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Yes. The organization of the TransPortugal Race will have a mechanical team at the end of each stage to give support to the bikes.
Also during the course of every stage, among the athletes there will be a staff rider with mechanical skills and a 4x4 vehicle to assist if necessary. Please remember that if you request assistance to the organization during the stage you will suffer time penalties (check the rules carefully).
There will be a special Service Package called “BIKE CARE D-LUX”, as described in the PRICES page, that a competitor may sign in for when registering in the race which reliefs the racer from all the work involved with the bike maintenance. This package includes a daily bike washing, drying and lubrication and all labor costs resulting from all the eventually needed repairs. The racer will hand over his or her bike at the end of each stage and the Organization will take care of it till the next morning.
Any repair work required by the riders who have not contracted the Technical Service Package mentioned above will be charged according to an hourly labour rate set out by the Organization.
Regarding the time allocation of the Race Mechanical Department those who signed in advance this “BIKE CARE D-LUX” pack, will have priority over those that have not.
In all cases parts and accessories must be paid for by the participant.
The use of the water pressure washing machines is free but priority is given to bikes belonging to those who pre-contracted the service.
We will try to make available, for eventual repairs, the widest variety of bike components.
Nevertheless it will not be possible to ensure that we carry stock of every single part, considering the variety of bikes and different components present in the race.
Having said that, we strongly advise participants to bring some of the more specific components for their own bikes, such as: rear suspension repair kits, rear dropouts, seat post clamps and any “not-so-common” part.
We stock a large amount of brake pads, but it’s always a good idea to bring some of your own.
Needless to say some of the most important bits should be carried with you during the stages
(brake pads, dropouts, etc...), the rest you can leave in your bag.
The organization will not carry any bulky bike part, such as wheels or frames that does not normally fit inside the regular athlete´s race bag.
Yes. We’ll have an official race shop every day at the end of each stage where you can buy some components/accessories as well as nutrition products. Here is a list of what can be bought locally:
- Chain lube
- Patching kits
- CO2 cartridges
- Tire sealant
- Nutrition bars and gels
- Recovery / isotonic drinks
- Nappy cream
The TransPortugal Race course has a wide variety of terrain. From old Roman and medieval cobblestone roads to sharp or loose rocks paths alternating with fast rolling hard pack dirt roads and some technical single-tracks, we have it all!
An “all-around” tire (whatever that is) would be the best option although the choice must be made according to each rider’s riding technique and race objectives.
Proper tubeless tires with a glycol base self-sealant liquid are a “must have” and are in fact a much better option to the tubeless ready tires with latex based self-sealant. The later being a much lighter setup is only recommended to light riders who have good riding skills.
Please check Keith Bontrager’s opinion in his diary, at the cycling news website, written as a balance of his participation in a previous edition of this race: http://autobus.cyclingnews.com/riders/2006/diaries/keith/?id=keith0604
Just to close this tire issue we must say that maybe 50% of all technical problems occurring in the race resulting in loss of performance, are tires or tubes related.
The other 50% are gear / shifting problems, but we’ll get to that point.
TransPortugal is an individual stage race, 8 days / 1000km with a total climbing of more than 17.000m. It is extremely important that every bike has a comprehensive full service in preparation for the race. Coming for a podium position or just for “fun”, the worst thing that can happen to any racer is to be forced to drop out because of “that” bike part you thought it “might” hold, didn’t.
We strongly recommend:
- New chain / gear set
- New inner and outer cables
- New tires
- New brake pads
- Service forks / shocks, pedals, bottom bracket, wheels
For those who bring a full suspension bike either replace or bring a new set of bearings / bushes for the rear triangle and shock.
Although obvious for most of you, it’s never too much repeating;
Do not make major changes in your bike before the race, especially if that has any impact with the way you ride and or position on the bike.
It’s not the best time to try that new saddle or pair of pedals you read so favorable about, in your favorite Internet bike forum.
Nor you should change the stem from 90mm/10º to 100mm/-5º just because it’s more racing.
Least but not last, take your bike for a long ride after you picked it up from the bike shop you has it serviced before the race.
If anything has to fail, let it fail while you still have plenty of time to get it fixed.
Based on previous editions observations we can say that there isn’t an ideal bike configuration for this race, or on the other hand, there are many.
It all depends on one´s goal. If winning the race is your prime objective, then a rigid light bike would be the perfect weapon.
On the other hand, if finishing inside the cut off time without a lot body pain, is what goes for you, then a not so light full suspension may be the best option.
Regarding frame materials, carbon fiber and its new production technologies, has, in the recent past, proven to be the winning formula both for FS and HT bikes.
Titanium for a rigid bike is a classic for long distances and its plush ride adds comfort when you
spend many hours on the saddle.
Aluminium for a rigid bike is probably the least recommended material due to its harsh response to rough terrain, imposing a lot of body fatigue which one wants to avoid as much as possible in a long staged race like this.
Please, don’t go rushing to the shop to buy a new bike. This is a personal opinion and as you know this is a very sensitive subject.
More important than the frame material is the component choice.
The relation between weight and reliability of the components chosen is very important to assemble a good bike capable of racing flawlessly the entire route of TransPortugal yet providing true racing feeling.
Enjoy your rides and get in touch if you need any kind of help.