We’re back to posting on #mechanicmonday, and the PBMA is excited to introduce our newest Mechanic of the Week, Eric Paulsen, neutral race mechanic with SRAM NRS and shop mechanic at Hilltop Bicycles in Madison, New Jersey!
For those of you just tuning into #mechanicmonday, welcome! This is where we feature one mechanic each week, chosen at random from nominations submitted the week before. It’s all about mechanics supporting fellow mechanics – even behind the scenes, where we are proud to say that our Mechanic of the Week is presented by none other than Abbey Bike Tools and Friar Quade himself!
It’s hard to pick just one thing about Eric Paulsen that sets him apart from other mechanics. He’s one of the most experienced neutral support mechanics in the business, he’s wrenched in some of the highest-end shops in the world, and he’s pretty much universally well-liked (not to mention well-respected!) by everyone he’s ever crossed paths with. Eric landed at his current shop, Hilltop Bicycles, after spending a few years on the road as SRAM NRS’s full-time mechanic for the Mid-Atlantic region and then working at Signature Cycles in Greenwich, Connecticut.
Eric says he “just got lucky” with the jobs he’s had, but his talent as a mechanic says otherwise. He is best known for taking time to get to know his athletes and fellow mechanics on a human level, so that he can better assess and respond to their mechanical needs. In the shop and on the race circuit, Eric mentors “the next generation” of mechanics by focusing as much on attitude as he does on technical skills.
Like any seasoned mechanic, Eric has some pretty epic stories about bikes. He says the “craziest bike he’s ever worked on” is a toss-up between building a $31,000 Passoni and wiring Di2 onto a trike moments before the start of a Paracycling time trial. The trike in question came out of the box and was built by the athlete, who accidentally crimped the main Di2 wire. Eric had to cut the wires on the start line and electrical tape the connections back together, all while keeping the athlete calm. The athlete made the podium that day, thanks to Eric’s attention to detail and quick thinking under pressure.
Eric has already had a pretty great career in the cycling industry, and we’re pretty sure he’s just getting started. So what’s the go-to tool for a mechanic like that? Eric has a hard time choosing just one! He’s a big fan of his HAG (Hanger Alignment Gauge) tool from Abbey, but he also can’t live without his quarter-inch drive Snap-on ratchet with a 5mm hex bit. Eric is also the current guardian of the infamous SRAM NRS Lousiville Slugger; while it’s not exactly a tool in the mechanical sense, it’s still a pretty coveted object! We hope that Eric treasure his limited edition “Abbey x PBMA” Stu Stick just as much.
For everyone reading this at home, we encourage you to join the #MOTW conversation: Post a picture of your favorite mechanic and tag us @probicyclemech, #probma, or #mechanicmonday, or nominate him or her to be featured by the PBMA and entered to win a trip to hang with us at Interbike 2017!
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