2015 Silber Pro Cycling Training Camp
All photos by Brian Hodes
How do you know a lube is working? You forget that it’s there.
That’s exactly what happened earlier this winter when I started the PRO Gold Challenge. I ride my bike to work 4 days a week after “warming up” for a few hours on my computrainer. I wanted to see how long I could go without lubing my drive train. Keep in mind my daily riding is roughly an hour a day to and from. The Conditions speak for themselves, anywhere between -2 and -30, snow, slush, ice, form on paths and bridge crossings in Ottawa to form a substance that I call “Snush” which is a combination of all the above and PRO Gold lubes somehow still shifts with this mess of winter mixed in to the drive-train.
So I ride to work, hang the bike in the basement, and grab it at the end of the day for the trek back home. I’m pleased to say that the drive train test lasted so long, I forgot I was doing it. I went just under 4 weeks without having to lube the drive train. That is absolutely crazy compared to other product. I’m still on the same bottle of PRO Gold Extreme Lube. In comparison last year I went through about 4 bottles of another product, so I can say it works at least 4 times better and my shifting has stayed pretty good considering the conditions.
That’s how I know a lube works, I forget that it’s there. For me, it’s such a huge time saver. When I finish my training, I basically change shorts, bundle up and set off to the office. I don’t have the time or patience to mess around with lube in the freezing cold in between the training and the commute, after all I have to keep all my body heat as long as I can.
Sure, it’s just bike lube, it’s not the most exciting or sexy product out there, but when you’re riding in -20, you need your bike to be working because you need every watt you can get to battle the wind and the snow. Studies have shown a clean and lubed drive train can definitely save you a few watts. There’s a reason is called PRO Gold, because that’s what the Pros use.
Unless you have extra time or money to spend on lube, do yourself a favor, get PRO Gold and forget about it.
Derrick St John
LaRuta de Los Conquistadores is Hell on bikes. Primeval Jungle mud, ancient dirt roads with golf ball sized rocks caked in decades of coal dust and diesel fumes, and hot liquefied sand that’s been baking in the Caribbean sun all day just waiting to attack your bikes moving parts. And that’s just one day! My week in Costa Rica brought out the best in me and my equipment and showed me that the spirit of competition and the excitement for bicycle racing is worldwide. The Ticos (so Costa Ricans call themselves) make a BIG deal out of La Ruta, and so they should. Over 500 Athletes came from over 25 countries to “race” from the jungle forests of the Pacific over the volcanic mountains of the central valley, and on to Caribbean coast on the third and final day and I was privileged and thrilled to be one of them.
I chose my familiar Pivot LES singlespeed for the job. The Les and I have been good friends all season winning USAC XC SS Nationals, the NUE series Singlespeed title, and numerous other events along the way. After a whole season of snapping necks and cashing checks we were headed to La Ruta, where the only thing you don’t know to prepare for is everything. Bike prep and security is handled daily by the notoriously aggressive Specialized CR mechanics. These guys know what they are doing and make things shine, unfortunately they also have the distinct advantage of sending you and your bike home in whatever condition after three days under their eye. These guys clean and race prep 350 bikes each and every night of LaRuta and deliver them the following day at the start line cleaned, lubed, and ready to kick it into gear. As best I could gather from prior racers the process involves Kerosene and water for cleaning, diesel oil for chains, and im pretty sure my rear brake was bled with actual lizard blood…which comes in pretty close to mineral oil in viscosity apparently! So not only are the volcanoes, pythons, and rail bridges over croc infested rivers out to get you, but Specialized CR will blast all of those things clean into your bottom bracket!
So going into LaRuta I knew the preparation for me and my bike was key, what could I do to full proof myself and my gear against the Jungle and the Spesh Brute Squad? Easy, roll over to my cleaning bucket and select four ProGold products which I knew well and had tested all year.
1) EPX Cycle Grease- The kind folks at Blue Ridge Cyclery in Charlottesville VA and I pre packed my headset bearings and new BB with EPX knowing they would withstand a lot of force from pressure washing and also extended and repeated submersion followed by repeated cycles of low cadence high torque. EPX did its job and allowed my bearings to roll smooth for the duration. No horror stories about bearings here…pythons…that’s another matter
2) Pro Gold Pro towels. I use the big bucket of these little gold treasures at home but the TSA frowns on anything that smells like anything and comes in sizes greater than 3oz so it was singles for me and my LES. Thee little guys are good for everything! Chains-obviously. Cassettes (or ss cogs in my shoes), chainrings, and frame surfaces-check. Saddles and grips-sure! I gotta keep my custom ‘Merica ESi Grips clean and shiny after all! The pro towels do their job and you get a ton of mileage out of one or two. I keep several in my toolbox for going to races and they did overtime on shoes and apparel during LaRuta.
3) Pro Gold Helmet Cleaner and Deodorizer . This stuff is a LIFESAVER! I know, helmet schmelmet…who caaaares about how clean your helmet is?!! While let me tell you, its not so much how clean my helmet is but how clean those pads are! I use it about once a month on my shoes and on the whole surface of my helmet. I do this because I do actually like clean and shiny things but more importantly because I like to keep my skin shiny and skin cancer free, which means sunscreen. Sunscreen in skin lotion daily and especially strong ‘screen for 6 hrs of Costa Rican Sol! This sunscreen has a nasty habit of getting in the helmet pads and riding along with the sweat streaming off my ginger skin and straight into my eyes. Nothing burns like sunscreen in the eyes. Nothing! One spray of ProGold Helmet cleaner once a month or so and not only will I keep my junk skunk free but Im guaranteed free of sunscreen and other nasty stuff that likes to camp out where my pale forehead meets the helmet.
4) ProGold EXTREME!!! Because whats more extreme than LaRuta?! Not anything actually. I knew full well that Mike Sinyard’s boys would be slinging the fabled good cheer and diesel oil and while as a singlespeed rider Im not plagued by the normal ailments of poorly lubed chains but that doesn’t mean I don’t want a smooth, clean, and functional drivetrain. I usually keep a small bottle dropper of lube in a zip-up bag I refer to lovingly as my “oh-shit kit” and LaRuta was no exception. So Diesel oil or not I brought that Extreme dropper and used it more than a couple of times on stages 1 and 3 when things got extra steep and extra deep.
So that’s the chronicle of how ProGold made things faster, easier, and mo’ better down at La Ruta de Los Conquistadores. I finished my race safely, goal number one, and brought home the first place singlespeed prize for the first year they offered the category. I was also the only singlespeed rider to finish this years event…ill let that one lie right there. Overall I was third American and somewhere in the top 30 overall. Heres to LaRuta 2015, now with more Jungle!!
-Gordon W. Quadsworth-
It’s 38 degrees and raining/sleeting. The wind is blowing the remaining leaves off the trees and those that are already on the ground are whipping in every direction. I finished my last Iceman prep ride last night along with dialing in my bike mechanically. I got a good night’s sleep and today I’ll make the 8 hour drive up and around Lk Michigan to Traverse City. Only one thing left to do and that’s clean the bike….and I really don’t want to do it….
So I’m going to bust it out quick.
Step 1: Pro Gold Blast Off – A really fast way to take care of the majority of the guck on the driveline. After I blast the drive I’ll spray everything down with a hose.
Step 2: Pro Gold Bike Wash/Degreser – I’ll spray the entire bike and let it sit for about 5 minutes.
Step 3: Pro Gold Towels – While waiting 5 minutes I’ll take a Pro Gold Towell and wipe down any excess mud, grease, grime, from the frame and the drive.
That’s it….hit it with a hose and you are done….in less than 8 minutes you are totally ready to rock. After that I’ll dry the bike.
Step 4: Pro Link – A quick very light application that will protect the chain for the drive and allow for a good pre-ride.
Step 5: Back to the Towel, but this time travel size because its the night before the race and I’m in the hotel room. With only a light coat of Pro Link before the preride it’ll be easy to have the bike spotless again with one towel.
Step 6: Pro Gold XTreme – A final coat of lube the night before the race. I’ve found that the XTreme works good in all conditions….not just gnarly Iceman stuff…..but it really likes the mud!
Step 7: Pro Gold Shine – and just because its Iceman I’ll shine her up for Good Luck!
See you on the start line…at the very least I’ll be looking good!
Thank you for participating in the 2014 IPMBA Conference in Tampa, Florida. Although this letter is long overdue, we truly appreciate your support! IPMBA is committed to assisting industry suppliers in their efforts to market to the public safety community.
Although you were not able to join us in the exhibit hall, we appreciate your contributions to our conference. Attendees enjoyed their welcome bags and the items found within as well as the opportunity to bid on many excellent products. If you donated an item and would like to contact the person who secured your product, please let me know.
Please see the article posted at http://ipmba.org/blog/comments/excellence-in-the-exhibit-hall about all of our wonderful supporters.
At the first conference of bike-mounted police, in 1991, our founding fathers could only dream of a future with thousands of police, EMS, and security personnel riding bikes in the line of duty. On the eve of our 25th Annual Conference, public safety cycling is widely recognized as effective, economically smart, community oriented, and good for the environment, too.
Please take advantage of the many ways that IPMBA can help you increase your visibility in the market. For more information about corporate membership, advertising in IPMBA News, participation in the IPMBA Product Purchase Program, sponsorship opportunities, and/or exhibiting at next year’s conference, please contact me at 410-744-2400 or email@example.com.
Thank you again for supporting IPMBA. We look forward to seeing you in the Exhibit Hall at the 25th Annual IPMBA Conference in Chandler, Arizona.
International Police Mountain Bike Association (IPMBA)
They race is pretty special. If you haven’t been or haven’t seen the
pictures check out this video. 2500 bikes rolling out together for
the start of one of the biggest and most iconic races in the US.
Again, I couldn’t go it without your support. Whether its been for
this season or since my first Chequamegon in 2003 I’m really really
thankful for this opportunity to turn my passion of racing bikes into
This weekend I raced in the Montgomery Bell Classic Tennessee State XC
The race was held during a constant downpour with trail conditions
turning to a solid sheet of mud and trail fodder.
I prepared by using ProGold Extreme Chain Lube to keep my drivetrain tight.
Even through the worst of the race when I put extreme pressure on the
drivetrain, things ran smoothly. I attribute a maintenance plan that
centers around ProGold products to maintaining a bicycle that works in
event the worst of conditions. My best effort was good enough for
third place in the State category 1 Men’s 30-39 division.
After the Race I used Blast Off Degreaser, followed by Citrus Chain
Shine, Bike Wash, Bike Shine, and another application of Extreme Lube
to top things off.
I can’t thank ProGold enough for making products that stand up to the
level of abuse I put my equipment through. Without such outstanding
products I might not have had such a great experience.
My name is Jon Pettit. A wonderer, lover of getting lost, bike rep, wrench, appreciator of great whiskey and cold pbr’s. I’ve traveled the US down the continental divide, spent my youth in the muck and mud of the Pacific Northwest ruining equipment and burning through lubes, cleaners and what not’s, now I rip across the desserts of the southwest in the dust and heat encountering all sorts of mechanical issues and harsh vegetation. I Co-habitat with a pro racer, my garage seems to be the local shop, I’ve lost count of the amount of builds, overhauls and repairs done in one of my favorite spaces.
I use whatever works, and works the best. I met Bruce in Prescott for the first real time, and have since kept in steady contact with the nomadic lube man. He dispatched some of his goods a couple years back and to my surprise, it wasn’t a junk hand off, I’m skeptical of products that boast such names as “the best stuff ever?!!!!! Usually means you’re going to use it till it’s gone and go back to your old ways. But from day one, I was proved wrong and not only does Bruce use his enthusiasm for bikes but it matches his knowledge of products. We sometimes have 8 bikes that hang in the garage, and right now I have another two bikes I’m building for friends. The girls rode team was in town earlier this year, and that meant washing 8 bikes every day, cleaning, lubing and riding, and we tried to get some bike work done too….
From the progold bike wash/degreaser, luber pen (my personal favorite), extreme lube, citrus degreaser and the gnarly blast off that will surely cure any ugly incident. I turned some wrenched for FCS/Zngine earlier this year for the San Dimas road race and a couple others. While traveling with the team I wasn’t able to bring out my usual accoutrement of tools and goodies. I sorely missed my ProGold loving, working with subpar cleaner and lubes was frustrating, and didn’t leave the bikes with the usual shine and sparkle, when you’ve got Amber Neben winning the TT, you want the bike to be perfect.
From the road rigs, tt bikes and more importantly the mountains bikes that see thousands of miles of abuse in the dusty, rocky heavens of Arizona and beyond I only trust ProGold to leave me with the end result I’m looking for, and while doing clinics for SRAM and Rockshox Its only going to be progold products that get used on my own rides and those I get to fix in the compounds of my compound.
There’ll be more from the trail, but use the best, leaves us for more time on the trails, with people and friends we love and of course whiskey and ice cold PBR’s, until next time JP.