JOE DE GODOI MIGHT be a recent transplant to the Spokane cycling world, but he’s no stranger to cycling. This rider-turned-mechanic spent five years as an elite amateur bike racer in Europe. When he first arrived there from Colorado, he says, “I found out the 13 and 14-year-olds were tougher than me, but I was lucky enough to end up in Germany with some members of the German national team, so that gave me a pretty high standard to live up to.”
Eventually, his friendship with pro cyclist Udo Boelts led to a contract as a mechanic for the Gerolsteiner pro team. He loved the pro cycling community, and now he’s bringing that culture to Spokane’s South Hill by opening Spoke ‘n’ Joe, a bike and coffee shop where bikers can meet in comfort with like-minded souls.
On the pro circuit, he says, “the coffee was the thing that bonded everyone together,” and he’s excited to bring that to the Spokane biking community.
He’ll be happy to fix your bike when you stop by, and when it comes to his own bike, he says, “a mechanic wants a component that is easily accessible, precise, and something that will adjust and stay adjusted.”
Working on the pro cirucuit, he says, “I got to help with the research and development for Shimano and Ritchey.”
Here’s a peek at the gear he’s picked for himself:
BIKE: Giant TCR Composite 2004 model. It’s a carbon bike, with a bladed fork, that weighs 2.5 lbs.
HANDLEBAR: Ritchey Classic aluminum handlebars. The drops are rounded, rather than the newer ergonomic shape. “When I get into sprints or the steep climbs, I just can’t get a good feel for the ergonomic drops.”
STEM: The Ritchey 4-Axis, also made of aluminum. “I use those because I’ve seen some pretty bad crashes and I wanted a little extra stability.”
Seat: The Selle Italia SLR. It has a carbon fiber base with rough leather on top, weighing in at only 135 grams.
GROUPO: A Shimano Dura-Ace system with a bottom bracket that he saw through the research and development stage. De Godoi also uses a Shimano Flight Deck computer to help him keep track of his key components through a sensor on the wheel spoke that communicates with the Flight Deck console. “I really believe in the Shimano products because I field tested a lot of them with Gerolsteiner.”
WHEELS: De Godoi uses a Continental racing clincher, a three-layer cover with Kevlar in the 23 mm width. His hubs are Duré-he uses a 32-spoke rear hub and a 28-spoke front hub. Rims? Ambrosia Excellight.
CLOTHING: He uses Nalini clothing, “straight out of the Gerolsteiner team box,” almost exclusively. “European cycling clothing is a lot different that American cycling clothing,” he says. It fits his small frame better, and “they’re really up to date with the microfiber fabrics, and if the pros are wearing it, then you know they must be doing something right, because those guys are cycling through the Pyrenees one day and in ninety degree heat the next.”
HELMET: The Met Stradivarius.
SHOES: Pearl Izumi Flows R2. “They have a ratchet thing with some cables that make it really easy to tighten and release.”
GLOVES: “I just never could get used to gloves, because it felt like I had peanut butter between my fingers, but I would definitely recommend that everyone wear gloves, because picking gravel out of your hands after a fall is tough.”
De Godoi says he doesn’t usually carry much while riding-you won’t see him singing along to his iPod or sucking gel packets, but there are a few essentials he takes on every ride: a raincoat, to keep his core temperature up on evening or rainy rides, and a tool kit.
“I try to balance everything in my jersey pockets,” he says, distributing the weight evenly between the back pockets of his jersey.
The tool kit he takes always includes a Presta to Schrader Adaptor for gas station air pumps, an extra tube, a multi-tool, and five tire irons. “You only need three tire irons, but sometimes you break one,” he says, “and sometimes you break two, and you need three.”
If you break more, and you happen to bike near Regal and 57th, Spoke ‘n’ Joe’s got you covered.