THE SEARCH FOR PERFECTION
Mechanic Dave Garland shares a few insights into keeping Danny Hart’s DH bike as fast as its owner
On a race weekend, our goal is simple – to provide Danny with the perfect race bike, which gives him as much grip as he needs, and to make sure it behaves exactly how he wants for the entire weekend. Consistency is key. Any adjustments we make are to find the grip that’s required. That’s what the suspension is there for – to keep the bike in consistent contact with the ground. Tyre pressures and spoke tensions can be adjusted to complement any suspension adjustments. Having too much grip can also be a problem, though. If the bike doesn’t want to stand up again in the exit of a corner, for example, we may need to make changes to fix that.
To make our jobs at the races go as smoothly as possible, we’re testing all the time. Therefore, we know exactly what to expect and how to solve any problems that come up during a race weekend. We usually test for a couple of weeks before a World Cup, so most questions are answered before we even arrive.
It’s important to know your numbers. If you make any changes to the bike, you need to know where you’re starting from. Tyre pressures, suspension sag, rebound and compression damping settings, reach and wheelbase – you need to be aware of all of these details if you’re making changes. Then you can note how each change affects the balance of the bike and whether it’s beneficial or not.