Interbike, the largest bicycle industry trade event in North America, is challenging all mechanics in the industry to attend the show and compete in the second annual Mechanics Challenge, presented by Park Tool. Prominently featured on the Interbike show floor with grandstand seating for spectators, the competition will test the mechanics’ ability to complete several tasks that they perform on a regular basis as quickly as possible.
Supporting sponsors include the Professional Bicycle Mechanics Association (PBMA), Shimano, Project Bike Tech and Gemini Timing.
“Having 100+ participants go through the Mechanics Challenge last year was fantastic and lots of fun,” said Eric Hawkins, President of Park Tool. “We’re honoured to help put a spotlight on the wrenches who keep everyone on the road and trail every day. On behalf of all of us at Park Tool, we wish everyone good luck at this year’s event and hope to see a big crowd again at the finals.”
Many of the challenges in 2016 were meant to incorporate equalizers that were comical in nature, but after receiving some constructive comments from participants, the event this year will feature tasks that are more straight forward. Last year’s winner, Win Allen of Win’s Wheels in Westlake Village, California, is set to participate and defend his title.
“I applaud Interbike for putting together the Mechanics Challenge last year,” said Win Allen, President & CEO of Win’s Wheels and the 2016 overall Mechanics Challenge winner. “I’ll be out there again to see what new challenges they put together, and hope to bring the title back to my shop again this year.”
The event will once again be directed by Eric Lepping, a team mechanic and race management veteran for more than 30 years. Staffing and judging each challenge station will be members of the PBMA, while Project Bike Tech will manage on-site registration. Each station will be timed by Gemini Timing, which will keep track of individual times on a leaderboard monitor throughout the event.
Nine-time Tour de France racer and broadcast personality Frankie Andreu will keep the event moving as MC.
“Speaking on behalf of the PBMA, I am proud that the we will once again be providing a team of leading mechanics to serve as the officiating crew for the Interbike Mechanics Challenge,” said Brent Williams of the PBMA. “The Mechanics Challenge provides an unparalleled platform for professional bicycle mechanics to showcase their skills and problem-solving abilities in a competition format unlike any other, raising the both visibility and value of mechanical skills in today’s rapidly evolving retail environment.
“We are also pleased once again to assist the team at Interbike and work alongside our presenting sponsor, Park Tool, in supporting this incredible event.”
The Mechanics Challenge qualifying rounds will take place over two days on Wednesday 20 September from 10:00-17:00 local time and Thursday 21 September, from 10:00-14:00, with the top four competing in a semi-final round. Those four will tackle a new course, in a head-to-head, non-timed heat, for the chance to win prizes from Park Tool, Shimano and a three-night hotel stay for Interbike 2018 in Reno-Tahoe.
A limited number of time slots are available for those who wish to participate. More details on how to register can be found at: interbike.com/events/mechanics-challenge.
Interbike 2017 returns to the Mandalay Bay Convention Center in Las Vegas, beginning with OutDoor Demo in Boulder City, Nevada, on 18-19 September 2017, followed by the Interbike Expo on 20-22 September 2017.