Shop Talk

A collection of mechanical musings, advice, news, and other interesting things from Park Tool.

  • Congressman Oberstar Tours Park Tool Factory

    Former Congressman James Oberstar paid a visit to Park Tool’s Saint Paul, MN headquarters on Friday.

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  • Mechanics Speak

    We recently went out west to follow the Tour of California. It was a great chance to talk to many of our friends who fill the ranks of professional team mechanics. Here's what it looked like.

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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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    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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    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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    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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