Calvin's Corner

Mechanical musing and industry insights from Park Tool Director of Education Calvin Jones.

  • 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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