Blog: The defect-free bike

Theo Maucher

I can imagine even just the title will make quite a few people frown. Is it possible to create a defect-free bike? And does BEAT Cycling Club have the ambition – or should I say arrogance – to come up with one? Yes and no. Do we have the ambition? Yes, of course. Do we have the arrogance to claim we will never have riders alongside the road with a mechanical problem? Of course not.

I’ve said it before and I will say it again: cycling does not only need the revolution BEAT Cycling Team stands for, it also needs to cover some of the essentials more thoroughly. And at the risk of repeating myself yet one more time: I know teams, even at the higher levels of our sport, who still struggle with certain of these essentials.

It would be awkward to name specific cases, but have you ever wondered why certain teams, even in very important races, seem to have one flat tyre after the other? Don’t you find it odd that there are riders whose equipment completely breaks down or reveals itself to be utterly unfit for the racing conditions at hand? I have and I do.

A coincidence? Possibly. Something that can happen to everyone? I suppose so, yes. But I cannot help but have the impression that many teams still use untested equipment in important races. I am very glad I will be able to count on people who share my vision about the absolute necessity of thoroughly testing all the equipment well beforehand. In our approach we foresee three loops:

  • A first assessment by a team expert/race engineer.
  • A test in training with a number of selected and experienced riders and protocols.
  • Further testing in racing conditions, during races which are selected for these tests (so not the ones where ‘it matters the most’).

The consequence of this approach? We will need a decent structure, excellent planning and a close collaboration with our equipment partners. The latter become more than just ‘the deliverers of the material’, but development partners in the true sense of the word.

Add to this…

  • mechanics with the right attitude of checking and doublechecking…
  • … and of registering and logging all problems and their (potential) solutions,
  • embracing the most up-to-date technology (disc brakes, tubeless tyres…),
  • and putting to use the experience and expertise we will be gathering around the team in the months to come,

… and I do believe a defect-free bike is a goal we can try to achieve. Maybe we will not obtain the full 100% (after all, ‘shit happens’, as the saying goes), but I will do everything I can to come as close to it as possible!