Pro mechanic bike build of Contador’s Specialized SL4
Posted 8th October 2012
Love him or loathe him, Alberto Contador rode superbly to win the Vuelta this year after ambushing the then race leader, Joaquim Rodriguez, on what was expected to be a relatively easy stage to take the Roja Jersey.
To celebrate his imminent victory he was given a special red and white S-Works SL4 by Specialized for the final ‘processional’ stage. It was up to Contador’s mechanic, Faustino Muñoz, to build up the frame into a working bike on the evening before that final stage. This slightly long (over 12-minutes) but real gem of a video shows just how he did that bike build and if you think you are a good bike builder, its worth having a look at just to see how the pros do it.
As Hallett says, you can always learn something by watching others. So its interesting to see how during the bike build he tries to have things already prepared as far as possible – such as having cables already threaded through the levers, having the chain ready at the correct length, etc – then really goes to town with the electrical tape, taping down the cable-outers to the handlebars, and oils, not greases, the cables as he fits them through the lever hoods.
In this bike build vid you can also see to see Muñoz’s handlebar taping technique, starting at the bar end and working towards the middle. Its especially interesting to see that Contador has two layers of bar tape fitted and secured with even more electrical tape. In fact for obvious reasons, Muñoz spends a lot of time getting the cockpit right to make sure Contador is comfortable during the race.
As with any bike build there’s a bit of fiddling around, plenty of time taken to make sure the gear indexing is correct, and as with any enthusiast, there’s a quick spin round the car park to check it all out!
Experience obviously counts for a lot in any bike build but you can tell its just a job to him, just another bike build, by the way he treats it and goes about his work. He’s quick, precise and methodical but not precious or overly doting. He’s building a functional racing tool, even if it is a celebratory version for one of the greatest riders ever.
Let us know what you think.