Neutral Corner: A View From The Pits In Tallahassee

On November 21, 2012 by VeloChamp

Editor’s Note: We are proud to have Velo Champ on board at several FLCX races this season offering neutral support. He is here to help make your race go swimmingly. Do you have a last minute brake issue? Need a 7mm allen key to adjust your Chub Hub for the singlespeed race? Well, Jordan from Velo Champ is your guy. To read more about what races Jordan plans on attending read the official press release. Jordan will pen a column ever now and again to let us know what he saw from the pits on race day and how to get our bikes ready for race day! 

Greetings from the pits!

Being a few races into this year CX season, most should be getting comfortable with their bikes along with any recent component and tire changes. Following last weekend’s phenomenal Tally Cross race, we found our pit management and neutral race support to be invaluable throughout the race.

We were impressed by a solid group of riders coming prepared with spares, including pit wheels and bikes. What better justification for a SSCX bike than to save for pit bike duty, or hell, race some SS categories on a proper bike.

The highest volume of mechanical issues all weekend was related to pinch flats and tubeless tire leakage/burping. Bring that tire pressure UP! Lot’s of wheel swaps followed by flat fixes. To my surprise, not a single rolled tubular came through the pit. Just a handful of broken spokes and a couple of twisted chains. Another note-worthy mechanical issue was failing cleats and/or cleat bolts. In our experience this is more common than most realize. We’re always glad to come prepared with spares for any pedal/cleat issue that might arise.

The recent trend of v-brakes making their way (back) onto cross bikes surely has its upsides. However, we witnessed overall better mud-shedding and debris clearance in Tallahassee with bikes equipped with high-leverage (ie. not low profile) cantilever brakes. Of note, not a single disc brake equipped CX bike came through the pit with a mechanical.

General pit etiquette was good. Being clear with mechanic(s) as you come into the pit is paramount. Bringing beer to the pit mechanics can never hurt. Be sure you identify your spares as best you can. Don’t put your ‘all black single-speed’ right next to the other ‘all black single-speed’ bikes that are in the pit.

We’ll see you in Tampa!