Most of us are content to tweak our bike fit to within a few millimetres, but that’s not enough precision for those magnificent men with their marginal gains at Team Sky. As you can see in this video from GCN, the stem drawer in the team Sky mechanics’ truck is a precision fit-fettler’s wet dream, filled with a selection of stems in single millimetre length increments.
That’s not the only unusual feature of the truck uncovered by Simon Richardson here. It has novel expandable sides so even with 27 bikes and a huge number of wheels hung inside, there’s still plenty of room for the mechanics. That means they don’t have to work outside under an Ez-Up, the fate of most pro team spanner-wielders, but can be inside and comfortable in all weathers.
The truck also has an area for the team helpers to store riders’ kit, washing machines for clothing and even an onboard vacuum cleaner stashed in an external compartment.
With all those choices of stem length, we can’t help thinking that Sky riders must be constantly wondering whether they could do with an extra millimetre, or a couple of milimetres less. Has this finally solved the mystery of just what Chris Froome is thinking about when he looks so intently at his stem?
Chris Froome discusses his stem with an OPQS team staffer (CC BY-SA 2.0 licence by denismenchov08:Flickr)
Our official grumpy Northerner, John has been riding bikes for over 30 years since discovering as an uncoordinated teen that a sport could be fun if it didn't require you to catch a ball or get in the way of a hulking prop forward.
Road touring was followed by mountain biking and a career racing in the mud that was as brief as it was unsuccessful.
Somewhere along the line came the discovery that he could string a few words together, followed by the even more remarkable discovery that people were mug enough to pay for this rather than expecting him to do an honest day's work. He's pretty certain he's worked for even more bike publications than Mat Brett.
The inevitable 30-something MAMIL transition saw him shift to skinny tyres and these days he lives in Cambridge where the lack of hills is more than made up for by the headwinds.