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pro team mechanics!

Sep 22, 2009
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I was wondering what kind of education do the mechanics of the professional teams have.

my friend always talks about education and how important it is. he was absolutely sure they all have at least some sort of engineers degree but i said that just sounded like bull****. was i wrong?

hypothetically, if i had 10 years of experience in different bike shops working on race bikes, could speak fluent french, dutch, english and was a former rider on national level, have finished high school and a 2 year school on electrics plus military service, and a course for pro team mechanics (i heard they exist?). would i then have a chance to get to a pro team?

i just think sometimes people make too much of a deal on education and i just wanted to prove my friend wrong at least on this matter.. what do you think?
 
FKLance said:
I was wondering what kind of education do the mechanics of the professional teams have.

my friend always talks about education and how important it is. he was absolutely sure they all have at least some sort of engineers degree but i said that just sounded like bull****. was i wrong?

hypothetically, if i had 10 years of experience in different bike shops working on race bikes, could speak fluent french, dutch, english and was a former rider on national level, have finished high school and a 2 year school on electrics plus military service, and a course for pro team mechanics (i heard they exist?). would i then have a chance to get to a pro team?

i just think sometimes people make too much of a deal on education and i just wanted to prove my friend wrong at least on this matter.. what do you think?

No engineering degree unless they got one and couldn't find a job. No reason to have that level orf training if you are wrenching on bicycles.

I have met some really good ones and some really pitiful team mechanics. Most have bike shop experience, few have formal training, like a bike school.

Many who really can't 'make it' in the trenches of a bike shop go to a team. Many are selected via nepotism..friend of a friend type thing. Some of the big boys in the Euro Peloton bring their own wrench.

Remember these guys work on essentially brand new equipment, all the time. PLUS they have a van full of spares, including wheels. They really dont' 'fix' anything, just clean and replace. I doubt any team mechanic ever rebuilt a Campagnolo ERGO lever, for instance. LONG hours and some pretty crappy jobs not involving wrenching plus some abuse by some riders is common.

Being able to speak the most common language of the team is certainly a plus. If you can't speak Italian, for instance, don't expect to be considered for an Italian team.

And did I mention poor pay? Lots of travel, driving team cars, cleaning them, etc.
 
A

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theswordsman said:
Here are two stories from the Tour de France talking about Contador's bike and what his favorite mechanic, Faustino Munoz, does to keep them ready.

http://www.cyclingnews.com/features/alberto-contadors-astana-trek-6-series-madone

http://www.bikeradar.com/news/article/pro-bike-alberto-contadors-astana-trek-series-6-madone-22518

And here's a recent interview with Garmin team wrench Daimeon Shanks. (He's pretty funny).

http://www.pezcyclingnews.com/?pg=fullstory&id=7791

I would like to spend a year(only 1) in a US team that did a lot of Euro races. See what it's like behind the scenes. Maybe the new Swanny at Livestrong U-23 team will come thru with a team someday......

Ya read this forum bigboy?
 
Jul 27, 2009
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Engineering degrees qualify you to design and build things, not just fix them.

A mechanical or aerospace engineering degree would open up the possibility of getting a job working for one of the major bicycle manufacturers designing their new bikes...that said, you'd probably also want to learn Mandarin given where most of them are actually made these days.

I think bustedknuckle has it right - it's probably not much of a lifestyle; constant travel to interesting places without any time to actually see them, and lousy pay. Dealing with riders probably wouldn't be that much fun either, a lot of the time; even if they're nice people off the bike (and a lot of elite athletes aren't) they're probably very tired and cranky after a few days of a hard stage race.