use is the basis of being a mechanic. Developing good working habits will result in better, more consistent repairs, and in longer lasting tools. This article provides a short review of the proper use of some basic tools.

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  • Repairing On-The-Ride

    This article will review repairs we can do while we are out and about on a bike. There are, of course, many possible issues and problems that can and do occasionally occur when we are riding. Here, we will consider the what to bring, the pre-ride inspection and six broad categories: Flat Tires, Wheel Issues, Drive Train, Braking Systems, Stems/Posts/Bars, and Frames/Forks.

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  • HESJEDAL WINS GIRO

    Congratulations to Ryder Hesjedal of Team Garmin Barracuda on his victory in the Giro d' Italia.

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  • How to Build a Spearfish

    It has been 22 years since the Clark-Kent mountain bike was new (seen below, on the left). The time has come for an updated, contemporary machine, which in this case will be a Salsa Spearfish (on the right, still mud-free). At first glance you might think these bikes are for two different customers, but that is not the case, as both are mine. The Clark-Kent has a relatively low bottom bracket height compared to the Salsa. Saddle-to-pedal and saddle-over-bars dimension is nearly the same for both. However the larger 29er wheels and taller bottom bracket height give the illusion of two different fits.

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  • Springtime Attention Brings Problem Prevention

    Springtime is nigh upon us, the time when a true cyclist's heart turns to—what else—bicycle maintenance. With attention from you, plus some elbow grease, your early season rides will be coming up roses.

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  • European Fastest Wrench. Czech it out.

    The biggest trade show in central Europe is held in the Czech Republic and is called Bike BRNO. This year, some of the most entertaining action was taking place under a trio of Park Tool tents. For the second year, Pedalsport, Park Tool’s distributor to the Czech Republic has conducted a contest for mechanics called “Fastest Tool.”

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  • 2011 USA Cycling Race Mechanic Clinic

    Each year since 1987, I have taught at the Bill Woodul Race Mechanics Clinic, hosted by USA Cycling. Bill was a former USAC Equipment manager. We lost Bill to cancer in 1996, but it was this man who created the clinic as a place to share experience and knowledge with newer mechanics.

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  • Bringing a Peugeot Mont-Cenis Back to Life

    Reconditioning work on older vehicles such as hot rods, airplanes, tractors and bicycles can be a lot of fun. It is best to keep this in mind when taking on such a project. It should be fun. Just keep reminding yourself of this, no matter how frustrating and expensive it becomes. In almost all cases, the work should be done for the love of the machine and the love of the process. You will not have a chance to sell the vehicle at a huge profit. There is no one out there who's just been waiting on eBay for this very bike you hauled out of the garbage/garage/yard sale. On the other hand, they say there is one born every minute...

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  • Ride 2 Recovery

    Park Tool is a supplier to Ride 2 Recovery, a national program that helps injured veterans overcome obstacles they face. Cycling is their core activity, and they partner with the Fitness Challenge Foundation to support Spinning® Recovery labs and outdoor cycling programs at Military and Veteran Administration locations around the USA.

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  • UCI World Cup in the Czech Republic

    UCI Mountain Bike World Cup for cross country was recently at Nove Mesto Na Morave in the Czech Republic (southeast of Prague). Our distributor, Pedal Sport, was on site to keep all the two wheelers rolling. Congratulations to Czech rider, Jaroslav Kulhavy, winning the Elite Men XC.

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  • Disc Brake Squeal: A Case Study

    This Calvin's Corner reviews a singular case of disc brake squeal.

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  • TOUR OF CALIFORNIA UPDATE—Stories from Car 1

    Here at the Amgen Tour of California The Kelly Benefit Strategies - Optum Health team will have 2 cars in the race caravan. Only UCI stage races of this caliber will allow this. Each team car will follow the race. Like I mentioned before the 3 mechanics here including myself will rotate between jobs of either riding in the back of team car 1 or 2, or taking care of luggage. For stage 3 it was my turn to ride in team car 1.

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  • TOUR OF CALIFORNIA UPDATE—Stories from Car 2

    As I talked about in the last story, there are 2 team cars that drive in the caravan as support. For stage 4 of the Amgen Tour of California I was going to be riding in team car 2. For the most part riding in team car 2, can be a very mellow experience. During stage 4, we were still driving in position number 10, but instead of being only 10 cars behind the field, we are more likely to be behind 40 or so cars.

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  • TOUR OF CALIFORNIA UPDATE—Stage 2

    The Race within the Race.

    It's easy to see what makes a bike race a bike race. It's very simple, who ever crosses the finish line first is the winner. Well, within the Amgen Tour of California there are more races going on that don't necessarily take place on bicycles. To me as a staff member, some of these races carry more prestige and importance than who wins the overall General Classification.

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  • TOUR OF CALIFORNIA UPDATE—Stage 1

    Today was a day I may never forget.

    The Tour of California is scheduled to start today in Lake Tahoe. It is very strange to wake up the day of a bike race and to look out my hotel window to see heavy snow falling from the sky. By the time we checked out of our hotel room and made it to breakfast, the snow was still falling. Not much was sticking to the ground, but all of our team vehicles had several inches of fresh snow accumulating on them.

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  • TOUR OF CALIFORNIA UPDATE—Stage "None"

    I arrived in South Lake Tahoe, NV almost a full 72 hours before the start of the 2011 "Amen" Tour of California. It took me 2 days to drive from my new home in Colorado. I had the team's trailer parked in my front yard after the SRAM Tour of Gila, where I was prepping equipment for the upcoming 8 day stage race. The trailer was completely full, with just about all of the team's race bikes and race wheels, so after the halfway point in between Denver to South Lake Tahoe I pulled over at a truck stop.

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  • 2011 Cycle Speedway World Championships

    Cycle Speedway is a type of bicycle racing that is not well known in the USA. It is an international sport, but Speedway creation stories all stem back to the United Kingdom. It consists of relatively short anaerobic races at outdoor facilities built for the purpose. The cinder track is absolutely flat and short, between 70–90 meters, and events are usually four laps long.

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  • To Fixie, or Not to Fixie... Why Not Some of Each With the SRAM® Torpedo® Hub?

    The article will review the service and installation of the SRAM® Torpedo® fix & free rear hub. Torpedo® branded hubs have a long history of coaster brake hub systems. SRAM® offers an interesting option in the Torpedo® fix & free hub. This hub allows freewheeling as any one-speed freewheel bike, but can then be adjusted without removing the wheel from the bike to a fixed gear option. The fixed-freewheel adjusting screw drives into the hub and displaces a carriage that frees a second set of internal locking pawls. This second set of pawls locks the rear cog from turning either direction.

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  • Pro Mechanic Eric Jellum reports from Asia

    One of the most enjoyable experiences of my job as the head mechanic of the Kelly Benefit Strategies - Optum Health Cycling Team is when the team travels to new exotic international races. For the first race of the year, the KBS - Optum Health squad visited Singapore for the OCBC criterium and also competed in the Jalajah Malaysia stage race. Along with the 6 riders traveling over to Asia there were 3 staff members supporting the racers.

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  • Erik Jellum and the Kelly Benefit Strategies—Optum Health Early Season Work

    I have spent the past 2 weeks in Minneapolis, building bikes, organizing parts and working on the trailer. It has been a cold couple of days with the temperature never getting warmer than 10 below zero. Any work that needs to be done outside is done with haste as I'm afraid to lose a limb to frostbite. Luckily for me the team’s service course is big enough to take over the entire space to build bikes, and building bikes some how takes up a lot of real estate.

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  • Park Tool in Roatan

    While Park Tool's own Don Schoff was vacationing on the tiny island of Roatan, he wandered into Native Sons Dive Shop and found himself face to face with one of our PRS-4W-2 repair stands. Known for his TS-2.2 work, he also likely assembled this PRS-4W-2!

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  • Wind Tunnel Time for the Kelly Benefit Strategies—OptumHealth Pro Cycling

    It’s that time of year when Pro teams are sending the TT specialist to the wind tunnel to tweak their positions. Nowadays though, not only do the fast time trialist visit the wind tunnel but also GC riders will spend time working on their technique. The time spent in the wind tunnel is very valuable and even the smallest changes can pay off big with wins later on in the season. Not, only does the wind tunnel help the riders become more aero it’s also a great showcase for the teams sponsors to feature the newest equipment.

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  • EUROPACUP

    The EUROPACUP is organized by ISSABrno as a competition between some of the best mechanics who study bike mechanics schools in Germany, Switzerland, Austria and the Czech Republic. This competition was held on January 7th, 2011 in Brno, Czech Republic. Eight work areas stocking Park Tool products were created for the event.

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  • The Life of a Pro Mechanic When His Team Is Not Racing

    Eric Jellum (Head Mechanic, Kelly Benefits Racing Team) describes the life of a mechanic once the race season ends.

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  • Santa Story

    In the frozen plains of Saint Paul, Minnesota, each December heralds the annual emergence of the famous Park Tool Santa. Read to learn more about this local fixture.

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  • USA Cycling Race Mechanic Clinic

    Every year USA Cycling, the National governing body for bike racing in the USA, hosts the Bill Woodul Race Mechanic Clinic. The first clinic, held in 1988, was created by USA Cycling Head Equipment Manager, the late Bill Woodul. The clinic offers a unique venue for the education of the race mechanic found no where else in the world.

    The focus during December 1–5, 2010 was on what it takes to provide the service and support required at competitive cycling events.

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  • Ride 2 Recovery: Great Lakes Challenge

    The Ride 2 Recovery is a non-profit organization that sponsors rides around the USA for injured military veterans. Ride 2 Recovery considers cycling an important part of the recovery process. It is something most all of the patients with mental and physical disabilities can participate in, and it's just fun.

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  • Measuring Up

    How we choose to measure things is important. Most of the world uses the metric system of measurement. While the metric system is based on a standard meter, for mechanical uses such as on bicycles, it is will help to understand metrics better if you consider the millimeter the basic unit.

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  • MarathonMan—Europe 2010 in the Czech Republic

    More racing in the Czech Republic and that means more work for PedalSport. The event is a series of races for the general sporting public, and licensed and amateur racers, as well as handicapped sportsmen's class. Also held was UCI CN - Czech Championship in 2010 in XCM, the MarathonMan - Europe 2010 and the iVelo Bike Marathon 2010 series.

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  • Miller School adds Cycling Program

    We received pictures from Peter Hufnagel of the Miller School in Charlottesville, Virginia. Peter has started a high school cycling program which includes extensive instruction in bicycle mechanics.

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  • Cities, Bicycles, and the Future of Bells

    Bike gatherings are always of interest, at least to bike-minded people. In the middle of June there was something of a "gathering of tribes" in the Twin Cities, Minnesota area. The Nature Valley Grand Prix was in town. Cyclists clad in bright Lycra from all over the USA and the world are competing here in a grueling five-day race. The bikes are sleek, the athletes fit, and everyone shares a common goal... to WIN!!

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  • How About Those Minnesotans?

    Park Tool's home state of Minnesota introduces the nation's largest bike sharing program.

    Nice Ride Minnesota's Phase 1 Plan calls for 1,000 bikes in 75 kiosks in downtown Minneapolis, on the University of Minnesota Twin Cities Campus, and in surrounding commercial areas, including Uptown, Lyn-Lake, Midtown, Seward, Dinkytown, Cedar-Riverside, the West Bank, the Warehouse District, and Old St. Anthony. 700 of those bikes and 65 kiosks are being installed now.

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  • 2010 Park Tool Tech Summit Wrap Up

    On February 2nd in San Jose, CA, Park Tool wrapped up our 2010 series of our Park Tool Tech Summit. This is the most noteworthy and effective program of field training clinics for bicycle mechanics in the country. This year we hosted 650 professional mechanics in three cities, Philadelphia, Chicago and San Jose. We were joined by 7 of the top component manufacturers in the world. Shimano®, SRAM®, Rock Shox®, Fox®, Mavic®, Hayes®, and Campagnolo®.

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  • Getting a Sense of the Problem

    In bicycle repair, or any other mechanical work for that matter, we should bring to the table our five senses. We need as much input as possible in order to process the data and come to a resolution on the issues before us. This article will expatiate upon the "five senses" and how they facilitate our ability to diagnose and repair. There are some that may advocate for a sixth sense, but you will not find me among them.

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  • Campagnolo® Ultra-Torque™ and Record® Group

    As manufacturers release new groups and components, there are often new features that require new service procedures. This article will discuss the newer component groups available from Campagnolo®.

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  • CYCLING... the book

    With the arrival of summer, it is primetime for good riding and fine reading. In this edition of Calvin's corner I will provide a book report of a tome which influenced me, and my way of thinking. It is sometimes long after reading a piece of literature, and then by rereading it, does it become clear what it means to you. Such a book is CYCLING, published by the C.O.N.I. (Comitato Olimpico Nazionale Italiano), Rome, Italy.

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  • Gore® Ride-On® Cable Installation

    This article will describe the installation of the Gore® Ride-On® cable system. This is a cable housing system that relies on a tubing system to seal the inner shifting or brake wire, thereby preventing dirt and water from entering. The system is composed of housing, a full length removable liner tube, a coated brake (or shift) wire, end caps (ferrules) for both frame housing stops and component housing stops, "grub" seals for ends of the wire system, cable end crimps, and crimp covers.

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  • Shimano® Coasting System

    This article will discuss the Shimano® "Coasting" system. The Coasting system uses a 3-speed internal hub. The shifting is done automatically the "Automatic Unit" (AI). The electricity to operate the Automatic Unit comes from the dynamo (generating) front hub.

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  • Thinking About Your Ride

    The optic of this article will be on the relationship of the human body with the bicycle. There is both an art and science to placing and positioning the human body on a bicycle for maximum performance. This article addresses you as a casual cyclist rather than as the elite level cyclist, who must concentrate on maximum performance. It asks you to think about how you sit on a bike. You will enjoy riding more by using common sense, paying attention to how you feel, and by using trial and error in your positioning.

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  • This I Believe

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  • Working in the Dark

    This article will discuss techniques useful to the workers of the bicycle world. Although I try hard not to, sometimes parts are dropped on the floor. Sometimes, very small parts are dropped. On the preventative side, have a place arranged to place your small parts. Use a tub, or better yet keep them in the Park Tool MB-1 magnetic bowl.

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  • A Visit With Andy Hampsten

    Andy Hampsten is a former professional racer. Winner of the Giro d'Italia, veteran of the Tour de France, team rider for the Motorola Cycling Team, 7-11, La Vie Claire, and Levi's, Andy has seen many a mile on and off the bike. Andy was kind enough to take the time to chat about about bikes and biking. Andy was a rider for the Levi's Professional Cycling Team back in the early 1980s. I was his mechanic back then, and learned a lot from his example and attitude. It is always a pleasure to hear from Mr. Hampsten.

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  • Winter Time Preparation

    Each type of competitive or sport riding has certain bike features that are "sports specific." Winter riding, meaning a lot of snow, deep back woods, alone, and cold, real cold, requires it's own special type of thinking and equipment. Park Tool's engineer, Pierre Ostor, is a winter rider (figure 1). He loves the winter so much, he is also the promoter of a winter race here in Minnesota, the Arrowhead 135.

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  • The Triple Crown of Racing

    This article will discuss the triple clamp fork. The triple clamp provides a very rigid and strong system to hold fork legs. It can found on downhill race bikes, freeride bikes, and some "enduro" bikes.

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  • Fishing for the Boss

    This article will discuss a potential repair of failed water bottle fittings. Water bottle fittings are intended to be permanent part of the bike frame. Consult the bike manufacturer before attempting any repair.

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  • Human-to-Machine Relationships

    Large cycling events such as charity fundraisers are great opportunities to observe different types of bicycles and their owners. If you work these events as a mechanic, you get to see lots problems in a short period of time, as you quickly diagnosis the issue, fix it, and send the riders on their way.

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  • Calvin's Last Minute Bike Assembly Guide

    Let me begin this article by saying first that if you are reading this hoping to assemble that gift bike, you are already in trouble. Bicycles, even simple "children's" bicycles are vehicles, and are in their own way, sophisticated. You are better off purchasing a bicycle complete from your local independent bicycle retailer. That being said, some parents have purchased a bicycle in a box that needs to go together, and that will be the focus of this article.

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  • Why I Prefer the Older Rides

    My friends say that I seem to prefer older bikes, and, in fact, they're right. I do like the older machines, but only for myself. Actually, I love the newer technologies. Hydraulic braking systems, electronic shifting, 10-speed rear cassettes, carbon frames and components of all kinds are fascinating. Learning new skills, new service technology, and then applying your knowledge is what appeals to me as a mechanic.

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  • A Visit with Julien DeVries, Chief of Mechanics for the Discovery Channel Cycling Team

    The 2006 Discovery Channel Professional Cycling Team gathered recently for their annual training camp and I was honored and excited to be a part of it. This year's camp took place in Solvang, California from January 14th to 27th. This is the time when the riders and staff begin preparation for the coming season. The rolling hills of California's central coast provide a great place for the riders to establish a base fitness level, as the mechanics and support staff are learning about the new equipment and the needs of the new team members. Since Park Tool is the official tool and maintenance equipment supplier for The Team, I was there to visit the mechanics, learn of their needs for the coming year, and show off this year's new tools.

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