We ambled through the pits of three of the biggest US cyclo-cross outfits – Cannondale-cyclocrossworld.com, LTS-Felt and Rapha-Focus – during this weekend's Exergy US Gran Prix of Cyclocross rounds in Fort Collins, Colorado and were reminded that it's the little things that count at the elite level of sport.
Cannondale-cyclocrossworld.com have six bikes per rider, and they've employed a QR code and 'Cloud' (Google Docs) based database to keep track of them all. A coded sticker is attached to the frame of each bike which reveals rider measurements and other details when scanned.
Team mechanic Daimeon Shanks, co-owner of the Service Course in Boulder, Colorado, uses the same system to keep track of his paying customers' bikes, including time between services and dates of key component service intervals, such as chain and cassette changes and bearing service.
Daimeon Shanks employs a new QR code system to track the Cannondale-cyclocrossworld.com team's equipment
Dusty LaBarr, Ryan Trebon's mechanic and co-owner of the L&T Sports-Felt team, showed us around his new pit, the team's new Mercedes Sprinter van and his creature comforts, which include a 'show' toolbox and the obligatory espresso machine. Both he and Trebon spoke highly of Clement's new Tufo-made tubular tires. Trebon won Saturday's race on the PDX mud tire and took second on Sunday with the LAS file tread.
Clement's hot-out-of-production PDX mud and LAS file tread tires had a great weekend in Colorado
Over at Rapha-Focus we bumped into their team manager Brian Dallas and mechanic Tom Hopper to check out their 'notch in the seat tube' victory ritual and the steed of breakout first year U23 rider Yannick Eckmann, who was fifth during USGP race number three's mud bath.
Rapha-Focus are keeping score this season
Next week is cyclo-cross week here on BikeRadar, so expect reviews of key bikes and products, pro bike features, interviews and more.