The Rapha Continental is getting set to kick things off for the summer and once again we have teamed up with SRAM Components to outfit the squad. The refresh for a few of our bikes happened just in time for the NAHBS. That way no matter how many dings and scratches may have happened over the course of last summer the components would be fresh and ready to face the road this year.
When we hit the ground in the coming months we will do so on SRAM Force groups. Admittedly these are some fanciful looking parts, with their design friendly white hash marks and sleek carbon lines, but what is even better about them is that they work. The Continental guys rode in something like 28 different states this past summer and dealt with no greater mechanicals than a derailleur that needed adjustment or an overworked bottom bracket needing replacement. Ok, so maybe that is somewhat of a stretch as Cole did bend two chainrings, but if you have seen his legs, you will know that most chainrings would be no match.
However, the support that SRAM has provided for the Rapha Continental over the course of the past couple years has amounted to much more than just riding equipment.
Last February when we rode the Tour of California SRAM Professional Mechanic Chad Contreras joined us for a few of the days. Not only was this man a Professional Mechanic in the truest sense of the word, but, he also has what it takes to work with athletes. Chad was there to help maintain bicycles but he was also there with food when we needed it, fluids when we could take them, a draft behind the car when the winds were unrelenting and more than once, the calming, knowing words of a true mechanic. The toolset that Chad comes with when he travels includes your usual hex wrench, pump, and a spare tube, but Chad also carries with him a knowledge of cycling and how cyclists operate together that is invaluable. And for being willing and able to pass that knowledge along to those that he assists, we Thank You Chad.
But, then again, with SRAM it makes perfect sense that the mechanic that they have working on their components would have a deeper understanding of bicycles than simply the knowledge of the gear.