Meet the team
Published 8 October 2012
British Cycling Bike Maintenance workshops are delivered in partnership with Spike and Iain from Pro Tool School. Where did they pick up their vast experience of bike maintenance from, and what really makes them tick? Read on to find out...
Peter 'Spike' Taylor
Total Bike Repair and Maintenance magazine claims Spike to be one of the world’s best bike mechanics. Having previously worked for the Great Britain Cycling team, the bike-mad Lancastrian has spent the last 12 years at the highest level of the sport.
Spike started building and maintaining bikes aged 17 for the Leisure Lakes Bike Store at Tarleton, near Preston. Being able to work on a full range of bikes and equipment was a great place to start to learn and develop his skills.
Aged 19, as well as being the shop’s Head Mechanic, Spike was also running a mountain bike race every month and also managing a team of nearly 20 riders who were a strong force in the mid to late 1990s. When asked to help with the Great Britain cycling team in the early days of Lottery funding, this was his opportunity to step up into the world of professional bike racing.
After many years of travelling to international competitions include World, Commonwealth and Olympic Games, Spike was appointed Head Mechanic for the GB Cycling Team.
Spike has had the pleasure of working with some of the best-known names in cycling over the years, including 2009 Downhill World Champion Steve Peat, the legendary Will 'the Thrill' Longdon, British Olympic mountain bikers Liam Killeen and Caroline Alexander, through to household names such as Sir Chris Hoy, Victoria Pendleton, Bradley Wiggins and Mark Cavendish. Spike has also worked over the last few years alongside Chris Boardman OBE, helping to develop some of the bikes and equipment used for the Olympic and Paralympic Games.
Iain has had a lifelong passion for cycling. After getting his first mountain bike in 1989 he raced at local and national events throughout the 1990s. In 1995, aged 17, Iain started work at Leisure Lakes in Tarleton as a mechanic where he became good friends with Spike.
When Spike eventually left Leisure Lakes to pursue a full time career with British Cycling, Iain stepped into his shoes and took over the role of Head Mechanic as well as running race events. Iain travelled to various UCI World Cup XC rounds, plus the European and World Championships, as the mechanic for the Junior XC team where he worked with, amongst others, the up-and-coming star Liam Killeen.
2001 brought Iain new challenges in the form of joining Alp Active, a cycle holiday operator based at Les Gets in the French Alps. He did a few seasons working as a chalet-based mechanic and also as a guide, taking clients on rides around the ‘Portes des Soleil’. From cross country to downhill and freeride, he enjoys all aspects of the sport. His most recent escapade was riding in the annual ‘Mountain of Hell’ freeride event in Les Deux Alpes, France. He is now in the Masters class – which came as a bit of a shock, having last raced as a Junior!
Spike and Iain love passing on their expertise at bike maintenance workshops. Their insider tips and tricks are perfect for those looking to take their basic knowledge further. Find a workshop.