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This week over 200 mechanics assembled at an airport hotel in Atlanta, Georgia. Conference rooms smelled of hydraulic fluid and cutting oil instead of disinfectant and air conditioning. Wet weather outside and planes buzzing overhead made it easy for the usually rowdy lot to buckle down and pay attention.
The mechanics had paid airfare, hotel and tuition to attend Park Tool’s ninth Tech Summit. Representatives from Shimano, SRAM, Campagnolo, FSA, Mavic, Cane Creek and Fox all shipped materials by the pallet to the venue. Classrooms were hands-on affairs. Everything from thread cutting principles and torque settings to fork overhauls and electronic group installation were covered during the course of the two-day seminar.
Shop mechanics and owners from all over the country came for the in-depth education. Most sessions were two and a half hours each.
Park Tool’s Bill Armas said, “Park Tool is in a unique position to be able to pull all these brands together and create a great working environment for all these mechanics.”
Ron Gainer, an attendee from Independent Fabrications added, “It gives shop professionals a unique opportunity to talk to other professionals while at the same time talking with the instructors from the company. That lets us go over problems or issues that we may not be aware of.”
The $200 cost covers tuition, materials, breakfast, lunch and afternoon snacks. Park Tool typically offers two summits per year. The next is February 20-21 in Minneapolis. It is expected to sell out, and with good reason. If you’re a mechanic looking to stay up to date with the latest in bicycle technology, this is money well spent.